Ultra X2 750 Watt Extreme Edition Modular Review

ajmatson - 2007-12-21 15:31:31 in Power Supplies
Category: Power Supplies
Reviewed by: ajmatson   
Reviewed on: January 14, 2008
Price: $129.99

Introduction:

If you are like me there are three things that you look for in a power supply. First, is the amount of power that the unit will put out efficiently. Second is the number of connections to run everything you need. Last is the easiness that the power supplies cables allow for cable management. One power supply that meets all of these needs and then some is the Ultra X2 750 watt Extreme Edition Modular power supply.

The Ultra X2 750W Extreme Edition takes a twist on power supply design. Ultra Products are known for their modular designs and with the X2 series they have added the FlexForce Cable design for better airflow, cable management and overall aesthetics. The Ultra X2 750W delivers the necessary power to juice any component you need in today's systems. With that being said lets take a look at the Ultra X2 750W Extreme Edition closer up.

 

Closer Look:

The Ultra X2 750W EE comes packaged in a tough black and gold colored box that has a big X2 logo on the front with a lightning bolt on the "X" showing extreme power. The front, back, and sides have logos highlighting the features of the Ultra X2 750W.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The top of the packaging is where they place stuff you want to know. Here is where they place the details of the Ultra X2 750W. The information shows the output for each of the rails, total power output, efficiency, and input specifications.

 

Opening the box gives us two surprises. First, is the X2 750W unit itself and the second is the goodie box of cables. The X2 is carefully packaged in styrofoam to keep it safe in transit. Inside the accessory box there are the cables, the manual, main power cable, and power supply screws.

 

 

Closer Look:

This Ultra X2 750W Extreme Edition is the Titanium version. This makes it very shiny and will look good in a case with a window but it will show fingerprints galore and may be too reflective for some people. Ultra also has a version with UV reactive windows and fan on it, if that is your flavor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The front of the Ultra X2 750W is where the modular cables get plugged into. There are connection slots for one main 24-pin cable, one 4-pin, one 8-pin CPU cable, two 6-pin pci-e cables, two SATA cables, and five 4-pin molex cables. The back side has the main power cable for plugging it into the wall, the power selector switch, and the on/off switch. Notice the grill style back which allows maximum airflow for air to escape the X2 and away from the computer case.

 

 

Turning the X2 around to the side there is a label that again shows the voltages of each of the rails, as well as the Quality Control stickers. Looking at the bottom you can get a glimpse of the huge 120mm fan that pulls in air from inside the computer case and expels it out of the back of the unit cooling the insides and removing warm air from inside the computer.

 

 

Now that you have gotten a look at the outside let's open it up and take a look at where all of the magic takes place. Before I begin I would like to stress that not only does opening the X2 or any other power supply void your warranty, but it is extremely dangerous, which is why I am going to do it so you do not have to. Once the screws are removed and the two halves separated you can see the inside with the 120mm fan and the components of the Ultra X2 750W.

 

The 120mm fan on the X2 is a low noise fan but it does a great job at cooling the X2. Inside the X2 there is an ample amount of room between components and the casing allowing the air to pass over critical components keeping them at cool operating temperatures.

 

 

Two things of note are the size of the capacitors on the Ultra X2, which are the dangerous part of the unit, so steer clear from to avoid harm. The X2 also has a protection system built into it that protects you from Short Circuits, In-Rush Currents, and Thermal Overloading cutoff.

 

Closer Look:

Now that you have seen the X2 in all of its glory, let's take a look at the cables. Again the design of the cables are the new FlexForce which allow for easy routing through your case and better airflow. The Ultra X2 750W EE comes with enough cables to power anything that you might need. Sadly though, the X2 does not support the 8-pin PCI-e connector so you will have to use the two 6-pin cables to power a graphics card needing the 8-pin connector, like the ATI 2900 cards.

First up are the main power connectors. There is the 20+4 ATX power connector which allows you to pull of the last four pins for legacy motherboards that only require 20-pins. There is also the 4-pin CPU power cable that is used on older boards, a lot of AMD boards, and the 8-pin CPU cable for most Intel boards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For peripherals the Ultra X2 does not hold back. There are enough connectors for everything you need including 4-pin molex for devices, SATA drives, PCI-e cards, floppy drives, and even for your case fans to keep everything nice and cool.

 

 

 

Below I have included a table with the amount of connectors available as well as the length of each one so you can reference it with the needs of you system prior to purchasing one.

Qty

Cable Description

Length (inches)

1

20+4 Pin Motherboard Connector

19

1

4 Pin +12V Motherboard Connector

19

1

8 Pin EPS Connector

19

2

6 Pin PCI-Express Connectors

19.5

1

5 Pin SATA Power Cable

21.5

1

4 Pin Power Cable

25

1

4 Pin Power Cable

7.5

2

4 Pin Power Cable with Floppy power connector

18

1

Y Cable with 2 5 Pin SATA Connectors

21.5

2

Y Cable with two 4-Pin Connectors

19

1

4 Pin Power Cable with Floppy power connector

3.5

1

12.5" 4 Pin Power Cable with 3 cooling fan connectors

12.5

Installation:

Installation of a power supply is one of the easiest component swaps that I have ever done. Before you attempt anything remember to switch off the old power supply and unplug the computer from the wall. For my case, which is the Ultra M998 Mid-Tower Case, you can remove the top panel to gain access to the power supply bay. Unplug and unscrew the old power supply and remove it from the bay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the old unit is removed, take the Ultra X2 750W EE and slide it into place in the power supply bay. Place the holding screws into the unit making sure it is nice and secure.

 

 

Once the Ultra X2 is secure, take the cables that are required for you system setup, and connect them to the power supply. After you connect them to the Ultra X2, then connect them to the motherboard and devices. Once everything is connected and in place, replace the main power plug to the computer and turn it on. If everything was done correctly all should boot up fine.

 

Specifications:


Model Number:
X2 750W ATX - Titanium
Total Power Output:
750W (Full Load, Nominal Input Voltage)
Dimension (W / H / D):
150 x 180 x 86 (mm)
Input Voltage:
115V/230V
Input Current:
11.5A (RMS) @ 115Vac / 6.5A (RMS) @ 230Vac
Input Frequency Range:
50-60Hz
Efficiency:
72% Typical at Full Load and Nominal Input Voltage
Number of 12V Rails:
Dual
Certification:
NVIDIA SLI-ready / 80 Plus
Fan:
Low Acoustic 120mm Ultra Fan

 

Features:

 

Specs and Features taken from the Ultra Website @ http://www.ultraproducts.com/product_details.php?cPath=61&pPath=666&productID=666

Testing:

Now I am ready to see how the Ultra X2 EE holds up during testing and then compared to two similar power supplies from different manufacturers. I am going to be comparing the Ultra X2 750W Extreme Edition against the Sigma Shark 635W PSU and the Cooler Master Real Power Pro 750W PSU to see how it holds up during idle and when it has a full load on it. The Ultra X2 EE and the Sigma Shark both have Dual Rail technology while the Cooler Master 750W has Quad Rails. Will this make a difference in stability? Let's find out.

To load the Ultra X2 750W Extreme Edition, I added two extra hard drives with IDE interfaces, an extra video card, an extra optical drive, and four total fans. Then I ran Prime95, AVG Anti-Virus, a DVD movie, and looped 3DMark06 to stress the system as much as possible.

 

Testing Setup:
 
Power Supplies Tested:
 
Testing Equipment:

 

First up are the 3.3 voltages. Remember you want to be as close to the 3.3v as possible.

 

Now we have the 5.0 volts

 

And lastly for the 12 volt rails.

Not once did the Ultra X2 ever go below the rated voltages. Even with having less rails then the Cooler Master 750W it held up and came out with the closest voltage readings to what they should be.

Conclusion:

Despite the very reflective surface that attracts smudges and finger prints very easily I was very pleased with the Ultra X2 750W Extreme Edition. Even with less rails than the Cooler Master Power Pro it held true to the power ratings specified. The modular design is a must these days in my book because, with all of the heat generated in a top end system, better the airflow means better the performance. Combined with the FlexForce cables, cooling is not going to be a problem with the Ultra X2. With looks and the right amount of power, the Ultra X2 750W Extreme Edition is a clear winner. Whether you are upgrading you current system or building a new one from scratch I would highly recommend the X2, it will not leave you needing more power for those future upgrades.

The big drawback of the X2 and the reason I did not give it a Gold Award is the lack of support for 8-pin PCI-e connections. Even though most graphics cards on the market do not require it, the fact that there are some that do, I feel Ultra should at least have an adapter available for purchase that will allow the 8-pin ability to the X2. Other than that you will never have a problem powering every component you have.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: