Cooler Master GX 450W (Page 4 of 4) | Reports

Page 4 - Minor Tests and Conclusion

Power supplies are interesting products -- because often, reviews of products in this category are conducted and tested in methods that make it difficult to distinguish one power supply from another. Many aspects have to be taken into consideration -- of which certain criteria consists of efficiency, noise, power ripples, and of course the ability to pull out the rated specifications. Because many cannot afford such equipment to obtain results regarding those aspects, articles covering power supplies often come out with less than adequate and acceptable information. As this is a product report -- not a review -- what we are doing is a close examination of the power supply, and the internal hardware and build. But what we can do for you is do some minor testing with the results we can present to you with, and let other review sites with professional equipment show you the actual test results. We're not going to try to BS you by installing the power supply into the latest gaming rig and try to take readings from that, as this is not even remotely the correct way to test power supply units. We understand that many websites do that as a means of load testing, but the results, even if you use an oscilloscope and multimeter at each output location, it is not sufficient, nor does it accurately reflect the performance of the power supply.

Using our power supply tester which exerts minimal load on the power supply, the initial consumption was 5W. Measured using our wall meter, this basic load-free power consumption of the Cooler Master GX 450W is the lowest we have seen to date. Other power supplies we have seen in the past that have been known to hit low initial consumption rates include the Seasonic M12II 500W. Of course, since today's GX 450W power supply is among the lowest wattage power supply units we are reporting about -- along with the Thermaltake Litepower 450W -- we can conclude that such a low minimum draw power is quite understandable. For your reference, the Thermaltake Litepower 450W had an initial consumption of 7W. As stated before, the Cooler Master GX 450W is a 80+ Bronze Certified power supply, and it is reported from various sources utilizing professional load testing equipment showing that the power supply lives up to its 80+ Bronze Certification.

Voltages with minimal load are generally accurate, which is a basic requirement of power supplies out of the box. The biggest variation is the +12V line at 0.3V, but that is nothing to be concerned about. The PG (Power Good) delay seems to be well within its rated range and general power supply standard at 340ms.

Active power correction is important to correct AC load line loss. In AC power, there are three components to it. The three components consists of average usable power (P, measured in watts), reactive power (Q, denoted as VA-R), and total power (S, written as VA); as it makes up the power triangle. What we want to figure out from this is the average usable power -- with as little wasted reactive power as possible. The total power provided over the AC line is the magnitude of the two combined (sqrt(P^2+Q^2)). Power factor can then be easily calculated by P/S. The active power line correction for the Cooler Master GX 450W shifted between 0.97-0.99, but stayed generally at 0.98. This is quite a nice reading for a mid-ranged budget power supply. Of course, I would expect the PF to reach a consistent 0.99 as the power draw increases, and the optimal load is reached.

In terms of fan noise, I would say that the Cooler Master GX 450W does a pretty good job staying hidden. If you have multiple case fans and hard drives, I am certain you will not be able to hear the power supply. When under load, the power supply still maintains a fairly unnoticeable whisper, and is still quieter than my case fans. On a scale from 0-10 where 0 is silent and 10 is the loudest, I would rate the Cooler Master GX 450W at 2.0/10 acoustically under nominal loads. The power supply only gets some turbulence noise when the fan speed turns up, but in idle conditions, you would only hear some noise when you stick your ear within close proximity. Of course, since I use a bottom mounted power supply positioning in my chassis, pointing out the fan noise from the unit is almost impossible.

Cooler Master provided this product to APH Networks to facilitate this report.

The Cooler Master GX 450W is surprisingly a very well-designed and well-made power supply when compared to its predecessors. Although it may not have the looks, the wattage, or the luxury seen on some of the higher-end power supplies, it certainly performs like one. Cooler Master states that the GX 450W is the hallmark of the GX series, and one simply cannot disagree. Priced at 49.99 USD at MSRP, the price gives more reason for those that are considering a value power supply to consider this as their next purchase.

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Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Minor Tests and Conclusion