Aspire Chameleon 550 Watt PSU Review

Admin - 2007-02-25 10:46:00 in Power Supplies
Category: Power Supplies
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: February 5, 2005
AspireUSA
Price: N/A

Introduction
Today we have another exciting review, and its on the most vital component within a computer. The Aspire Chameleon 550W PSU sounds as promising as it looks, and with today's high-demand power-sucking components, a strong PSU means a strong computer.

Aspire, though not the most mainstream name in PSUs, is one of the leading manufacturers of quality PSU units. As always, we're going to stress it, test it and rip it apart to see what makes this PSU tick, and what, if anything, will make this PSU come to its knees. Without further ado, onto the review.

First Look
All wrapped up in a flashy box, the Chameleon is packed safely inside, as well as a 120mm fan with its own fan controller. Always nice to get extras.
 


Ahhh, I love pre-sleeved PSUs. Just leaps and bounds better looking then unsleeved PSUs.

As you can see, the Chameleon comes with:


In terms of what you can connect to this power supply, its pretty extensive.


All of which are, of course, sleeved. The SATA connectors are a very nice touch as well.

With a closer look at the PSU itself, you'll notice 2 things right away.

1) A nice big 120mm fan doing all the work. Benefit of a big fan instead of multiple small fans is you'll normally get the same or more airflow, with a lot less noise.

2) The walls of the PSU itself are punched through with a grid pattern (for all 4 sidewalls), presumably lending great airflow to the PSU. More on this later.

Looking at the back of the PSU, we see the fan controller for the PSU fan itself, as well as the switch for changing the colour of the fan, and the basic I/O switch and plug (in matching green with the sleeving).
 

Introduction

Today we have another exciting review, and its on the most vital component within a computer. The Aspire Chameleon 550W PSU sounds as promising as it looks, and with today's high-demand power-sucking components, a strong PSU means a strong computer.

Aspire, though not the most mainstream name in PSUs, is one of the leading manufacturers of quality PSU units. As always, we're going to stress it, test it and rip it apart to see what makes this PSU tick, and what, if anything, will make this PSU come to its knees. Without further ado, onto the review.

First Look

All wrapped up in a flashy box, the Chameleon is packed safely inside, as well as a 120mm fan with its own fan controller. Always nice to get extras.


Ahhh, I love pre-sleeved PSUs. Just leaps and bounds better looking then unsleeved PSUs.

As you can see, the Chameleon comes with:

In terms of what you can connect to this power supply, its pretty extensive.

All of which are, of course, sleeved. The SATA connectors are a very nice touch as well.

With a closer look at the PSU itself, you'll notice 2 things right away.
  1.  A nice big 120mm fan doing all the work. Benefit of a big fan instead of multiple small fans is you'll normally get the same or more airflow, with a lot less noise.
  2.  The walls of the PSU itself are punched through with a grid pattern (for all 4 sidewalls), presumably lending great airflow to the PSU. More on this later.

Looking at the back of the PSU, we see the fan controller for the PSU fan itself, as well as the switch for changing the colour of the fan, and the basic I/O switch and plug (in matching green with the sleeving).


 

Closer Look

As per my last PSU review, this would be an excellent place for a warning. If you don't know what you're doing (and most of the time, even if you do) DON'T DO THIS! Taking the cover off voids the warranty (oh gosh no!), but more importantly, even when it isn't plugged in, there's enough juice inside these things to seriously injure, if not kill you. So, take a look at my pictures and keep yer fingers out!



The inside of the Aspire PSU was well laid out, with the green anodized heatsinks right under the flow of the fan, and everything else compacted within. Of course, since you aren't supposed to be opening the PSU anyways, its never the most clean looking thing, but one of the points that really caught my eye were these large flaps of plastic beside the capacitors and the beside the fan. The flap beside the capacitors wasn't a big deal, since they were blocking airflow anyways, but the ones beside and on the fan itself were curious - the plastic was blocking about 1/3 of the fans entire diameter. After a brief look around and finding that the plastic really serves no purpose whatsoever (A VERY small piece was necessary to ensure the fan's wires weren't against the heatsink) this was cut and cleared out pretty quickly. I'm not sure why Aspire went so gung-ho for such a small necessity. Moving on...



Speaking of small things (the small things make the world go round), I noticed another point where Aspire could've done better. Where the sleeved wires come through the PSU wall, the small hole is simply milled steel. With pretty much every other PSU I've dealt with, this hole has a rubber ring around it to prevent wear and tear. On the Chameleon, nothing. Less necessary because of the sleeving, but that attention to detail would have been nice to see.


Installation

As with any PSU, really not hard to install, but I thought I'd give you a look at what difference the sleeving made.


Just looks cleaner, doesn't it?

With the PSUs moniker, the Chameleon, the PSU changes colour of course. Nothing extremely exciting, simply a colour changing fan, but it allows a bit of customization within your case.





Personally, I'd have loved to see an 'off' function for the colour as well. The sleeving with this PSU is UV reactive, but the light from the PSU fan basically drowns that out.

Testing