Ultra X-Finity 500W APFCNov 9th, 2006 | By Archive
Ultra X-Finity 500W APFC
: 11/9/06 – 06:38:08 PM
: Power Supplies
Page 1 : Introduction
Ultra Components and Technologies
Over the years, Ultra has made quite a name for themselves not only here at Overclockers Online, but throughout the entire computing industry. Based off strong corporate values, innovative products and an excellent warranty behind their products, it is no surprise how popular Ultra has become. Ultra produces an extremely wide range of products from cases, memory modules, MP3 players, cooling products and accessories; the list goes on and on, but most definitely includes power supplies!
Today we are going to take a look at yet another Ultra 500W power supply. Not to be confused with Jody's review of the X-Finity 500W power supply, today's star has active power factor correction, a giant 135mm fan and enclosed within a stylish brushed metal chassis.
Page 2 : Package
When it comes to box art, Ultra has never been the quiet one. This box is designed to scream for attention! While graphically the box is extremely busy looking, all of the usual technical information and specifications are present.
The front of the box clearly shows the product name, output, key specifications, and supported cable types.
The right side of the box repeats most of the information only this time with a numerical total of each type of power cable.
The left side of the box displays even more product information.
Lastly, the back side of the package breaks down the max 500W output into each rail: 5V, 3.3V, 12V1, 12V2, -12V and +5VSB.
Just in case the multiple "life time warranty" prints on the box was not enough, Ultra slapped on a metallic sticker on the opening of the package!
Page 3 : Specifications
Here is what Ultra has to say about their power supply:
1 – 20/24 Pin Motherboard Connector
1 – 4 Pin +12V Motherboard Connector
8 – 4 Pin Molex Connectors
2 – 4 Pin Floppy Power Connectors
2 – PCI Express Connectors
4 – SATA Connectors
1 – 8 Pin EPS Connector
Both 12v rails are fairly strong; 16A and 18A with a combined output of 384W and should be able to handling most modern computer systems. For older systems, the 5V rail is rated for 30A, but only outputs a maximum of 160W combined with 30A on the 3.3V rail. According to Ultra's website these numbers are based off tests in a 25 degrees Celsius environment and with a 110VAC input so when placed in an enclosed computer case actual power output by the power supply may be notably lower.
This power supply also has short circuit protection, in-rush current protection, thermal overload cut-off protection, a rated mean time between failure (MTBF) of approximately 100,000 hours at full load while operating in an ambient condition of 25 degrees Celsius and lastly, FCC/UL recognized.
Speaking of UL recognized, the UL number listed on the power supply label reads
which is registered to Wintech Electronics Corporation, meaning this power supply is manufactured by Wintech for Ultra.
Page 4 : Package Content
Finally, the moment we have all been waiting for!
Immediately the power supply reveals its enormous 135mm intake fan and superb brushed metal finish!
Ultra's FlexForce cables and matte black molex connectors really do look great and should fit nicely with most case themes!
The exterior of a power supply is one thing, but what we are really interested in is the insides. With the screws removed and the warranty void sticker cut the lid can be
The insides are strikingly similar to most Ultra power supplies except for the added active PFC circuit.
A quick search of the model number reveals that the APFC circuit is manufactured by Baron Power LTD.
Aside from the Canicon capacitors, the APFC circuit unfortunately contains a Jee branded capacitor which is found in Ultra's lower end V- series power supply units. This power supply also uses 3 fairly large sized heatsinks, one of which belongs to the APFC circuit.
Ultra uses two 1200 uF Fuhjyyu and assorted Canicon capacitors. Fuhjyyu capacitors are widely known for their lack of tolerance to heat which leads to bulging and leaking. Hopefully Ultra's 135mm fans are sufficient!
The internals certainly are not lacking, but it would be in Ultra's best interest to use better capacitors! However, we can not base judgement solely on capacitors, in the next section we will take a look at how this power supply performs.
Page 5 : Performance and Testing
Usually we would cover installation before testing performance, but today we are going to do things a bit differently. Traditionally we would hook the power supply up into a fairly power hungry system, but we will save that for later. Instead, we are first going to use peltiers to simulate system load. Not only do peltiers act as a more constant load, they are also pretty cool too!
For testing we will be using Tellurex peltiers which are rated for 8.1A with a max voltage input of 16.1V. We will be loading the power supply to 90% of its max capabilities (450W) with two peltiers on each 12V rail totalling 16A or 192W each, 8A on the 5V rail and 8A on the 3.3V rail totalling an a combined total of 66.4W which is almost half of the maximum output of these rails.
In order to evaluate how this power supply performs under stressful environments we will be looking at two sets of tests, a cold test (20°C) and a hot test (45°C). Temperatures will be measured through ventilation holes in the power supply with a digital multi-meter.
Without further delay, let's take a look at the results!
Page 6 : Installation and Testing: Part 2
The same testing methods we covered on the pervious page will still apply here, but before we look at test numbers, we will first cover the installation process.
Earlier we discussed Ultra's FlexForce cables which are designed to be easily managed. For the sake of comparison this is the test system with typical inflexible power cables.
Installation of a power supply is easy, but handling the wires is the tough part! Some cases such as Lian Li's 6x series have a plate which can be attached to the power supply for easy installation and removal. This feature significantly reduces the amount of time it takes to mount a power supply because those who use larger heatsinks may find it difficult if not impossible to fit the power supply into the case without partially disassembling the system.
Now I am a strong believer in clean wiring so I am quite happy with sitting down for an hour or so organizing wires. On top of being extremely picky about wires, I also believe
that modular and flexible cables were merely gimmicks. You can probably imagine how surprised I was with FlexForce cables! I found I no longer had to rely so much on zip ties and Velcro wraps to tame the wires, instead the wires simply co-operated.
DFI LAN Party NF4 Ultra- D
2x 512mb OCZ El Platinum Rev 2 TCCD
Sapphire X800GTO2 @ X850XT PE with Sytrin KuFormula VF1 Plus @ low
2x Seagate 80GB SATA II RAID 0
Seagate 120GB SATA
Lian Li PC65B
80mm Antec exhaust fan @ 5v
120mm Panaflo L1A exhaust fan @ 5v
No intake fans
Page 7 : Conclusion
I think we can safely conclude that this is an excellent power supply. But, performance isn't the only factor that adds up to a power supply, it is an overall balance as well. Today, there are countless high quality power supplies within the 500W range so why choose the Ultra X-Finity 500W APFC power supply? Well the Ultra X-Finity 500W APFC power supply excels in not only performance, but aesthetics and functionality.
At the end of a day, a good product is one which fits the needs of the consumer and most would agree that a grey box with colourful wires is not appealing no matter how well it performs unless budget is a concern. That being said, aesthetics come with a price tag and the Ultra X-Finity 500W APFC is priced slightly higher than competing power supplies. However, if this power supply is high on your list of choices don't feel bad about treating yourself!
Priced slightly higher than competing models
Poor quality capacitors
Overclockers Online would like to thank Ultra for making this review possible.