OCZ ZS Series 550W (Page 2 of 4) | Reports

Page 2 - Physical Look - Outside

When looking at the OCZ ZS Series 550W from the design standpoint, it looks clean and simple. Using a flat black metal finish with a hint of shine to the paint looks great in practice, and gives the product a classic touch of class. The OCZ and ZS Series logo can also be clearly seen with the wattage to the right side of the unit. The 8-ring fan grille of the power supply is held in by four Phillips head screws, and can be easily removed for cleaning without voiding the warranty. It provides adequate protection from large objects entering the power supply itself, while still allowing for maximum airflow thanks to its low impedance design. All in all, its subtle appearance is appropriate for the purpose it serves. Not everyone wants a flashy power supply, and this is exactly what the OCZ ZS Series is all about.

The OCZ ZS 550W measures in at 150mm x 86mm x 160mm, which is only slightly bigger than the FSP AURUM CM Gold 650W. This is one of the smallest power supplies I have used in a while. Being a mainstream performance PSU with a 135mm rather than 140mm fan certainly helps in keeping its footprint minimal. Installation in most computer cases should not be a problem at all; having such a compact PSU will leave plenty of room for other parts around it.

Taking a look from the back part of the OCZ ZS Series 550W, we can see the standard honeycomb shaped mesh. This is a common sight to power supplies with bottom mounted fans. Of course, the purpose of having a honeycomb mesh is to exhaust all heat generated by the internal components via airflow coming from the 135mm fan inside. Found near the western edge is the switch, which is next to the male power connector, for power input. Like most modern ATX power supplies, the OCZ ZS Series features an automatic full range (100V-240V) AC line voltage selection, so users do not have to adjust the input voltage manually for their current country -- making it simple to just plug in their computer, and start using it right away.

Located at the top of the power supply is the rail information label; which conveniently displays various certifications that the OCZ ZS Series 550W has obtained as well -- most notably, the 80 Plus Bronze certification. This means this power supply is certified to be at least 85% efficient at 50% load, and 82% efficient at 20% and 100% load, respectively. Combined DC output is rated at a maximum of 550W for continuous use, as denoted by its OCZ ZS '550W' name, haha. The +3.3V and +5V rail's output comes to a 130W combined maximum. Independently, the +3.3V rail's theoretical maximum output is 72.6W, and the +5V rail's theoretical maximum output is 110W. For the +12V rail, it is a large single rail running at 38A. Using this to calculate the wattage, the +12V rail's independent theoretical maximum is 456W. Using all the combinations and restrictions listed above, the total capable power output is 550W as aforementioned. All of the calculations were done using the standard P=IV formula.

The front side of the OCZ ZS 550W isn't exactly spectacular, but it does the job. This end is actually kind of plain, save for the bundle of cables sticking out near the edge on the right. As you may have noticed by now, the OCZ ZS Series 550W is not modular, meaning all the cables are built right in. In one sense, this is a good thing, since there reduced power loss due at the connectors, not to mention cheaper to manufacture. However, from a second perspective, it becomes a hassle to hide all the leftover cables that are unused. Either way, all cables are fully sleeved, so cables won't tangle up and get tied with one another; not to mention much improved looks. A twist tie is used to keep the bundle together, and prevent it from unraveling while being in the box during transport. All cables are adequately long, and should be able to make its way around most standard modern cases without any issues. However, cable organization will be a bit harder, due to the sheer number of them present.

The following connectors are included on the OCZ ZS Series 550W:

- 1 x 20+4-pin ATX
- 1 x 4+4-pin ESP/12VCPU
- 1 x 6-pin PCI-E
- 1 x 6+2-pin PCI-E
- 3 x 4-pin Peripheral
- 8 x 5-pin SATA

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