The OCZ CoreXStream 500W is a budget power supply designed to target system builders and people who want to create an extremely low cost PC. There are not many ‘branded’ power supplies around the £30 price point, in fact the cheapest range we had tested before this was the Corsair Builder Series.
The build quality of the CoreXStream 500W is reasonable, although the paint work is rather thin and quite easily scratched if you aren’t careful. It didn’t pass our screwdriver stress test, which involves running the head of a Philips head driver down the side of the chassis with weak to moderate force. Is it very easy to accidentally scuff the side of the power supply against a computer case or some tools during the build phase, so we feel this is worth mentioning.
This power supply is not modular, so you will have to route all the cables out of sight if you want to improve the looks of the system build. The fact that the cables are not sleeved doesn’t help with the appearance either, although again at this price point this is expected. The cables are quite long however, so may prove useful for those people using a larger chassis.
Technically the unit is not wonderful and raises a few concerns. The ripple results are quite high, although it did fall inside industry tolerance guidelines. The +12V peak result is around 90mV which is higher than we would like to see. Placing additional strain on this power supply in an overclocked state may cause problems long term. I wouldn’t be happy using it in any of my own gaming systems if I was being honest.
When rating this power supply we need to factor in every single negative and plus point then, look at cost. The asking price of £32.99 inc vat is one of the lowest we have seen from a reputable company, and it is difficult to understand how OCZ are making any profit at all, factoring in dealer margins.
The CoreXStream 500W power supply is certainly a no frills design. There are no modular cables, the paint and finish of the unit are clearly set at a very tight price point. The hardwired cables are not sleeved and there are only a 6 pin and a 6+2 pin PCI connector. Technically the unit is borderline to what we would class as acceptable, displaying below average load regulation, high ripple characteristics and poor overall efficiency.
I really can’t give the CoreXStream 500W any award, even factoring in the massively competitive pricing. For a gaming machine, there are a few technical concerns which would make me wonder about the long term reliability of the unit. OCZ are standing behind it with a 3 year warranty however, so at least you have this to fall back on.
I would really only use this power supply in a non essential office machine. If I was building a gaming system even at the budget end of the scale I would spend a little extra money and opt for the Corsair Builder series.
- very very inexpensive.
- useful for a low power office machine.
- 3 year warranty.
- delivered over 500W in our tests.
- ripple suppression is borderline.
- non inspiring technical results.
- weak efficiency.
- non modular.
- load regulation.
- cables are not sleeved.
Kitguru says: Very low cost, but with the technical concerns mentioned we can’t award this unit.