Spire is perhaps not the most well known company, but they have been making waves in the cooler and PSU market for a few years now and recently they sent me their new Spire Rocketeer III 500w PSU. Read on to find out how it stood up to our tests.
A little about Spire
Founded in 1991, Spire is a leading premier brand for computer thermal solutions, power supplies and pc cases. In order to meet the needs and demands of the global market, we have established our production facilities in China and corporate office located in the USA. Our overseas branches are located in The Netherlands, The U.K, Germany, France, Taiwan, Japan and Brazil. All locations are located strategically to better work with the customers we serve.Spire ideals, to which our employees give full recognition, are (1) constantly striving to become stronger, (2) being sincere and active and (3) seeking the latest innovative technology. After years of hard work and dedication in running its business, Spire today is a major presence in three major business fields: computer thermal solutions, power supplies and pc cases. It has received full recognition in its products as well as its services.The purpose built Spire factory and all of the products were approved by CE, UR, CSA, and TUV in 1998. We gained AMD and VIA approvals along with recognition by International Standard Commission for Quality Assurance in 1999 against ISO-9002 & ISO-9001. Spire is also proud of shipping all its products compliant to the standards of The European Union ROHS and WEEE.Spire Products are dedicated to bringing you the latest technology in computer cooling as it becomes available and to offer a variety of solutions to combat the growing concern of overheating. With todays high-speed processors functioning at an unprecedented speed and output, the demand for better and more reliable cooling solutions has become one of the most important issues in the computer industry today. As a premier manufacturer of high quality cooling solutions, we are able to meet the demands of the computer industry by providing competitively priced products, next day delivery and lifetime warranty.With reliability of products having such high precedence in the business, Spire has earned the loyalty of many well known manufacturers and distributors throughout the world. We have maintained close business ties with international names in the computer industry.At Spire we continually strive for success and quality products. To improve and develop a wide range of computer products, we have invested heavily in our quality manufacturing process and Research & Development. Our objective is to provide top quality products for national distributors as well as for ODM and OEM clients.Our focus is to build on the current success of the Spire brand so that our brand is recognized world wide as a provider of top quality computing solutions. We will continue to work to maintain the satisfaction of our customers and share the knowledge of our experts – Spire ‘Powered by Innovation’.
Spire’s Take on the Rocketeer III
The new Spire series power supplies give even the most demanding PC users a way to keep it cool. Housed in nickel coated enclosures, these power supplies feature multiple, low-noise dual ball bearing fans to ensure smooth and silent operation in the workplace or home office. Whether it is work or play, business presentations or games, applications can take center stage because they no longer have to compete with typical PC cooling noise.
|Application:||Intel ATX 2.01, ATX 12V Power Supply Design Guide Ver. 1.3|
|Voltage:||100~120 Vac / 200~240 Vac (Select Switch)|
|Frequency:||47Hz ~ 63Hz|
|Current:||10.7 / 6.2 Amps|
|Hold-up Time:||16 ms|
|P.G. Signal:||100 ~ 500 ms|
|Voltage Protection:||– 7.0V | +3.3V trip point 3.76V – 4.3V|
|Cooling:||One (1) 120mm crystal blue silent LED fan|
|Noise Level:||21.0 dBA Max.|
|Dimensions:||163mm (L) x 150mm (W) x 85mm (H)|
|Connectors:||20+24pin ATX (Motherboard) x1 | 4-pin 12V (Motherboard) x1 | Multi-use x6 | SATA x4|
|Cables:||ATX adapter x 1 | 4-pin (3IDE) / (1 Floppy) x 2 | 4-pin (HDD/VGA) x1 | 4-pin (3 IDE Multi-use) x1 | 15-pin (2 SATA) x2|
|Warranty:||3 Year Limited Warranty|
|Safety Approvals:||UL, FCC, CE, CSA, TUV|
- Intel ATX 2.01 Specification Compliant
- Supports Intel Pentium 4, AMD Athlon XP and Athlon 64
- 3 Speed Variable Fan Speed Auto-Control
- I/O Short Circuit & Overload Protection
- Redundant Cooling System
- SATA Power Connector
- 3 Year Warranty
Bits and Box
The Spire Rocketeer box is quite colourful, with a large blue area capped neatly with a sweeping read area across the top. There is also a large picture of the product in the centre and a few bits of information, such as the products name and the Spire website address.
The back of the box is a little plainer. However, it gives you a full specifications and features list and also shows examples of some of the other products that Spire stock.
After popping everything out of the box we can get a good look at what Spire has given us. First obviously we have the PSU itself and the obligatory kettle lead, but there are also a few nifty bits to help with cable management.
As you can see in the picture above, included with the PSU and kettle lead are some “normal” plastic cable ties, and some rather cool looking velcro cable ties which actually undo! However they also hold cables relatively tightly and do not come undone without effort, quite a nice addition to the package.
The Rocketeer III
As with most of the Rocketeer range the Rocketeer III has a nice silver surface and sports a large 120mm blue LED fan to aide cooling.
The fan grill itself is gold and has a small Spire logo in the center. These really adds to the aesthetic appeal of a PSU and can really set it above the competition.
The back is grilled with rounded rectangles, to again aide cooling of the PSU’s insides. It is not uncommon for power supplies to sport a second fan on the back to increase the cooling performance of the unit. However, grilling the back and having a large powerful 120mm fan, as is the case here, is usually efficient enough and also much quieter than running 2 fans.
On the back of the PSU there is the mandatory safety warnings and power output specifications:
The cabling that comes with the PSU is partially sleeved. I.e. the ATX power cable and its clip on extra 4 pins are sleeved, but unfortunately the rest aren’t. This seems a bit unusual as sleeving can really help with cable management as well as making the cabling look a lot more professional.
You can also see from the picture that only one PCIE cable is included, so no SLI/Crossfire with this PSU people, sorry. There are also only 2 SATA power cables and no extra splitter cables so those with lots of hard drives are going to have a few problems with this PSU.
The rest of the test rig was as follows:
AMD 64 3500 + Venice Core @ 2.4ghz
DFI Lanparty SLI-DR
1gb (2 * 512) Crucial Ballistix PC3200
XFX PCX 6600 @ Stock
TT Armor Case – Only a single 90mm Exhaust fan
To test this PSU I took readings of the 3.3, 5 and 12 volt rails after 30 mins at idle and 30 minutes of load. To take the readings I used Speedfan and a digital multimeter.
As you can see the rails are very stable, with almost no fluctuation between the Idle and Load readings. However, you may have no noticed that there is a pretty huge difference between the readings of the multimeter and the readings from speedfan. The question here is which one to trust? Well multimeters are calibrated specifically to test voltages in components and therefore should provide a much more accurate reading. However, due to the fact that the voltages are being tested through a molex cable and not directly from the motherboard (Like Speedfan does), there is a little room for error. Even so, the multimeter readings are probably more accurate, but taking a rough average between the two is probably the best way to go when judging the rails of a PSU.
If you are erring on the side of the multimeter results however, I will say that the voltages are a bit off from what they should be. 12.26 is rather high, however as you can see at least the rail is stable, only straying 0.04v when moving from idle to load.
The Spire Rocketeer III is very, very quiet. Almost inaudible with no other fans running. It definitely paid off not using a second fan at the read of the PSU, as the silence is a very much welcomed feature.
I was unable to find a UK supplier of the Spire Rocketeer III to check UK pricing, however from some US E-Tailers you can get one for anywhere between 50 and 100 dollars. The Average price being around $65, therefore around £40. This is a pretty good price for such a quiet, stable PSU and you would be hard pushed to find a comparative PSU elsewhere on the market for that price.
The rails are very stable and the cooling is very quiet. Its pretty fancy looking with its nice gold fan grill, grilled rear and blue LED fan. The cost is also quite impressive, however the one thing that lets this PSU down is the cabling There is no sleeving for any cables other than the main ATX power cable. There is also only on PCIE power connector and only 2 SATA connectors. That said, this is an excellent PSU, and I would heartedly recommend it to anyone looking for a PSU in the mid range market.
|Good looking, stylish||No sleeves apart from on ATX power chord|
|Quiet as a mouse||Only one PCIE connector and 2 SATA connectors|