Ultra X-Finity 500W and 600W with FlexForce cables

In the past, Ultra's X-Finity product line was always overshadowed by it's big brother, the X-Connect. The X-Finity was always a capable power supply at a fair price, but it lacked any features that really made it stand out... until now.


This is what the 500W X-Finity looks like from the outside.


This is what the 600W X-Finity looks like from the inside.

Introducing FlexForce cables

FlexForce cables are designed to be easily routed and hidden within your case. Not that traditional cables were hard to hide underneath motherboards and behind drives, but with FlexForce you can easily route the cables without worrying about stragglers or the mass-quantity of zip-ties needed to bundle the wire's you're routing. Also, the FlexForce design eliminates the need for sleeving.


These are FlexForce cables. Flat, sleek and UV reactive.

Ultra claims that the design allows air to to travel 30% more effectively with FlexForce cables than with conventional cables. Of course, if you hide ALL of the cables, you're improving air flow 100%, right?


Finally! A native 24-pin connector. The last four pins peel off for 20-pin users.

The cables also just plain look good. They have a shiny "titanium" finish and are UV reactive.


I said UV reactive, right?

The new X-Finity not only gets an improvement in the way the cables look. Ultra also makes improvements in the cable category by giving us more connectors. This year, Ultra provides us with four SATA connectors, two PCI express connectors, a 24-pin ATX connector, even an 8-pin EPS connector for server board users.

Type of connector:
X-Finity FlexForce 500W
X-Finity FlexForce 600W
ATX connector
24
24
2 x 2 12V connectors
1
1
2 x 3 PCIe
2
2
8-pin Xeon/EPS connector
1
1
6-pin Xeon/AUX connector
0
0
5.25" Drive connectors
8
8
3.5" Drive connectors
2
2
SATA Drive power connectors
4
4
Fan only connectors (thermostatically controlled 12V only)
0
0
*Four of the pins on the ATX connector can be snapped off for legacy ATX applications.

So, enough of the cables. What else changed with this year's version of the X-Finity?

Advertised power output

First, we can see that the 500W unit features a single 120MM fan instead of the two 80MM fans. This should prove to be quieter than the X-Finity has been in the past. We also see that the single 12V rail of the previous X-Finity has been replaced with dual 12V rails.


Here's a shot of the 500W with it's big 120MM fan. The finish is SO reflective, it might as well be clear!


The 600W is still cooled with a pair of 80MM fans.

The 600W still has two 80MM fans. This is because, if the power supply is going to put out a sustained 600W, it's going to need better cooling and nothing is going to provide better cooling than a straight through in-one-end-out-the-other fan arrangement. This time around, the 600W does get a pair of 12V rails like it's 500W little brother.

Speaking of rails... let's take a look at what Ultra puts on the labels of these two power supplies:

Ultra X-Finity 500W
+3.3V
+5V
+12V1
+12V2
-12V
+5VSB
30A
30A
16A
18A
0.6A
2.5A
Max Combined Watts
160W
384W
7.2W
12.5W
481W
19.7W
500W


The label of my 500W unit. UL listing pulls up Wintech as the manufacturer.

Ultra X-Finity 600W
+3.3V
+5V
+12V1
+12V2
-12V
+5VSB
25A
30A
18A
20A
0.8A
2.5A
Max Combined Watts
160W
420W
9.6W
12.5W
580W
20W
600W

The 500W is no doubt impressive. That's 500W of USABLE power. Note that the +3.3V and +5V combined are only 160W. In this day and age, that's all you need. With CPU's regulating their power off the 12V rail and PCI express video cards demanding so much 12V power, you need the bulk of your power on those rails. The 500W can put out 384W on it's two 12V rails combined. The 600W can put out 420W on it's two 12V rails combined! That's even MORE impressive... But now the ever present question... Can it actually DO what the label says it can do. Remember, we've had our share of power supplies that claim to do one thing, but once put to the test can't do what they claim to do... at least not in my 78°F office.

Inside the X-Finity

Inside the shiny "titanium" finish, the difference between the 500W and 600W X-Finity's are HUGE.


500W X-Finity on the left. 600W on the right. The difference in size is almost laughable.

The 500W looks very similar to the previous year's 500W X-Finity. A normal sized power supply by all accounts. Then there's the 600W...


Inside, the 500W X-Finity looks very much the same as it ever did.

This thing is huge! Every aspect of the 600W power supply is large. From the heatsinks to the pair of 1500uF caps. Yet it still requires two 80MM fans to cool itself. That alone tells me what kind of power this thing is capable of doing.


The 600W is absolutely huge. From it's massice heatsinks to it's pair of 1500uF mains caps.

Testing methodology and results

I've changed the methodology around a bit. In the past I was simply loading the power supply up 60, 80 and 100% of it's advertised load. That's certainly effective as a stress test, but I've found that some power supplies exhibit wicked side effects when crossloaded with a heavy +5V load and minimal +12V loads. So we're performing four load tests 60% and up, one crossloaded test, as well as one test with only a load on the +5VSB and another with no load on the power supply.

500W
X-Finity
+12V1
+12V2
+5V
+3.3V
Efficiency
Power Factor
Watt

Low
Load

8A
12.04V
8A
12.02V
10A
5.12V
8A
3.33V
80%
.68
288.8W
 
10A
12.08V
10A
12.03V
14A
5.10V
8A
3.32V
79%
.69
356.8W
 
13A
11.9V
14A
11.87V
14A
5.11V
8A
3.31V
77%
.70
437.8W
High
Load
15A
11.8V
17A
11.75V
14A
5.12V
8A
3.3V
75%
.71
492.8W
5V
Crossload
8A
12.32V
8A
12.32V
25A
4.99
10A
3.29
77%
.70
373W
+5VSB
2.5A Load
44%
.47
12.4W
No Load
64%
.45
12.4W

 

600W
X-Finity
+12V1
+12V2
+5V
+3.3V
Efficiency
Power Factor
Watt

Low
Load

10A
12V
10A
12V
12A
5.1V
10A
3.35V
77%
.73
353W
 
13A
11.96V
14A
11.94V
16A
5.07V
14A
3.31V
75%
.74
468W
 
15A
11.91V
16A
11.89V
18A
5.06V
16A
3.28V
73%
.75
530.8W
High
Load
17A
11.86V
18A
11.84V
20A
5.04V
18A
3.26V
69%
.76
592.9W
5V
Crossload
10A
12.18V
10A
12.15V
20A
5.02V
18A
3.29
75%
.74
421W
+5VSB
2.5A Load
38%
.54
12.4W
No Load
70%
.48
12.4W


The finish is certainly shiny enough.

Analysis of results

Wow. There's a lot to digest back there. Let's start with the 500W power supply.

The 500W X-Finity held it's 12V rails well, even under significant stress. Going from a 192W load on the combined 12V rails to a whopping 384W, the 12V only dropped an average of a mere one quarter of a volt. The crossload test shot the 12V up to an unusually high number. This is what we typically see with crossloaded ATX12V power supplies. It is within spec, and the numbers did not "dance" like some previous power supplies I had crossloaded.

The efficiency was AMAZING. Typically 70% or better is your average power supply. This puppy maintained 75% efficiency even under 100% load! The low load, which is the most realistic for a PC at work, was an amazing 80%. This brings me to the new fan Ultra is using... it was VERY QUIET.

When a power supply is more efficient, it generates less heat and therefore needs less cooling. Even under 100% load, the RPM's of the fan was minimal. I was really impressed.


The 500W has it's 115/230V input selecter on the INSIDE of the case.


The 600W has a very traditional look by today's standards, but houses a lot of power.

The 600W took a beating. There was only a .15V drop going from 240W to 420W. There was only a .1V drop during the first three tests. The crossload test went much better for the 600W unit. The rails held very tight despite the 159.4W load on the 3.3V+5V combined rails.

Efficiency was just average with the 600W unit. It maintained a typical > 70% efficiency, except for when all of the rails were cranked up to 100% when the efficiency dropped to an ugly 69%.

Conclusion

If the 500W had active power factor correction, I would give it a 10. It has plenty of power, looks good, stays cool, is efficient and I absolutely LOVE the FlexForce cables. But due to the lack of power factor, I'm going to give the 500W X-Finity with FlexForce cables a 9.5, which still earns it an SL Central Editor's Choice award.

The 600W could have faired as well, if not better, because of the additional power available and the incredibly stable rails even during crossloads. But because the efficiency was not as good and the two 80MM fans were a bit louder than the 500W's single 120MM, I'm giving the 600W X-Finity with FlexForce cables a strong 9 rating.

SLRating: 9.5/10



Hardware
Reviews, Articles, News, All Reviews...
Gaming
Reviews, Articles, News...
IT Jobs
Career Center, News Users, Login...
Regular Sections
A Guru's World, CPU/Memory Watch, SLDeals...
SLBoards
Forums, Register(Free), Todays Discussions...
Site Info
Search, About Us, Advertise...