So what then, is it going to be?
With apologies to Anthony Burgess, this is the question we ultimately ask ourselves whenever we're about to make a hardware purchase. Whether it's a flash drive, a chassis, or a power supply, once you've weighed the options, read the reviews, and taken a long hard look at your bank balance, that's the only question left: well, what's it gonna be?
The answer, of course, depends on many things: your performance requirements, your budget, even how it looks and feels. A power supply isn't the most glamorous of PC components, we tend to notice it only when it fails, falters, or otherwise misbehaves. That said, the power supply is the foundation of any PC—without it, nothing else works. A good power supply has the tendency to disappear, in that you no longer notice it's there, it just works. Today we'll be looking at the latest offering from CoolMax, the CUG-950B. Is this PSU going to pull a Houdini, or botch the show? Let's find out.
At 950 watts, the CUG-950 power supply supplies your system with the boost it needs to deliver the top experience for intense graphic rendered games. It delivers up to 2.8 times performance increase over a single graphics processing unit system, giving high-end gamers approximately 60 frames per second at resolutions as high as 2560x1600. With 950W, the CUG can power your system smoothly allowing gamers to obtain an uninterrupted experience with the best balanced power, cooling, and noise level system.
Frankly, I'm not sure what to make of this. Aside from the last sentence, this sounds like it was lifted from a blurb for a video card. I wonder how any power supply can promise that it delivers 2.8 times the performance increase over a single graphics processing unit system. This message is confusing at best, somehow having this power supply increases your graphics power? That's total non-sense of course. Perhaps there was a mix up in marketing. Nonetheless, the last sentence is on-message, promising what we'd all like to get from a good PSU: smooth, solid power delivery without excessive heat or noise.
Here follows a list of features pulled from CoolMax's website, with commentary on each:
|Quad +12V output rails
|Splitting the 12V output this way ensures that a heavy draw from the CPU or graphics cards doesn't affect the other components that need power in this voltage.
|Advanced double forward circuit and double-layer PCB
|This will likely mean something to those of you in the know about power supply design, though Your Humble Reviewer hasn't the slightest clue.
|Active power factor correction
|Active Power Factor Correction increases the efficiency of the PSU, meaning that more of those 950 watts get converted into useful energy for your system. It's also required by law in many countries, as well as for 80Plus certification.
|Super high efficiency maximum 84%
|84% AC-DC conversion efficiency is fairly good, meaning that less than 1/5th of the power drawn from the wall is wasted as heat.
|High power cable management enables safely select wiring
|An especially verbose way of saying modular cabling.
|Ultimate balance between cooling and noise level
|Translation: "We'll keep things cool, and we'll try not to blast your eardrums out in the process."
|Honey Comb Structure with best ventilation
|A reference to the back exhaust panel, the honeycomb-shaped grille does indeed minimize air turbulence.
|Dual PCI-Express power connectors fully support SLI system
|A standard feature of power supplies in this power range, good to see it here.
|ATX 12V V.2.2
|Compliance with the latest ATX specification helps to make sure you have the right connectors and voltages going to the right places.
|All output cables with nylon sleeving
|A particularly welcome feature, this helps keep cable management simple.
|Gold plated terminal
|Gold plating on connectors helps to prevent tarnishing and oxidation, which extends the serviceable life of components, especially in humid climes.
|Flexible connector & system design
|Did we mention we have modular cabling?
|Patented easy swap connector
|A common sight on enthusiast power supplies, this refers to the curved side-grips on the 4-pin MOLEX connectors that assist with plug insertion and removal.
Taken from CoolMax's website:
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