The Test. Right, how do you test this bugger? There is no way we can stress it enough. We could do it with a multi-meter but intead we choose the traditional way, real-life as that's what you'll be facing also. We attached everything we could to the IDE-RAID test-rig: 3 HD's, Radeon x800 XT PE, Audigy4, Pentium 3.6 GHz that we overlocked to 4 GHz to make it even more difficult, DVD-ROM, DVD-RAM and CD ReWriter. Huge active cooling fans and a case with additional lighting.
Then we fired up some games, put in a few CD's, ran the CD's (let them play music), play games and waited to see what happened. Okay, so I played for hours and hours. Medal of Honor Pacific Assault is real fun huh? ...(really addictive game) and of course nothing special happened. So we know that stability is not an issue
We also burned some CD's on the rig as that requires a very stable power supply. Okay you get the idea already, stable as a rock and all that without any additional sound from a fan. Pretty perky stuff. When measured with Speedfan we notice that all voltage levels are really stable, only very minor fluctuations could be seen in the order of -/+2% volts, which is perfectly fine, in fact excellent. I could show it to you in a chart but really it's a waste of time as the PSU behaves far too stablely.
Overall in stressed conditions the ambient temperature of the case will go up towards ~40 degrees C, which is a tad too much but nothing to really worry about under normal conditions. There are so many components making the PC warm these days.
Now then have a look at the photo, combine all factors and you should have a pretty power consuming PC if you decide to stress it bigtime. Quite honestly, I did my best. In a 3D intensive run with 100% utilization, a DVD burning in the background and opening a CD tray with all of that simultaneously I simply could not exceed 400 Watts.
That's still 220 watts away from its advertised maximum. In the upcoming weeks we are building a SLI test system, I can tell you now that this will be the PSU of my choice.
OCZ Technology ModStream 520W PSU The specific model we take a peek at today is the OCZ-520 12U. It's a 520 Watt PSU yet with the reserve to take it even up a notch, this baby can peak at 620 Watt ! Now that's what I call a cup-D sized power supply.