In recent months, OCZ Technologies, a company known for producing some of the best memory products going, has been showing what they can do in the field of power supplies. During their time OCZ have produced some of the highest performers on the market, with their 850w GameXStream earning the first Gold award ever to be given by Overclock3D. Today we take a look at another offering from OCZ, the 600w StealthXStream. Marketed as a high performance; budget friendly; no thrills; near silent solution for gamers and enthusiasts... Stealth really is the name of the game.
There isn't really a great deal to say about the power supply itself. It's your basic ATX power supply, its compact, it's black and it claims to neither sing nor dance. With wattage at a premium in today's gaming rigs, a lot of people are looking to step things up a bit. Hopefully this PSU with its 600 watt punch will fill the gap in the market nicely.
The information below has been taken directly from the StealthXStream product page on OCZ's website and gives a fairly extensive overview of what we can expect to see from this PSU.
OCZ StealthXStream / 600W / Active PFC
Designed for the value-minded gamer seeking simple but powerful performance, the StealthXStream includes OCZ’s acclaimed reliability and feature-sets with a lower price point. Ideal for system builders and enthusiasts who prefer a low-key PSU, the StealthXStream focuses on performance and quality made affordable for even the tightest budgets. It also excludes flashy LEDs ensuring the power supply does not pose as a distraction in your case.
The StealthXStream is kept supremely cool with a large 120mm fan features a standard ATX power supply form factor resulting in a compact footprint to accommodate virtually all computer towers. With a sustained output of 600W and four +12V rails to provide uniform distribution of power, the StealthXStream is well-suited for and driving today's higher end systems. The rock solid StealthXStream is built to provide sufficient output to power dual GPU and CPU platforms, complete with two PCI-Express cables and a 4/8 CPU auxiliary connector which are wrapped in a flexible mesh promoting a tidy environment inside the case.
The OCZ StealthXStream provides Universal Input and Active PFC (Power Factor Correction) to effectively regulate input voltage across worldwide power grids and maintain an economical, yet stable supply of power.
All OCZ StealthXStream power supplies come backed with an industry-leading three year OCZ PowerSwap Warranty for the ultimate peace of mind.
OCZ PowerWhisper™ Technology
Internal 120mm fan
3 year warranty backed by OCZ’s exclusive PowerSwap™ replacement program. No more endless return-for-repair loops!
150 x 140 x 86mm
ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V
OCZ ConnectAll™ universal connectors:
1 x 20+4Pin ATX 2 x 4-pin CPU (supports double CPUs/supplies stable voltage) 2 x PCI-E 5 x 4-pin Molex peripheral 1 x 4-pin floppy 3 x S-ATA
As you can see from the specifications, the StealthXStream provides ample connectivity options with support for today's power-hungry PCI-E graphics solutions and 8-pin CPU 12v support. Backing these features up are four +12 rails, capable of taking up to 18A load each, with a total load across all rails of 52 Amps. On the efficiency front, the StealthXStream is rated at a rather 'green' 83% on the 230v mains we see all over Europe. On paper, at least, the StealthXStream looks like it should shape up to be more of the usual from OCZ.
Let's head over the page and have a look in a little more detail...
OCZ StealthXStream 600 Watt PSU Page: 2 Packaging
The StealthXStream's theme of "minimalist, but yet functional" is apparent in its packaging. The box itself is a charcoal black with a grey industrial themed graphic enveloping the picture of the PSU. The remaining surface of the box is fairly well covered with information about the product and its features. It's safe to say that from the outset, customers know exactly what they can expect inside.
The box itself is a relatively thin, single layer cardboard construction with doubled over ends. Inside the box, the contents are packed in quite tightly, preventing any unwanted movement. The PSU itself is wrapped in additional bubble wrap to prevent scratching and abrasion inside the box.
Inside the box, purchasers will find the following essentials to get them up and running:
- Pack of case screws - Velcro cable tie - Mains power cord (in this case EU standard) - Information booklet
While extras are a little low in numbers (ie. none), the power cable and screws supplied are certainly all I would find a use for.
The unit, once removed from its fitted bubble wrap bag, has a very sleek and subtle look indeed. The outside of the casing is painted with a matt finish which is certainly scratch resistant enough to deflect a stray screwdriver head or watch buckle. The only colour really visible on the outside is the dark blue power switch which gives a very positive and firm click when flicked.
The design of the PSU is pretty standard. It boasts a single 120mm fan in the usual place, drawing air into the PSU, over the components and out the perforated back end of of the unit.
Being only 140mm long and 86mm deep, the StealthXStream is perfect for even the most cramped computer cases. A major plus for those looking at HTPC builds or small form factor desktop PCs. Unfortunately this compact design can, and has on a lot of power supplies we have seen, led to overheating due to the dense distribution of internal components.
While it may lack visual impact, the overall look and feel definitely gives a certain feeling of quality.
Now that we've seen the outside, let's head over the page and have a look at the quality of the StealthXStream's internals...
OCZ StealthXStream 600 Watt PSU Page: 3 Internals
To get a true feel of what you're getting for your money, each power supply that passes through the hands of Overclock3D is opened up and thoroughly examined. However as time goes on and technology improves, look and feel are becoming less of a reliable way to gauge the levels of performance likely to be seen from the unit. Nonetheless, there is still knowledge to be gained by opening it up and having a snoop.
As you can see above, OCZ have done a pretty good job with the layout of the internal components. Within the components sit three aluminium heatsinks, to aid in the dissipation of heat. One of which is equipped with fins to increase surface area and therefore efficiency. In addition to the heatsinks we see a single aluminium plate which is acting as an extension to the finned heatsink.
Another thing you may notice is the white substance between and surrounding some of the electrical components. The 'goo' seems to be a rubberized silicone and I suspect acts as insulation. This is the first time I have personally witnessed this process, however, other PSU's passing through Overclock3D's review process have displayed this.
The overall setup inside is certainly very spacious, unlike the usual dense distribution seen in high output power supplies. While this should result in far better airflow, by assisting cooling and helping to maintain acceptable temperatures within the casing, this doesn't impact on the StealthXStream's small footprint.
A nice little 'extra' seen on some power supplies is the inclusion of an adjustable potentiometer. This component can usually be tweaked with a screwdriver to increase output on a certain rail, which can come in very handy when voltages start to deviate from ATX specifications.
Pretty much all power supplies incorporate a fan to assist in the cooling process. A lot of higher performance units tend to use both an 80mm fan and a 120mm fan, however this tends to increase noise levels, or at least generate a slightly less pleasant pitch. The StealthXStream utilises a single 120mm fan, which should allow for a lower average RPM level, reducing the level of noise and pitch produced. The fan included within the casing of the PSU is clearly labeled as a Yate Loon S12SH-12, having run a quick google check I have found the following information:
Model - S12SH-12 Dimensions - 120x120x25 RPM - 2200 Voltage - 12v Airflow - 88 CFM Noise - 40 dB
Cables & Connectors
All the cables on the StealthXStream are sleeved with a nylon mesh from within the casing to the very ends of each cable where they are tied off with cable ties and sleeved with heat shrink tubing. Each end is tied off very tightly which does make bending the ends to fit sockets a bit awkward, but it does keep everything looking neat and tidy.
You can see above that the 5 molex connectors attached to the power supply are fitted with easy release grips which allow for easy removal from any device that may require them. You can also see the high standard of the cable braiding and sleeving method.
As for the remaining connectors, it's clear that OCZ have tried to cover all the bases without overcomplicating things. You have two PCI-E connectors, for SLI or Crossfire configurations, three SATA connectors, two P4-12v CPU connectors which can be used together to cope with the 8-pin ESP12v standard, a single floppy drive power connector and the usual 20+4 ATX connector.
The layout of the connectors is fairly efficient, with perhaps a little too much distance between SATA connectors for those into their cable tidying. The connectors are distributed between 6 main cables:
1. 20+4 ATX connector 2. P4-12v / ESP12v 3. 3 x SATA connectors 4. 3 x Molex connectors 5. 2 x molex + 1 floppy drive connector 6. 2 x PCI-E connectors
The molex layout is fairly standard and perfectly usable for those used to modular units.
Let's head over the page to see how the StealthXStream performs during load testing...
Each power supply that passes through Overclock3D is put through its paces with a custom built load testing device. Using this device, the PSU is subjected to various loads and the performance measured. This gives a much better idea of performance levels than methods employed elsewhere.
Furthermore, during testing, the power supply's efficiency is tested by measuring the power being drawn from the mains supply.
Efficiency tests are performed by measuring the wattage consumed by the power supply at the mains (Mains Draw) against the power consumed by the OC3D power supply stress tester (PSU Load). These results may not be 100% accurate, but have proven to be extremely close to results obtained from professional equipment.
In the graph above it is clear to see how well the StealthXStream handled increased loads with its Active Power Factor Control, doing a very good job of keeping the 12v and 3.3v rails up to ATX specification even at 100% load. The 5v however does appear to suffer at high load, however this is still well within the ±5% allowed on the +5v of the ATX form factor and so really is nothing to worry about.
On the specifications list for the StealthXStream, an efficiency of 83% @ 230v is claimed. As you can see above this has proved to be a pretty accurate claim, managing 82.77% efficiency at a load level most gaming setups could easily reach during stress. While 83% is nothing spectacular it is certainly up there with some of the best units we have seen at OC3D.
In our continuing efforts to make power supply reviews more thorough, rather than simply checking voltage stability, Overclock3D will now be recording the temperature of each PSU as it undergoes testing. Temperature recordings will be taken from the underside of the PSU's outer casing at 0%, 50% and 100% load levels using a laser infrared thermometer in an attempt to gauge how much heat is likely to radiate into the end-users case.
The results obtained from this testing, which you can see above, came as quite a surprise to me. With a single 120mm fan, relatively small heatsinks and a medium to large power output, I would have put money on temperatures reaching the mid 40's or more. The unit manages a very comfortable 30 degrees celcius at 50% load and a slightly increased 34 degrees celcius at the full 100% load. This is undoubtedly down to the well laid out and spacious configuration of the internal components
A particularly hard part of reviewing a power supply is giving an accurate indication of the noise generated by the fan and electrical components. The normal procedure at Overclock3D has become to record the noise given off by the unit with a high quality microphone, to give a relatively fair representation of the pitch emitted. Unfortunately the usual equipment for this testing is not currently available so you will have to take my word for it when I say that this power supply is extremely quiet. I like my silence and I am certainly very easily irritated, but I can happily say that the pitch of the fan did not come close to annoying and the level of noise, even at high load was tolerable.
Let's head over to the conclusion page to see how the StealthXStream performed as a whole...
The StealthXStream really has fulfilled most of my expectations and indeed, in some cases exceeded them by a comfortable margin. The unit is sold as a simple and 'unpretentious' power supply, capable of running demanding gaming computers with high reliability, efficiency and silence. Which is completely true. It's certainly not eye-catching or groundbreaking but for the performance conscious enthusiast, this shouldn't even be an issue.
As you have seen through the review, the StealthXStream is efficient, handles load well, and is very quiet. Its size and available connectivity options makes it suitable for a massive range of cases and enclosures while delivering the same high performance.
Furthermore, the StealthXStream, being an OCZ product, comes with the usual 3 year full warranty. Something all users certainly will appreciate.
Retailing currently at £49 at Komplett, the StealthXStream is very well priced. Offering the capabilities of usually far higher priced units, the value for money is clear to see.
The Good • Extremely quiet up to high loads • Well priced for level of performance • Extremely compact • Very respectable 83% efficiency • Good voltage regulation and compensation on 12v and 3v rails • 3 Year warranty
The Mediocre • Looks may not meet some peoples standards
The Bad • Drop in 5v rail output at full load.
As the StealthXStream really doesnt have much letting it down I am giving the unit Overclock3Ds "Recommended" award. Along with this, the power supply's performance levels at its current retail price earn it Overclock3Ds "Value For Money" award.
Thanks to OCZ for providing the review sample. Discuss in our forum