How does that saying go, again? What goes around comes around? What comes around is all around? Something like that, I'd wager. It's not rocket appliances.
You guys know the hows and whys of me getting into this power supply reviewing business, right? No? Well, here's a quick briefing. I was sitting there one day playing games on the computer I'd built for myself in the first couple years of the new millennium. It was a Duron 700 machine overclocked to 900+, and it was a beast. Or so I thought. I was proud of that build, because it was only my second one. It had a really fancy looking blue case I thought looked really cool at the store, which came with its own power supply.
Now, on this particular day, it was really warm. The AC in my apartment was borderline enough that the building owners refused to fix it, and that day it wasn't having any of me trying to make it work. So I was hot, my computer was hot, and the gaming action was hot. The only thing cool was the big bottle of sugar next to me. And then it happened... one of my two hard drives died. Again. For the third time. It was a Western Digital 45GB model, and it had literally spent more time going back to HQ than doing its job. Then I remembered... didn't I hear a pop back before it died the first time?
Drawing on my electronics background, I pulled out the power supply and discovered most of the capacitors had blown their tops. I was way beyond upset to the point I never wanted anybody to have a piece of junk like that in their computers again. I started advising people on message boards, and then I started reviewing them. That power supply, the one that started it all for me, came from a company called Deer, a division of a company called Solytech. I soon found out that I was not alone... this company was infamous for unreliable, dangerous junk back then. They popped up everywhere under many different names, and they were all on my "avoid like the plague" list.
Allied is one of the brand names sort of... allied with Solytech. But the one that concerns us today is Apex/Apexgaming. Yes, folks, we're looking at a Deer cousin. I just hope this OEM has put some distance between its past and today, because it's the very reason I started reviewing power supplies in the first place.
Like any other power supply, we do have some features to talk about. The first thing that stands out at me is the ten year warranty. Like, seriously? This company has this much confidence in their modern units? Okay. As long as the warranty means something in the real world, and you don't end up with a steady stream of junk replacement units, I actually love that.
80 Plus Gold. We're fine there, no issues. That seems to be where most of the decent bargain units are these days. Highest quality Japanese capacitors? Well, that would be a serious improvement on my old 250W unit, which was full of the worst and cheapest. Full or semi modular? Eh? You don't know which one, box?
Very glad indeed to see all those protections listed. However, overtemp is not listed. A lot of companies will throw it in anyway, because nothing ruins a reputation faster than power supplies exploding because they get too hot. But this is a relative of Deer, so I don't know what to think. I do know I'm going to hit it as hard as I can in the hot box later.
Here, we find efficiency and fan curve graphs. We can already tell there is no semi-fanless mode on this unit.
Ah, specs! Oh, wait, it does say there's OTP. Allrighty then, Mr. PSU, I expect you to use that later if you have issues.
I am not feeling so rosy about the admission that the fan is a sleeve bearing unit. This shakes my confidence a little bit that the 10 year warranty is actually going to mean anything. You could have slapped that same warranty on my 250W pile of junk and it still would have eaten three hard drives.
Opening the box, we find... well, I'm not calling any of that a user guide. We have a safety guide and a warranty booklet. About as low effort as it gets without removing documentation altogether.
Otherwise, inside the box we have a bag full of modular cables, a fully modular power supply, some screws, and an accessories bag.
Which in turn contains the power cord and a few zip ties. Not too shabby for a bargain Gold unit these days.
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