As a few of you will know, I've been working on getting the hardware together to make use of parts generously donated to me. In the course of which I determined that my existing generic 300W PSU was inadequate for both my immediate goals as well as any further upgrades. To that end I've been hunting for a new PSU, and this is what I've settled on.
The Cooler Master eXtreme Power 550W ATX12v v2.01 (RP-550-PCAR)
Link to where I got it. Prices in $AUD
I picked this unit on a balance of value, capacity and accessory plugs that I didn't already have.
On opening the box, I get a manual (must be 30-40 pages, 7 of them in English) with as much info as I could want about the ratings as well as descriptions of what all the connectors actually are. Each of the connectors is numbered and can be referenced in the manual as needed. Very handy for someone like me that's never seen a SATA drive before (there's three SATA connections) let alone a PCIe power connection.
Ok next trick was to take stock of what I got.
From left to right: The manual of many languages, a little baggy of mounting screws, a little baggy of the ever tasty silica crystals (do NOT eat. Seriously!), the power supply itself and the required lead.
A closer look at the PSU itself reveals it is not a modular unit (I never thought it was, but just pointing that out)
The main power jack for the motherboard has it's wiring, and that of the extra add-on connector to make it a 24 pin jobbie, inside some black mesh sleeving.
The rest of the wiring, though nicely sorted, isn't sleeved.
That fan is a 120mm unit, not uncommon on current PSUs. I was looking at one with a 140mm unit but the extra cost was just that, extra.
Compared to the old unit, with it's 80mm "all or nothing" fan, this one is extremely quiet. Actually the whole system is much quieter, sine the number of 80mm fans all over this thing used to occasionally harmonize and make the case buzz.
I've also noticed that the air coming out the exhaust (a large mesh grid covering the whole rear of the unit) is much cooler than that of the old unit.
I've also noticed, and this is pretty subjective, that the existing hard drives are working a little better. Slightly faster loading, quicker mounting ... I'm not talking giant leaps here, just slightly quicker. At a guess it's more to do with the old unit being a little undervoltage than the new one having some stolen alien technology, but I like it.
Anyway, here's what it looks like installed: