The other day I received a very large box. I mean a VERY LARGE box. And inside this very large box was a box that was not as large, of course, but was still a box that was worthy of being called a VERY LARGE box.
The box within the box was the box Koolance uses to contain their Liquid Cooled 1200W Power Supply; the PSU-1200ATX-12S.
Immediately after this product was introducted last month, everyone was excited and skeptical. The speculative pros: Quieter. Cooler running. The speculative cons: It may not be quieter since it still uses a 120MM fan in the back on the outside instead of the typical 120MM and up cooling fan on the inside that is typically dampened by the housing of the power supply and case.
There are two things about the Koolance 1200W that don't require any speculation. One pro and one con. Pro: This PSU is one bad ass looking unit worthy of being the ultimate "mine's bigger than yours" trophy piece PC. Con: $500?!?!
Right off the bat, I had my suspicions. 1200W? Who makes a 1200W power supply? Well.. Channel Well does, but this unit is smaller than the Channel Well if you don't count the radiator, hoses, etc. Then you take a look at the specs, some of the characteristics and what not and it dawns on me that this is in fact a Channel Well unit, but not a PUC1200V 1200W unit, but a PSH850V. An 850W unit.
The primary difference between the two's specifications is that the Koolance claims that the +12V combined output capability is 85A while Channel Well only claims that the combined +12V should only be 62A.
So is there false advertising going on here? Well... hold that thought. Just like overclocking a CPU, it's not unreasonable for someone to be able to "overclock" a power supply. Power supplies tend to heat up as they put out more power. The more power they put out, the hotter they get. And if they get too hot, they fail. So if we can keep a power supply at a relatively low temperature even at high loads, theoretically it should be able to put out more power. I also hope that with the liquid cooling the power supply should not get as hot, the fan on the radiator should not have to spin very fast and the unit should be very quiet over all.
So enough of the speculation. Let's install this thing, fire it up and get on with some hard facts...
Inside the box are two large foam blocks. The manual sits on top while the modular cables sit in two bags on either side of the power supply unit.
Once the power supply is removed and placed on the dining room table, I become awe-struck. I don't care if this thing is a 300W power supply advertised to put out 1000W. This thing is a work of art. In fact, it would be a shame to install this thing in a case where it can't be seen.
The top and bottom are brushed stainless steel that would look good on even the finest kitchen appliances. The sides are extruded aluminum with "Koolance - 1200W" laser etched into them.
The radiator is encased in a black aluminum housing, again with a "Koolance" laser etch, and features a clear 120MM dual ball bearing fan with blue LED highlights.
The radiator unit hinges open so one can access the mounting hardware. I had to think about this for a while as the manual really says nothing about disassembling the unit prior to installation. They begin installation procedures with the unit already disassembled.
Here is the modular interface on the inside side of the unit. All wires are one to one except for the main ATX connector. Instead of being a 24 to 24 cable, it's a 30 to 24 with the cable that plugs into the power supply unit being split into two connectors; one with 20 pins and a second with 10 more.
Below I have listed all of the cables and connectors that come with the Koolance....
Type of connector:
ATX connector (fixed @ 500mm)
2 x 2 12V connectors (500mm)
8-pin Xeon/EPS connector (500mm)
6-pin Xeon/AUX connector
2 x 3 PCIe (500mm)
2 x 4 PCIe
5.25" Drive connectors (500mm + 150mm + 150mm)
3.5" Drive connectors ( + 150mm)
SATA Drive power connectors (500mm + 150mm + 150mm)
Fan only connectors (thermostatically controlled 12V only)
* The 8-pin EPS+12V splits into two 4-pin connectors creating the 4-pin ATX+12V
Going back to the radiator end of the unit once again, we can see the fluid in the power supply through the window provided. No, it's not water. It's some sort of inert perfluorocarbon of unknown composition. The power supply is not filled to the brim with fluid. It's only about 7/8 of the way full. So to make sure the fluid is always covering the components inside the power supply that need to be cooled, the power supply can only be installed one of two ways.
If we go back to the modular side of the unit, we see this yellow label explaining what two ways the power supply needs to be mounted in order to maintain proper cooling. What if you have an upside-down case? That's OK. We'll cover that in a bit.
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