Ultra X4 600w Modular ATX PSU
You never forget your first hardware crush. For me it was a purely physical thing when I very first set eyes on the launch photo's of a new modular power supply called the X-Connect from an unheard of manufacturer going by the name of Ultra.
At the time the best thing available in modular format was the Antec Neopower. But with unsleeved cables and an OEM style grey casing, man did it look ugly. The X-Connect however was fully modular, had awesome UV reactive cables and best of all came in several colours with a highly chromed finish. It almost didn't matter what the performance was like, the looks alone secured it a place in the geek porn category.
But could I get one? Nope, it never made its way over to the UK and to get one imported would have required the sale of a vital organ along with some heavy praying that HMR&C didn't decide to slap some import tax on top.
Anyway, almost 7 years has passed since the launch of that PSU and in that time both Ultra and the PSU industry as a whole has come a long way. The desire for 'bling' has settled down a lot among PC enthusiasts and now rightfully everybody is placing their first concerns with performance rather than how brightly the cables glow under UV lighting. Ultra's products have certainly reflected this, with every new model 'toning down' its appearance slightly while also improving in areas such as stability, efficiency and ripple suppression. Today I'm going to find out if this trend has continued once more into Ultra's fourth incarnation of the 'X' series, so what better place to start than with some details taken from their website...
Ultra X4 600-Watt Modular Power Supply
Ultra has taken a whole new approach to computer power supplies with the Ultra X4 Modular Power Supply. With Ultra's patened Modular Design, you only connect the cables which you need increasing airflow and giving your chassis that nice clean-look. The Ultra X4 Modular Power Supply uses a 135mm fan improves airflow throughout the chassis while keeping noise at a minimum. The Ultra X4 Modular Power Supply is intergrated short circuit protection and thermal overload sensors automatcially protects the PC when surges or overheating become an issue. With 3 year standard and lifetime warranty available upon registration, Ultra's customer service meets the highest industry standards.
What It Is and Why You Need It
* Modular Design - Only Connect the Cables You Need
* Lifetime Warranty - Your Investment is in Good Hands
* 80+ Bronze Certified - Save $$$ on Home Electricity Bills
* 135mm Low Noise Fan - Improved Cooling & Reduced Acoustics
* ATI CrossFire & NVIDIA SLI Certified - When One Graphics Card Just isn't Enough
* Tons of Included Extras - The Icing on the Cake
It's not often that I'll comment on the quality of a manufacturers website as it has little to do with the product on review, but it's hard to visit Ultra's website and not think that you've accidentally ended up at a web store. Every product has a price next to it and 'Add to Cart' buttons are plastered all over the place. It almost feels a bit desperate. This aside, the features of the X4 600w are fairly impressive with a Lifetime Warranty (most likely not valid in the EU), 80PLUS Bronze efficiency, a 135mm fan and "Tons of included extras". I can hardly wait!
|Ultra X4 600w Rail Layout|
As with most of the previous Ultra PSU's, the X4 has a single +12v rail. I'm not going to bother going into all the pro's and con's of single vs multi as I always end up doing in most of my other reviews, but what I will say is that the 37A (444w) available is fairly average for a 600w PSU. The same goes for the +3.3v and +5v rails that have an OCP cap set at 24A each with a maximum combined output of 150w. Only the +5vSB rail seems a tad weak in comparison to a lot of the competition, but unless you're planning to run masses of USB devices from your system in standby, 2.5A should still be more than enough.
Something for the Ultra 'wish list' would probably be to configure the +12v rail so that it is capable of delivering the entire 600w output of the PSU. This is something other manufacturers such as Corsair have been doing for a while now as it ensures that even their low wattage PSU's are capable of handling power hungry GPU's, especially when there is little load on the other rails.
Now that we've got the specs covered, let's check out the X4's appearance over on the next page...