Ultra X3 800w PSU Author: faceless105 -- Posted: 2008-03-25
When you're running a high end gaming rig, having more power is a key issue. On top of that you need your power source to be reliable and stable. This is why today I'm happy to be reviewing the UltraX3 800w PSU.
The X3 comes with a ton of features that really make it an impressive. At a full load the X3 has approximately 80% efficiency. This PSU is able to produce much more energy for you with greater efficiency and lower heat production then a large number of other power supplies out there. It is also equipped to handle the most high end graphics cards on the market today.
The X3 is a modular power supply which makes it a great option in any PC. This makes the task of cable management a reality. This also allows for a cleaner looking PC and improved airflow. In addition to being modular, the X3 uses ForceFlex cables that are thinner and blend together better then normal cables. The wires are bonded together so you won't have such a tangle of wires. Additionally, the cables are very long so you won't run into problems with cables being to short. For all of you with full size server cases, this is excellent news.
Out of the box, this PSU is a bit larger then the average PSU. It comes equipped with a 135mm fan and overall, the PSU measures a few inches longer then the average PSU so this might be over kill if you're building something for a microATX setup. In the box, there's the X3 and a box of cables. Now I know I listed the cables and the numbers of them, but you really just can't get a good feel for that volume of cables until you see a picture like this..
Within that huge amount of cables, there is a power cord mixed in (bottom right), and even a cable with three 3-pin connectors for fans. The 3-pin connector really surprised me just because I haven't seen any PSUs before put in that extra effort to include things like that.
Now for the first hand experience, the testing phase. For a test setup I grabbed an old PC, five hard drives (one is in the old PC), and two fans to keep everything cool. If you would like to see how we do our testing, we have all our equipment listed here.
After letting it run for a while, I took some temperature readings.
Now this is an open air environment, so temperatures will probably be a little higher inside a case, depending on your setup. The setup pictured above was running, five hard drives, two 80mm fans, and a 900mhz computer. After waiting half an hour to be sure the temperatures have leveled off, using my infrared temperature gun, I poked around the PSU, finding a max temperature of 84 degrees Fahrenheit, and a minimum temperature of 73 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a pretty comfortable temperature and not to far off from room temperature so I was really pleased with these readings.
Next, I back plugged the molex connectors and took some voltage samplings and everything was well within the proper voltage. The last thing we did was take a noise level reading. To do this we used a jumper to turn on the PSU since the 40mm cpu fan that we had running it initially was easily putting out more noise then the PSU was. Once we let it run again with the same load, we found that the noise level was below the accurate range of measure for my sound meter which goes as low as 35 dBA. The amount of volume put out is hardly noticeable due largely in part to the 135mm fan mounted inside. With larger fans, they don't need to spin as fast to produce as much air flow as smaller fans. This allows them to push more air while generating less noise which is something that everyone can enjoy.
This PSU has passed all of our tests with flying colors. The noise is not a problem at all, and the temperatures are more then acceptable. In addition the X3 has a few features that we think are worth mentioning that you hopefully never need to fall back on. The X3 offers Short Circuit Protection, In-Rush Current Protection, and Thermal Overload Cutoff Protection. In addition to that, registering your product gives you a lifetime warranty, which is hard to top.
The X3 can handle a fairly strong load, and more importantly it doesn't feel as though it'll sputter out trying to do so. The modular design really makes working with the PSU a real treat as well since you can keep your setup fairly customized to limit the amount of tangled cables. I'd recommend the X3 to anyone looking for a new PSU, especially if they're interested in a modular one. I'd also really like to thank Ultra for giving me the opportunity to review their PSU.
If anyone has any questions of comments I'd love to hear them :)