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Cougar PowerX 550W PSU Review


The Cougar PowerX 550W power supply will have a tough time competing against similarly priced units from market leaders such as Seasonic and Corsair.

The power supply is shipped in a little box with inadequate protection, it is simply wrapped in a fine layer of bubble wrap, rather than encased between thick foam blocks. If the box received rough handling during transit it is quite possible the coloured finish could get damaged.

The bundle won’t get many people excited, there is simply a power cable and a couple of plastic cable ties, alongside a manual.

The power supply itself looks quite attractive, although the paintwork did not pass our screwdriver stress test, marking quite easily. It did prove resistant against fingerprints however.

Technically, the unit is a bit of a mixed bag. The crossloading test showed that there was some droop on the rails under extreme duress, although it never dropped to the point where I could say it could be problematic. Efficiency, noise levels and ripple suppression all rated highly however. The ripple suppression in particular deserves mention as the results are excellent.

The power supply is non modular, so you have to deal with routing all the cables, regardless of your configuration. The cables are rather short, so it is only practical to buy for a small to medium sized chassis otherwise you could run into problems. Cougar have not opted for the flat ribbon style cables either, so it will take more work to hide them inside a case.

The box artwork promises the adoption of high grade Japanese capacitors which is somewhat misleading. There is only one Japanese capacitor inside this power supply and we were disappointed to see it rated at 85c. It is worth pointing out that we have seen another sample of this power supply in the past and it was equipped with an identically specified Panasonic capacitor rated to 105C.  Additionally, as mentioned earlier the box (and Cougar website) claim the +5V output is rated at 15A and the power supply sticker says 20A.

The company clearly have some quality control issues to sort out.

Right now you can pick this up from Amazon partners in the UK for £75.00 inc vat. Their UK distribution channel seems weak so they are fairly hard to find. It is worth pointing out that this is £10 more than the Corsair GS600 – available from Overclockers UK for £65.99 inc vat. You can also pick up the Seasonic G Series 550W (this is 80 Plus Gold, not Bronze) for only £5 extra – £79.99 inc vat from Overclockers UK.

With such stiff competition we really do find it difficult to recommend the Cougar PowerX 550W in the UK right now. At £55 inc vat it would make more sense.

Pros:

  • Bright colour scheme.
  • Good efficiency for bronze.
  • superb ripple suppression capabilities.
  • compact physical dimensions.

Cons:

  • non modular.
  • 85C primary capacitor in this particular review sample.
  • less than stellar cross loading performance.
  • paint scratches easily.
  • Most of the capacitors are NOT Japanese.
  • soldering could be better.
  • high price in the United Kingdom.

Kitguru says: At the prices we found there is very little reason to recommend this unit. Competing models from market leaders Seasonic and Corsair are cheaper and better.

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Rating: 7.0.

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