I turned on my PC and my heart sank. I thought the PSU was busted. I couldn’t hear anything and I’ve never actually used a piece of computer equipment advertised as silent that actually was. Suffice to say, the iGreen blew me away. If you’re looking to build a quiet PC then the iGreen should be in your shopping basket.
To test the unit, I’ll be using the following setup:
- Intel P4 3.2 GHz (socket 478)
- Gigabyte GA-8IPE1000-G motherboard
- Sapphire Radeon 9200 256mb Graphics Card
- 1Gb OCZ RAM
- 200Gb Maxtor SATA HDD
- 80Gb Western Digital IDE HDD
I’ll first give the power supply a few days to settle into its new home and for the rails to stabilise. Then to test the unit idle, I’ll turn on my PC and wait 30 minutes then read the rails. Then I’ll start CPU burn-in, copy files from the CD-drive to the 80Gb HDD, copy files from the 200Gb HDD to the 80Gb HDD, play music as loud as it will go, and the run Unreal 2004 demos. This should use as much power as my PC is able too.
I’ll use Speedfan to graph and record the results. I’ll also use a multimeter to read the rails from an unused and a used molex plug to make sure that the mobo is reading the rails correctly..
3.3v rail – Graph shows an hour
5v rail – Graph shows an hour
12v rail – Graph shows an hour
You can easily see where the testing starts with the 3.3v and the 12v rail showing a dip and less stable rails. This is because of the extra drain suddenly put on the PSU, the extra heat produced from the extra drain, and inherent inconsistancy of the AC input. The 5v rail stays pretty constant throughout however. The PSU was left idle after startup from the first 25 minutes of the graph, with the last 35 minutes showing the PSU under load.
Remember these results will be slightly more exagerated than in a real world situation. This is because your PC will never normally be doing all the things that I tested the rails with.
The voltmeter – used at full load – shows a lsight difference from the mobo detectors. However, the difference is negligable. The used and unused molex connectors yielded the same results.
When I was using the voltmeter I managed to touch the wrong contacts and my PC switched off immediately and the warning light on the back of the iGreen came on telling me one of these: ‘Over-voltage, under-voltage, over-current, over-temperature, over-loading, or shortcircuit’. I’m guessing it was shortcircuit… I can see that the ‘over-load’ feature of the light would be useful in determining if you need to upgrade your PSU to a more powerful model or determining whether its the PSU causing system instability.
It’s nice to know that not only do the rails kick ass, but you’ll be saving money in the long term. Most cheaper PSU’s represent a false economy as they are usually quite inefficient (costing you more, and producing more heat). However the iGreen is different as it reaches a max efficiency of 85% meaning that you’ll wallet will be happy and so will the earth. Just think, you can save the planet just by sitting at your desk…