Tuniq Ensemble 1200W Reviewpaulktreg - June 30, 2008
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The efficency and power factor are good, thus reducing energy consumption. However, the use of any foam packaging these days is unnecessary as there are plenty of environmentally friendly alternatives available that would protect the unit almost as well, such as the egg carton type cardboard, recycled paper padding, etc. This power supply is also heavy, but this is an inevitable consequence of increased power and it all adds up when it comes to shipping and the increased fuel consumption.
Price Per Watt:
Power Supply Tuniq Ensemble 1200W at $289.99 = $0.24/Watt (June 2008)
The most dissapointing thing about the Ensemble is its failure to meet its quoted efficiency. Having said that, 80% is by no means poor and will in no way affect the performance of the Ensemble. The claimed maximum efficiency of 87% seems rather high to me and I suspect some exaggeration on behalf of Tuniq, which I feel we may see from other manufacturers. The minor hiccup on the high +5VSB noise should not cause too much concern, it's only 10mV and most performance motherboards are built to deal with some power supply noise as long as it's not excessive. There are few "perfect" power supplies out there and motherboard designers have to take this into account at the design stage. I would like to point out one major problem with the Ensemble. The 12V1 cable on this power supply consists of three 4-pin molex with an FDD connector to finish off. Most of you will be aware that this consists of only one conductor for the 12V rail, but pull the rated 20A on this rail and you will have problems. The conductor gets hot, the insulation softens and hotspots form on the molex connector. This will probably never be an issue as hard disk drives, CD/DVD drives and floppy disk drives will only ever be powered on this cable, but the potential for failure is there. The gauge of this conductor should have been increased to safely carry the specified 20A current.
The Ensemble is considerably longer than the standard ATX power supply and combined with the quantity and length of the cables, I would strongly recommend this power supply be used in larger cases, not only because of its size but for cable management issues as well. If you are considering it as an upgrade, then please take time to do a few measurements to ensure you have sufficient headroom. I haven't included the cable lengths in this reveiw, but take it from me, you won't come up short in the vast majority of full tower cases available; the single connector 8-pin PCI-E cable, for example, is over 16 inches (500mm) long and multi connector cables over 28 inches (700mm) long.
There really aren't too many real life situations that need a power supply of 1200W. Having said that, if you like a power supply to have plenty in reserve and the knowledge that you will have it for a long time, you could do worse than the Ensemble. Running this power supply in the 400-600W range, for example, will give you around 80% efficiency and peace of mind that you are not stressing it. If it's for an overclocked quad core, multi GPU gaming rig, it will cope admirably with room to spare.
To finish off, I would not hesitate to recommend the Tuniq Ensemble 1200W. Granted, it's not perfect, but it's very close. The DC regulation is excellent and the efficiency, if not as specified, is still very good. A quality, highly stressable, efficient power supply is one of the wisest investments you can make for your PC. You know it will last, save you a few pennies on your electricity bill and give you power in reserve for future upgrades.
- Good selection of connectors and adapters
- Excellent DC voltage regulation
- Active power factor correction
- Quiet operation
- Fan Delay Off Feature
- 100,000 hour MTBF
- Three year warranty
- Large size won't fit some cases
- Efficiency not as advertised
- Electrical noise level on 5VSB rail