Lots of cool things come in boxes. Some cool things come in fancy boxes, some come in plain brown boxes. Last week, a big plain brown box showed up in the mail for me, containing a smaller fancy box. The fancy box in turn contained one of the objects of today's review, an Eagle Tech Skyhawk Panther Power GM620PC. The sheer number of cool boxes involved made me wonder how I could lose, but just to be safe we tested the Eagle Tech Skyhawk Panther Zebra Power anyway, just to see how it would do.
But wait, there's more. A second Eagle Tech Skyhawk Panther Rhino Ostrich Beagle Power was tested, this one a GM670SC that didn't make it into my hands. What happened to it, you ask. Did it get lost in the mail, let all the magic smoke out, run away from the load tester screaming, or get abducted by aliens? Read on and all will be made clear in the fullness of time. Let's have a look at the back of the fancy box, shall we?
On this part of the box, we see all the neato gee-whiz features boasted by the GM620PC. We hearby learn that the power supply boasts dual 12v rails, a smart thermal fan control which keeps operation fanless below 40 degrees Celcius, supports dual 6 pin PCI-E connectors, comes with a mirror finish outlook treatment (whatever that means), and has modular cabling. It also claims 80% efficiency over most of its operating range, something I was looking forward to validating.
The GM670SC adds audio standby functionality, whereby the power supply will keep an optical drive up and running so you can use it to listen to music without having to power up the entire computer. Since none of my current optical drives boast playback buttons anymore, I can't imagine this feature being too much use in a modern system.
Here's a look at the top of the box, and all its nifty features explained in little thumbnails. Wow, this box is so cool. With captions like "Exclusive Design of ONE Source of Power for 5 Transmit Ports," really, I felt almost honored to open it up and see what was inside.
But first, let's stop a moment to get the specs off the box into a nice little table so we can see how power distribution is managed on the Eagle Tech Skyhawk Panther Horse Monkey Ocelot Raccoon Power. Since both models reviewed share the same specifications, I'm going to get lazy and make you study only one of these.
Panther Power GM620PC/GM670SC
Max Combined Watts
As we can see by the sheer number of asterisks, there are a lot of peak numbers up there. I can't say I find this all that promising about the units' capabilities. But, the load tester will tell the real story there. Let's go ahead and see what's in the box now, shall we?
Here we see the owner's manual, power cord, and a little bag 'o screws. You say there must have been something else in the box? Something big, heavy, and shiny perhaps? Well, let's take another look... ah, here we go.
The Eagle Tech Skyhawk Panther Cheetah Walrus Marmot Tiger Lion Power in all its glory. If you look closely, you'll see that this is the GM670SC pictured here. What does the GM620PC look like? Well, the label dot denoting the model is placed elsewhere. That's it. The two supplies are otherwise identical from the outside. While we're looking at the label, UL file number e166826 tells us that this unit is certified with the Underwriters Laboratories under the name San Hawk Technic Co. Ltd. This is actually Skyhawk's parent company, so for the time being it looks like these are actually built (or at least designed) within the company.
I must say I do like the finish on these units, a glossy black paint that seems quite durable.
I mentioned the two power supplies being identical, and I think I heard someone in St. Louis telling me they need proof. Well, here it is. On closer inspection of the innards, I can confirm they're identical in circuit design where it counts, too. Except for the audio standby PCB in the GM670SC, that is.
Oh wait a minute, there's something else here in the box. Why, it's...
A bundled set of cables for our Eagle Tech Skyhawk Panther Hippo Penguin... you know, I think I'm running out of animal names. How's about we call it the Zoopower now, mkay? Oh great, I just got that old Raffi song about going to the zoo stuck in my head. While I'm getting it out of there via a cordless drill and a Q-Tip to the brain, let's take a look at the cables. Again, I'll consolidate both units into one chart to be as lazy as humanly possible.
Type of connector:
ATX connector (560mm)
8-pin Xeon/EPS connector (560mm)
2 x 2 12V connectors (+100mm)
5.25" Drive Audio Standby connector (560mm)*
2 x 3 PCIe, 560mm + 160mm
2 x 4 PCIe
6-pin Xeon/AUX connector
5.25" Drive connectors (560mm + 160mm + 160mm)
3.5" Drive connectors (+160mm)
SATA Drive power connectors (560mm + 160mm)
Fan only connectors (thermostatically controlled 12V only)
As you can tell, some of the modular cables for this unit are pretty long, particularly the triple 5.25" connector cables which come out to just over a meter in length including the floppy connectors way at the end of each one.
In addition to the above cables, the GM670SC also adds a short parallel IDE cable for a single device (just in case you, like, don't have one of those or something) and a CD-ROM audio cable and bracket for use with the audio standby function. See, you plug one end of the included audio cable into the optical drive, mount the PCI bracket with stereo 1/8" jack in a free slot, and then plug the other end of the audio cable into your mainboard/sound card. Then, you plug the special blue four pin Molex connector into the optical drive's power connector; and since the drive is now powered up at all times you can now listen to music with the computer off!!! Isn't that just the coolest thing ever? Well? Isn't it?
Some of you seem pretty anxious to get to the load testing and for me to spill the beans about what happened to the GM670SC, so I'll point toward the next page and say, "Go there, now, and the truth shall be revealed."
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