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Cooler Master V Series 1000W PSU Review


Additional technical assistance: Peter McFarland and Jeremy Price.

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. Due to public requests we have changed our temperature settings – previously we rated with ambient temperatures at 25C, we have increased ambient temperatures by 10c (to 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
100W
1.55
3.35
1.78
5.04
6.67
12.12
0.50
5.03
0.20
-12.02
250W
3.45
3.34
4.48
5.04
17.17
12.10
1.00
5.03
0.30
-12.02
500W
7.07
3.34
9.17
5.03
34.68
12.07
2.00
5.02
0.50
-12.02
750W
11.08
3.33
13.77
5.03
52.72
12.04
2.50
5.02
0.60
-12.03
1000W
16.90
3.33
18.95
5.02
71.99
12.00
3.00
5.02
0.80
-12.04

Load regulation is excellent, holding well within what we would expect. As good as we have seen in the last year.

Cooler Master V Series 1000W Maximum Load
1192W

We managed to get another 192W from the power supply before the protection circuitry kicked in. The protection circuitry worked well and the unit restarted with a lower demand.

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
885W 2.0 3.34 2.0 5.04 72.0 11.99 0.2 -12.03 0.50 5.03
240W 20.0 3.33 24.0 5.02 2.0 12.11 0.2 -12.03 0.50 5.03

The power supply handled these tests exceptionally well, fluctuating only a little and well within tolerance specifications.

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
100W 10 10 20 15
250W 10 10 20 15
500W 15 10 25 15
750W 15 15 25 15
1000W 15 15 30 15

Ripple suppression is superb, and what we would expect from the Seasonic KM3 design. Both +3.3V and +5V rails peak at 15 mV and the +12V output peaks at 30mV. These are all well within the rated tolerance levels.

Efficiency (%)
100W
85.11
250W
87.41
500W
92.73
750W
91.88
1000W
89.11

The efficiency results are excellent, peaking at just under 93 percent at 50% load. This drops to over 89% 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)
100W
<28.0
250W
<28.0
500W
29.3
750W
32.6
1000W 35.7

The power supply is quiet almost all of the time, unless you manage to load it with over 850W, then the fan spins up quite dramatically. Even at full load the fan noise is not that intrusive however.

Temperature (c)
Intake
Exhaust
100W
35
38
250W
36
44
500W
39
47
750W
43
54
1000W
47
58

The fan only really becomes active when the load is over 850W, spinning quite slowly at 700W or less. It is a very capable fan and moves a lot of cool air inside the chassis, which has a very positive outcome on the results above.

Maximum load
Efficiency
1192W
87.8

Pushing the power supply above its rated limits generates an efficiency level of around 87.8%. This is not a viable ‘real world’ situation, but its interesting nonetheless.

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