Ultra LSX 750W Power Supply Review

paulktreg - 2010-11-10 14:50:48 in Power Supplies
Category: Power Supplies
Reviewed by: paulktreg   
Reviewed on: December 1, 2010
Price: $139.99

Introduction:

Why isn’t the power supply given the same careful consideration I see time and time again when forum members are seeking advice on other parts for their next build? Many members do appreciate the benefits of a good quality power supply, but you’ll still see many forum signatures containing high end hardware in combination with some of the cheapest power supplies on the market. The sad thing is, they usually give years of relatively trouble free operation, but push them at your peril. Next time you have a minute or two, have a look at one or two cheap generic power supplies in the 600W range and you’ll notice they rarely have more than one 6-pin PCI-E connector. I’ve just had a look on the website of one of the major UK computer parts suppliers and they offer a 700W power supply, with one 6-pin PCI-E connector, for only £23.00, and it’s a hot seller. Unbelievable! This tells me the manufacturers of these units would prefer you didn’t fully load them and to assist you they only offer one 6-pin PCI-E connector so you can’t! The strength of the +12V rail and their inability to supply their full rated load at realistic working temperatures are the problem. The manufacturers of high end 600-700W units are confident they won’t fizz if fully loaded and to that end, they are often supplied with four or more 6-pin PCI-E connectors so you can fully utilize every available watt. Next time you require a power supply, give it a little thought and don’t put your expensive hardware at risk, however small that may be. Will the next power supply reviewed by OCC be the one for you? Read on and let's find out.

Ultra Products come under the umbrella of Systemax Inc., whose world headquarters are situated in New York, USA. Ultra Products offers a wide range of products from computer cases, memory and power supplies to its complete Scout SLI Gamer systems. This time around, I’m going to look at one of its power supplies, the Ultra LSX 750W. The Ultra LSX 750W, according to the website, is an advanced and affordable unit aimed at satisfying your system’s power needs. The unit is 80 Plus Bronze certified and comes with a limited lifetime warranty, but how does it perform? Let’s find out.

Closer Look:

The Ultra LSX 750W power supply packaging, with its combination of mirror finish silver, blue and black, looks the part and will certainly get it noticed. The front face of the box carries a photograph of the power supply, along with some of the main features with small illustrative photographs, as well as NVIDIA SLI Ready and limited lifetime warranty logos. The rear face of the box carries another power supply photograph along with the accessories set, a specification table, and AC input requirements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ultra LSX 750W ATX power supply model details on the top face and a plain mirror finish silver base.

 

 

The side panels of the box give information on the connector type and quantities, accessories, and some of the main features in both English and French to no doubt cater to the Canadian market.

 

 

Lifting the lid, the user manual sits on top of a foam protector that includes a cutout to house the accessories under a clear plastic lid. The power supply sits underneath the foam neatly wrapped in a plastic bag with the power cord and captive cable set bound and tucked neatly to the side. You’ll probably notice at this point that the Ultra LSX 750W power supply isn’t modular and all the cables reminded me very much of the Corsair TX750W.

 

 

Bag bound power supply along with the full box contents, which includes user manual, anti-vibration mounting gasket, cable ties, Velcro straps, and a choice of standard chrome or black thumb mounting screws.

 

 

The Ultra LSX 750W power supply is very well packaged and comes with a great set of accessories. All’s good so far so let’s move on.

Closer Look:

The smooth satin black finish to the Ultra LSX 750W power supply will show fingerprints and scratch easily, but it still looks the part.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rear face of the power supply shows the IEC mains input connector, large mains on/off rocker switch, and the exhaust grill, which fully utilizes all the remaining space. The cable exit port is lined with a plastic grommet to prevent damage to the cables, which are fully sleeved all the way into the power supply.

 

 

Nothing much to see on the side panels apart from the ventilation grills, which will introduce a little warm air back into the enclosure.

 

 

The bottom face of the power supply carries a comprehensive specification label along with 80 Plus, ATI Crossfire X, NVIDIA SLI Ready, and lifetime warranty logos, as well as a selection of production/test stickers. The large 135mm black cooling fan is covered with a black wire grill bearing a black and silver Ultra LSX logo at its center.

 

 

The Ultra LSX 750W isn’t modular, which means the cable set looks a little messy. However, with a little thought and careful cable management, this shouldn’t prove too much of a problem in all but the smallest of enclosures. The black mesh sleeving is secured with cable ties and heat shrink, which should keep things in place.

 

The 135mm cooling fan bears the Ultra brand, but the DFS132512H model number suggests it is manufactured by Young Ling Tech and part of its 12V high speed range. The printed circuit board is neatly laid out and uses a combination of solid state and 105 °C electrolytic capacitors.

 

 

The two vertically mounted DC to DC convertors shown in the photographs for the 3V3 and 5V rails are becoming more and more popular and are no doubt part of the drive for higher efficiencies. The cable entry points onto the printed circuit board are particularly tidy, which shows a certain level of care at the build stage. I couldn't find any information on the printed circuit board that pointed toward a particular manufacturer, but the E239028 number points toward Andyson International being the OEM.

 

 

The Ultra LSX 750W power supply is well packaged with a good set of accessories. The build quality is on a par with other power supplies in its class and the black printed circuit board appears well built. Let’s move on and see how well it performs.

Specification:

 

Review Sample: Ultra LSX 750W Power Supply, Part Number U12-40874.

 

Ratings Table:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ultra LSX 750W (U12-40874) Power Supply Specification Table
AC Input
115-230V     12-8A     50-60Hz
DC Output
+3V3
+5V
+12V
-12V
+5VSB
Maximum Load
24A
30A
58A
0.5A
3A
Maximum Combined
Wattage
150W
696W
6W
15W
729W
21W
750W

 

System Protection:

 

The only information available for the Ultra LSX 750W power supply is for over-voltage.

Ultra LSX 750W (U12-40874) Power Supply Over-Voltage Protection
Rail
Trip Point (Maximum)
3V3
4.8V
5V
7.0V
12V
17V

 

Safety & Agency Approvals:

 

CE, CB, UL 1950, IEC 60950 & FCC Class B.

 

Power Supply Weight:

 

Power Supply Weight
Manufacturer/Model
Weight
Ultra LSX 750W/U12-40874
2.4kg
5.3 lbs

 

Power Supply Connectors:

 

Ultra LSX 750W (U12-40874) Power Supply Connectors
Connector Type
Qty
Motherboard 20/24-Pin
1
EPS12V 8-Pin
1
ATX12V 4-Pin
1
PCI-E 6+2-Pin
4
SATA Power 15-Pin
8
Peripheral 4-Pin
6
FDD 4-Pin
1

 

Power Supply Cable Lengths:

 

Ultra LSX 750W (U12-40874) Power Supply Cable Set
Cable Type
Cable Length/Connector Spacing’s
Qty
Captive
PSU > 22" > Motherboard 24-Pin
1
Captive
PSU > 22" > EPS12V 8-Pin > 6" > ATX12V 4-Pin
1
Captive
PSU > 22" > PCI-E 6+2-Pin > 6" > PCI-E 6+2-Pin
2
Captive
PSU > 18" > SATA > 6" > SATA > 6" > SATA > 6" > SATA
2
Captive
PSU > 18" > Peripheral > 6" > Peripheral > 6" > Peripheral
1
Captive
PSU > 18" > Peripheral > 6" > Peripheral > 6" > Peripheral > 6" > FDD
1

 

Features:

The Ultra LSX 750W power supply doesn't include a feature list, so the information below is drawn from the user manual and packaging.

Testing:

For more information on how we test our power supplies, please browse our testing methodology.

 

Short Circuit Protection:

I short circuited the 3V3, 5V0 and the 12V rails in turn. The power supply did shut down, and once the short was removed and the unit switched off for at least one second, resumed normal operation. Although listed here at the beginning of the testing section, I tend to leave this test until the very end, in case it doesn't quite go as planned.

 

DC Output Voltage Load Regulation:

 

Mains Input Voltage 110VAC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ultra LSX 750W (U12-40874) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 110VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Measured Voltage(V)
3V3
3.45
5V0
5.13
+12V
12.30
-12V
11.66
5VSB
5.20
Total PSU DC Loading = 0W (0% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Ultra LSX 750W (U12-40874) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 110VAC/50Hz
PSU
DC Rail
Rail Loading Amps (A)
Rail Loading Watts (W)
Measured Voltage (V)
ATX12V V2.2 Limits (V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.26
11.21
3.44
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V
4.88
25.03
5.13
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V
7.75
95.32
12.30
11. – 12.6
Pass
-12V
0.34
3.89
11.44
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
2.06
10.16
4.93
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total PSU DC Loading = 146W (19% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Ultra LSX 750W (U12-40874) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 110VAC/50Hz
PSU
DC Rail
Rail Loading Amps (A)
Rail Loading Watts (W)
Measured Voltage (V)
ATX12V V2.2 Limits (V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
8.61
29.70
3.45
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V
4.87
24.88
5.11
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V
26.88
330.35
12.29
11. – 12.6
Pass
-12V
0.34
3.93
11.58
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
2.05
10.13
4.94
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total PSU DC Loading = 399W (53% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Ultra LSX 750W (U12-40874) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 110VAC/50Hz
PSU
DC Rail
Rail Loading Amps (A)
Rail Loading Watts (W)
Measured Voltage (V)
ATX12V V2.2 Limits (V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
8.46
28.93
3.42
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V
15.24
77.88
5.11
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V
52.08
639.00
12.27
11. – 12.6
Pass
-12V
0.35
4.12
11.79
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
1.99
9.79
4.92
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total PSU DC Loading = 760W (101% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Mains Input Voltage 230VAC

 

 

Ultra LSX 750W (U12-40874) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 230VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Measured Voltage(V)
3V3
3.45
5V0
5.13
+12V
12.31
-12V
11.66
5VSB
5.19
Total PSU DC Loading = 0W (0% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Ultra LSX 750W (U12-40874) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 230VAC/50Hz
PSU
DC Rail
Rail Loading Amps (A)
Rail Loading Watts (W)
Measured Voltage (V)
ATX12V V2.2 Limits (V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.26
11.25
3.45
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V
4.84
24.83
5.13
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V
7.78
95.69
12.30
11. – 12.6
Pass
-12V
0.34
3.89
11.46
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
2.06
10.18
4.94
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total PSU DC Loading = 146W (19% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Ultra LSX 750W (U12-40874) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 230VAC/50Hz
PSU
DC Rail
Rail Loading Amps (A)
Rail Loading Watts (W)
Measured Voltage (V)
ATX12V V2.2 Limits (V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
8.58
29.60
3.45
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V
4.88
24.94
5.11
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V
26.79
329.25
12.29
11. – 12.6
Pass
-12V
0.34
3.93
11.58
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
2.05
10.08
4.92
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total PSU DC Loading = 398W (53% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Ultra LSX 750W (U12-40874) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 230VAC/50Hz
PSU
DC Rail
Rail Loading Amps (A)
Rail Loading Watts (W)
Measured Voltage (V)
ATX12V V2.2 Limits (V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
8.57
29.30
3.42
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V
14.91
76.19
5.11
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V
52.03
638.93
12.28
11. – 12.6
Pass
-12V
0.35
4.13
11.80
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
1.99
9.77
4.91
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total PSU DC Loading = 758W (101% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

The DC output voltage load regulation of the Ultra LSX 750W power supply is excellent. The 3V3 rail is a little high, but still remained within the limits set down by the ATX12V V2.2 specification. No problems here, so let's move on.

Testing:

Efficiency and Power Factor:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ultra LSX 750W power supply is 80 Plus Bronze certified and claims an efficiency of 85% at typical loads. It marginally failed to meet the required levels for 80 Plus following the OCC power supply testing methodology by one or two percentage points, but as I have said before, I was unable to exactly match the mains input voltage and DC load levels used during 80 Plus testing, so it would be unfair to mark the power supply down in this section. The 80 Plus Bronze requirements for power factor is 0.9 at 50% loading, which is easily met and, in combination with a maximum efficiency of 85%, puts the Ultra LSX 750W power supply on equal par with other power supplies in its class.

 

 

The Ultra LSX 750W power supply produced better efficiency and slightly lower power factor levels when supplied with a mains input voltage of 230VAC, but that's to be expected. I've never seen a power supply awarded 80 Plus status at 230VAC, so it doesn't apply here, but there would be little point - if a power supply passes at 115VAC, it's more or less guaranteed to pass at 230VAC.

 

AC Ripple On DC Outputs:

 

I have consistently found the AC ripple levels on the DC rails to be more or less equal with a 110VAC or 230VAC mains supply. The results given below are for 230VAC only, but I will continue to check the levels at 110VAC during testing and publish them below if there are any significant differences.

 

AC ripple/noise on the +3V3 rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 2mv/div, Timebase = 20uS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the +5V0 rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 2mv/div, Timebase = 20uS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the +12V rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 2mv/div, Timebase = 20uS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the -12V rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 2mv/div, Timebase = 20uS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the +5VSB rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 2mv/div, Timebase = 20uS/div

 

Ultra LSX 750W (U12-40874) AC Ripple/Noise
Supply = 230VAC/50Hz DC Loading = 758W
DC Rail
+3V3
+5V0
+12V
-12V0
+5VSB
ATX12 Max (mV p-p)
50
50
120
120
50
Ripple (mV p-p)
10
10
15
15
15
Pass/Fail
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass

The Ultra LSX 750W power supply exhibited some of the lowest noise/ripple levels I've seen in a while, with the results across the board falling well below the ATX12V V2.2 specified limits. Excellent!

Testing:

Temperature, Noise Levels and Fan Speeds:

I am not going to give a pass or fail in this section, as the ATX12V V2.2 does not really have any references on which to base a decision.

Temperatures are purely for information only, as there are too many variables involved when installed in a case, which, by the way, it wasn't. Ambient temperature, processor cooling efficiency and case cooling fans all play their part on the temperature of the air entering the power supply, and consequently the temperature of the air leaving it. No valid conclusions can be made from this test.

 

Ultra LSX 750W (U12-40874) Temperature & Fan Speeds
Supply = 110VAC/230VAC
DC Loading(W)
Temp In (°C)
Temp Out (°C)
Δ Temp (°C)
Fan Speed (RPM)
0
N/A
N/A
N/A
848/848
146/146
21.9/21.8
25.1/25.4
3.2/3.6
854/859
399/398
22.4/22.3
31.7/32.6
9.3/10.3
1235/1159
760/758
22.8/22.7
29.9/29.8
7.1/7.1
1808/1847

 

The Ultra LSX 750W power supply runs cool at all times and quiet up to 50% loading, but the fan noise does become noticeable when it hits 1800 RPM at full load. However, this isn't a complaint, as it's the norm on most power supplies, and who would install a 750W power supply with the intention of running it at or near full load? The ideal power supply loading has to be 50%, for which you'll enjoy maximum efficiency, lower utility bills, and low fan noise. Like many other power supplies, the Ultra LSX 750W fits the bill.

Conclusion:

 

Price Per the Watt:

Power Supply Ultra LSX 750W at $139.99 = $0.19/Watt (11-2010)

 

Let's first take a look at what I don't like about the Ultra LSX 750W power supply. If Ultra is really serious about producing power supplies for the enthusiast market then it has to stop rating them at a working temperature of 25 °C — 40 °C~50 °C is more realistic. This temperature is of course dependent on the quality of the case cooling, but if a power supply is rated at only 25 °C and reaches a working temperature of 40 °C or more, it will have an impact on its performance. The degree of the impact I am at present unable to measure, but efficiency and DC quality will be degraded to some extent. I don't like to see PCI-E connectors daisy chained on a single cable set because there is always the possibility that one cable with a 6-pin and 8-pin PCI-E connector will be used for a single high end, power hungry graphics card. It's not a configuration you will see on other high end power supplies and may lead to excessive voltage drops.

It's strange that there isn't a feature list on the power supply packaging or in the accompanying literature because it's a very good way of getting across the main points and I'm sure it's the first thing many prospective buyers look for on a product. The manual contains most of the information required by the average user and contains an excellent power supply fitting guide for the novice builder, including photographs.

If I'm being honest, the Ultra LSX 750W power supply performed beyond my expectations. I know from past experience that other Ultra power supplies haven't quite been up there with the best, but the LSX 750W electrical performance is excellent. The DC voltage load regulation, in combination with very low noise/ripple levels, make for very good DC quality on all the rails. The efficiency, though not quite meeting its 80 Plus Bronze certification following the OCC power supply testing methodology, is still very good at 87% maximum. I don't like the PCI-E wiring configuration and the rated working temperature of only 25 °C, but the Ultra LSX 750W power supply produces stable, good quality DC rails. It's a little on the expensive side and there are other 750W power supplies available that are just as good for less money, but you do get a limited lifetime warranty. Despite one or two minor gripes, I have no hesitation in awarding the Ultra LSX 750W power supply the OCC Silver award.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: