Logo   Banner   TopRight
TopUnder
Transparent
Raidmax Aluminum Series PSU
Transparent
Date: Jun 30, 2002
Section:Misc
Author: HH Editor
Transparent
AMD's Athlon XP 2200+ Processor - Page 1

 

The Raidmax Aluminum Series PSU
400 Watts of Goodness...

By, Robert Maloney
June 30, 2002

The Power Supply Unit (PSU) is a critical system component, however, it is often overlooked when building a system. An inferior power supply, or an underpowered one, can cause interference with other components, automatic system rebooting, drive errors and other problems than can be very hard to diagnose. An inferior PSU can also cause trouble if you expand your hardware, such as an upgrade to a new high-en Athlon XP or a Pentium 4, which may require more current than the cheap supply can provide, or the board may even need certain connections not currently available.

The Raidmax Aluminum Series PSUs are very quiet and well-built aluminum Power Supplies. They come in three ?flavors?: Gold (500W), Blue (400W), and Silver (320W) and are perfect companions for those of you who like to modify their cases, or just want add a colorful accent. Today we will be looking at the Blue 400 Watt Power Supply from Raidmax, which we purchased recently.

Out of the Blue?

   

As the pictures show, the 400 Watt version comes in a bright, anodized blue, and has two transparent built-in 80mm Ball Bearing fans, each of which is has a very low noise output (25db) and spin at 2200 RPM. It has six four-pin Molex connectors, two floppy drive connectors, and the three additional 12c power connectors needed for most Pentium 4 mainboards. The Molex connectors extend almost a foot and a half from the PSU, so there?s should be no problem reaching any where within your PC, even in larger full towers. It?s such a good looking PSU that it?s almost a shame to place this in a standard case where you wouldn?t normally get to see it.

Specifications of the RaidMax Aluminum Series PSU
Cool Blue Power...

Features:

  • High efficiency
  • Low Ripple & Noise
  • Over-voltage protection
  • Short circuit protection on all outputs
  • Inrush Current Protection
  • Overcurrent Protection
  • Reset table power shut down
  • FM Fan Speed Monitoring
  • Approved by UL,CSA TUV, CB & CE
  • 2 Low Noise (RPM=2200, 25db) Ball Bearing Fans
  • Complies with EMI and FCC Class B, CE and meets EN55022 Class B.
  • Supports Cooling fan RPM signals (by mainboard and BIOS support)
  • Meet K7 and Intel 2.03 Version
  • MTBF: > 100,000 hours at full load, 110VAC and 25BC ambient conditions
  • 100% Hi-pot tested
  • Extra long power leads

The unit is constructed of a heat-flake aluminum covered crust, which allows for more heat to be transferred out of the PSU. This extends the life of the components within the unit, and gets more heat conducted out of the chassis. It also has built-in line conditioning and independent regulation of the lines, which should keep the voltage tolerances tighter than average power supplies.


Installation:

There is not much that I can really say here since the process is pretty straightforward. Remove the connections from the old PSU to the drives and motherboard, and unscrew it from the back of the chassis. Then put the new unit into the same location, screw it into place, and attach the connections as necessary. Plug in the supplied power cord, and move the cutoff switch from the off to on position.

Processor ID and Preliminary Tests

Transparent
AMD's Athlon XP 2200+ Processor - Page 2

 

The Raidmax Aluminum Series PSU
400 Watts of Goodness...

By, Robert Maloney
June 30, 2002

Since we don?t have the equipment to take any measurments of the power load, ripple, etc...we can?t give you any overly technical numbers. What we can tell you though is that this unit does indeed run as quiet as advertised, even with the extra fan on the inside. This extra fan literally sucks the hot air out of the system forcing it out the other end of the PSU. To show how much of a difference this unit made to my system, I measured the CPU and board temperatures with the original 300 Watt Power Supply, and then with the 400 Watt Raidmax using Motherboard Monitor..

The Hot Hardware Test System
Athlon Powered

MSI K7T266Pro2-RU 6380 Motherboard
Athlon 1800XP CPU
256Mb Crucial PC2100 DDR
Visiontek GeForce 3 Ti 500
Hercules Fortissimo II
USRobotics 56k PCI Gaming Modem
3COM 3C905B-TX Network Interface Card
2 x 40Gb IBM ATA100 7200rpm DeskStar Hard Drives
16x Pioneer DVD-ROM
100Mb Iomega ATAPI Zip Drive
1.44Mb Mitsumi Floppy Drive
Thermaltake Volcano Orb 3 HSF
PC Power&Cooling 80mm Silencer Case Fan

Temperature and Voltage Comparisons
MBM in the House

 

With Deer 300W PSU: CPU - 45.5 degrees C / 113.9 degrees F

Board - 38 C / 100.4 F

 
With Raidmax 400W PSU:
 
CPU - 45 degrees C / 113.0 degrees F

Board - 37 C / 98.6 F

We?re not looking at a super change in temperature, but every bit counts, especially when overclocking a system. The additional fan not only keeps the power supply cooler, the increased exhaust airflow decreased the temperatures within the case as well.

Next, we wanted to check the voltages output of the power supply units at both idle, and with a substantial load. To tax the system, and thereby the PSU, we ran the following applications concurrently: Internet Explorer 6, Word 2002, Outlook 2002, Editpad, SiSoft Sandra, Motherboard Monitor, WinAmp 2.79, Windows Media Player 7.1, MSN Messenger, WS FTP, and WinDVD XP, and at the same time played a music CD, searched the hard drives for files, and accessed a Zip disk. As described on their website, http://mbm.livewiredev.com/, Motherboard Monitor is a tool that will display information taken from the sensor built into many new motherboards.


Deer 300W ? Idle


Deer 300W ? With Load

Even at idle, the voltages coming out of the Deer 300W PSU are somewhat off of what they should be, and the CPU voltage is lower than the expected 1.75 Volts.  When the system is stressed by running applications and accessing the various drives, the lines are even more away from center. The -5V voltage line is off by 10%. Clearly, more voltage regulation is needed.


RaidMax 400W ? Idle
 


RaidMax 400W ? With Load

At idle, the CPU voltage was better, but actually dipped slightly below the Dear PSU under load. Almost all of the rails were close to the expected value, at both idle and with a load, except for the -12V which was off by about the same in both tests.

The Raidmax 400Watt Power Supply Unit is advertised as a superior power supply due to its aluminum construction, voltage regulation, and increased airflow from the dual fan system. After comparing these three categories against another unit, I would have to agree. The unit is definitely sharper-looking than your standard grey PSUs, and would go perfect with a custom-built or modified PC chassis. The twin fans are not only up to the task of getting hot air out of the system, but they are also very quiet. Voltages are kept well within expected limits, and this stability should provide reliability when reading and writing data to your drives. What I also liked were the extra long Molex connectors, of which there are 6, which should usually be enough to reach all of your drives, even in larger cases. There really weren?t any negatives about the Raidmax 400Watt Power Supply Unit, and that is why I am giving it a 9.5 on the HotHardware Heat Meter.

Discuss This, Or Any Other HotHardware Article, In The PC Hardware Forum!

 



Content Property of HotHardware.com