Ultra X3 600 watt Modular Review

Makaveli - 2007-02-19 22:52:11 in Power Supplies
Category: Power Supplies
Reviewed by: Makaveli   
Reviewed on: December 6, 2007
Ultra
Ultra
Price: $103.64

Introduction:

With all that new hardware from the holidays coming so soon, you might be looking for a new power supply. But finding the ideal power supply isn't an easy task. What is the ideal power supply you may ask? The ideal power supply doesn’t have fluctuating voltages, has enough wattage to completely support your rig, and it doesn’t completely empty out your wallet. So where do we look to find a power supply that is tailored to these pre-defined specifications?

Let’s see if the new Ultra X3 600watt Modular power supply has these attributes. It’s nice that this Ultra X3 is a modular power supply. This means that you only plug in the cables you need to power your computer, which is vital for anyone looking to manage their cables and clean up their case, as it allows you to cut out the unnecessary cables. I know that I don’t use anywhere near all of the cables in my current power supply, so it’ll be exciting to see what this modular power supply can do in regards to cable management within my case. Join me as I thoroughly investigate this Ultra X3 Modular power supply.

 

Closer Look:

The Ultra X3 600watt Modular power supply comes packaged in a sealed black box that is sleeved by an outer layer which displays the basic information about the product. The top of this box opens up to give you a sneak-peak of the power supply and the cables.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you remove the shell, you’ll be presented with a nice big black box. Inside, you’ll find a small box resting on top of the Ultra X3 600watt Modular power supply. I was happy to see the Styrofoam securely bracing the X3 against any rough shipping.

 

 

Let’s take the X3 600watt out of the box so that we can get a better look at the unit.

Closer Look:

I was impressed when I unwrapped the Ultra X3 600watt Modular power supply, because of the way it looks. This unit features a black chrome finish that is extremely reflective. The only downside to this, is that fingerprints will show very easily on the finish. On one side of the power supply you’ll find a vent that should help hot air escape from the unit. The specifications sticker is on the other side of the power supply. All of the modular connections are on the front of the power supply and you’ll find a 24-pin connector, six 4-pin Molex connectors, one 4-pin motherboard connector, two 6-pin PCI-e connectors, two SATA connectors and one 8-pin connector. The back side of the power supply is almost completely mesh - which is a good thing because it will allow plenty of air through it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I am going to open up the power supply to see what’s inside. Remember, once you open up the power supply, you void the lifetime warranty. So instead of opening yours up, let us do it for you. The power supply features a couple of heatsinks as well as a 135mm fan to disperse the heat manufactured by the X3. The X3 also has a single 12 volt rail, which is quite uncommon to see in power supplies today.

 

 

 

Just behind the modular connectors, is where you’ll find the circuit board that distributes the power to each of the connectors.

 

 

Now that we have a good idea about how this power supply is built, let’s examine the accessories and cables.

Closer Look:

Remember the small box that was resting on top the power supply when we first opened the box? Well, inside that box is where you’ll find the cables, instructions and mounting screws. The bundle of cables was pretty big – much bigger than I anticipated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cables included use the new “Flex Force” technology which allows them to be extremely flexible. I found that the cables were very long which is much better to have than cables that don’t stretch that far. I also noticed that some of the cables have labels on either end to tell you which end goes to the power supply.

 

 

 

To give you a better idea about these cables, here's a table from Ultra's website describing which cables are included, how long they are and how many are included.

Qty

Cable Description

Length (inches)

1

24 Pin Motherboard Connector

19.5

1

4 Pin +12V Motherboard Connector

19.5

1

8 Pin EPS Connector

19.5

2

6 Pin PCI-Express Connectors

19.5

2

5 Pin SATA Power Cable (3 Devices)

25.5

2

5 Pin SATA Power Cable (2 Devices)

21.5

1

4 Pin Power Cable (2 Devices)

23.5

2

4 Pin Power Cable (2 Devices + 2 Floppy)

29.5

1

4 Pin Power Cable (3 Devices)

23.5

1

4 Pin Power Cable (1 Device)

7.5

1

3 Pin Fan Connector (3 Devices)

25.5

 

Now let's move on and install this unit!

Installation:

Installing the Ultra X3 is almost like installing any other power supply. First, remove your current power supply. Then, depending on your case, attach the back plate included with your case to the X3 and place it into its new home. Once the X3 is installed securely into place, attach the necessary cables and connect them to your hardware. Be sure to read each end of the cables, because they tell you which end goes to the power supply. After everything is plugged in, go ahead and power up your system!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything is installed, so that means we’re almost ready to test the Ultra X3!

Specifications:

Max Output Current
+5V
+3.3V
+12V
-12V
+5VSB
32A
28A
36A
0.6A
2.5A
Max Combined Wattage
160 W
432 W
7.2 W
12.5 W
580 W
19.7 W
600 W

 

Features:

Specificatios taken from Ultra's website.http://www.ultraproducts.com/product_details.php?cPath=97&pPath=632&productID=637

Testing:

To test the Ultra X3, I’m going to be using a digital multimeter to measure the voltage for the 5v, 3.3v lines as well as the 12v line. I will take readings at idle and load. To get the system at full load, I’ll be running Stressprime 2004 Orthos Edition, to stress both the CPU and memory, Futuremark’s 3DMark06 Professional will be running to stress the video card and HDTune will be used to stress the hard drives. I also have two 125mm fans and one 250mm fan that will be running during both tests. During the tests, it’s not good to see the volts fluctuating; you want to see the volts stay as close to 12.0V, 5.0V, and 3.3V as possible.

Testing Setup:

Testing Tool:

 

As you can see, each of these power supplies did very well except for the XG Vortec, which fluctuated a fair amount.

Conclusion:

The Ultra X3 600watt modular power supply did everything it was prescribed to do. It did not fluctuate at all, even when it was under heavy load. This is the smallest power supply that I’ve ever had in my case – it barely took up any room. I was very impressed with the black chrome finish on this unit, because it looks extremely attractive within the case. The only downside to this is that it fingerprints really easily and I’m not looking forward to cleaning this power supply each time I touch it. This is my first modular power supply and I can say that I will never go back after I’ve had this unit. It makes cable management so easy, because you don’t have a bunch of cables hanging around that you never use. The flex-force cables are very easy to bend and make it even easier to manage your cables. The 135mm fan surprisingly wasn’t noticeable, even while the power supply was under load. On top of everything, this power supply from Ultra is backed with a lifetime warranty. If you’re looking for a solid and dependable power supply, but you don’t need an insane amount of wattage, don’t look past the Ultra X3 600watt power supply.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: