in Power supply units

Coolermaster vs Antec vs BeQuiet PSU Roundup

Coolermaster Power Supply Roundup

Introduction

One of the biggest criticisms that review sites can throw out against others of their ilk, is that certain reviews simply aren’t detailed enough. HardwareSecrets famously bashed their fellow reviewers for not making use of the correct equipment needed to accurately test the performance and efficiency of power supplies leading to ultimately misleading reviews.

While XSR was lucky enough to not garner direct attention from this article we are just as guilty as those mentioned by name as in the past our PSU reviews simply didn’t utilise the equipment necessary to test what’s really important. However, today I am pleased that we’ve turned a corner and from now on all power supply reviews will be conducted with the utmost professionalism making use of fully fledged hardware testing suits.

Unfortunately we’re still not quite ready to buy this equipment ourselves, but the kind folks at Coolermaster helped us out in that respect, flying me over to their facility in Venlo to get some testing done. So without further a do, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you XSR’s first true power supply review, Coolermaster vs Antec vs BeQuiet: the PSU roundup.

Antec

TruePower 550w

Antec TruePower 550w

Features

  • NVIDIA™ SLI™ – ready certified
  • 80PLUS® Bronze Certified saves energy and lowers your electric bill
  • DC to DC voltage regulator modules for greater system stability
  • 120mm PWM fan runs up to 50% quieter than standard fans
  • Blue internal LED illumination for TP-750 Blue
  • Advanced Hybrid Cable Management improves airflow and reduces clutter
  • Double layer PCB optimizes cooling efficiency and allows for heavy duty components
  • Universal Input and Active Power Factor Correction
  • Supports dual GPUs and dual/quad core CPUs
  • 4 +12V output circuits provide stable power
  • ATX12V v2.3 and EPS12V v2.91
  • 1 x 6 pin and 1 x 8 (6+2) pin PCI-E graphics card connectors for TP-550
  • 2 x 6 pin and 2 x 8 (6+2) pin PCI-E graphics card connectors for TP-650, TP-750 and TP-750 Blue
  • Industrial grade protection: OVP (Over Voltage Protection), UVP (Under Current Protection), SCP (Short Circuit Protection), OPP (Over Power Protection), and OCP (Over Current Protection)
  • Safety approval: UL, CUL, CE, CB, FCC Class B, TUV, CCC, C-tick, BSMI
  • Meets 2010 EUP requirement: 5Vsb < 1W
  • Weight: 2.3 kg; 5 lbs
  • Dimensions:
    • 3.4″ (H) x 5.9″ (W) x 5.9″ (D)
    • 86mm (H) x 150mm (W) x 150mm (D)

Output Table

Antec TruePower 550w

Box and Bundle

The box details some of the features of TruePower 550w. Take note that they state it’s 80plus Bronze certificated. We will be testing this feature later in the review.

[Antec TruePower 550w]

Click to enlarge

[Antec TruePower 550w]

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Along with the TP-550w PSU you also receive a standard kettle lead to hook it up to the mains, some mounting screws and a small product overview manual.

[Antec TruePower 550w]

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Product Detail

The TruePower isn’t a bad looking PSU. It has a nice matt black exterior with an output table on one of the side panels.

[Antec TruePower 550w]

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It’s a semi-modular unit with a couple of extra ports should you not have quite enough connectors with the standard cables. These ones allow for extra SATA connectors and a couple of extra PCI-E ones.

[Antec TruePower 550w]

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It has a matt black 12cm fan with a glossy black grill covering it.

[Antec TruePower 550w]

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The cables themselves are braided and come wrapped up nicely with little plastic cable ties. Granted everyone loses these five minutes after opening, but it made taking these pictures a bit easier, so I love them.

[Antec TruePower 550w]

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[Antec TruePower 550w]

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[Antec TruePower 550w]

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CP 1000w

Antec CP1000

Features

  • Unique power supply construction compatible with the following Antec cases:
    • Twelve Hundred
    • P183
    • P193
  • NVIDIA™ SLI™ – Ready certified
  • Advanced hybrid cable management improves airflow and reduces clutter
  • Meets 80 PLUS® certification standards
  • Electrical compliance with ATX12V version 2.3 and EPS version 2.91
  • Dual PCB layout optimizes cooling efficiency and allows for heavy duty components
  • Quiet 120mm PWM cooling fan
  • 4 +12V output circuits
  • Industrial grade protection: OVP (Over Voltage Protection), SCP (Short Circuit Protection), and OCP (Over Current Protection)
  • Universal Input with Active PFC
  • Two 8-pin(6+2) PCI-E connectors and two 6-pin PCI-E connectors
  • SATA connectors for Serial ATA drive
  • MTBF: 100,000 hours
  • Safety approval: UL, FCC, TÜV, CE, C-tick, CCC, CB
  • Unit Dimension
    • 119mm (H) x 175mm (W) x 200mm (D)
    • 4.7″ (H) x 6.9″ (W) x 7.9″ (D)
  • Package Dimension
    • 160mm (H) x 230mm (W) x 330mm (D)
    • 6.3″ (H) x 9.1″ (W) x 13″ (D)
  • Weight
    • Net : 7 lbs / 3.2 kg
    • Gross : 9.5 lbs / 4.3 kg

Output Table

Antec CP1000

Box and Bundle

The box for the CP-1000 is huge, hinting at the rather large and unconventional size of the unit itself. It’s listed as 80+ certified also, though no bronze rating.

[Antec CP1000]

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[Antec CP1000]

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Along with the unit you also get some screws and a small product overview sheet similar to the TruePower PSU.

[Antec CP1000]

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Product Detail

The Antec CP-1000 is a very big PSU, and it breaks from the standard ATX form factor. This means that it will actually only fit in a few of Antec’s very own cases somewhat limiting the potential market for this unit. The full list only extends to the following three cases:

  • Twelve Hundred
  • P183
  • P193

The casing for it is a nice matt black colour, with a small output table on one of the side panels.

[Antec CP1000]

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The rear of the unit features a honeycomb grill which allows for maximum airflow while protecting the internals. There’s also the typical power switch near the power cable port.

[Antec CP1000]

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The fan on this unit is in a slightly different position from normal, being that it’s external and mounted at the front near the cable outputs. It’s a 12cm jobby with a standard black grill covering it.

[Antec CP1000]

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Along with the standard cabling, there’s also four ports for adding extra cabling. They allow for the addition of some more SATA power connectors and a pair of PCI-E cables.

[Antec CP1000]

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The 12v CPU power cable header is split into two combinable 4+4 pins allowing for older 4pin motherboards to be supported.

[Antec CP1000]

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Molex four pin connectors are also abound.

[Antec CP1000]

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[Antec CP1000]

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All cables have Antec’s usual braiding, but for some reason it doesn’t extend all the way to the header leaving around an inch of cabling exposed. This does increase flexibility a little at the end, but really if you’re going the braiding route you might as well go all in.

[Antec CP1000]

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BeQuiet

Dark Power Pro 750w

BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 750

Features

  • Compatible with the latest ATX 12V 2.3 Version and EPS 12V V2.92:
    • Dark Power ProP8 is compatible with the latest technical standards for ATX-power supplies defined by Intel™ as well as AMD™ -systems.
  • Active PFC = 0.99:
    • Dark Power ProP8 ensures an extremely stable power supply by equalizing mains fluctuations.
  • Voltage stability:
    • Dark Power ProP8 provides 6 isolated 12V rails to offer high voltage stability. That means all components have their own separate power supply and high degree of security.
  • Innovative Overclocking Key:
    • Dark Power ProP8 enables a manual combination of all 12V rails for a stable operation of high-capacity graphics cards.
  • DC/DC-Technology:
    • Dark Power ProP8 provides DC/DC-Technology for high efficiency and stable performance.
  • Hold-up time:
    • Dark Power ProP8 offers up to 30ms of hold-up time (at 100% load), meaning the power supply guards against mains fluctuations.
  • Cooling:
    • Dark Power ProP8 features a silent 120mm be quiet! SilentWings fan to provide automatic and reliable control of temperature and speed.
  • Low volume:
    • Dark Power ProP8 employs the Ultra Silent Concept to ensure highly silent operation, which means your entire system will run exceptionally quietly.
  • Long lifetime:
    • Dark Power ProP8 offers a long lifetime of up to 100,000 hours at 25°C.

Output Table

BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 750

Box and Bundle

The box for the Dark Power 750w has a few features and specifications listed, with a small 80 plus silver badge.

[PSU Roundup Review]

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The bottom has a few site logos and award images listed. Don’t see XSR on there BeQuiet… tut tut.

[BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 750]

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Along with the PSU itself you get a power cable, some cable ties and mounting screws and a fancy overclocking jumper (explained later). This can also connect up with the bundled PCI bracket giving you an overclocking mode on/off switch.

[BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 750]

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Product Detail

The BeQuiet DarkPower, I have to say looks pretty nice. It’s got a sophisticated looking paint job and while standard ATX in format, it’s got some unique stylings in the setup of its fan grill.

[BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 750]

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[BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 750]

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There’s the usual output table on the side panel.

[BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 750]

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Honeycomb grill on the rear, with all metal being plastic coated for style purposes. While unecessary, it just adds a nice bit of flair to the unit.

[BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 750]

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The DarkPower is fully modular with specific PCI-E, motherboard/CPU, and drive ports. There’s also four specific 3pin fan header connectors, allowing for people to have a large ammount of fans without 4pin molex converters.

There’s also a small “OCK” port which is an abbreviated form of Overclocking. This is a 4 rail PSU, so while good for overcurrent protection, it’s not so ideal for overclocking which can strain one of the rails. This jumper/port allows you to switch to a single rail setup giving you more overclocking head room.

[BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 750]

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One functional feature of the BeQuiet DarkPower is this small directional cable holder… thing. It allows the sleeved cabling to be directed far more easily without risk of ripping the braiding.

[BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 750]

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Like the Antec PSUs the braiding on the cables does not extend all the to the header, leaving an inch or two of bare cabling.

[BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 750]

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Since the DarkPower is fully modular, there’s a lot of cables that you can utilise. Along with the usual SATA, Molex cables you get four PCI-E cables; meaning four way SLI or XFire setups are possible.

[BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 750]

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[BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 750]

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You also get four 3pin to 4pin molex fan connectors should you prefer to use that header instead of the smaller 3pin.

[BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 750]

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Dark Power Pro 1000w

The box for the DarkPower 1000w is exactly the same as the 750w but with a different wattage rating. It also sports the 80+ silver badge.

The unit itself is near identical, looking pretty fancy also.

[BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 1000]

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[BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 1000]

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Feautres on this one are identical to its smaller brother.

[BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 1000]

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[BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 1000]

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The only real visual difference is that the rear has the 1000w plastic badge around the kettle lead input.

[BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 1000]

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Coolermaster

Gold Silent Pro M600 and M800

Unfortunately I was a little too caught up in testing to get many pictures of the Coolermaster Silent Pro Gold M600 and M800 units and their packaging. I did however get a few.

Both units are identical apart from badgets, and are pretty subtle; apart from the gold of course. The casing is a nice matt black, with a couple of touches of white and gold in places. Sure the gold coated grill is a little garish, but over all the PSUs are pretty subdued in their stylings.

[Coolermaster Silent Pro Gold M]

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Bent badges, the price you pay for photographing products after testing.

[Coolermaster Silent Pro Gold M]

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The rear grill is honeycombed, and features a Coolermaster badge next to the power socket and switch.

[Coolermaster Silent Pro Gold M]

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The Gold Power units are both modular, featuring additional cabling points for two PCI-E connectors, and several additional HDD and molex power cables.

[Coolermaster Silent Pro Gold M]

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[PSU Roundup Review]

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Like the PSUs we’ve been looking at from other manufacturers, all cabling is sleeved with a nice black braiding.

[Coolermaster Silent Pro Gold M]

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Testing

Test Equipment

Due to use using some rather different testing equipment than usual, we’ve listed the harware below and explained what each of them does.

Chroma AC Source 6530

A programmable alternating current power source which can be adjusted to output specific voltages and frequencies. This allows for the testing of both European standard 230v and American standard 115v.

Yokogawa WT210

A high-end digital power meter, this allows us to correctly determine the ammount of power the PSU is drawing in order to output a specific wattage.

Chroma DC-Loads 63303 and 63306

We utilised two 63303 and a single 63306 machine to accurately program and simulate specific loads on each PSU tested. They also gave us our voltage readouts for the stability tests and allowed for the overcharge and short circuit tests to be performed.

Tektronix Oscilloscope DPO3034 with TCP150 Probe

A four channel, 300mhz ‘scope allows for the recording of voltage, current, frequency and rise and fall times. We utilised the screenshot feature to capture our Hold Up Time and In-Rush current screenshots.

Chroma Test Fixture

This provided connection points for the PSU being tested along with measure points for the meters and ‘scope; also a handy PSU on off button.

Fluke 8845A

Utilised to test single rail PSUs, the Fluke is a highly accurate voltage, current and frequency measuring tool.

Two Channel Thermometer

Measures two temperatures from individual probes simultaneously. This allows for the measuring of in and out air temperatures to the PSU.

Methodology

While XSR isn’t necessarily one of the most technologically deep review websites around, this time things are going to get a little heavy. In this review we have the real deal, fully fledged PSU testing straight from the Coolermaster facility. Compared to our usual multimeter tests, this time we will be utilising some very expensive equipment to objectively test several aspects of each power supply, combining them with some subjective tests to provide an all round view of each PSU.

The tests we ran were as follows:

Voltage Stability

Voltages are measured under different load conditions on each rail and then compared to their ideal rating (3.3, 5.0, 12.0). Utilising the 3-5% scale of acceptable voltage fluctuation championed by HardwareSecrets we then list whether the rail was Good (if within 3% of the ideal), Ok (if within 5% of ideal) or Fail (if more than 5% from ideal). In the latter case, we will discuss what the result was and by how much it actually did fluctuate.

Efficiency

Efficiency allows us to calculate how much power is wasted during the conversion process from AC to DC. It also allows us to check whether 80+ ratings are accurate. It’s calculated by comparing input and output voltages:

  • Power supply is set to specific load wattages utilising the Chrome DC-Loads 63303 and 63306, e.g. 800w
  • Input power is measured to a high precision with the Yokogawa WT210, e.g. 1000w
  • Compare input wattage to output: 800w / 1000w = 80% efficiency.

Efficiency is measured for 80+ ratings at 100%, 50% and 20%. This is known by many PSU manufacturers, so they engineer their units to test well at these wattages. However, more often than not, especially with larger PSUs, 10-15% is more important as that is what the PC pulls when at idle; which is most of the time. Therefore we also tested several other fixed wattage efficiencies that we felt were important to recognise.

Efficiency was measured at the following standard load percentages:

  • 100%
  • 50%
  • 20%

and at fixed wattages of:

  • 300
  • 150
  • 85
  • 50

Inrush Current

Inrush current is the level of ampage that passes through the PSU’s components when the unit is first switched on. The Tektronix Oscilloscope is utilised to measure the current and record it’s peak when the PSU is powered up.

Hold Up Time

This measures how long it takes for the 12v rail to lose it’s charge after the power source has been eliminated. This feature is designed to safeguard the user from random drops in your mains power.

Short Circuit Protection

Making use of the Chroma DC-Loads we were able to push massive ampages through the PSU on each individual rail. If the PSU’s short circuit protection works correctly this should shut the unit down to prevent damage to the PSU itself, and any other internal components. This simulates a power spike.

Overload

This checks if the PSU can deliver the full ampage that its 12v rails are rated at, whilst also seeing what the unit’s max ampage is across the 12v rails. The higher the result, the increased potential to handle more power hungry hardware.

Temperature

Utilising the twin probes on the two channel thermometer the air temperature entering the PSU was measured alongside the air leaving the unit. These results were then compared to show what temperature difference is found between the two. The lower the result, the less heat output from the PSU being tested.

Noise

Since we did not have a decibel with a high enough sensitivity to hand, we had to test noise subjectively. The units were turned on and listened to to see how loud they get under idle and load conditions.

Results

12v Rails Explained

It needs to be known that the tested PSUs have a variety of different 12v rail configurations.

No. of 12v Rails
Antec TP 550
4
Antec CP1000
4
BeQuiet Dark Power 750
4
BeQuiet Dark Power 750
6
Coolermaster Gold M600
1
Coolermaster Gold M800
1

Voltage Stability

The ratings used for these results are:

  • Good: within a 3% margin or the ideal voltage
  • Ok: within a 5% margin of the ideal voltage
  • Fail: more than a 5% margin from the ideal voltage

NB. For -12v rail the following set of percentage margins are used:

  • Good: within a 5% margin or the ideal voltage
  • Ok: within a 10% margin of the ideal voltage
  • Fail: more than a 10% margin from the ideal voltage

100%

Antec TP 550 Antec CP1000 BeQuiet Dark Power 750 BeQuiet Dark Power 1000 Coolermaster Gold M600 Coolermaster Gold M800
+3.3v
Good
Good
Ok
Good
Good
Good
+5.0v
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v1
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v2
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v3
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v4
Good
Good
Good
Good
+5Vsb
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
-12v
Good
Good
Ok
Ok
Good
Good

50%

Antec TP 550 Antec CP1000 BeQuiet Dark Power 750 BeQuiet Dark Power 1000 Coolermaster Gold M600 Coolermaster Gold M800
+3.3v
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
+5.0v
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v1
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v2
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v3
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v4
Good
Good
Good
Good
+5Vsb
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
-12v
Good
Good
Good
Good
Ok
Good

20%

Antec TP 550 Antec CP1000 BeQuiet Dark Power 750 BeQuiet Dark Power 1000 Coolermaster Gold M600 Coolermaster Gold M800
+3.3v
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
+5.0v
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v1
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v2
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v3
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v4
Good
Good
Good
Good
+5Vsb
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
-12v
Good
Good
Good
Good
Ok
Ok

300w

Antec TP 550 Antec CP1000 BeQuiet Dark Power 750 BeQuiet Dark Power 1000 Coolermaster Gold M600 Coolermaster Gold M800
+3.3v
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
+5.0v
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v1
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v2
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v3
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v4
Good
Good
Good
Good
+5Vsb
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
-12v
Good
Good
Good
Good
Ok
Good

150w

Antec TP 550 Antec CP1000 BeQuiet Dark Power 750 BeQuiet Dark Power 1000 Coolermaster Gold M600 Coolermaster Gold M800
+3.3v
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
+5.0v
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v1
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v2
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v3
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v4
Good
Good
Good
Good
+5Vsb
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
-12v
Good
Good
Good
Good
Ok
Ok

85w

Antec TP 550 Antec CP1000 BeQuiet Dark Power 750 BeQuiet Dark Power 1000 Coolermaster Gold M600 Coolermaster Gold M800
+3.3v
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
+5.0v
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v1
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v2
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v3
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v4
Good
Good
Good
Good
+5Vsb
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
-12v
Good
Good
Good
Good
Ok
Ok

50w

Antec TP 550 Antec CP1000 BeQuiet Dark Power 750 BeQuiet Dark Power 1000 Coolermaster Gold M600 Coolermaster Gold M800
+3.3v
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
+5.0v
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v1
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v2
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v3
Good
Good
Good
Good
+12v4
Good
Good
Good
Good
+5Vsb
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
-12v
Good
Good
Good
Good
Ok
Ok

Results Analysis

Interestingly while most of the PSUs had no real problems with rail stability, the Coolermaster Gold M800 dipped out of the 5% range on it’s -12v rail quite a few times. It wasn’t much though as the lowest it went was 11.3750 (only just outside the 5% range), but it was a noticeable drop when compared to the other units tested here.

Efficiency

For these graphs, please take note that the wattage ratings are not to scale and that the curve would be represented differently with linear jumps for wattage.

Coolermaster PSU Roundup Review

Coolermaster PSU Roundup Review

Coolermaster PSU Roundup Review

Coolermaster PSU Roundup Review

Coolermaster PSU Roundup Review

Coolermaster PSU Roundup Review

Results Analysis

The Antec TruePower did alright in this test, but the CP1000 was pretty horrendous. It fails any form of 80+ certification at 100% load on a 115 voltage, and the efficiency drops off massively after the 20% standard measurement. By the 85w fixed wattage rating we hit under 70% efficiency which means that for 85 watts, you’re actually pulling 125 and 124 watts for 230v/115v respectively.

The Coolermaster units are clearly the kings of the hill, with their gold 80+ certification holding strong at rated wattage percentages of 20, 50 and 100. They also do well at our lower fixed wattage tests which are much better simulations of a standard gaming PC at idle.

However, they only achieve this number one spot by a nose, as BeQuiet’s PSUs which are “only” rated at 80+ silver are hot on their heels delivering on a fraction of a percent less at the rated wattage percentages and maintaining good efficiency levels in our fixed wattage tests.

InRush Current

Inrush current is the load that hits the internal circuitry of the PSU when first switched on. The lower the better as it puts less stress on internal components. This is the kind of thing that blows cheap PSUs when you flick the mains on. The result you’re looking for is the third from the top ampage reading in the top right.

Antec TP550

[PSU Roundup Review]

Click to enlarge

Antec CP1000

[PSU Roundup Review]

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BeQuiet Dark Power 750

[PSU Roundup Review]

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BeQuiet Dark Power 1000

[PSU Roundup Review]

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CoolerMaster Gold 600

[PSU Roundup Review]

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Coolermaster Gold 800

[PSU Roundup Review]

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Results Analysis

InRush Current (amps)
Antec TP 550
37
Antec CP1000
49
BeQuiet Dark Power 750
50.5
BeQuiet Dark Power 1000
54.5
Coolermaster Gold M600
49
Coolermaster Gold M800
59

While it’s understandable tht the bigger the PSU, the higher the InRush current, it’s interesting to see that the Coolermaster PSUs have much higher results per wattage than the other PSUs. Antec takes home this one though.

Hold Up Time

Hold up time is how long the 12v rail maintains a charge above 9.6v (which is required to keep the system on). The longer it is, the more chance you have of not losing power to your PC when you have random drops in mains grid power. The result you’re looking for is the third from the top ms rating.

[PSU Roundup Review]

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[PSU Roundup Review]

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[PSU Roundup Review]

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[PSU Roundup Review]

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[PSU Roundup Review]

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[PSU Roundup Review]

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Results Analysis

Hold Up Time (ms)
Antec TP 550
22.57
Antec CP1000
21.6
BeQuiet Dark Power 750
20.88
BeQuiet Dark Power 1000
21.31
Coolermaster Gold M600
30.7
Coolermaster Gold M800
20.4

Coolermaster’s M600 Gold comes out on top in this test, but they’re all above acceptable levels.

Short Circuit Protection

Short circuit protection is basically the PSUs protective shut down sequence that initiates if a short circuit is detected in the PSU, forcing a massive ammount of current through the regulator circuit. This is a simple pass/fail results system with a pass meaning it did shut down, a fail indicating it did not; potentially melting/exploding/dieing.

Pass/Fail
Antec TP 550
Pass
Antec CP1000
Pass
BeQuiet Dark Power 750
Pass
BeQuiet Dark Power 1000
Pass
Coolermaster Gold M600
Pass
Coolermaster Gold M800
Pass

Pretty uneventful test as all passed with no problems on every rail. May want to ask the guys at PerformanceHardware what happened with their Enermax PSU though…

Overload

This was a simple test where we pushed the combined ampage of the 12v rails on each PSU to see what the truly max out at. The higher the better as potentially they could handle higher powered hardware like multi-GPU setups.

Max Ampage
Antec TP 550
44
Antec CP1000
85
BeQuiet Dark Power 750
77
BeQuiet Dark Power 1000
103
Coolermaster Gold M600
61
Coolermaster Gold M800
77

BeQuiet clearly takes this crown with their DarkPower 1000 in overall load potential. However it did this in it’s 6 rail setup, the Coolermaster units were able to achieve comparible results to the Dark Power 750 with only single rail options which is impressive.

The BeQuiet units can switch to single rail setups using the OCK jumper, though unfortunately we didn’t manage to test them under those conditions.

Temperature

With thermal results, the lower the better as the lesser the impact on air temperature, the less impact on case temperatures.

Temperature Difference (degrees c)
Antec TP 550
7
Antec CP1000
18
BeQuiet Dark Power 750
5
BeQuiet Dark Power 1000
7
Coolermaster Gold M600
8
Coolermaster Gold M800
4

All but one of the PSUs have very little impact on temperature. Interestingly it’s the custom designed Antec CP1000 bringing up the rear. You’d think if you were breaking from ATX form factors, you might design a new one that had less of a thermal impact?

Noise

Considering we didn’t have a decibel metre of effective sensitivity, this test was completely subjective. To make this easier to put in a table, I’ve assigned a number rating of 1-10 (where 1 is silent, and 10 is a aggravatingly loud) for idle and load states for each PSU when standing a metre away.

Noise Rating 1-10
Idle Load
Antec TP 550
2
4
Antec CP1000
3
5
BeQuiet Dark Power 750
2
4
BeQuiet Dark Power 1000
3
4
Coolermaster Gold M600
2
3
Coolermaster Gold M800
3
4

Cost

Cost (£ Sterling)
Antec TP 550
60
Antec CP1000
110
BeQuiet Dark Power 750
125
BeQuiet Dark Power 1000
175
Coolermaster Gold M600
91
Coolermaster Gold M800
115

Well BeQuiet certainly hits the top of the pricing when it comes to these units, but the Coolermaster Golds arn’t far behind them. Antec’s are easily the cheapest per wattage.

Limitations

While this test suit is pretty all encompassing, there are still a few things we would like to have done that we didn’t manage to achieve. Electrical noise and ripple would have been nice, and due to limited access to the PSU’s we’re tested we weren’t able to take internal shots of each unit. An objective noise test would also have been good to have achieved.

We’re always proud of our reviews and their content, but would never consider them perfect. We always feel we have room to improve as reviewers and aim to incorporate some of these tests in our next PSU roundup.

Raw Data Tables

The following are images of the raw data tables allowing you to see the exact voltage, ampage and wattage results that were taken during testing. While all of these results are shown elsewhere with tables and graphs, this allows those of you who want that bit more detail to have access to all the information we had to formulate this review.

Subsequently, if you notice any mistakes we’ve made in converting the data to a more readable format, please let us know.

Nb. Please note that the reason the 3rd and 4th 12v rails in the DarkPower Pro 1000 wattage results appear high, is because they contain the results of 2 x 12v rails. This is due to the testing setup only being able to support a maximum of 4 12v rails at any one time. Voltage results on the 12v rails for the Coolermaster PSUs are all the same as they only have single rails.

Antec TP 550

[PSU Roundup Review]

Click to enlarge

Antec CP1000

[PSU Roundup Review]

Click to enlarge

BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 750

[PSU Roundup Review]

Click to enlarge

Dark Power Pro 1000

[PSU Roundup Review]

Click to enlarge

Coolermaster Silent Pro Gold M600

[PSU Roundup Review]

Click to enlarge

Coolermaster Silent Pro Gold M800

[PSU Roundup Review]

Click to enlarge

Conclusion

There’s a lot of information in this review so I’ll attempt to sum up each of the PSUs sucintly in their own Pros and Cons sections. However, since we reviewed power supplies from three companies, and each manufacturer gave us a smaller unit and a larger unit, I think I can pick a winner of the roundup for each respective size group.

For the smaller units, I have to say the Antec TruePower 550w performed the best across the board. It may not have come top in anything, but it was the best small unit across all the tests. It had a good efficiency, stable rails, low noise levels and a very low in-rush current. With it’s reasonable price tag also it makes an excellent purchase.

When it comes to the bigger units, while it certainly is expensive, I have to go with the BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 1000. It had the most potential ampage in the overload test, stable rails – though not the most stable, excellent efficiency and great noise and temperature scores. It showed itself up a little in the in-rush current test, but the other big units wern’t far behind. In short it might cost a lot, but from our testing it was certainly the king of the hill if you want raw power without sacrificing quality.

To cap things off, if I had to pick a dud from the group, it would have to be the CP1000 from Antec. This is a PSU specifically designed by the company to break from the norm, and fits only in their cases. While that is a downside, you’d think they’d take the opportunity to bring in extra features or higher quality components to offset you needing to buy their chassis as well. Unfortunately that simply wasn’t the case, with higher temperatures, poor low and maximum wattage efficiency; on top of that it’s quite ugly too. While the price isn’t anywhere near as high as the comparible wattage DarkPower Pro, it’s clear to see why.

Coolermaster’s units are both excellent in their own right, and are incredibly efficient with their 80+ Gold standard. However the rail stability and the fact that they just wern’t quite as hefty as the BeQuiet units held them back from the win. In their own right though, fantastic PSUs which I would recommend to anyone especially the more energy concious.

Antec TP550

Pros Cons
Nice price Not as powerful as bigger units
Good efficiency
Stable rails
Low in-rush current

award

award

Antec CP1000

Pros Cons
Stable rails Poor efficiency at high and low wattages
Reasonable price Only fits in a few antec cases
Ugly
Higher temperatures than other units

award

BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 750

Pros Cons
Looks good High in-rush current
Reasonable price tag
Very Efficient
Quiet

award

BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 1000

Pros Cons
Looks good Expensive
Very efficient High in-rush current
Massive power potential
6 rail system

award

award

Coolermaster Silent Pro Gold M600

Pros Cons
Very Efficient weaker -12v rail stability
Looks good
Good price point

award

Coolermaster Silent Pro Gold M800

Pros Cons
Very Efficient weak -12v rail stability
Looks good
Good price point

award

More

A big thank you goes to Coolermaster for allowing us to use their testing facility and to BeQuiet and Antec for their PSUs.

This review was syndicated on tech seed.