Coolermaster iGreen Power 430w Page: 1
Introduction

Many of us are familiar with the Coolermaster name, mostly for their high quality range of computer cases and cooling devices. Recently, Coolermaster decided to extend their range of products by entering into the power supply market. The latest iGreen series of PSU promises to be quiet and efficient whilst still maintaining a high level of quality synonymous with the Coolermaster brand.

Today I'll be looking at the low end 430w version of the Coolermaster iGreen to see if it's a perfect companion for that budget PC build and has the efficiency to help save on those electricity bills.

About Coolermaster


Cooler Master Retail Product Business Unit was founded with the mission to create enjoyment to customers while they build their dream machines.

We Innovate: Innovation lies in the heart of our business model to develop better performance and quality products.
We Care: We believe that technology is to enrich, not to complicate our lives.Therefore, we integrate human interactive function, which allows customers to better understand and control their systems easily.We Design: Nowadays, product features and specifications are not the only considering factors when customers make the purchasing decisions.We develop the products to touch your heart, to catch your eyes, to characterize your personality, and mostly, to be part of your life.We Play: Cooler Master products facilitate the perfect creative environment for customers to unleash their imagination by originating their own styles while enjoying the process of being the innovator.

Since its founding in 2001, RP BU has striven to provide innovative computer components.


Packaging

Coolermaster have always been hot on presentation. Looking back, every Coolermaster product I've ever owned has been presented in visually attractive and functional packaging - and the iGreen series of PSU is no different.

iGreen 430w Packaging iGreen 430w Packaging

iGreen 430w Packaging iGreen 430w Packaging

Contained within a single walled cardboard box complete with plastic handle, the iGreen series is clearly designed to make its way on to retailer's shelves. Printed with a whole plethora of information on each side of the box, Coolermaster have made sure that every question a potential buyer would need to know is answered.

The front of the box displays a picture of the iGreen along with some of its best features, which include: 85% efficiency, Low noise at 17dBA and Powerful 12v rails. Around the back of the box, Coolermaster have provided some more pictures of the unit along with information on how many connectors are included.

iGreen 430w Packaging iGreen 430w Packaging

The power supply is held in place by a moulded cardboard insert and protected from marks and scratches by a plastic bag. Included in the package are the following items:

- 1x iGreen Manual
- 1x Power Cord
- 4x ATX Screws
- 1x iGreen PSU


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Specification

The following information has been taken directly from Coolermaster's website:

Cooler Master's power supply has been praised highly of its high efficiency and stability. In the year of 2006, Cooler Master will launch a new series of power supply iGreen Power 430W/500W/600W.

iGreen Power is the world first power supply which achieves 85% efficiency through Double Forward Switching Circuit Technology. This intelligent circuit configuration stabilizes your running system without costing you a fortune.

While staying true to our original mission to provide the best products, Cooler Master is responding to the environmental concern around our globe. We make this iGreen environmental friendly - it has met the Energy Star and Blue Angel requirements.


1. Intelligent Circuit Configuration
* No.1 "Double Forward Switching Circuit" Technology for 85% Efficiency
* Intelligent circuit configuration for higher stability and reliability
* Super silent operation with intelligent fan speed controller

2. Green Power Product
* Green power design to meet “Energy Star” and “Blue Angel” requirements for energy and money saving
* RoHS Compliance

3. High Performance
* Compliance with the newest Intel® standard ATX 12V V 2.2
* With 5Vsb increasing from 2A to 3A, it could support up to 8~10pcs USB devices.
* 120mm dual ball bearing fan makes superb heat dissipation at low noise (17dBA)
* Sleeved Cables for neat management and airflow improvement.

4. High Reliability
* Life expectancy: MTBF > 400,000 hours
* Passing Over-Voltage, Under-Voltage, Over-Temperature, Over-Current, Over-Loading, and
* Short Circuit Protection
* Passing 100% burn-in, hi-pot & ATE tested

5. Worry Free While you work or play
* Power Failure Detector will light up when Over-Voltage, Under-Voltage, Over-Temperature,
* Over-Current, Over-Loading, and Short circuit occur.
* PCI-e connector with bead core protection to minimize EMI for reducing noises.

Coolermaster Coolermaster Coolermaster Coolermaster
Coolermaster Coolermaster Coolermaster Coolermaster

Specs

Specs

For a 430w PSU the iGreen has some very impressive rails. I'm also very impressed with the way that Coolermaster has 'truthfully' marketed this power supply's output by stating the units continuous output alongside its peak (max) output.

Coolermaster have also invested a lot of time in making sure that this power supply is efficient. As a result of this, the unit has obtained both Green Star and Blue Angel certification, which in essence means that the unit is certified to run for at least 400,000 hours before failure (wow) whilst also maintaining high efficiency levels.


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Appearance

Coolermaster have 'pushed out the boat' in the styling department of the iGreen PSU. Electroplated in a gun-metal type finish, the iGreen looks simply stunning and also very much like a unit I reviewed a short while ago from Thermaltake. The best thing about electroplating is that the finish is flawless and much better than any paint finish as you can see below.

iGreen 430w Front iGreen 430w Top

iGreen 430w Bottom iGreen 430w Finish

The highly reflective surface of the unit proved very hard to photograph without including me or an item of my household furnishings in the picture!

The front of the unit has the usual honeycomb grill as seen with almost all power supplies that utilise a 120mm fan for cooling. Also present on the front of the unit is a red LED which indicates when an Over-Volt, Under-Volt, Short Circuit, Over-Heat, Over-Load or Over-Current problem has occurred.

You may also notice the lack of an input voltage selection switch. This is because the iGreen series of PSU is able to detect the input voltage (110/240v) and switch accordingly.

iGreen 430w Side iGreen 430w Back

The sides and back of the unit are pretty standard with no ventilation holes, which will actually help keep the temperatures inside your case down, as the only exit for hot air is out the back of your pc case.

I was slightly disappointed with the use of cable ties to keep the cables in place which has a negative impact on the unit's looks. It would be nice to see Coolermaster revising this and using a plastic o-ring to secure the cables instead.


Coolermaster iGreen Power 430w Page: 4
Connectors

The very first thing I noticed about the iGreen 430w was the inclusion of only one PCI-E connector. This makes perfect sense, as a 430w power supply isn't really capable of powering a mid/high end SLI or Crossfire system. For those of us who require 2xPCI-E connectors, the 500w and 600w should cater for your needs.

iGreen 430w Connectors iGreen 430w Connectors

Coolermaster have sleeved every cable right to the end in a black mesh sleeving. The quality of the sleeving is exceptional with the ends of each connector being zip-tied and shrink wrapped to prevent the sleeving from coming loose or fraying.

It's also nice to see that Coolermaster have used 'Easy Grip' molex connectors which should make the removal of the connectors from devices easier.

iGreen 430w Cables iGreen 430w Cables

The ATX connector on the iGreen is native 24-pin. However, as you can see above, a small block of 4 connectors can be broken off to switch the connector to 20-pin, and thus make it compatible with older motherboards.

Unfortunately the P4-12v motherboard connector is only 4-pin and therefore not EPS12v (8-pin) compatible. If your motherboard requires an 8-pin connector, one can be purchased at an online retailer for a very small cost.

ATX P4-12V PCI-E

Floppy Molex SATA


Coolermaster iGreen Power 430w Page: 5
Looking Inside

Being a 430w power supply, i wasn't expecting anything spectacular inside of the iGreen power supply. Most low wattage units have small components and poorly implimented cooling. Would this be the case with the iGreen? Lets find out.

iGreen 430w Insides iGreen 430w Insides

The insides of the iGreen are fairly packed with the whole surface area of the power supply being fully utilized. The components are of a reasonable size for a unit rated at 420w and are even compareable to the components used in our recently reviewed FSP Epsilon 700w PSU!

I was slightly dissapointed to see no adjustable potentiometers (pots) inside the unit. Pots can come in useful for increasing the voltage levels on each of the rails if they dip outside of ATX specification.

iGreen 430w Fan iGreen 430w Fan

Cooling the iGreen is a 120mm fan manufactured by Cooler Master. The maximum speed of this fan is 2400rpm with a noise level of 38db whilst pushing 87.85cfm. Luckily Coolermaster have implimented a fan speed controller to keep noise levels low, but we'll talk more about this on the next page.


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Load Testing

In order for the results from all current and future PSU reviews to remain fair and comparable, Overclock3D uses a custom built Power Supply load stress tester.

The tester will be placing the following loads on each of the iGreen 430w's rails:

+3.3v - 20a Load
+5.0v - 20a Load
+12v1 - 10a Load
+12v2 - 10a Load

The results are collected from a Mastech MAS-345 Multimeter which logs its readings via RS232 to a PC.

iGreen 430w 3.3v iGreen 430w 5v

iGreen 430w 12v1 iGreen 430w 12v2

Fluctuation on all of the rails remained less than 2% which is simply awesome. None of the rails went anywhere near falling outside of ATX specification (5% +/- rated voltage). All in all, some very respectable results from a manufacturer not often associated with power supplies.


Efficiency Testing

Efficiency tests are performed by measuring the wattage consumed by the power supply at the mains against the power (in watts) consumed by the OC3D power supply stress tester.

The results may not be as accurate as those produced by professional testing equipment, but will certainly come in handy when comparing several power supplies against each other.

iGreen 430w Efficiency

The iGreen 430w was placed under a load of 406 watts. This counts for a total of 94% of the power supplies rated output. At this load, the power supply required 482 watts from the mains to produce the 406 watts required by our custom made power supply tester.

Therefore the efficiency of this power supply can be found by a simple equation: (406 / 482) * 100 that works out to be an efficiency rating of 84.2%.


Noise Testing

At present Overclock3D doesn't have the professional equipment required to reliably measure the noise output of devices, so you'll have to rely on my ear.

Under idle conditions, the iGreen 430w is totally silent, with the installed 120mm fan running at a very low RPM. Only with my ear pressed up to the fan grill was I able to hear the gentle whisper of air passing through the unit.

Under heavy load conditions, the unit increases the speed of the fan to counteract the increasing temperature of the PSU's components. After 15 minutes at full load, the fans had reached their maximum set speed, and I'd estimate the noise output to be around 26dBa. For me this meant that the unit was clearly audible from 1 meter away outside of a PC case.

It is worth noting that most people that purchase this PSU are unlikely to stress it as hard as the OC3D PSU tester has, and therefore are unlikely to experience such high noise levels. In addition to this, most modern CPU/GPU coolers are likely to drown out the noise of the iGreen under load situations.


Coolermaster iGreen Power 430w Page: 7
Conclusion

Coolermaster have never been a name that I'd associate with a high quality power supply, but it looks like things are about to change for the better with the iGreen series.

Combining rock solid rails along with good looks, high efficiency, reasonable noise levels and a retail price of £56 over at Specialtech, the iGreen 430w power supply should definitely be the first power supply you consider for that budget build.


Pro's
+ Good efficiency @ 84%
+ Rock solid rails (less than 2% fluctuation)
+ Sexy electroplate finish
+ High quality sleeving on all cables
+ MTBF of 400,000 hours

Con's
- No EPS12v connector


Editors Choice

Thanks to Coolermaster for providing this unit for review.

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