I'd sure like to know what parts are used in the AD800 so I could compare them. I know that the 12V transformers share the same numbers but that just proves that they have plenty of guts in the AD800 to potentially push 1KW. I'd like to know what the FETs are and the rectifiers ETC from both units just so I could see what was tweaked to pull that extra wattage out of it.
I can't get over how well packed the X3 is yet it's still very open inside. This means that the 135mm fan has no trouble pushing air through it.
Well, all good things must come to and end and it's time to conclude this review.
Performance (weight of 40%): The X3 is certainly interesting. It's got a buttload of power and it's as stable as my shrink's shrink. The regulation isn't the best I've seen but it's certainly not the worst either and for a 1000W power supply it definitely delivers the goods. The ripple is odd in that it gets better rather than worse as the squeeze is applied and the efficiency is great through 90% of the range I tested at. It's a bit low at full load in the hot box but given the heat being pumped through it I'm not going to fault it there and on test 1 it's below 80% but that's not pushing 20% of the load this monster is capable of. Overall I walk away impressed with the X3 and I'm awarding it a solid 9 for performance.
Aesthetics (weight of 10%): Does it get any better than this? The finish is flawless, the fit is likewise flawless. The cables are very nice indeed and when arranged with care can put sleeved cables to shame. The modular interface is simply outstanding; I've yet to see anything that is nearly the industrial work of art that Ultra pulled off with the X3. Yeah, there are the HIPER's with their BNC interface but they're still not nearly as well executed as the anodized and brushed aluminum of the X3. To answer my own question, no it doesn't get any better than this so I'm awarding the X3 a perfect 10.
Value (weight of 30%) 1000W of clean stable power for under three bills. That's a hell of a deal right there alone and when you tack on the modular FlexForce cables, beautiful finish and overall swank aesthetic of the X3 that just brings the value up even higher. Yeah there are other 1KW units in the price range of the X3 but none are even close to being as good looking as the X3 and few can touch it in terms of overall performance. The X3 get's deal of the year status and pulls down yet another 10.
Functionality (weight of 20%): Got a cutting edge gaming machine? You're covered with quad PCI-e connectors. Planning to move to the newest next gen graphics when they (finally) come out? Again, you're covered with native 8 pin PCI-e support. Building a server for media files or SOHO duties and you've got more drives than Carter's got pills? Yep, you guessed it, you're covered. Even if you're putting the X3 into a midrange gamining system with the plans of upgrading on down the road, thanks to the smooth modular interface of the X3 you've got the flexibility to just use exactly what you need and nothing more. The cables are long enough to be used in the tallest full tower or the ever popular (and gaining) inverted cases are easily within range of the cables. Whatever you might have in mind, you're in business. even the depth isn't much of an issue with the X3. With an installed depth (with cables inserted) of about 8.25" the length isn't going to be much of an issue with all but the smallest cases. With that said I've got the pleasure of handing the X3 the third well deserved 10.
The X3 is a powerful PSU that offers a great range of flexibility. The regulation is a bit less than I'd like to see but it never went out of range even under the most demanding loads and the voltages are simply the most stable I've seen in a PSU in this power range. Often times under high loads a PSU will fluctuate by a few hundredths of a volt. It's slow enough to not show up as ripple but quick enough to show up as bouncing numbers on the display. The X3 simply goes to a voltage and sits there. The ripple is a bit on the high side under unrealistically low loads but that goes away under loads that are normally seen by a PC under idle and as the loads increase the ripple continues to become lessened. So much so that it's very clean by the time it reaches full load.
The modular interface is very nice and the manner in which the cables are executed in terms of connector division is even more flexible. If you've got three drives in one spot and need a cable to them, there's a cable to suit the need. If you only need two conductors, again not a problem. Got something close to the PSU that needs power? There's even a shorty to deliver the power without a bunch of excess cable to have to deal with. I've only seen one other PSU that offered the same flexibility and that was the X3's older brother, the X2.
Overall I'm very impressed by the X3, it offers what I'd like to call a tremendous value at it's power level, price point and feature set. If you're in the market for huge power you can certainly do way worse than the X3.
Tons of power on tap
One of the most gorgeous power supplies I've seen, ever.
Stable power, no bounce, no play.
Clean power under the highest loads and the worst conditions
Incredible value at under $300... If you shop around it can be had at well under $300.
Not much to say here, there's nothing about the X3 I'd call bad
Ripple is a bit high at extremely low loads
Voltage regulation is a bit on the low side but never out of spec.
(Edit: Below is a picture of a future revision of the X3 1000W with the native 8-pin interface. There is currently no ETA on the availability of an Ultra PSU with the interface.)
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