Coolmax USA’s Modular 950W Power Supply Review


You just got back from your favorite PC-based tech store and you picked yourself up a badass dual card SLI setup. You open up your rig, pop the two cards in, connect all of the wires, pop on the SLI bridge, and boot up your new powerhouse of a PC. “Wait for a second!” you shout out as your PC boot up fails “What is going on?” your shock and dismay are easily explained. You are trying to run a powerhouse PC on your dinky little 350W PSU you have had since your parents first picked up a Compaq Presario from 5 years ago. Maybe, just maybe it is time to retire your old trusty 350W and go with something that actually works. The Coolmax USA’s Modular 950W Power Supply might just be the PSU you have been looking for. Let’s get a better look at it and see just how well it stacks up:

Provided by: Coolmax USA

Closer Look:

Lately, everyone is striving to be green, having more efficient power supplies is something companies are striving for, not only because it helps our planet, but because it is a fantastic marketing ploy. Coolmax nailed it with their design anytime you can make a customer instantly think environmentally friendly before even dipping into the box you are well on your way to multiple sales. Don’t take this as me saying Coolmax is an evil corporate jerk for tricking its customers; quite the contrary, I think it I fantastic Coolmax’s products are RoHS compliant. If that gives them better sales in the end, fantastic! Any company that is doing its part to help out the earth is okay by me. I applaud the marketing department for a smart call. The packaging is more than homage to a clean planet, it also includes all of the needed information someone interested in a new power supply would need.  It has all of the basic features on it; for the advanced user is has every spec you could ask for right down to the amperage needed to run this bad boy.

The packaging contents are very well secured for shipping. Everything you need for a power supply comes included: manual, cables, and screws.

As for the cables they are all 100% modular which I cannot say enough about. The one thing I hate most about my Mushkin power supply is that it is only partially modular so I still have a load of cables I do not need getting in the way of everything. Connections included with the Coolmax USA Modular 950W Power Supply are: AC power cord, 1 x 20+ 4 pin motherboard cables, 6 x SATA, 8 x Molex, 2 x FDD, 2 x PCI-E 6 pin, 2 x PCI-E 8 pin, 1 x Xeon 8 pin. Virtually everything you could possibly need by today’s standards. The addition of the Xeon connector means this would work very well for a rack-mounted server as well as a desk top.

So far very impressed with this unit, let’s check out some specs and features:

Features:

  • Quad +12V output rails
  • Advanced double forward circuit and double-layer PCB
  • Active power factor correction
  • Super high efficiency maximum 84%
  • High power cable management enables safely select wiring
  • The ultimate balance between cooling and noise level
  • Honey Comb Structure with the best ventilation
  • Dual PCI-Express power connectors fully support SLI system
  • ATX 12V V.2.2
  • All output cables with nylon sleeving
  • Gold plated terminal
  • Flexible connector & system design
  • Patented easy swap connector

So we seen some great specs and warranty information let’s check out how well it stacks up against the competition:

Testing Setup:

  • Processor: Intel Core2 Quad Q9450
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6
  • Memory: OCZ SLI Ready 2 x 2GB
  • Video Card: Nvidia 260 GTX
  • Power Supply: Mushkin 800w Modular Power Supply
  •                      Coolmax USA 950w Modular Power Supply
  • Hard Drive: Seagate 750GB SATA
  • Optical Drive: LG DVD-RW
  • OS: Windows Vista Ultimate
Testing:

For testing I will be doing load and idle voltages for both the Mushkin 800W PSU and the Coolmax USA 950w PSU using internal sensors and monitoring them with Speed Fan. I will also be testing the idle voltages for both using the Coolmax USA LCD Power supply Tester.

Idle Speed Fan Test:

Testing

Coolmax

Mushkin

+3.3v

3.31

3.30

+5v

5.16

5.03

-12v

-14.67

-14.75

-5v

-8.07

-8.07

 Load Speed Fan Test:

Testing

Coolmax

Mushkin

+3.3v

3.31

3.30

+5v

5.16

5.03

-12v

-14.67

-14.75

-5v

-8.07

-7.02

 LCD Tester Idle:

Testing

Coolmax

Mushkin

+3.3v

3.3

3.3

+5v

5.1

5

+12v

12

12

5vsb

5

5

The tests done using motherboard sensors are not very accurate as I am sure you noticed the strange -5 and -12v numbers. All in all the two powers supplies did very well Mushkin did a little better in its numbers, but the Coolmax was well within range of stability. The “.1” volt differentiation is not going to cause you any problems. When you start seeing full volt drops or peaks you are going to need a new power supply. I was very impressed with the Coolmax’s scores and the fact it is 100% modular and the Mushkin is not. Let’s see the final thoughts:

Conclusion:

Over all the Coolmax was my favorite even though I saw a little more stability in the Mushkin, it was not enough to blow the Coolmax out of the water. I love the fact the cool max is a standard-sized PSU and is 100% modular where as the Mushkin is only partial. Having a clean case is very important to me, cooling is very much affected by a lot of extra cables in the way.

Would I recommend this product? Definitely, this Coolmax 950 Modular Power Supply has exactly what I was looking for in a PSU: modular, standard size, great voltages, impressive efficiency, and the most important fantastic price point. If you are looking for a great PSU for under $200 this is your product of choice.

Pros:

  • Price
  • 100% Modular
  • Standard size
  •  84% Efficiency
  • Xeon Connectors
  • Monster Cooling Fan

Cons:

  • Could Use a Shiny Top Coat Like Mushkin for Case Modders

Recent Posts