Reviews - Scythe Kamariki II 550W
Sample Provided by: Scythe USA (By madmat on Mon, Feb-19-2007)

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I'm sure most of you have heard of Scythe. If not for their coolers or their AC line of GPU cooler then for their nearly silent line of fans. It would appear that they've got power products as well and one of those is the focus of our attention. Today we're taking a look at their Kamariki II line, in particular the KMRK-550A (II) 550W Topower built unit.

The packaging for the Kamariki II makes it clear that this is no PSU aimed at sale in the United States. A look at their site makes it pretty clear that it's sold in Japan and imported for sale here. Oddly enough it looks like the asian power supplies don't require APFC like units aimed at at sale in the EU. Very interesting.

A look at the label reveals the amperages that the rails are advertised at.

Scythe KMRK-550A (II) +3.3V +5V +12V1 +12V2 -12V -5V +5VSB
25A 50A 20A 20A 1.0A 0.8A 2.5A
Max Combined Watts 220W 372W/396W* 12W 4W 12.5W
530W 28W

* Denotes the advertised peak power rating for 60 seconds sustained.

Zooming out on the label reveals that this is indeed a Topower built unit.

Personally, I think the fact that this unit is firstly a Japanese marketed unit makes for a very aesthetically pleasing box, in fact it looks so cool that it's likely to be held onto just for a conversation piece.

Inside the box we find the standard fare. The power supply along with the power cord and other sundry items which I'll cover in a moment. Yeah, I know the picture is a bit fuzzy and I'm sorry but it still gives a good idea as to what you'll see upon opening the package.

We see that out of the box this unit is typically Topower. There's the usual EMI filters on the PCI-e and the 20+4 has the extra four pins running through their own sleeved cable which is conjoined to the main ATX power cable. The cooling is provided by a single 92mm fan in the bottom of the unit. It seems a bit anemic for cooling a power supply. We'll see later if it is indeed a hindering problem when we run the testing. The overall look of the Kamariki II is pretty nice, it's got the whole "Boy racer" thing going on with the Japanese script plus it has a very cool looking aesthetic with the brushed black chrome finish, black chrome grille and twisted sleeved cables. I'm not a huge fan of the fishnet sleeving nor do I care much for the plastic jacketed PCI-e cables but there are plenty of people out there that do find both to be appealing so that falls into a "whatever floats your boat" category.

Here's a closer look at the extras that come with this unit. You get the obligatory power cable, albeit a rather strange power cable. It's obviously designed for overseas use but it will work with the PC directly connected to the wall if you put the lug on the green grounding wire under the screw holding the wall faceplate in place. Typical three prong plugs have the body of the plug where that screw goes into grounded via the third ground wire. But since most enthusiasts won't be found dead sans a good surge protector you'd be best served chucking the cable into your "Interesting but mostly useless" part drawer and using a standard PC power cable from your "Uninteresting but useful" parts drawer. There is also a baggy with some screws and in another baggy there is a collection of caps to cover the un-used connectors on the power supply. This is a good touch since I can be pretty sure that attaching thirteen devices and two PCI-e cards would probably be a bit more than this unit could comfortably live with. There's also a few zip-ties and a single page instruction sheet written in what I'm taking to be Japanese but as per usual, the dog ate that.

Let's take a look at the cable load out:

Type of connector: Scythe KMRK-550A (II)
ATX connector 20+4 pin
2 x 2 12V connectors 1
2 x 3 PCIe 2
8-pin Xeon/EPS connector 1
6-pin Xeon/AUX connector 0
5.25" Drive connectors 9
3.5" Drive connectors 2
SATA Drive power connectors 4
Fan only connectors (thermostatically controlled 12V only) 0

It's kind of odd in my eyes that this unit doesn't feature any fan only connectors since the unit features ECASO which is an acronym for Extended Cooling After System Off. ECASO means that the fan runs off of reserve power of a sort for about 3 minutes after you've switched off the system's power. Since this would continue to evacuate the heat from your case after the PC is off if you could run your fans off of the Kamariki II I think it's a shame that they failed to implement it. Although, I have my thoughts on why they didn't. If the ECASO runs the fan off of the 5VSB rail via a timer it would explain why they didn't want to run more than the low flowing 92mm fan used in the unit. This would prevent the PSU from being tripped due to over current on the 5VSB rail.


A peek at the label on the unit shows the same ratings I outlined above. Note that the 650W peak is a bit optimistic. During the course of my testing I was doodling around with the unit and I applied a 600W load to it, it shut down after about a half second. I don't see where they came by their 60 second figure but in real world application I can tell you it's not realistic.


Looking at the end of the Kamariki II we see first that there's no 80mm fan typically found on a unit with a 92mm fan on the bottom and we also see that there's a switch for 115V/230V AC so we know that there is no APFC in this unit. Looking at the bottom of the unit we do see something interesting though, the 12V lines are at the rear of the unit. There also is some filtering circuitry on the board that the 12V lines are attached to. We'll take a closer look at what's going on there when we perform the autopsy after the testing.


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