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Cougar GX 800W Power Supply Review

The Cougar GX 800W is a capable power supply that fails to impress in any key area but when considered as a ‘sum of its parts’ is actually deserving of a reserved recommendation.

The appearance of the GX 800W is certainly going to split opinion, we know from past experiences that some of the enthusiast user base loathe gold panels as they can clash against specific colours when featured in a windowed case.

The quality of finish is reasonably good, although the paintwork is easily damaged and a lot of handling care will be needed if the unit is to maintain a pristine appearance during multiple build phases.

The modular cabling looks great and there are no shortage of cables for an 800W rated unit. We would like to see this HEC design evolving, with a lower reliance on the amount of hardwired cables. We do like the flat, branded ribbon modular cables however, they really do look fantastic.

Cougar supply 4 x PCI E 6+2 pin cables with this unit, which is enough to power a high end dual card Crossfire or SLI system. We would recommend you aim for a 1000W unit if you want to power more than two high end graphics cards anyway.

Technically the GX 800W is pretty good and HEC are using a high grade 105c Panasonic capacitor in the primary stage. The GX 800W delivers decent load regulation and passed our cross loading test without a problem. Ripple suppression isn’t the best we have seen in recent months however and our test unit recorded a 50mV result from the +3.3V output, which is borderline to a fail. We wouldn’t expect any problems long term, but it is worth noting.

The large fan in this unit cools the components well although in the last 200W of total output it can spin up noticeably, generating a reasonable amount of noise. It is never that intrusive, but if you need to push more than 600W on a regular basis you may want to look at another unit. HEC really could have balanced the fan speed a little better, opting for a slightly quieter profile.

Internal build quality is quite good, although not at the same level as the Flextronics or Seasonic designs we have seen in recent months. It falls short of the top grade.

The price in the United Kingdom as we go to publication is around £140 inc vat, we found it on Amazon for £137.99 inc vat. Cougar will really have a problem selling the GX 800W when you can pick up superior alternatives such as the Corsair AX850W for only £147.42 inc vat or Seasonic X Series 850W for £149.99 inc vat. We think this is really is going to be a tough sell for Cougar in the UK.

Pros:

  • Good all round build.
  • brightly coloured.
  • quality cables.
  • can deliver over 820W before shutting down.

Cons:

  • paintwork could be better.
  • ripple issues on +3.3V output.
  • quite expensive.
  • not fully modular.
  • Fan profile is quite aggressive at higher load.

Kitguru says: A quality power supply let down by some ripple concerns, a fairly high price and less than stellar paintwork.

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Rating: 7.5.

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