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CoolerMaster RealPower RS-550-ACLY (550W) -CoolerMaster RealPower review
Posted:2006-04-12 By hardware psu review
Number of View:9670




By :hardware psu review


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CoolerMaster RealPower RS-550-ACLY (550W) -CoolerMaster RealPower review

CoolerMaster RealPower RS-550-ACLY (550W)

I can’t but draw a parallel here. Almost one year ago we published a review in which a 450W power supply model from CoolerMaster was tested second after an A.C.Ryan Ryanpower2 ACR-PS2094 – the junior brother of the above-described ACR-PS2100! So, once again we’ve got RealPower and Ryanpower2 power supplies in the same review, but they have grown 100 watts more powerful now. This extra wattage doesn’t help the Ryanpower2 much as you’ve just seen. What about the RealPower?

CoolerMaster RealPower RS-550-ACLY (550W)CoolerMaster RealPower RS-550-ACLY (550W)

The power supply is in a steel case, painted a lusterless black color. It is cooled with a single 120mm fan and lacks a 110/230V switch – just like the Ryanpower2, but for another reason. The RS-550-ACLY features an active PFC device that supports a full range of input AC voltages from 90 to 265V.

The real manufacturer of this PSU is AcBel Polytech Inc., which is indicated by the UL certificate number on the label: E131875.

CoolerMaster RealPower RS-550-ACLY (550W)CoolerMaster RealPower RS-550-ACLY (550W)

The PSU doesn’t have detachable cables and there is no protective plastic ring where they go out of the case, just a hole with a rolled-in edge. Some users have reported their concern that the cable insulation may wear off against the edge of the case with time, that’s why I mention this at all. Personally I do not think the cables can be damaged under normal use and don’t see any big difference between a plastic ring and a rolled-in edge of the case.

CoolerMaster RealPower RS-550-ACLY (550W)CoolerMaster RealPower RS-550-ACLY (550W)

CoolerMaster RealPower RS-550-ACLY (550W)

The unit is analogous to its 450W predecessor on the inside, with active PFC (a Fairchild ML4800CP chip is employed which combines PFC and main regulator controllers; it is the chip with the blue paper label in the snapshot) and group voltage regulation. So, this is quite a regular power supply as they are today. A curious thing is that the PFC choke is wound on an E-type rather than on a toroidal core (in the bottom left corner of the first snapshot). A non-typical thing too is the ferrite ring with a brown-wire loop inside that you can see in the top left corner of the snapshot. This is a current transformer the power consumption indicator, which is to be installed in the front panel of your system case, is attached to.

CoolerMaster RealPower RS-550-ACLY (550W)CoolerMaster RealPower RS-550-ACLY (550W)

Don’t be misled by those two tall high-voltage capacitors into thinking that the RS-550ACLY is a classic-design unit with two capacitors connected in series. Both the capacitors are for 450V voltage (the operating voltage on the active PFC’s output is about 400W irrespective of the input voltage) and are connected in parallel, yielding a combined capacitance of 2*150=300µF.

You receive a power consumption indicator along with the power supply. It is inserted into a 3.5” bay of your system case. The box with the indicator contains a micro-ammeter and a blue highlighting LED; it works only with this particular power supply. Owners of light-colored system cases can replace the indicator’s faceplate with a silvery one, which is also included. The showings aren’t very accurate since the indicator has a rude scale and is also not a very high-precision measuring instrument, either. So, it should be rather viewed as decoration. I must acknowledge, however, that the indicator did report the power consumption of the PSU correctly at loads of about 300W. It would yield exaggerated numbers at higher loads and understated ones at lower loads.

CoolerMaster RealPower RS-550-ACLY (550W)

CoolerMaster cunningly declares peak currents far above typical currents for the three 12V lines. What’s the hitch? Like with any other ATX12V 2.0 power supply, you should rather look at the combined power of the 12V power rail. It is 360W here, so the combined current in all the three 12V lines cannot be higher than 30A whether it is a peak or not.

As I have written in my other reviews, power supplies with multiple +12V outputs have in fact only one +12V power rail inside which is split in several lines to comply with the requirements of a safety standard. The standard demands that the current in each line was not higher than 20A (the manufacturers even safeguard themselves setting the limit at 18A). Thus, none of the individual lines can be said to have any peak current at all since any current below 18A is normal for it, any current over 18A triggers the protection. They can put the limit of 18A on all the +12V output lines and the power supply will still be compliant with the standard. It wouldn’t require any work on the developer’s part: the PSU’s internals remain the same, and only the protection-triggering thresholds are changed. And the power supply wouldn’t become more powerful for that, as you see.

Thus, a peak current can only be specified for the common +12V rail, which is inside the PSU before it is divided into the separate outputs. But it is for this rail that there is no peak load specified here.

For the same very reason, there is no technical meaning in the words of PSU manufacturers about extra stability, extra wattage, and any other extras that multiple +12V lines bring about. You’d better just filter out this white noise you hear from the marketing departments. Stability, wattage and other characteristics all come from the “basic” +12V power rail and do not depend at all on how many lines this rail is split into on the PSU’s output. In other words, a PSU with a single 12V/36A line is not any worse than a PSU with two 12V/18A lines.

The RealPower RS-550-ACLY has the following cables and connectors:

  • Mainboard cable with a 24-pin non-separable connector (an adapter for a 20-pin connector is included); it is 49cm long
  • CPU cable with an 8-pin connector; 50cm
  • CPU cable with a 4-pin connector; 51cm
  • Two graphics card cables with 6-pin connectors; 50cm
  • Cable with three Molex connectors and one floppy mini-plug on each; 49cm to the first plug and then 15cm more to each next plug
  • Cable with three Molex connectors; 49cm+15cm+15cm
  • Cable with three SATA connectors; 49cm+15cm+15cm
  • Cable for the power consumption indicator; 60cm

There’s nothing I could cavil at. The PSU offers all connectors necessary for a modern computer, even a separate 8-pin CPU connector and as many as two power connectors for graphics cards, for SLI or CrossFire configurations. Of course, the SATA power connectors have a +3.3V voltage unlike the deficient connectors of the above-described Ryanpower2. I only think that perhaps it would be simpler for the user to have splittable CPU and mainboard connectors (one 4+4 connector instead of the two 4- and 8-pin ones and one 20+4 connector instead of the 24-pin one plus the adapter).

CoolerMaster RealPower RS-550-ACLY (550W)

Lacking independent voltage regulation, the PSU still yields very stable voltages. The output voltages remain within acceptable limits almost across the entire diagram. But like with the Ryanpower2, the maximum output power can only be achieved here if all the rails are fully loaded, which is virtually impossible in a real computer, as opposed to our specialized testbed.

CoolerMaster RealPower RS-550-ACLY (550W)

CoolerMaster RealPower RS-550-ACLY (550W)

The load being 525W, the output ripple was 23, 54 and 14 millivolts on the +5V, +12V and +3.3V rail, respectively. There is almost no low-frequency pulsation (at the double mains frequency or 100Hz in our case).

CoolerMaster RealPower RS-550-ACLY (550W)

The RS-550ACLY uses a blue-highlighted CoolerMaster A12025-25BB-2AN-PI fan (which, however, bears its native marking “Protechnic Electric MGA12012HB-O25”). The graph I got is an exact copy of the one you will find in the user manual. The fan speed remains constant at about 1200rpm under loads of below 200W. At higher loads the speed grows up linearly until it reaches 2400rpm.

The graph is shaped in the same way as the fan speed graph of the RS-450-ACLY model, but is shifted upwards by 400rpm (the speed was varied within a range of 800-2000rpm in the RS-450-ACLY), so the new model is noisier than its predecessor under the same load. Still the noise characteristics of the new PSU are acceptable; I guess you will be satisfied with it, if you do not seek for absolute silence. If you do, consider other models, perhaps even the mentioned junior model from CoolerMaster

CoolerMaster RealPower RS-550-ACLY (550W)

The unit boasts good efficiency (over 80% on average and 84% at the maximum) and power factors.

My impressions about the RealPower RS-550-ACLY are generally on the positive side. This is not an exceptional product and, despite its high total output power, corresponds rather to 400-450W models from other manufacturers in its effective load capacity, i.e. considering the way the load is distributed along the different power rails in a modern computer. But it has good electrical characteristics (excellent stability of output voltages; low level of pulsations; high efficiency) and high quality of manufacture. The CoolerMaster RS-550-ACLY is going to be a good choice for many users, except for those who value silence above everything else. Its noise characteristics are rather average and it is a little louder than the junior model from the same manufacturer (but otherwise the RS-550-ACLY has done better than the RS-450-ACLY in my tests).




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CoolerMaster RealPower RS-550-ACLY (550W) -CoolerMaster RealPower review

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CoolerMaster RealPower RS-550-ACLY (550W) -CoolerMaster RealPower review
CoolerMaster RealPower RS-550-ACLY (550W) -CoolerMaster RealPower review

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