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MGE XtremeGamer Magnum 500W PSU

MGE XtremeGamer Magnum 500W PSU Article Author : Ian
Date : 06-29-2005
 

Introduction
Now a days Power Supplies have little room for innovation. Modular, fanless, sleeved wires, shiny paint, lighting, it has all been done. Is there room for any more innovation in the power supply market? XG believes so.


Before I get to the review, I would like to provide some background on XG.

XG has been in the works since the beginning of the new millennium. After hard work and considerable deliberation by MGE developers, we decided to launch the XG brand. Our plan was to create a brand for hardcore PC gamers that would feature a full range of case modding to satisfy a modder's needs. The goal was to create a brand by using the demographics that the brand was aimed at: Gamers. That's right, XG was built BY gamers FOR gamers.

In 2003 XG unleashed onto the community by using more of an underground approach and selling PC accessories and gaming cases.

Focused on a raw and rebellious style, XG reaches out to the gamer audience by luring them with an aggressive look. Aesthetics play an important role as well as exceptional performance in XG products. XG goes out of its way to introduce products that no other competition can compete with.

XG works hard to create products that woo and awe while embedding a sense of style and trendiness to the gaming world. XG strongly believes in quality, performance and unique designs that no other competition can compare or compete to. XG stands for Extreme Gamer. That is what we are all about; giving the best possible product and performance to every Extreme Gamer out there.

Specifications

Contents, features and specifications can be found on XG's website.

100% 2.0mm Aluminum chassis
Magnetically shielded UV cables Rear LCD display with temperature alarm, wattage output and 12v output monitor.
Silent design
LED voltage output meter
Active PFC
Modular cables
24/20 Pin ATX Adapter
500 or 600 watt versions
Powers up to 8 peripherals
Powers 2 SATA drives
watts @ 25C 500w
watts @ 40C 450w
watts @ 50C 300w
Amps +12v @ 15A
Amps +5v @ 30A
Amps +3.3v @ 34A
DBA: +/- 5-10 DBA
Dimensions: W:154 x H: 86 x D: 180 (excluding radiator)

Packaging and Contents

Packaging of power supplies has definitely changed. No longer are they in puny card board boxes, but really huge boxes, with detailed designs, and perfect packaging on the inside to ensure a safe product. The Magnums box is just as large as Hiper's toolbox packaging of the BlueLine.


When you open up the box, you are greeted first by yet another box. This box houses all the cables and screws. Under that box you find the manual and foam packaging, keeping the Magnum from moving around and being damaged.



XG has included a load of cables, since the power supply unit is based on a modular design. There should be enough cables here for everyone to be satisfied. All of the wires are magnetically shielded and the plastic looming alongside is very durable, yet having this type of cables makes it harder to bend/twist/turn to fit where you want them. The ATX power is 24 pin with the break-away 4 pin to adapt it to 20 pin motherboards, although it is a different type of breakaway that I'm use to seeing. The looming is also UV reactive which can add an amazing effect for those who have proper UV lighting (unfortunately I'm not one of those people).

As you are looking at the cables, please note that XGBox discovered a motherboard compatibility flaw with the original boots that should have been on the cables and because of this flaw and their dedication to providing the best products they can they are currently working on a new boot design and for that reason our testing supply did not have these boots and the wires were exposed near each connector as seen in the image.


The modular design on the Magnum is a simple plug and go system. I'm usually not a fan of this type of connection, because the cables could be accidentally tugged out at times. XG did add little "foots" on the inside of the connectors to prevent this, yet it is still possible that the cables could be accidentally tugged out. There is a spot for the 20/24 pin ATX connector, 8/4 pin 12V connector, 3 molex/SATA and 2 PCI-E for those running SLI. To the far left of the modular plugs there are 5 LEDs which inform you which voltages are in use. Yet, there is no label explaining what it monitors, so you'll have to look in the manual to figure that out. Hopefully XG will add some labels in future revisions.


The unit itself has an all aluminum frame, which makes it a tad heavy, yet creates a more efficient way of cooling. Even the Magnum name plates on the sides are made from aluminum. It also has a small sci-fi/retro look going for it with its curved corners, instead of edges. The Magnum is indeed a large unit, so I recommend you look at the sizing chart XG has provided to ensure the unit will fit in your case before you buy it (sizing chart located here).


Opening up the Magnum really makes the unit speak about its quality. There are enormous copper heat sinks which are connected to heat pipes on the inside of the unit, which take the heat to the radiator on the back of the power supply. The radiator sticks 5cm out the rear of the power supply.


Notice on the power specifications that there are two separate +12V lines. This is a nice feature that helps ensure you get clean power to your motherboard without worrying about other devices and peripherals taking any power.

Test Setup: AMD 2500+ Barton, ABIT NF7-S2G, 2x512mb Corsair XMS 3200XL Pro, BFG 6600GT OC AGP Graphics, 1x Seagate 120GB HD, 2x LiteOn 16x DVD Writer, 1x Floppy Drive. Other power using devices: 2x 80mm Fans (via Enermax fan controller), 2x CCFLs via dual inverter, USB Mouse, USB Keyboard, USB Printer.

Please note that any software used for measuring internal devices will always be off, and each time there will be a significant difference. That is why we used a multi-meter for exact readings as well.





The unit was well within tolerance as seen in the chart. There were some changes in the 3.3v and 5v rails but no change in the 12v rail. With a dual 12v rail power supply there is usually little change in the voltage.


The LCD held steady at 11.88v so it is just a little off, but you can still get a general idea of the voltage being used. The temperature on the LCD was on par with SpeedFan while being tested in an 80 degree room. One quick note about the LCD: it is almost impossible to view the LCD sharply. You have to be looking at it in the perfect angle to be able to read the text.

Conclusion


The XG Magnum 500watt PSU is a great new contender on the modular PSU market. It features some amazing new ideas, as well as sharing some old. It is great to see dual 12v rails to split the load, as wattage is not a main concern for stable systems. But there still is a large amount of juice (500 watts) if needed.

The unit is very quiet; the only fan in the Magnum is an 80mm exhaust, which only turns on if more than 350watts of power is being used. The Magnum is the first PSU I have ever seen with this kind of quality heatsinks inside. The huge copper heatsinks with a heatpipe going outside of the unit is amazing, and I hope more companies work to improve on their heatsink design to use bigger and better heatsink designs. The main body is constructed from Aluminum, not Steel, which adds some weight to the unit, yet provides great cooling, and doesn't need a shiny paint job that would just get filled with finger prints anyways.

The next feature is the unique LCD built into the backside of the unit. This is the first of its kind on the market, so there is of course some issues with this, such as the visibility issue. But the temperature gage works perfectly, and the wattage in use is only off by a little, which is just fine for those who are curious.

The modular design is not anything new, yet is greatly appreciated. There are plenty of cables for you to use, which are all magnetically shielded. I wish I could comment on the final design of the cables, as XG had noticed a flaw with their original boot design and is quickly working on solving the issue.

During our testing of the Magnum, the multi-meter found the numbers to be on par or better, and the variations in voltage during use were very small and well within the 5% range of ATX specifications during a high heat load.

The only cons the unit really has going for it the visibility issues of the LCD and the size of the unit not working with many cases, due to its large copper heatsink and external heatpipe use. Overall XG has created a great product that is stable, quiet, is priced reasonably considering what is included in the design and is backed by a life time replacement warranty.



 



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