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ActivePFC

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January 29, 2010 7:44:35 PM

Hello. Just learned that my CoolerMaster 700w '80plus' PSU with 'ActivePFC' has damaged my video card, mobo, and possibly the CPU, voiding the mfr warranties. In just 4 months of operation and weel within the 5yr warranty for the PSU. Reason: voltage is outside tolerance for the components.

CoolerMaster has 'gone dark' since learning of my problem. I am unable to engage them for a remedy.

I have contacted 80 to learn more about that certification and would like to understand ActivePFC as well, before approaching the FTC.

In my actual experience '80Plus' and 'ActivePFC' are just buzzwords for an industry-wide deception.

Re CoolerMaster, you have been warned...

If you begin to notice your video display is 'wobbling' slightly, be advised. You may have much bigger problems than just your GPU.

More about : activepfc

a b U Graphics card
January 30, 2010 2:26:43 AM

meh manafacturers always have duds from time to time, get used to it

everything marketing is buzzwords - thats why there are reviews for hardware to help you see through all that crap

Best solution

a c 248 ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
January 30, 2010 7:43:08 AM
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Here's the best I can do in plain English without getting technical:

Power Factor Correction is related to the power at the wall outlet (mains). The power at the wall outlet (mains) is not the same in all countries. In the USA it varies between 110 and 120 volts. In other countries it may vary between 220 and 240 volts. In addition the power at the wall outlet (mains) is not be stable. Passive PFC is related to manual correction. There is a red switch on a power supply that requires a user to make make a manual/passive correction by selecting either 110 -120 or 220 - 240 volts. In addition the power supply has components that help stabilize the incoming power. Active PFC simply means power correction is done automatically by the power supply. Active PFC is a mandatory requirement in most European countries. As a result passive PFC is very rare now.

Incidently, it is not just power supplies that have PFC. Other electronic devices such as audio and video equipment also have PFC. About 25 years ago Panasonic and Grundig used to make televisions that would work anywhere in the world with any voltage. They also had the ability to switch between NTSC, PAL, SECAM, and other standards. The TV's were popular with US military personnel stationed overseas.
Related resources
a c 144 ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
January 30, 2010 12:09:37 PM

zztopp said:

In my actual experience '80Plus' and 'ActivePFC' are just buzzwords for an industry-wide deception.

Not true. What is true, however, is that "Active PFC" and "80Plus", while good things in their own right, do not guarantee a quality PSU.

CoolerMaster makes some nice cases. They haven't yet learned to make good PSU's. We don't need warnings to that effect. In fact, if you had asked us, we wouldn't have recommended CoolerMaster.
a c 248 ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
January 30, 2010 12:33:18 PM

^5 +1 what jsc said
February 7, 2010 8:25:52 AM

The 12V reading is 12.57V.

ActivePFC implies power fluctuation control but in actuality means nothing more than the auto-sensing of 110v-220v systems. Courtesy of CoolerMaster technical support.

80plus After engaging 80plus, my opinion is that their intentions are good, but the results are lacking. 80plus seeks to improve the operating efficiency of PSU's through the adoption of patented technology. The problem is the technologies are understood by very few and scrutinized by even fewer.
It is relatively easy to secure a certification and very difficult to assess or challenge a certification once it has been awarded. It is pretty much a closed system. They test a few units. If they pass, they bless them all. No audits exist. 80plus is not interested in discreet testing of poorly performing PSU's.
They will audit your PSU's 80plus certification for $1k. That's $1k not $1.

Over-voltage protection. Still looking to reconcile my PSU's 'over-voltage protection' feature v its performance. Evga says the GTX275 voltage tolerances are 11.85V-12.35V and that 12.57V voids the warranty. CoolerMaster denies it is responsible for system components and states that further testing is necessary to determine if the PSU is defective.


12.57V is within the ATX 12V form factor specification. The max allowed is 12.6V.

I also cannot reconcile the fundamental operational conflict and incompatibility between my GTX275 GPU and the ATX 12V form factor specification. 12.35V v 12.6V. Virtually every GPU industry-wide has an operational tolerance < 12.4V. So the question remains: what exactly is over-voltage protection?
If it is the constraining of voltages <= 12.6V, then it has little practical value. If it is the constraining of voltages to an acceptable variance of say +-1%, then it has a definite value.

In my experience the over-voltage protection did not limit the voltage on the 12V rail enough to protect components from damage. I have no way to assess the performance of the PSU relative to the feature, because the feature is itself ambiguous.

Product disambiguation is needed. Until that happens - until we can assess the relative advantages of competing products directly - relying upon the reputation of the vendor will remain the 'best' and 'only' approach for choosing the 'right' power supply.

For many, trusting the vendor will be enough. My grandma always drove a Ford. For others, product quality will trump brand. In a competitive marketplace, brand independence breeds innovation. I prefer to assess the product and I respect others preference to rely upon the vendor.
February 7, 2010 9:01:04 AM

Out: CoolerMaster Silent Pro M 700w ActivePFC- 80plus - Overvoltage protection - Modular.
Also Out: Silverstone Strider Plus 1000w. modular but the cables are REAL thick. Want ribbons.

Criteria: please recommend PSU's that are 700w or greater, must be modular, modular cables must be THIN cables, must have 'real' over-voltage protection, must have ActivePFC and must be 80plus certified. Prefer 80plus silver. ATX 12V PSU. Must be QUIET! Top mount. My understanding is that 1 rail is better than multiple rails. If there is any other criteria I am overlooking please let me know.

Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz
Evga x58 Northbridge Mobo
Mushkin Redline Triple Channel 1600 DDR3 6-7-6-18 6x2 12gb
Evga GTX275 1942Mb DDR3 Nvidia
1 SATA Hd
1 Dvd
Not overclocked.
Standard cooling.
Possibly will OC and Water Cool

I have a list from Computer Juice that says Enermax Galaxy, PC&C TurboCool and Silencer, and Zippy are top tier. I do not want to spend over $200 but I will if you make your case. These top tiers are all pricey.

Thank you.
February 7, 2010 8:51:22 PM

apache_lives said:
meh manafacturers always have duds from time to time, get used to it

everything marketing is buzzwords - thats why there are reviews for hardware to help you see through all that crap


Very true. Part if the problem is that Newegg manages it's forum content to the advantage of the vendor.
Information that is considered negative is arbitrarily suppressed.
I learned this when my own objectively critical review was not published.

I had relied upon that information (Newegg forums) in formulating my purchasing decision.

Had I known that the information was managed subjectively, I would not have relied upon it.
Had Newegg been more responsible, I could have avoided this vendor completely.

I am hopeful that there will be better customer alignment in the future. Until that happens, I will not return.
I am doing what I can to promote integrity in the marketplace.

Thank you for your reply. I appreciate your comments.

I plan to make this site my new first PC-information source. Wish I had come here sooner.
February 7, 2010 9:06:43 PM

JohnnyLucky said:
Here's the best I can do in plain English without getting technical:

Power Factor Correction is related to the power at the wall outlet (mains). The power at the wall outlet (mains) is not the same in all countries. In the USA it varies between 110 and 120 volts. In other countries it may vary between 220 and 240 volts. In addition the power at the wall outlet (mains) is not be stable. Passive PFC is related to manual correction. There is a red switch on a power supply that requires a user to make make a manual/passive correction by selecting either 110 -120 or 220 - 240 volts. In addition the power supply has components that help stabilize the incoming power. Active PFC simply means power correction is done automatically by the power supply. Active PFC is a mandatory requirement in most European countries. As a result passive PFC is very rare now.

Incidently, it is not just power supplies that have PFC. Other electronic devices such as audio and video equipment also have PFC. About 25 years ago Panasonic and Grundig used to make televisions that would work anywhere in the world with any voltage. They also had the ability to switch between NTSC, PAL, SECAM, and other standards. The TV's were popular with US military personnel stationed overseas.


Thank you for your reply. I wonder if you could help me understand what 'over-voltage protection'
actually means and, once articulated, assess the PSU performance relative to that standard.

I am trying to reconcile the over-voltage protection feature of this PSU v its actual 12.57V performance.

February 7, 2010 9:31:32 PM

jsc said:
Not true. What is true, however, is that "Active PFC" and "80Plus", while good things in their own right, do not guarantee a quality PSU.

CoolerMaster makes some nice cases. They haven't yet learned to make good PSU's. We don't need warnings to that effect. In fact, if you had asked us, we wouldn't have recommended CoolerMaster.


Thank you for your reply.

We agree on CoolerMaster. Not the PSU vendor of choice. Their cases are very nice, would like to see more designs that are water- centric.

Unfortunately I learned the hard way. Just lucky that way. The CoolerMaster Silent Pro M is going home to daddy. I will use their replacement (assuming they agree it is defective) as a back-up if at all. I need a PSU that will respect the operational tolerances of the system components. I want to avoid 12.57V on the 12V rail. Sounds simple enough. Let me know if you can help. My criteria is listed above within this thread.





February 8, 2010 4:32:49 PM

Update: CoolerMaster says 12.57V is not a problem.

COOLER MASTER's Response:
Dear Valued Customer, We apologize for any inconvenience. The 12V rail would have to go over 13V to be considered a significant over-voltage. If it does indeed go over 13V, the power supply automatically powers down. So the 12V voltage was operating normally. Whatever power supply you buy, please check your hardware to make sure you don't run into further problems. Please contact us if you need any further assistance. Respectfully, CMUSA - Customer Support.

February 18, 2010 3:07:58 PM

Best answer selected by zztopp.
February 18, 2010 4:31:47 PM

Evga is replacing the GPU. They admit their cards will not work at voltages above 12.35V. They continue to assert that their cards are compatible with ATX 12V power supplies.

CoolerMaster continues to claim that 12.57V is acceptable, and states that up to 13V is acceptable. They continue to deny defects or responsibility for components.

The facts are:

(All) Evga video cards fail at voltages >12.35V
The ATX form factor specification for the ATX 12V 2.3 power supply is 12.6V.
12.35V and 12.6V voltages are not congruent.
CoolerMaster states that the PSU is operating to specification.
Evga states that the card is operating to specification.
Neither CoolerMaster or Evga will admit that the products are incompatible.
CoolerMaster refuses to comment. Evga adamantly denies.


My conclusions are:

The industry lacks integrity. Better regulation is needed. Until that happens, vendors will continue to use false and misleading information to their advantage.
'Over-voltage protection' is a great example.

In my opinion a marketing strategy that claims over- voltage protection with knowledge that the protection happens far too late to protect components from damage is materially deceptive and intellectually dishonest.

Thanks again to everyone who shared an opinion. All answers were valuable.

I remain open to your comments regarding the fundamental design conflicts between Evga graphics cards (sic all cards) and the new ATX 12V 2.3 form factor, or the larger topic of industry marketing practices.

For the record, Evga states that the 12.35V tolerance of their cards is an industry- wide practice. I did not verify this, but I consider it to be credible.

I was unable to find information relating to voltage tolerances of comparable products. Manufacturers do not list the voltage tolerance information within their product specifications.

80-plus was not interested in assessing the performance of the PSU. They indicated they would do so for a fee of $1k.

UL is not a practical venue. Way too slow. Still waiting on their followup promised over 2 weeks ago.

The complacency appears to be real and pervasive.
a c 248 ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
February 18, 2010 5:40:55 PM

The atx standards for power supplies and other components sometimes change. The changes are included in new versions of the atx standard. The current operating range for +12 voltage is a minumum of of +11.40 volts and a maximum of +12.60 volts. You stated the +12 volt reading is +12.57 volts. Your reading is within the acceptable operating range.

Some power supplies contain an overvoltage protection circuit which will short (stop) the power supply output if an overvoltage condition occurs. The overvoltage has to actually exceed +12.6 volts before the psu shuts down. Based on your reading of +12.57 volts which is within operating limits there was no reason for the overlvoltage protection circuit to shut off the power supply. In principle it is not much different from a thermostat on an air conditioner or a heater. In fact it is not much different from an alarm clock. If you set an alarm for 06:00, then the alarm will not sound at 05:59.
February 18, 2010 6:00:10 PM

Would you agree that an Evga graphics card, such as mine, with an operational voltage limitation of 12.4V, is incompatible with the current ATX 12V specifications?

Would you consider the non- congruent operational voltage tolerances of the PSU and graphics card to be significant to a purchasing decision?

Would you consider the refusal of both manufacturers to affirm the incompatibility to be either deception or collusion?

How do you reconcile the actions of the vendors in my case?

a c 248 ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
February 18, 2010 6:07:47 PM

No.

No.

No.

You misunderstood active PFC and overvoltage protection in power supplies. It appears you misunderstand video cards also.
February 18, 2010 6:14:28 PM


btw Great catchphrase 'Life Is A Glitch'. Wish I had thought of it..
It's yours. Congrats. I will not plagiarize it, although I would love to.
February 18, 2010 6:17:39 PM

Can you be more specific? My sources are the respective vendors.
a c 248 ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
February 19, 2010 2:12:16 AM

The ATX standard applies to motherboards, power supplies, and pc cases. The standard does not apply to other components.

The PCI-SIG standard applies to video cards.

You cannot apply the ATX standard to the PCI-SIG standard.

Video cards are manufactured with their own power management and power distribution components and circuits. The voltage is regulated and adjusted as required. Modern PCI-e x16 video cards such as the Evga GTX275 have three sources of power - the PCI-e slot on the motherboard and two PCI-e psu power cables. When three sources are supplying power it is normal for the video card to reduce the input voltage.

You now have an explanation why the +12 volt operating range for the power supply is different from the +12 volt operating range of the video card and why they are still compatible. If they were not compatible my pc would have fried and I would not be posting this comment.

You will have to look for a different reason for your system failure. Have you examined the interior of your power supply? Have any of the capacitors blown? Has wire insulation melted or burned? Is there a short circuit?



a b U Graphics card
February 19, 2010 6:07:41 AM

JohnnyLucky said:
Here's the best I can do in plain English without getting technical:

Power Factor Correction is related to the power at the wall outlet (mains). The power at the wall outlet (mains) is not the same in all countries. In the USA it varies between 110 and 120 volts. In other countries it may vary between 220 and 240 volts. In addition the power at the wall outlet (mains) is not be stable. Passive PFC is related to manual correction. There is a red switch on a power supply that requires a user to make make a manual/passive correction by selecting either 110 -120 or 220 - 240 volts. In addition the power supply has components that help stabilize the incoming power. Active PFC simply means power correction is done automatically by the power supply. Active PFC is a mandatory requirement in most European countries. As a result passive PFC is very rare now.

Incidently, it is not just power supplies that have PFC. Other electronic devices such as audio and video equipment also have PFC. About 25 years ago Panasonic and Grundig used to make televisions that would work anywhere in the world with any voltage. They also had the ability to switch between NTSC, PAL, SECAM, and other standards. The TV's were popular with US military personnel stationed overseas.

This explanation of PFC is at best misleading and vastly oversimplified, and at worst dead wrong.

Power factor is the ratio of real power to apparent power in an AC system. Real power is related to what you can actually power off of the device, which is what you want in order to get a certain output (for example, an 80% efficient 400W PSU needs to have 500W of real power input from the wall at full load). Apparent power is related to the amount of current that is drawn though. This can be significantly higher than what you would expect from the simple P=IV relation. Using the example above again, the 500W PSU would be expected (based on P=IV) to draw a current of slightly over 4 amps (500 watts/120V). However, if it has a power factor of 0.5, it will actually draw over 8 amps to deliver 500 watts of real power. The reason that it can do this and still only be drawing 500 watts is because in this situation, the voltage and current would be out of phase. This means that the voltage peak and the current peak would not occur simultaneously, which would reduce the net power output of the system (relative to what you would expect given the voltage and current values).

Normally, you wouldn't think this would be that big of a deal, as it does not actually increase the power used by the system. However, it does increase the peak current used by the system, which increases the load on the wiring and makes the system more likely to trip a circuit breaker or melt a too-thin extension cord. Therefore, ideally, you would have a power factor of very close to 1 (where real power and apparent power are the same, and there is no excess current). Power supplies with no power factor correction would do quite poorly in this area, and as a result, a correction circuit is added to attempt to fix this. Passive power factor correction does this using a purely passive circuit using inductors and capacitors. This is often bulky and expensive if done well however, and rarely gives very good results. Active power factor correction uses active circuits instead, is smaller, and allows for very good power factors of >0.97 (higher in some cases).

It is also often true that passive PFC power supplies require you to manually set the voltage via an external switch, but that is not the primary difference between the two.
February 19, 2010 4:34:29 PM

JohnnyLucky said:


Video cards are manufactured with their own power management and power distribution components and circuits. The voltage is regulated and adjusted as required. Modern PCI-e x16 video cards such as the Evga GTX275 have three sources of power - the PCI-e slot on the motherboard and two PCI-e psu power cables. When three sources are supplying power it is normal for the video card to reduce the input voltage.

You now have an explanation why the +12 volt operating range for the power supply is different from the +12 volt operating range of the video card and why they are still compatible. If they were not compatible my pc would have fried and I would not be posting this comment.

You will have to look for a different reason for your system failure. Have you examined the interior of your power supply? Have any of the capacitors blown? Has wire insulation melted or burned? Is there a short circuit?



Thanks for stepping up. This information is key. I now have a resolve.

Recap:
I had negative display artifacts. I swapped monitors. No.

I contacted the graphics card manufacturer.
Evga stated that the 12V voltage of 12.57V voided the warranty.

I contacted the PSU manufacturer.
CoolerMaster stated that 12.57V is within the ATX 12V 2.3 specification. They denied defects or responsibility for components.

The information provided by the vendors was not congruent.
Neither vendor was willing to affirm a defect and neither vendor was willing to affirm an incompatibility.

I engaged the manufacturers, 80plus, UL, and experts.


Conclusion

The information you have provided today directly contradicts, and, in my opinion, refutes, the contentions of the graphics card manufacturer.

Thank you for providing it.

Evga should have recognized their product defects and did not do so.

Their failure to assert ownership has been the driver for everything that has followed.

The problem disambiguation has required a significant commitment of my time and could have easily been avoided.

I consider their actions to be irresponsible and capricious.

I will engage them for their resolve.







a c 248 ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
February 19, 2010 6:08:38 PM

cjl - Welcome to the party!

You are correct. I did oversimplify. I restricted my comments about active and passive power factor correction to the original version. I did not mention any variations. I did that to avoid confusion. Energy efficiency did not apply to the OP's comments and issues.

In an atx revision a goal was set for 70% energy efficiency. A subsequent atx revision incrased the goal to 80% energy efficiency. I have not seen the final version of atx version 3.0 so I don't know if the goal has been increased again.

The power factor you describe in your first paragraph is related to the atx energy efficiency goal. We now have some power supplies that can actually exceed 95% energy efficiency over a large operating range. I don't think we'll ever reach an energy efficienct power factor of 1 since that would mean 100% energy efficiency. If Jack popped in I'm sure he would post a lengthy comment about the effect of electrical resistance which is one of the electrical phenomena that reduces energy efficiency and the related power factor. That is just one example why a power supply draws more power than it delivers.

We often have individuals ask if a 500 watt power supply will draw 500 watts at the wall outlet (mains) when the pc system only requires 300 watts during a gaming session. The typical response is the power supply only draws what is needed. Although correct, the response is incomplete. As you correctly pointed out the power supply will actually draw more power.
a b U Graphics card
February 19, 2010 8:18:22 PM

JohnnyLucky said:
cjl - Welcome to the party!

You are correct. I did oversimplify. I restricted my comments about active and passive power factor correction to the original version. I did not mention any variations. I did that to avoid confusion. Energy efficiency did not apply to the OP's comments and issues.

In an atx revision a goal was set for 70% energy efficiency. A subsequent atx revision incrased the goal to 80% energy efficiency. I have not seen the final version of atx version 3.0 so I don't know if the goal has been increased again.

The power factor you describe in your first paragraph is related to the atx energy efficiency goal. We now have some power supplies that can actually exceed 95% energy efficiency over a large operating range. I don't think we'll ever reach an energy efficienct power factor of 1 since that would mean 100% energy efficiency. If Jack popped in I'm sure he would post a lengthy comment about the effect of electrical resistance which is one of the electrical phenomena that reduces energy efficiency and the related power factor. That is just one example why a power supply draws more power than it delivers.

We often have individuals ask if a 500 watt power supply will draw 500 watts at the wall outlet (mains) when the pc system only requires 300 watts during a gaming session. The typical response is the power supply only draws what is needed. Although correct, the response is incomplete. As you correctly pointed out the power supply will actually draw more power.

No, a power factor of 1 would NOT signify 100% efficiency. Power factor and efficiency are two separate things (and, interestingly enough, passive PFC is often more efficient than active PFC, but less effective at correcting the power factor). Power factor is, quite simply, the ratio of real power to apparent power in an AC circuit. That is all. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the efficiency of the power supply, it only has to do with the number of watts it draws (input) compared to the number of VARs (volt-amperes) that it draws (also on the input). In an ideal resistive load, this ratio is exactly 1. On a reactive load, this ratio is less than 1 however, and this means that the current draw is higher for a given real power (watts input), which puts a higher load on the upstream components such as wiring, surge protectors, and the overall power grid.

Efficiency is a separate matter. Efficiency is the ratio of real power out (watts) to real power in (watts). Most modern power supplies have an efficiency between 80 and 92%, so their output power is 80-92% of the input power. They also often have active power factor correction, and this allows them to run at a power factor of >0.98 most of the time. This means that the input power is roughly 98% or higher compared to the input volt-amps. This is excellent, and with modern electronics, a power factor of essentially 1 is not that difficult to achieve.

To give an example, lets say you have an old power supply without modern PFC. Lets say it has a power factor at a typical load of 0.6, and an efficiency of 70%. I'll compare it to a modern 80+ PSU with 85% efficiency and a power factor off 0.98. I'll assume each is powering the same system with a power draw of 300W.

First, using the efficiency, you can find the power draw of each power supply to supply 300W. The first power supply will require 300/70% = 427 watts from the wall. This is the real power required. The second power supply will require 300/85% = 356 watts. So, the 80+ PSU will save over 70 watts in this case compared to the old PSU. This doesn't tell the whole story however. If you want to find out how close you are to overloading your circuit, you need to know how many amps the power supply is drawing. In order to figure this out, you need the power factor. The first power supply, with a power factor of 0.6, has a real power to apparent power ratio of 0.6. As a result, it will be drawing 427/0.6 = 712 volt-amps of apparent power. This is equivalent to just under 6 amps of draw on a standard US 120V outlet, which is quite significant. The modern PSU, with active PFC, will draw 356/0.98 = 363 volt-amps of apparent power (just over 3 amps). This is a huge difference - the modern power supply will require just over half the current that the older power supply will to drive the same load, even though the efficiency difference is only 15%.

This is the reason that a high power factor is desired - it's true that your power meter only cares about the real power (not the apparent power), and only the real power matters as far as heat generated or efficiency are concerned, but the apparent power determines the current flow, which is what determines whether you will blow a breaker or melt a wire (or some other such bad thing) when trying to run a system. Even though the maximum power available from a standard US outlet is 1800W, a 200W system with a power factor of 0.1 would overload the circuit due to the excessive current draw (due to the low power factor).
a c 248 ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
February 19, 2010 10:29:06 PM

cjl - Your response is making sense so I must assume I have been reading articles that are either partially or totally incorrect. Time for me to do more research.

I have a question. I know that as the load on a psu is increased from 20% to 100% the power draw at the wall outlet increases which also means an increase in current. The increase also results in an increase in current on the +12 volt line. I would think that is normal. Am I at least correct in stating the increasing power demands of components are the cause of the increased current? I keep wanting to start with components and work back to the wall outlet.

I checked the specs for my new Seasonic X-650 (SS-650KM) power supply and took a look at 80+. They list the power factor as 0.99 at 20% load and 1 at 50% and at 100% load but show different efficiencies that are less than 100%. I stand corrected. Not the first time I have been wrong.

a b U Graphics card
February 19, 2010 11:24:53 PM

The increasing power demands are the cause of the increased current, yes. At a given power factor, the current will be directly proportional to the power - 2x the power will require 2x the current.

The power factor is a correction for AC circuits in which the current and voltage are out of phase (which only matters on the input side of the PSU). A PSU drawing 300W at a power factor of 0.5 will be pulling the same current from the wall as a PSU drawing 600W at a power factor of 1, but only getting half the usable power.

See here for more details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_factor

(Oh, and for reference, a standard SMPS with no PFC at all has a power factor of 0.55-0.65, passive PFC has an efficiency of around 96% and a power factor of 0.7-0.75, and active PFC has an efficiency of around 94% with a power factor of >0.95. 80+ certification requires a power factor of 0.9 or better in addition to the efficiency requirements)
February 21, 2010 4:01:15 AM

According to Hardwaresecrets.com this power supply was tested and reviewed on July 14, 2009 and failed. It failed due to execessive noise generation on the 5v standby and both the 12v and -12v beyond 60% useage, specifically it failed at 80% and 100% usage test. It also failed on overprotection circuit in that it took 32amps to activate protection across 2 virtual rails when the rails were designed to reach only 19 amps.
The ATX specification and EPS specifications were therfore not met and the units were marketed anyway. CoolerMaster is/was advised of the results and apparently choose to ignore it and sell the units anyway.
Seems like a pretty easy case to win for damages.
Unfortunately this leads to who certified this unit within the federal requirements? Did they just rely on the fact that 3 other high end marketers used some of the same equipment and didn't actually test it, they just handed certification blindly,yes.
a c 248 ) Power supply
a b U Graphics card
February 21, 2010 6:23:43 AM

roonj

I just read the review you referenced. Coolermaster has three 700 watt power supplies that are 80+ rated. Is the Coolermaster 700 watt power supply in the review the same model that zztopp has? I can't tell. ztopp never identified the exact model.

Here is a link to the Hardware Secrets review you referenced in your post:

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/759/1

You interpretation of the technical review is interesting to say the least.

Here are links to additional technical reviews:

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/1570/cooler_master_ucp...

http://www.hwreviewlabs.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

http://cluboc.net/reviews/power/coolermaster/Ultimate70...

What federal requirements are you referring to? Please post a link so I can have a look. I am not aware of any federal requirements. I'd like to read those requirements.
February 21, 2010 11:04:22 AM

COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 700 RS-700-AMBA-D3 700W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

Model
Brand COOLER MASTER
Model RS-700-AMBA-D3
Spec
Type ATX12V V2.3
Maximum Power 700W
Fans 135mm silent fan
PFC Active
+12V Rails Single
PCI-Express Connector 2 x 6+2-Pin
SATA Power Connector 9
SLI Certified
CrossFire Ready
Modular Yes
Power Good Signal 100-500ms
Hold-up Time 17ms min.
Efficiency > 85%
Energy-Efficient 80 PLUS Certified
Over Voltage Protection Yes
Overload Protection Yes
MTBF >100,000 Hours
Approvals NEMKO, TUV, CE, GOST, C-tick, UL, FCC
Features
Connectors 1 x Main connector (20+4Pin)
1 x CPU 4+4 Pin
5 x Peripheral
9 x SATA
1 x Floppy
2 x PCI-E
Features Modularized cable design to eliminate clutter and improve airflow inside the chassis
Two 6+2 pin PCI-e connectors for multiple graphic card set-ups
Energy efficient design that meets 80 Plus requirements
Single + 12V rail provides more power for over-clock
Compliant with Intel standard ATX 12V V2.3
Super silent operation with intelligent 135mm fan speed control
Protection: OVP / UVP / OCP / OPP / OTP / SCP / OLP
Unique combination of copper plates with aluminum heat sinks to efficiently cooled
Flat cable design for easier cable arrangement
High quality components including Japanese made capacitors
Silicon shock absorption rubber pads around the edges of the power supply
Green power design that meets energy star, blue angel and RoHS requirements
Manufacturer Warranty
Parts 5 years limited
Labor 5 years limited
!