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Cougar LX Series 600 W Power Supply

Correctly testing power supplies is a complex procedure and KitGuru have configured a test bench which can deliver up to a 2,000 watt DC load. We test ambient temperatures at 35c in our environment to greater reflect warmer internal chassis conditions.

We use combinations of the following hardware:
• SunMoon SM-268
• CSI3710A Programmable DC load (+3.3V and +5V outputs)
• CSI3711A Programmable DC load (+12V1, +12V2, +12V3, and +12V4)
• Extech Power Analyzer
• Extech MultiMaster MM570 digital multimeter
• SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa)
• Digital oscilloscope (20M S/s with 12 Bit ADC)
• Variable Autotransformer, 1.4 KVA

DC Output Load Regulation

Combined

DC Load

+3.3V
+5V
+12V
+5VSB
-12V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A V
75W
1.09
3.33
1.47
5.10
4.92
12.22
0.50
5.02
0.20
-12.04
150W
2.09
3.31
2.97
5.07
10.02
12.15
0.50
5.02
0.30
-12.04
300W
4.30
3.28
6.00
5.00
20.58
12.00
1.00
5.01
0.30
-12.05
450W
6.57
3.24
8.48
4.90
31.79
11.97
1.50
5.01
0.30
-12.06
600W
9.94
3.19
12.20
4.88
41.78
11.82
2.50
5.00
0.30
-12.07

Load regulation is fair, there is quite a bit of fluctuations on all rails as can be seen in the table above. Between 4% and 5% actually which is one of the poorer results we have seen in recent years.

Cougar LX Series 600 W Power Supply Maximum Load
612W

We managed to get 612W out of the Cougar LX Series 600 W before it shut down gracefully.

Next we want to try Cross Loading. This basically means loads which are not balanced. If a PC for instance needs 500W on the +12V outputs but something like 30W via the combined 3.3V and +5V outputs then the voltage regulation can fluctuate badly.

Cross Load Testing +3.3V +5V +12V -12V +5VSB
A V A V A V A V A V
590W 1.0 3.33 1.0 5.09 46.0 11.82 0.2 -12.05 0.50 5.03
145W 12.0 3.17 15.0 4.85 2.0 12.19 0.2 -12.01 0.50 5.01

The supply passed the cross load test, although there were noticeable dips on the rails.

We then used an oscilloscope to measure AC ripple and noise present on the DC outputs. We set the oscilloscope time base to check for AC ripple at both high and low ends of the spectrum. ATX12V V2.2 specification for DC output ripple and noise is defined in the ATX 12V power supply design guide.

ATX12V Ver 2.2 Noise/Ripple Tolerance
Output
Ripple (mV p-p)
+3.3V
50
+5V
50
+12V1
120
+12V2
120
-12V
120
+5VSB
50

Obviously when measuring AC noise and ripple on the DC outputs the cleaner (less recorded) means we have a better end result. We measured this AC signal amplitude to see how closely the unit complied with the ATX standard.

AC Ripple (mV p-p)
DC Load +3.3V +5V +12V 5VSB
75W 20 10 10 15
150W 25 15 20 15
300W 25 15 30 20
450W 35 20 35 30
600W 45 25 45 40

Noise suppression rates as acceptable, however we do need to point out the less than stellar +3.3V result at full load, of 45mV – just inside the industry rated tolerance parameters. The +12V rail peaks at 45mV under full load conditions.

These are not the best results we have seen in recent months, but technically the unit has not failed any of the AC Ripple tests above.

Efficiency (%)
75W
82.12
150W
86.12
300W
88.14
450W
87.32
600W
86.19

Efficiency peaks at just over 88 percent at around 300 watt – 320 watt load. This drops down to just over 86% at full load.

We take the issue of noise very seriously at KitGuru and this is why we have built a special home brew system as a reference point when we test noise levels of various components. Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on components we are testing. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.

Today to test the Power Supply we have taken it into our acoustics room environment and have set our SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa) one meter away from the unit. We have no other fans running so we can effectively measure just the noise from the unit itself.

As this can be a little confusing for people, here are various dBa ratings in with real world situations to help describe the various levels.

KitGuru noise guide
10dBA – Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refridgerator
50dBA – Normal Conversation
60dBA – Laughter
70dBA – Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA – City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA – Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA – MP3 Player at maximum output
110dBA – Orchestra
120dBA – Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA – Threshold of Pain
140dBA – Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA – Instant Perforation of eardrum

Noise (dBA)
75W
<28.0
150W
<28.0
300W
36.7
450W
38.3
600W 41.6

The fan spins slowly when load is below 250 watts, but it spins up very quickly at higher loads, and becomes a little intrusive when the power supply is delivering over 500 watts. Ideally you want to be running this supply at between 200 watts and 400 watts – which actually accommodates many many enthusiast systems today. Yes, believe it or not, very few people need a 1000 watt power supply for their system.

Temperature (c)
Intake
Exhaust
75W
35
39
150W
35
44
300W
37
51
450W
41
57
600W
44
65

The large fan works hard as load gets higher, but the lowish efficiency levels force fairly high temperatures at full load situations. It is not really very practical to be running this supply at close to 600 watts for extended periods of time anyway.

Maximum load
Efficiency
612W
85.9

At 612W the Cougar LX Series 600 Watt supply drops to 85.9%. This is not a viable ‘real world’ situation, but its interesting nonetheless.

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  • Ottoore

    Teapo isn’t chinese but taiwanese and it produces good quality caps. You’re not going to expect japanese caps in a low budget unit.
    Capxon on the primary side really sucks, it’s 400v certified at least ( most low budget units mount 200v primary caps, 20-30v less than european household power).

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