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VORTEC 500watt Power Supply Unit
MGE / Xtreme Gamer (XG)
XG was nice enough to provide our staff with another one of their latest products, the "Vortec 500watt" PSU. This power supply is the next generation line of units from their already successful line the "Vigor". This new line takes the old quality and features and adds some new stuff to make it even better... XG made the chassis out of aluminum this time for a quieter cooler unit. Also they added an extra 50 watts of power per unit.. To make these PSU's more compatible with the upcoming BTX style cases XG also provides everything you will need to make them cross-compatible.. Lets take a closer look and see if XG holds true to their track record and not only makes a pretty PSU but a top performing one as well...
Images and Specs above all provided by XG from their Product Page..
There are a few things that I wanted to mention concerning pricing and why I think this is a really great value.. To do this I would like to break down the cost to make a PSU with just a few of the features... The cost of a 500watt PSU with nothing is minimum of 50 to 60 USD unless you buy gross of course. Then you need to take a look at the cost of sleeveing. A full sleeve kit that will probably do most of this will cost 10 to 20USD so you are already at 60 to 80 depending. The next thing I want you to notice is the Molex connectors.. These are UV reactive quick clips that average 15 USD for a kit that doesn't include the SATA power connector and for that mater you probably wont find a SATA PSU at the 50 to 60 USD price range so you will need to purchase at least on converter another 5 USD so we are up to 70 to 100 USD without talking about the fans or the fan control then if you add in a solid aluminum chassis and most importantly your time to do the mods this PSU can easily be priced in the 150 USD price range so for a great deal this price is solid as long as the performance holds up...
This PSU is an ATX style unit with all the extra and converters to turn it into a BTX style case.. That being said we will focus on the ATX installation for the time being.. XG provides SATA power connectors 4pin motherboard power hook up along with the standard 20-pin motherboard power. Please note that XG also provides the 24-pin converter for the newer motherboards. Pretty much this install will be the same as any other PSU make sure you connect the correct power to the correct device and off you go..
The Vortec comes stock with two fans to help keep the PCU cool these fans are controlled using the dial located on the rear of the PSU unit, near the power cord and on/off switch. The 500watt model is a solid blue aluminum chassis with chrome accents and UV blue plastics to give it that extra something. The fan are both Blue LED to light up the insides nicely. You will note a window located on either side with a blue tint to accentuate the blue theme and stylish look.. If this PSU performs 1/2 as nice as it looks then we might have one supper nice PUS.... Also another thing I thought was nice is the pre sleeved cords that match the hole PSU itself. the blue theme works very nice as long as blue corresponds with your case.. Note that the Vortec 600 comes in a black with red accents so if blue is not what you want then take a look at the 600watt version.
We are going to discus two thing when dealing with this PSU and how it performs.. The first thing is the fan's or the cooling. The Vortec like the Vigor has a dial on the rear to control the fans speed. This is a key selling point for anyone that wants the ability to reduce the noise level of their PC especially with dual fans in the PSU.. The controls are very easy to use and work like a charm. the overall heat with the aluminum chassis and the fans is not to bad considering this a 500watt PSU and the fans do a fine job of dissipating the heat at the higher RPM's as expected when using the lower fan settings the PSU does heat up a bit but nothing to be overly concerned with as long as you have exhaust fans already in place in your case to vent out radiant heat.
The second and more important part of the PSU is the power stability. What I mean is how stable the power is over the multiple voltages and how much of a swing the voltage take.. Keep in mind it is very hard to make a current stay the same when your draw is fluctuating as well, so never expect a PSU to be perfect. It is all about allowable tolerances or a slight variation. Also keep in mind the base voltages are not as important as the stability of the voltage. What I mean is take for example the 12volt current in your PC, just because that voltage reads at 11.5volts doesn't mean it is bad as long as the voltage stays at 11.5 and doesn't fluctuate.. What can damage PSU and equipment and does more often then low voltages is when your power bounces from say 12.6 to 11.2 then back up again to 12.9volts. In this situation you are more likely to have electrical failures or surges that will destroy electronic components.. I hope this helps explain what really makes a good PSU at least in my mind.. Now for the results..
Screen Shot of the SOYO Hardware monitor used to take the reading.
As you can see this unit ran solid. The 12 Volt stayed at a constant 11.96v for the entire duration of the test and the other voltages bounced a little bit but we are talking in the 100ths of a volt less then 1% variation.. Now during the one hour period we took the readings I had our test machine do standard application operations and then ran a quick Load test to see if any draws on the power would make the voltages spike.. The results show this is not the case and it did not happen.. XG gets a big high five for the stability provided by the Vortec 500 PSU..
XG goes to great effort in making this product look nice but not as easily noticeable is the quality. XG uses a solid aluminum chassis this is a sign of a higher quality product. The aluminum chassis is good for two reasons one it help dissipate the heat quicker reducing hot spots and two its general make-up is used to reduce overall noise levels of the PUS itself. as anyone with a stock tin PSU can tell you when the fan runs a bit off the hole unit rattles, this is much less likely the case when using a molded aluminum chassis. XG even took extra care in making a very stable and visually appealing package that no only looks good on the retailers self but had plenty of protection from the postman.
Very cost effective power solution.
Awesome design and look.
Performance was more then satisfactory.
the ability to be BTX compatible is a big plus.
Packaging is very good for shipping and appealing for retailers.
This unit is one of the most cost effective Pre-modded PSU's I have yet encountered. XG does a great job with the over all construction and design of this model.. We at Marns CDA are pleased to award the Vortec 500watt PSU our highest honor the "Editors Choice Trophy of Excellence", for a product not only stable and relatively inexpensive but stylish as well,, Congratulations XG!!!!!!!!
Rating: 6 out of 6 stars
Review Date: 02/14/05
Reviewer: pr101j (Paul)
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