As if the 520W Absolute Power wasn’t enough, I now have my hands on a 600W version. I was hoping that the extra 80 watts might give me better voltage stability, especially since most of the extra juice is on the12V rails (20A/20A instead of 18A/18A.)
But as soon as I opened the box I realized I was going to continue to run into issues and maybe disappointed, once again, at Kingwin’s power supply offerings.
The first thing Inoticed is the label. On the 520 there was a maximum combined wattage rating of 240W for the +3.3V, +5V and +12V rails is rated at 456W. I had mistakenly put 64W for the maximum wattage rating of the combined –12V,-5V and +5VSB. But this time around I was looking at the label and realized the math isn’t right. Add those three rails up and the total is24.6W. It’s not unusual for the label to reflect a maximum combined rating that’s less than the individual rails added up… but if you add 24.6W and 456W, that’s only 480.6W!
Kingwin Absolute Power 600W
Max Combined Watts
*Please note that 506 + 24.6 = 530.6W, not 600W.
Let’s do the same equation with the “600W.” Maximum combined wattage for the +3.3V, +5V, +12 rails is 506W. The other rails are the same as they are on the 520W. That only accounts for530.6W. So before there was only 40W unaccounted for. Now I’m missing almost 70W!
Not only do we have a math issue, but when I look inside each of the two units I found that every component was exactly the same in both!
I get all of the same cables with the 600W that I got with the520W. Although they are very nicely sleeved, the quantities they give me are really odd. I have way too many 4-pin Molexes (9) and not enough SATA (2.)
Type of connector(Length)
# of Connectors
2 x 3 PCIe
8-pin Xeon/EPS connector
2 x 2 12V connectors
6-pin Xeon/AUX connector
5.25" Drive connectors
3.5" Drive connectors
SATA Drive power connectors
Fan only connectors (thermostatically controlled 12V only)
The cables included with the Absolute Power are very nicely sleeved.
As with the 520W I reviewed earlier this week, the PSU is cooled by a 60MM fan on the inside (above photo) and an 80MM fan on the back (see below photo.) The fans are a UV reactive blue plastic and are thermostatically controlled. Despite not being the big, quiet 120MM fan I am used to, it is easy to tell that these fans are fairly quiet at normal loads. They were not quiet once the power supply got stressed out and began to run hot.
The large UV reactive windows sure make this power supply look sweet. And the "Kingwin" logo on the top window is emphasised by the blue LED's mounted along the edge of the Plexiglas (below.)
So, despite the discrepancy in the label; let's see if the slight "improvement" in the rails makes a difference on the load tester.
Results from Kingwin Absolute Power 600W load tests
Simulated system load tests
High 3.3V+5V Crossload
Low 5V Crossload
As you can see, the 600W didn't really do any better than the 520W. The 12V rails still dropped as much as .33V going from test one to test four. That's only a difference in load of 182W.
Since I could only squeeze another 24W out of the 12V rails and still be within spec, I increased the 3.3V and 5V to get the power supply close to 600W. This actually increased the 12V rail.
The result of this is just a window on how this power supply would do in the crossload tests.
For someone that installs a power supply like the Kingwin Absolute Power on an older Socket A or Socket 370 motherboard that regulates CPU voltage off of the 5V rail; there’s the “High 5V crossload” test. By putting a really high 3.3V load (I use 20A) and 5V load (I use 20A,) without exceeding the power supply's 3.3V+5V combined maximum wattage rating, and a really low 12V load (since only drive motors and fans are really using the 12V1 rail and there’s no CPU using the 12V2, I use a mere 4A load on 12V1 rail and nothing on 12V2) I can exaggeratedly emulate an older, non-ATX12V motherboard. The results are usually a high 12V and low 5V.
During the high 12V load (low 5V) test, the 12V rails dropped way below tolerance. At 5%, 12V rails should drop no lower than 11.4V. These were at 11.21V.
The low 5V crossload test is the flip-side of this. Let’s say you’re running a dual-core CPU and a pair of PCI-e video cards and rendering some serious graphics. 12V loads will be high (I use 15A each) but if you only have one hard drive, one optical and no USB devices, 5V may be very low (I use 3A.)
The results of the test were horrible. The 12V rail jumped all of the way up to 13.01V! That's a whole .41V over spec.
On a side note; during test four and the crossload tests, the power supply started emitting a high pitched squeal that was unbelievably annoying. During test five, a burning smell began to fill the room. After an hour, I could barely breath in the air. The things we do for science (click on a banner ad!!!!)
Add to this the lack of PFC and a mediocre efficiency and I think it's fair to say this power supply is just as unreliable as the 520W I looked at earlier this week... only it costs more because it's a "600W."
Very nicely sleeved cables.
UV reactive windows on three sides.
Nice arrangement of blue LED's around window.
Drastic voltage drops under load.
Failed BOTH crossload tests.
Loud as hell once the fans kick in.
One PCI-e, but I wouldn't use this in an SLI machine.
It's been said before that the list of good sub-$100 600W power supply choices is a short one. Even after tonight, it's STILL a short one. I give Kingwin an "E" for effort. The power supply looks fantastic and I'm sure they weren't attempting to cut any corners by going with a seemingly reputable manufacturer like Superflower. But the fact remains this power supply has issues. I wouldn't hesitate to use this power supply in a Socket A build. Heck, I might hang onto the review sample just for that reason. But the engineering that went behind this unit simply does not have high-end system use in mind. Overclocked dual core CPU? SLI? A plethora of hard drives? I'm afraid this power supply simply isn't a good choice.
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