Ultra X3 800 Watt Modular Review

Makaveli - 2007-08-08 18:28:31 in Power Supplies
Category: Power Supplies
Reviewed by: Makaveli   
Reviewed on: December 17, 2007
Price: $183.53

Introduction:

Does your power supply have enough watts to fully support your computer? Do you have room to upgrade your components and not worry about lacking the watts to power everything? Is it easy to manage your cables within your computer? Are there no unused cables from your power supply dangling in your case? If you’ve answered “No” to any of the above questions, it’s time to upgrade to something that will fulfill all of your current and future needs. Let’s take a look at the all new Ultra X3 800 watt modular power supply to see what it’s capable of.

A modular power supply is the new style of power supplies, in which the user connects only the cables they need to the power supply. This can greatly improve cable management inside your case. Now it’s time to see if this Ultra X3 800 watt modular power supply has what it takes. Will it succeed in fulfilling those attributes we listed? Will it be stable and consistent? Join me as I thoroughly break down everything about the Ultra X3 800 watt modular power supply.

Closer Look:

The Ultra X3 came packaged in a fairly large box that had the product name printed in large gold letters, on the front and back. The top of the box has a flap that, when lifted, displays the X3, specifications of the unit, as well as the modular cables it features.

I realized that this outer layer is a shell for the box that actually holds the Ultra X3 unit. Once you open the box under this shell, you’ll find a smaller black box lying on top of a securely packaged X3.

Now let’s unwrap the Ultra X3 800 watt modular power supply and see what it’s made of!

Closer Look:

Wow! What a finish on this power supply! The X3 has an extremely nice, but very reflective, black chrome finish. The only downside to this is that it fingerprints easily. The Ultra X3 600 watt power supply (OCC Review) has a vent on one side of it, so I was thinking that there’d be a vent somewhere on this X3 800 watt. I was wrong; there is no vent on this side of this unit. There is a sticker of the specifications on one side of the power supply. The back of this X3 800 watt is almost all mesh – allowing air to flow freely. The front of the unit is where you’ll find the connectors for the modular cables. You’ll find one 24-pin connector, one 4-pin motherboard connector, one 8-pin motherboard connector, four 6-pin connectors, two 5-pin SATA connectors, and six 4-pin connectors.

The next thing I’m going to do is open up the power supply. Do not try this with your unit because you will void the lifetime warranty. Inside you’ll find two heatsinks in the middle of the power supply and a 135mm fan to help ventilate the unit. Like the Ultra X3 600 watt, this unit features a single 12 volt rail which is very unique.

Behind the modular connectors, you’ll find the circuit board that distributes each of the connectors’ power. So you can get an idea for how this power supply stacks up against the X3 600watt, here are comparison photographs of the two next to each other; the 800watt is on the left and the 600 watt is on the right. The X3 800 watt has a few inches over the 600 watt in length.

Now that we've thoroughly examined the Ultra X3 800 watt, let's take a closer look at the included accessories and cables!

Closer Look:

The box that was resting on top of the Ultra X3 800 watt power supply, when we first unpacked the unit, is where you’ll find all of the cables and accessories. Included with the cables are the instruction manual, mounting screws, and the power cable to go from the outlet to your X3.

These cables that come with the X3 use the new “Flex Force” technology. This allows them to be extremely flexible – which will help tremendously with your cable management. I was happy to see that these cables were very long – much longer than my previous power supplies.

Below is a table that explains which cables are included with the X3 800 watt model. This table can be found on Ultra’s website.

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

4

6 Pin PCI-Express Connectors

19.5

2

8 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

Can we install it already?! Let's install this power supply now, so that we can move on to the much anticipated testing.

Installation:

To correctly install this power supply, first, power down and unplug your computer. Remove your current power supply from your case. Next, attach the power supply back plate that was included with your case and put the X3 into its correct spot within your case. Then, attach only the cables you need to power your system and plug in the power supply. Make sure that you read the labels on either end of the cables to make sure you plug specific ends into the X3.

With everything correctly installed, let’s power up the computer and run some tests!

Specifications:

AC Input

115V/230V 10A/6A 60/50Hz

Max Output Current

+5V

+3.3V

+12V

-12V

+5VSB

28A

24A

55A

0.8A

3A

800W

Max

Combined

Watts

160W

660W

9.6W

15W

782W

19.7W

800W

Features:

-Taken from Ultra's website.

Testing:

In order to test this Ultra X3 800 watt power supply, I’m going to be using a digital multimeter to measure the 3.3v and 5v lines as well as the 12v line at both load and idle. To achieve a full system load, I’ll be running Stressprime 2004 Orthos Edition to stress the CPU and Memory, 3DMark06 Professional to stress the video card, and HDTune to stress my three hard drives. This power supply will also be powering two 125mm fans and a 25cm fan – all on the highest setting. It’s desirable to have the volts stay as close to 3.3v, 5.0v, and 12.0v as possible; fluctuating volts are the last thing you want to see.


Testing Setup:

Testing Tool:

The Ultra X3 800 didn't fluctuate much at all. I almost expected it to fluctuate more because of how many watts it's pushing.

Conclusion:

The Ultra X3 800 watt modular power supply did very well in my book. The voltages never fluctuated much at all, which was surprising considering the demand that was placed upon the power supply. So many power-hungry components of mine were fed adequately and still had plenty of leftovers. That’s what I like to see from a power supply. This definitely tells me that I have plenty of room to keep adding components and upgrading my system down the road, without having to get a new power supply. Having a modular power supply is amazing because it truly makes cable management so much easier when there aren't any cables hanging around that you don’t use. The “Flex Force” technology that the cables feature is nice to have as well because it makes it extremely easy to bend the cables and keep them bent. Also, the black chrome finish on the unit is amazing. To have such a nice power supply backed by a lifetime warranty, it’s a no-brainer to pick one of these new Ultra X3 800 watt modular power supplies up!

Pros:

Cons: