Reviews - Gigabyte Odin GT GE-S550A-D1 550W power supply
Sample Provided by: Gigabyte (By jonny on Sat, Jul-28-2007)

Page 1 -

Gigabyte makes a number of computer products.  Motherboards, video cards, NIC's, notebooks, CPU coolers and even chassis.  To my knowledge, they haven't been in the power supply market in the past, but with the introduction of the Odin power supply product line it seems that Gigabyte has jumped in with both feet and introduced something quite a bit beyond a mediocre AC to DC power conversion device.

Not only has Gigabyte chosen to go with Channel Well, a well known manufacturer of PC power supplies since 1997 and an OEM for well known brands like Antec, Thermaltake, Xclio, 2theMax and Koolance, as the OEM for their Odin power supply product, but they've decided to implement an IC in the power supply that can monitor and control voltages, amperages, temperatures and fans.  A software program called "P-Tuner" (short for Power Tuner) is the interface the user uses to monitor and control the power supply via a USB cable.

After finding out how feature rich this power supply seemed to be on paper, I immediately rushed over to Newegg's website to buy one.  At $149, it's not the cheapest 550W power supply I've bought, but I figured that the experience of using the P-Tuner software alone would be worth the investment.

The Odin GT certainly does come in one of the most colorful boxes I've seen.  There are even foil insets for displaying the word "Gigabyte" and "550W."

The back of the box is informative and tells us a little bit about the power supply's features and about the P-Tuner software.

Here's a close up of one of the diagrams on the back of the Odin GT's box. 

The on/off switch is lit... Ok... I'm just happy it has a switch. 

The PSU is 80% and up efficient.  Ok... we'll check that. 

Fan speed control... we know that the fan is thermostatically controlled and the P-Tuner software supposedly allows manual control of the fan. 

LED on/off switch... cool. 

Quad +12V rails.... check. 

Thermometer.  Again, one of the features of the P-Tuner software. 

Dual SLI, so it must have two PCI-e connectors.

Connector suit?  Not sure what that means.  Maybe the bag all of the cables are stored in is called a suit when translated using Google Translate.  Or maybe they mean "suite" to mean that the unit comes with a full complement of cables and connectors.

USB gauge link?  That must be a reference to the P-Tuner software's USB interface.

Above is Gigabyte's claim of efficiency.  As we can see, the unit is supposedly 80% or better efficient at loads from at least 20% on up.  It almost looks like they're implying that the unit may be more than 85% efficient at 50% load.

We open our box and find.... another box (whenever I have a box within a box, I can't help but to think of the end of the 1963 Bugs Bunny cartoon "A Million-Hare."  If you don't know what I mean, you're on your own.) 

Before we get to the actual power supply, let's take a look at what else is in the box.  Above is the included "quick guide" a power cord and two sets of screws.  Gigabyte includes the typical 6/32 screws as well as some thumb screws.

The modular cables all come packed in a nice nylon bag. Unused cables can be stored in the bag so they can be retrieved at a later time as your power needs grow.

You'll notice some funky looking cables in the far right pocket.  I'll get to these later.  First, let's have a look at the power supply unit and the "normal" cables and connectors the Odin GT comes with, then we'll have a look at these unique wires and connectors that make the Odin GT special.

Finally (I know, the suspense was killing you), here's the Odin GT 550W power supply pulled from the box.  Note the size.  The Odin comes in at a reasonable 6.25" depth.

The Odin GT is "semi-modular" with a permanently fixed, 500mm long 24-pin and a permanently fixed, 500MM long 8-pin that has another 150MM hop to a 4-pin connector.  Also coming out of the power supply is a USB connector for use with the P-Tuner software.

The rest of the cables are modular and are included in the below table:

Type of connector: Gigabyte GE-S550A 
ATX connector (fixed @ 500MM) 20+4
2 x 2 4-pin 12V connectors (fixed @ + 150MM) 1
2 x 4 8-pin Xeon/EPS connector (fixed @ 500MM) 1
6-pin Xeon/AUX connector 0
2 x 3 PCIe (550MM, modular) 2
2 x 4 PCIe 0
5.25" Drive connectors (550MM + 150MM + 150MM) 5
3.5" Drive connectors (+150MM) 1
SATA Drive power connectors (550MM + 150MM + 150MM) 6
Fan only connectors (thermostatically controlled 12V only) 2

The cables are sleeved all of the way to the end.  Another "nice touch" that makes this Gigabyte power supply very aesthetically pleasing.

On one side of the unit, we have the DC output table (don't worry if you can't read it.  We'll get back to it later), a list of certifications and compliances and different QC's that this PSU has passed.  Unlike most power supplies on the market, this labeling faces in when installed in your typical ATX case.

The unit is ventilated on the back with a honeycomb grill.  And there's the "backlit switch" the back of the box told us about.

The honeycomb grill wraps around to the side of the power supply that would face out towards the user in a typical ATX case.  The grill on the side is primarily for looks, though.  Although it would seem to make sense to allow the copper to radiate some heat out through the grill, there is actually a large acetate sheet blocking all of the holes in the housing.

The Odin is a very nice looking power supply.  It's only black, but it's a quality finish.  The cuts in the metal are flawless,  black grill and Odin center cap is a classy touch and even this nice inset "Gigabyte Power Supply" plaque on the side of the unit is a nice touch.

So now let's have a look at some of those "funky" cables....

Above is an external USB cable for communicating with the Odin.  The Odin has an internal header type USB connector coming out of it already, but if you do not have enough USB headers on your motherboard, you can use the adapter on the inside of this bracket to route the USB interface to the outside and plug it into an available external USB port.

There are four thermal probes included with the power supply.  Above is a picture of one of these probes.  This is because the P-Tuner software can not only monitor the power supply, but also the temperatures of up to four different zones of the PC.  I will be using three of these probes in conjunction with my digital thermometer.  Probe 1 will monitor PSU intake temperatures, probe 2 will monitor PSU exhaust temperatures and probe 3 is located just outside of the case so we can get an idea of the room temperature.

There is also a connector that plugs into the power supply that has two fan connectors on it.  This assembly is shown above.  This allows the user to monitor up to two chassis fans with the P-Tuner software.  Because the power supply I'm reviewing isn't actually running in a PC, I won't be able to use these connectors, but the idea certainly looks good.

Above we can see the two fan headers plugged into the Odin GT power supply.  Below is a close up of the interface on the power supply where one plugs in the thermal probes and system fan headers.


 

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