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Spire Rocketeer 500 Watt Power Supply

Spire Rocketeer 500 Watt Power Supply Article Author : bigal
Date : 03-17-2006

Baseline Test

Ok, so if you want to know just exactly how well a PSU performs, you need to install it into a computer system. Ideally, you want to use a fully-configured high-power system that will use up every available Watt the PSU has to offer. Well, that ideal situation doesn't exist right now, so let's go with what we have. We have a computer that I call the Unreal machine. This baby has been around for a while, and it's sporting an Antec True 480W PSU that works fine. Perhaps we should measure the performance of this PSU and compare that to our new Spire Rocketeer SP-500W PSU. After all, there's only a 20W difference in their published ratings.

The Antec True 480W PSU looks nice with it's black finish in a black case. Check out the power rating sticker.

The Antec True 480W PSU was measured for three voltages during the booting process, and then for the 12V line during a load test. My load test was by no means configured to stress the PSU to the max. Instead, I ran a defrag test and played a music CD to get the hard drive pumping and the optical drive spinning (through the arc of theta, no less). The boot voltage stability was very good (after the initial ramp up to operating voltage) from this PSU: 12V @ 11.99V, 5V @ 5.04V, and 3.3V @ 3.323V. During the load test, the 12V rail (single rail) only dropped down to 11.97-11.98V. Obviously, the Antec True 480W PSU is very accurate and stable. Check out the graphs for the 12V boot and load tests:

The graphs show that the 12V rail is very stable during both the boot and load tests, to the tune of 0.25% variation.

Here's a link to a PDF file containing the graphs:

Installation of the Spire Rocketeer SP-500W PSU

With our baseline testing out of the way, we need to remove the Antec True 480W PSU and swap in our Spire Rocketeer SP-500W PSU.

With the Spire Rocketeer SP-500W in place, we can see how nice it looks. That titanium finish is very cool!

Wait a minute though. Those motherboard cables are awfully hard to bend and tuck away in the lower parts of the open cavity. And check out how bulky it looks near the optical drives. In this case, I have added a top window - and you can see all these wires plain as day. In fact, you can see the specification sticker on the PSU case too. That's not so hot looking in this case configuration. Lets just add in the modular cables to power the drives and see if more cables either add or distract from the overall look.

Hey, I see that 120mm fan switch (green button), but look at the rat's nest of cables in the cavity.

The Spire Rocketeer SP-500W lights up with a nice blue glow, and it certainly looks nice. But I'm not sure about these cables. It's very hard to make them go where you want them. It's like trying to coil a plumber's snake against it's natural curl.

Oh well. It's installed now, so lets do some testing!

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