Today we have a unit from OCZ's new value line of power supplies; the ZS Series.
The particular model I will be reviewing is the 550W, but there also 650W and
750W units available.
The box is fairly straight up so far. There's a 3 year warranty and the unit
is supposedly 80 Plus Bronze certified, which means it's 82%, 85% and 82% efficient
at 20%, 50% and 100% loads. Let's zoom in on those bullet-points in the lower
right hand corner...
OCZ says this unit is "Simply Powerful" and defines this as meaning
that it has a single +12V rail which is good for efficient power distribution.
maybe not. I just love making fun of marketing 101 statements.
is handled by "PowerWhisper" technology, which essentially means the fan
is thermostatically controlled.
"Multi-GPU Ready" probably means that there are multiple PCIe power connectors,
which is something a 550W power supply should have.
Going back to the fan, we are told that the "Superior Cooling" is
courtesy of an ultra-quiet yet vigorous 135mm fan. No word on whether or not
fan is sleeve or ball bearing though.
Now let's move to the top of the box...
Ah! Cool.. useful information can be found here.
So we have the size of the unit as 150 x 160 x 86mm. Here we find that the
vigorous Superior Cooling is a 135mm ball-bearing fan. There is OVP, OCP and
SCP. Also, this unit has active PFC.
The connector count to the right states that we have two PCIe power connectors,
so if you were to power multiple GPU's, you're limited to graphics cards with
only one PCIe power connector on it. Here's a table that shows all of the cables,
connectors and their lengths:
The two cables with the SATA connectors are two different lengths. One is
much shorter than what we'd normally see come on a power supply, while the
other is much longer than normal.
Another thing that's unusual here is that
the connectors on the SATA and peripheral power connectors are only 100mm
apart. Normally, I like this because when you have drives stacked up that need
get power to them, you tend to stack them close enough to where the typical
150mm is too long. But on this power supply we only have one cable with 5.25"
Peripheral power connectors (often called "Molex" connectors) on it. The
problem with this is if you have an optical drive up front and then a fan that
power somewhere else in your PC or maybe even two different fans in two different
places, or a water pump or something else that needs a peripheral power connector,
you're going to need to be pretty clever to figure out how you're going to
get that all to power off of one cable and still look nice and tidy.
Also, there is no floppy power connector on this power supply. Not many of
us are still using floppy drives or even LS120's or Zip drives, but floppy
power connectors are still used for some PCI cards and some 3.5" bay card readers.
Here we have the back of the box. Let's zoom in on these bullet-ponts...
We're reminded once again that this unit is "Simply Powerful". Also, "Silent
Operation" is expanded on and the claim that this is one of the quietest power
supplies on the market is made.
"Superior Cooling" is now referred to as "Extreme Cool". "Active PFC" is defined
and we're told a little bit about OCZ's 3 year warranty.
Now let's look at the side of the box where the DC output table is located...
The DC output table is so clearly laid out on this box, I probably don't need
to reproduce it in our usual format...
OCZ ZS Series 550W
But we should probably just be consistent.
Inside the box we find a manual, power cord and a bag with four mounting screws
Now let's pull the PSU out of the box...
The label on the power supply looks much like the label that PC Power & Cooling
had used for years, even before being acquired by OCZ.
On the intake side, we see an 11 blade, 135mm fan. The aesthetics here are
very simple. The fan grill is basic and the fan hub doesn't even have a sticker
Each side of the power supply sports a large label, oriented in such a way
so that the text is upright whether the power supply is mounted on the top
or bottom of the chassis.
Now that we've had a good look at the box and what's in the
box, let's throw the power supply up on the load tester and see how it performs.
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