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Kolink Continuum 850W Platinum Modular PSU review

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 run 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
• Extech digital sound level meter
• Digital oscilloscope (20M S/s with 12 Bit ADC)
• Variable Autotransformer, 1.4 KVA

We test in a single +12V configuration.

DC Output Load Regulation

Combined

DC Load

+3.3V
+5V
+12V
+5VSB
-12V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A V
85W
0.95
3.33
0.92
5.02
6.00
12.00
0.50
5.02
0.20 -12.02
170W
1.70
3.32
1.67
5.02
12.35
11.98
1.00
5.02
0.20 -12.00
425W
3.00
3.32
3.05
5.02
32.20
11.96
1.50
5.01
0.30 -12.00
640W 4.05 3.32 4.05 5.01 49.00 11.95 2.00 5.01 0.30 -12.01
850W
5.00
3.31
5.23
5.01
65.52
11.93
2.50
5.01
0.50 -12.02

Load regulation is very strong with the rails only showing minor fluctuation under load.

Kolink Continuum 850W Platinum
Maximum Load
965W

We managed to get the power supply to deliver 965W before it would shut down, delivering around 115W more than rated specifications.

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
760W 1.0 3.33 1.0 5.02 60.0 11.95 0.2 -12.02 0.50 5.00
165W 15.0 3.30 18.0 4.98 2.0 12.00 0.2 -12.03 0.50 5.00

The power supply dealt with the demanding cross load test very well exhibiting little fluctuation. It was tasked with 60A on the +12V rail and it held at 11.95W. The other rails delivered excellent results also.

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 5 5 5 5
225W 10 10 15 5
450W 10 10 15 10
675W 15 10 20 10
850W 15 10 25 10

Noise suppression is very good, with the +12V rail peaking at 25mV at full load. The minor rails +3.3V and +5V peak at 15mV and 10mV respectively. All rails fail well within the industry rated tolerance levels.

Efficiency (%)
100W
89.67
225W
91.68
450W
93.89
675W
92.25
850W 91.34

Efficiency is extremely impressive, peaking at around 94 percent at 50 percent load. This drops to around 91.3 percent 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 Digital Sound Level Noise Decibel Meter Style 2 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 Refrigerator
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
225W
31.8
450W
34.7
675W
37.9
850W 39.5

At lower load the power supply is relatively quiet but as the demand rises the fan starts to spin faster. At around 750 watts the fan is clearly audible, although it is not too intrusive due to the fact the fan is pitched quite low. Kolink opt for double ball bearing fans to aid cooling performance and to offer long term reliability, at some expense to noise. This would mean this power supply would be a great option for a mining rig.

Temperature (c)
Intake
Exhaust
100W
37
40
225W
38
42
450W
39
47
675W
43
50
850W
45
52

The aggressive fan profile ensures this unit remains cool at all times. This is a clear trade off against noise emissions. Only you can decide if this is welcomed!

Maximum load
Efficiency
965 watts
90.4

At 965 watts, the efficiency level measures 90.4%. Not a practical situation to be running 24/7, but worth noting.

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