5-way High-End 1KW+ PSU Round-Up

Cooler Master UCP 1100W

Cooler Master UCP 1100W
 
Back in 2007 Cooler Master's high-end Real Power 1000w modular PSU managed to blow our socks off with extremely good performance, efficiency and low noise levels. So much so that the PSU was actually awarded "Editors Choice" with an almost perfect 10/9/10 final score. Of course, Cooler Master's product line never stands still, and today we've been given the chance to test our their latest monster; the UCP (Ultimate Circuit Protection) 1100w.
 
While we cant go in to as much detail as we'd like to in the single page available in this review, Cooler Master have focused not only on the usual performance, efficiency and noise levels areas, but also on safety and MTBF. During a recent sit-down chat with Cooler Master they told us that what makes the UCP so unique is that the unit actually has a soft-on switch that powers the unit on a few seconds after the actual power switch is flipped. This prevents potentially harmful issues such as power surges and arcing, increasing the lifetime of the unit.
 
In fact, Cooler Master are so confident about the build quality of the unit that in most countries it actually comes with a lifetime warranty.
 
Cooler Master UCP 1100w Specs
 
Cooler Master UCP 1100w Cooler Master UCP 1100w
 
Cooler Master UCP 1100w Box Inside Cooler Master UCP 1100w Box Open
 
Being Cooler Master's new flagship PSU, the unit has certainly got all of the attention you would expect in the packaging department. While the front of the box may be rather plain with just a picture of the unit and the model number, the inside of the box is padded out with 1" thick moulded styrofoam to keep it safe from even the most careless of couriers.
 
Included inside are just the bare essentials: the PSU, some screws, a power cable and CD containing the manual. Maybe not quite as impressive as the keyrings and bottle openers found in some of their other PSU's, but seriously - if I wanted a bottle opener, I'd buy one from Tesco's.
 
Cooler Master UCP 1100w side Cooler Master UCP 1100w Back
 
Cooler Master UCP 1100W Top Cooler Master UCP 1100w Front
 
If forced to sum up the look of the UCP 1100w in one word, it would definitely be: rugged. With an extremely tough, yet almost metallic powder coated finish, the UCP is the Crocodile Dundee of the PSU world and feels like it could easily take a few bites from a large toothed 'gator without showing any signs of damage.
 
At the back of the unit is the usual honeycomb style grill that has become commonplace among PSU's that use anything larger than an 80mm fan. Inset into the grill is a status LED that is illuminated green under normal operation, but turns to red when the PSU detects a fault.
 
Unlike most of the PSU's on test here today, the UCP 1100w features a fairly small rocker-style on/off switch. However, what we need to remember here is that unlike most PSU's this switch acts only as a trigger for the delayed power-on feature, rather than an actual breaker for the full 240v that will be entering the unit.
 
Cooler Master UCP 1100W Bottom Cooler Master UCP 1100w Fan Grill
 
In terms of fan size, Cooler Master have taken a step backwards from the 135mm fans used on most of their Real Power series in favour of a 120mm version. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as certain 120mm fans can be as quiet as their 135mm counterparts and on PSU's where the internal components don't need edge-to-edge cooling, a 120mm fan is more than sufficient.
 
Cooler Master haven't spoilt the looks of the unit by sticking a tacky wire-based fan grill on it either. As we can see from above, the fan grill is actually an integral part of the casing with the fan being held in place by some tasty anodised hex head screws.
 
Cooler Master UCP 1100w Cables Cooler Master UCP 1100w Cables
 
Cooler Master UCP 1100w P4-12V Cooler Master UCP 1100w PCI-E
 
Being the only non-modular PSU on test today, the UCP 1100w comes complete with a huge bundle of cables all neatly held together with a cable tie. Separating the bundle quickly reveals that the unit is most definitely suited to multi-GPU configurations with a total of six PCI-E cables carrying a grand total of nine PCI-E connectors. SATA and Molex devices are equally as well catered for with a total of nine and six connectors respectively.
 
One thing we did find slightly annoying with the cables was the quality of the sleeving. While only a cosmetic niggle, the mesh chosen by Cooler Master was extremely saggy and seemed several sizes too large for the cables. This meant under most circumstances the wires could easily be seen beneath the sleeving, partially voiding its purpose.
 
Cooler Master UCP 1100w Inside Cooler Master UCP 1100W Inside
 
Cooler Master UCP 1100w Inside Cooler Master UCP 1100w Caps
 
Moving on to the internals, it's instantly apparent that the UCP 1100w is much more spacious inside than the Be-Quiet Dark Power Pro over the previous page. Yet again a single large transformer caters for the step-down from the input voltage down to +12v, with a smaller transformer (situated on its own daughterboard) dealing with the further step-down from 12v down to the other voltages such as 3.3v and 5v.
 
Impressively the UCP 1100w has a total of three Japanese made capacitors rated at 330uF / 400v which should help smooth out out voltage fluctuations and provide clean power to the components inside your PC system.
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Most Recent Comments

03-10-2008, 09:03:52

JN
"Looking for a new 1kw+ PSU? We test Be-Quiet, Corsair, Cooler Master, Enermax and Silverstone's latest and greatest units on the most sophisticated equipment."

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...135310950l.jpg

5-way High-End 1KW+ PSU Round-Up

03-10-2008, 09:19:16

llwyd
Great round-up review Jim. Shame about the Be-Quiet though, was really hoping for great things from them

03-10-2008, 09:34:14

WC Annihilus
Mmm... I got one of those CM UCP 1100W that I won at Nvision sitting in a box brand new. Really need to get around to selling it >.> Maybe linking this review will net some interest

03-10-2008, 09:34:27

gotmaxpower
The Corsair HX 1000W looks brilliant.

Nice review, enjoyed reading it.

03-10-2008, 11:14:34

Luigi
Ooh, that enermax looks nice!

03-10-2008, 11:22:35

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='teknokid'
Ooh, that enermax looks nice!
Hope you mean the revised version

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...112039157l.jpg

03-10-2008, 11:38:02

ionicle
they all look rather nice

but isnt 1k overkill for all but the highest of high end systems now?

03-10-2008, 11:39:05

Luigi
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jim'
Yeah :P

Its quite a design change, but does look pretty awesome.. Nice review

03-10-2008, 12:07:13

Diablo
I like the look of that revolution ^^. Only thing is, my PSU sits at the top of the case, so it would look a bit stupid to have the writing upside down. Is it t'other way up on the other side?

Nice review tho, but real shame about the be-quiet, at least there are some really good alternatives now.

03-10-2008, 13:46:25

Kerotan
Nice review. The link for the PCP&C TurboCool on the first page is broken tho, it takes u to the Silverstone Zeus 750W review. I don't think I will need one of these PSUs until 2000W is the standard for extreme high-end with the hardware I tend to use lol.

03-10-2008, 15:18:01

Rastalovich
Seriously good review. U just dont see these sort of tests done enough. Saw some old tests similar to this that came to the conclusion that power ratings were extremely exaggerated (the spelling thing says I spelt it right ??). That was b4 we had efficiency ratings and such standards. Reaching 1kw on a cold day in a lab once, no longer cuts it.

I'll post a few exceptions I have:

  • I wouldnt 'con' the Silverstone psu for being longer. If u have a smaller case with this psu - theres other wrongs being committed.

  • I'd like to massage into the graphs the +/- lines that the ATX standards perceive for the voltage levels. If a psu varies a fair bit, but remains within that +/- by a %, I think that's another criticism of the units.

  • If u dont have 4 way sli or 20 hdd and everything overclocked, including the usb line, I want a serious answer as to why u have a 1kw+ psu. Yet alone paid over £150 for it. £150 is a good mark up for Corsair. The Silverstone is massively priced.



Cut the price on the CoolerMaster one and it'd be awesome over-poweredness for the price. Corsair seems to be the banker tho.

Awesome.

04-10-2008, 15:25:24

FarFarAway
Fantastic review as usual Jimbo, some sexy PSU's there and just goes to show that OC3D REALLY tests stuff

04-10-2008, 18:33:46

inconspicuousj
fantastic comparative review, i was a little disappointed by the be quiet mind. wish you'd written this a month ago

04-10-2008, 18:39:02

llwyd
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='ionicle'
they all look rather nice

but isnt 1k overkill for all but the highest of high end systems now?
Yea unless youre like me and are developing a peripheral toaster that runs off the PSU

04-10-2008, 19:00:02

ionicle
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='llwyd'
Yea unless youre like me and are developing a peripheral toaster that runs off the PSU
lol

"the USB toastomatic"

05-10-2008, 10:22:57

Luigi
haha, What sort of equipment is used to test psu's?

05-10-2008, 10:49:44

Ham
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='teknokid'
haha, What sort of equipment is used to test psu's?
If you actually read the review it tells you...

05-10-2008, 11:36:16

Luigi
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Ham'
If you actually read the review it tells you...
ooh, I only looked at the end and the enermax revolution :S

05-10-2008, 16:13:33

Diablo
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='ionicle'
lol

"the USB toastomatic"
How did you get hold of my secret latest invention plans? That was due to be unveiled next year...

07-10-2008, 16:34:37

°TheMadDutchDude°
Hah you guys crack me up some times.. seriously

Great review, not that I'll be in the market for a PSU like that for a long time but it is really worth knowing that kind of information. Nicely tested, shows (as stated before) OC3D really go to the inth degree to test and make their reviews as accurate as possible!

Thanks guys

08-10-2008, 05:21:56

Bubba
Nice...

Well powerfull PSU's needn't run on max to provide the juice needed and hence can run cooler... But ..

-Bubba
Reply
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