Cougar 1000CM 1000w PSU Revisited
The 1000CM is kitted out with a total of eight 8-Pin PCI-E style modular connectors that protrude from the front of the unit. The connectors are split into two groups of four with the SATA/Molex connectors being coloured black and the graphics card connectors red. While this should be visually more than enough to prevent anyone from (excuse the phrase) sticking a connector in the wrong hole, I can't help but think that it may have been a wiser decision for Cougar to base the SATA/Molex connectors around a 6-Pin design.
One slight improvement here when compared to the HEC version is that a large printed sticker covers the entire modular area. Aside from giving you clear instructions on where you should be inserting your modular cables it also provides details on which +12v rail is used for each of the connectors. This can come in handy if you plan on using several high-draw graphics cards in your system and want to make sure that you don't overload the PSU by connecting them all to a single rail.
Hard-wired into the unit are two PCI-E graphics card cables (one 6-Pin, the other 6+2Pin), an 8-Pin EPS-12v connector (with a 4+4Pin P412v connector piggy backed) and of course a 20+4Pin ATX connector. This pretty much ensures that the Cougar 1000CM will work with any system both old and new including some server/high-end motherboards that require two EPS-12v connectors.
|Cougar 1000CM Connectors|
|ATX Connector||Native||1x 20+4 Pin|
|EPS-12v / P4-12v Connector(s)||Native||2x 4 Pin / 1x 8 Pin|
|Floppy Disk Connectors||Modular||1x|
|PCI-E Connectors||Native / Modular||3x 6 Pin / 3x 6+2 Pin|
The total number of modular plugs is quite evenly weighted with a eight SATA connectors and seven Molex connectors both of which are spread over a total of four cables. While this means that you can indeed have every cable provided with the unit all plugged in at the same time, it certainly wouldn't have hurt to include a few spare cables for users who's systems require more Molex connectors than SATA connectors or visa versa. Additionally, having a few extra cables can be useful in larger cases where you might for example have an SATA DVD drive at the top of the case and Hard Disks at the bottom and want to use several separate cables rather than trying to stretch a single cable the length of the case.
Moving on to the internals now and at first glance, the internals of the Cougar 1000CM look even more nearly arranged than its HEC counterpart. Very few cables can be seen running wild around the unit, and all cables entering the unit from the hard-wired connectors are bunched tightly together. Even the large white blobs of glue I mentioned being used throughout the unit in the original review have been replaced with a less visible black version which has been used far more sparingly.
The first thing to notice here is obviously the two large transformers. These each service three of the six +12v rails inside the unit making the 1000CM one of very few dual transformer designs we've had the opportunity of reviewing. Over to the left of these and hidden beneath an angled black heatsink is yet another transformer, only smaller and responsible for powering the +5vSB rail.
Two DC-DC daughter-boards positioned right at the edge of the PCB are responsible for stepping down the main +12v output into +3.3v and +5v outputs for the rest of the rails. Also in the image above-right we can see the mains filtering circuit which consists mainly of a ferrite inductor.
And now my dear readers we come to what can only be described as PSU porn. The entire secondary side of the PSU including the DC-DC boards have been kitted out with only solid state capacitors! Granted you'd expect to see the odd one or two in most reasonable PSU's, but for Cougar to kit out the entire secondary side in nothing but solid caps must have cost a fortune.
The advantage here is that solid caps have a much higher life expectancy than their electrolytic counterparts while generally also being able to deal with slightly higher ripple current. Of course, solid state caps are generally only used on low voltage circuits, so over on the primary side of the PSU Cougar have used a single Japanese manufactured Nippon Chemicon KMR capacitor rated at 420v / 560uF @ 105°C.
All in all, this is a MASSIVE improvement over the Teapo primary capacitor and unidentifiable secondary caps inside the HEC branded 1000CM and will hopefully go a long way to smoothing out the ripple issues that plagued the unit during the previous review. Shall we find out for sure?