Recently, the dominance of RGB lighting has reached its conceivable and unimaginable limits. If earlier modders clumsily and with their inherent timidity tried to build at least some kind of illumination into their system blocks, now manufacturers, having understood the prospects of the market, use it left and right. RGB lighting is now everywhere, be it peripherals, all kinds of fans and cooling systems for components, motherboards, memory modules, and even … solid state drives! It remains to build it into processors and the feeling of satisfaction of a real gamer will exceed 100%. Although, stop, but what about power supplies? — you ask. And it has RGB lighting! As, for example, in the Aerocool P7-650W Platinum reviewed today.
Aerocool P7-650W Platinum (ACP-650FP7)
The P7-650W Platinum block belongs to the Project 7 product line, whose representatives we periodically review on the pages of our website. By the way, this series includes not only power supplies, but also cases, cooling systems, lighting controls, gaming chairs on wheels, gaming bean bags (at first it seemed to me that it was an ottoman) and even stationary gaming chairs! It’s a pity there is no game you know what to complement all this diversity … But let’s get back to our ward. It comes in a black oblong box, which contains the technical specifications of the device and its features. It is also indicated that the block was created in collaboration with the famous TechPowerUp resource, and in addition to the 80 Plus certification badge, the user can find a couple more from Cybernetics. This young group is new and is offering more stringent certifications under the reviewer’s methodology with Tom’s Hardware for Energy Efficiency (Eta) and Noise Emissions (Lambda). Compliance badges on packages will have to display not only the product rating, but also a short website address and a QR code, thanks to which the user will be able to get all the comprehensive information about the Eta and Lambda evaluation. This will also exclude the falsification of such markings, which is especially sinful for all kinds of Chinese «non-names». So far, not so many devices have received certification, not only from Aerocool, but it is quite possible that soon we will be able to watch forum battles over who has the best “this” or “lambda”. Our ACP-650FP7 received Eta B and Lambda A ++ (the maximum “grade”), although Eta A is indicated on the certification page. Perhaps an inaccuracy was made when printing the packaging of the sample in question.
In the delivery set, the buyer will receive: a cover for the power supply, instructions, two sets of mounting bolts (one with a knurled head), nylon ties and Velcro ties, an RGB signal control cable (transit), a power cord and a set of detachable cables in a separate case .
Power cables are all detachable:
- one to power the motherboard (61 cm);
- one with one 8-pin CPU power connector (70 cm);
- one with one 8-pin (4+4) CPU power connector (70 cm);
- four with two 8-pin (6+2) connectors for powering PCI-E video cards (60 cm);
- two with three power connectors for SATA devices (60+15+15 cm);
- one with two power connectors for SATA devices and two for IDE (60+15+15+15 cm);
- one with four power connectors for IDE devices (60+15+15+15 cm);
- adapter for powering FDD devices (20 cm).
This is enough to build a system with a large number of various additional equipment, especially since their length will allow this to be done even in a Full-Tower case, and a flat design will make it possible to carefully arrange all the extra wires so that there is no interference with air circulation inside the system unit .
As for the appearance, the device looks very unusual. The top and bottom covers are covered with a metal mesh covering a 140mm RGB fan, and there is a slight perforation on the outer panel to let heated air out.
Given the design of the power supply, a sticker with its characteristics was placed on the inner panel with connectors for detachable cables. By the way, all of them are signed and of a certain size, so when connecting, it will not work to confuse the cables. Next to the last connector for the video card is a connector for connecting an RGB cable with pin designation.
According to its characteristics, the ACP-650FP7 complies with modern standards and is able to deliver almost its rated power through a single +12V line. The combined power of the low-voltage channels is 120 watts — nothing new here either. For the standby voltage and the -12V line, 3 and 0.5 amperes are provided, respectively.
|Max. load current, A||20||20||54||0,5||3|
|Combined power, W||120||548||6||15|
|Total maximum power, W||650|
In addition, active PFC and the ability to work in a wide range of mains voltage are declared. Of the protections are present: from low and high voltage, overload of output lines in terms of power and current. There is an automatic fan speed control.
We disassemble the block and see the Andyson platinum platform, made on the basis of a resonant converter in the high-voltage part and a synchronous converter in the low-voltage part with independent stabilization of the output voltages.
But unlike the original, Aerocool has made some changes to its brainchild — the block is completely devoid of any connecting wires between the board with connectors for detachable cables and the network connector, which is soldered to a small scarf. And if the first is already found everywhere, moreover, even with affordable solutions, then the second is still a rare occurrence.
The block is assembled very high quality, all possible problem areas are smeared with glue. It can even be removed completely from the case and plugged into the network, but, of course, this should not be done.
The input filter contains all the necessary components, even the varistor.
A pair of diode bridges and elements of the APFC module are cooled by a large aluminum radiator with good fins at the end, while the key transistors are content with a thin plate. Considering the circuitry of the block, this should be enough.
For the six transistors of the synchronous rectifier, soldered right under the pulse transformer, a U-shaped plate is provided, which, like the power supply cover with a thick thermal pad, is involved in maintaining an acceptable temperature regime for nearby components. A temperature sensor is leaned against the plate, near the board itself, and is additionally sealed with sealant.
The unit is controlled by the CM6901T6X controller located on the back of the main PCB. You can also find the PS223 monitoring chip there. For active cooling, a separate scarf with a soldered LM324 amplifier is responsible, and the standby voltage is based on the STR-A6069H chip.
Low-voltage converters are implemented on separate boards on which APW7160 PWM controllers are installed.
Given the Lambda A++ badge, our P7-650W Platinum should run very quietly, or even run in silent mode, ie. with the fan turned off, and this imposes certain restrictions on the element base used. But don’t worry — this is just fine. The input circuit contains two Nichicon capacitors of 330uF each with an operating voltage of 420V and a temperature of 105°C. The remaining circuits contain Nichicon and Nippon Chemi-Con capacitances, as well as a few solid capacitors.
A few more containers are present on the board with connectors for detachable cables. The power supply to the connectors for processors and video cards is reinforced with copper tires.
The soldering quality is very good, there are a couple of scratches and «snot», but in general everything is done up to standard.
The device is cooled by a branded fan CD1425L12F, made on the basis of a hydrodynamic bearing with a self-lubricating bushing.
Its blades at the ends have a curve and fins, which, according to the manufacturer, should optimize airflow and increase fan power. It connects with a two-pin connector. Another four-pin connector is designed to control the RGB backlight.
During idle or under light load, the fan was stationary, and even when consuming more than half the power, it spins up to 865 rpm and periodically reaches 1015 rpm. He worked very quietly all the time. The manufacturer himself promises the start of the rotation of the “turntable” after overcoming 80% of the load mark on the block.
The backlight works only when the appropriate cable is connected either to the proprietary Aerocool P7-H1 control unit or to the motherboard and after the necessary software is launched. Otherwise, it is not active.
It is difficult to carry out full testing without an appropriate stand, so the power supplies were tested using a conventional system assembled from the following components:
- processor: Intel Core i7-6700K (email@example.com GHz);
- motherboard: ASUS Maximus VIII Formula (Intel Z170);
- Cooler: Prolimatech Megahalems;
- RAM: HyperX HX430C15PB3K2/16 (2×8 GB, DDR4-3000, 15-16-16-35-1T);
- video cards: GeForce GTX 1080;
- drive: Kingston SSDNow UV400 240GB (240 GB, SATA 6Gb/s).
Testing was carried out in the Windows 10 x64 environment on an open stand. The Valley benchmark was used to create a game load on the system, and LinX 0.6.7 was launched in parallel for additional load.
Also, for maximum load, the following system was assembled:
- processor: Intel Core i7-975 (firstname.lastname@example.org GHz, Bclk 175 MHz);
- motherboard: ASUS P6T7 WS SuperComputer (Intel X58);
- cooler: Noctua NH-D14;
- RAM: Kingston KHX2000C8D3T1K3/6GX (3×2 GB, DDR3-2000@1750, 8-8-8-24);
- video cards: ASUS ENGTX295/2DI/1792MD3/A and Inno3D GeForce GTX 295 Platinum Edition (GeForce GTX 295);
- hard disk: Samsung HD502HJ (500 GB, 7200 rpm, SATA-II).
Here testing was carried out in the Windows 7 x64 HP environment on an open stand. To create a load on the system, we used the simultaneous launch of the LinX 0.6.5 utility and the Tropics benchmark with activated anti-aliasing level 2x and anisotropic filtering 16x, while the video adapters worked in SLI mode. Another test was done running only the Tropics benchmark with 4x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filtering, also in SLI mode.
To measure the total power consumption of the system, the Seasonic Power Angel was used, which can also measure the power factor, voltage and frequency in the network, the consumed current and the amount of energy spent per unit of time. Net power consumption calculated based on 80 Plus certification — i.e. possible efficiency of the device. Errors in such calculations can be 5%. The voltages were checked with a UNI-T UT70D digital multimeter.
In addition, we decided to slightly expand testing by taking temperature readings inside the power supply, fan speed and noise level under a particular load.
The temperature was measured using the Scythe Kaze Master Pro panel, the sensors of which were located on the radiators inside the block and at a distance of 1 cm in front of the fan (#1) and behind the outer wall (#2).
For fan speed results, a UNI-T UT372 non-contact tachometer was used. The maximum speed was fixed for each of the power supply testing modes.
It should be borne in mind that such a technique at this stage is far from ideal and will be supplemented and changed as it is used.
The obtained data are entered in the table. In brackets for voltage are percent deviations from the norm, for power consumption — the approximate net load on the power supply.
|GTX 1080||GTX 1080||GTX 295 SLI (LGA1366)||GTX 295 + GTX 295 (LGA1366)|
|Mode||Idle||Burn, Game+LinX||Burn, Game||Burn, Game+LinX|
|Power consumption, W||34 (~31)||337 (~310)||644 (~580)||785 (~700)|
|Line +3.3V, V||3,35 (+1,5)||3,36 (+1,8)||3,31 (+0,3)||3,3|
|Line +5V, V||5,02 (+0,4)||5,04 (+0,8)||5,02 (+0,4)||5,02 (+0,4)|
|Line +12 (MB), B||12,16 (+1,33)||12,16 (+1,33)||12,14 (+1,16)||12,13 (+1)|
|Line +12 (CPU), V||12,16 (+1,33)||12,15 (+1,25)||12,21 (+1,75)||12,16 (+1,33)|
|Line +12 (VGA1), B||12,16 (+1,33)||12,14 (+1,16)||12,19 (+1,58)||12,20 (+1,66)|
|Line +12 (VGA2), B||12,16 (+1,33)||12,20 (+1,66)||12,17 (+1,4)||12,18 (+1,5)|
|Fan rotation speed, rpm||–||–||864||1015|
|Thermosensor No. 1||26,1||26,6||27,2||27,5|
|Thermosensor No. 3||44,6||51,2||59,1||56,8|
|Thermosensor No. 4||44,8||52||60,4||60,1|
As you can see, there are no serious drawdowns, overestimation of voltages does not even reach 2%. The temperature of the components is also at an acceptable level, only the cover, where the synchronous rectifier transistors transfer heat, was very hot.
Current trends in the personal PC market indicate that RGB backlighting will be a hot topic for a long time when a particular component of a computer system is released. It is already found almost everywhere and, as we saw in this review, even in power supplies. Considering such zeal of manufacturers, it remains only to wait for central processors with a garland of miniature light sources. But, frankly, it would be better for companies to put their efforts into something more meaningful for the end user. For example, for certification under the Cybernetics group’s Lambda program, which will show the future buyer how loud the power supply is being purchased. And if at the moment everything is more or less clear with energy efficiency and the Eta standard of the same organization is only able to more accurately characterize the efficiency of the device, then the classification of the emitted noise level for power supplies will be a good help when choosing the right components in your PC. Whether manufacturers will show interest in Cybernetics certification, only time will tell, but for now, more eminent manufacturers are taking the opportunity and even releasing “new” power supply models, clearly indicating compliance with the highest Eta and Lambda standards.
As for the reviewed Aerocool P7-650W Platinum, this is just an excellent power supply with a good package and minimal noise. Sufficient length and number of various connectors with excellent voltage stabilization allow you to assemble a powerful system in any available case. Given that it was developed together with the TechPowerUp portal, the novelty will be a justified choice for a very demanding user, and the young guard of gamers will appreciate the RGB backlight. Well, if its price of $ 180 seems too high to someone, then there are solutions on the market for a lesser-known brand at a lower cost, but, unfortunately, without additional «chips».