The power supplies in Cooler Master’s VS line are semi-modular. We imagine the company has to leave at least a benchmarkable delta between these units and its top-of-the-line V offerings. Still, we're presented with technical specifications that definitely don't reflect a budget-oriented model. In line with the rest of our field, Cooler Master's V450S is 80 PLUS Gold-certified. It also holds its own in our evaluation of power quality compared to the V-series.
Build-wise, the V450S feels solid. Its chassis is silver/gray and black, and very compact. As we've come to expect from Cooler Master, there's a single +12 V rail (though that's also par for this price and power category, too). According to the company, the V450S' +12 V rail is supposed to be good for up to 36 A, delivering up to 432 W.
Again, the VS line’s cables are semi-modular, which is to say that the motherboard, CPU, and auxiliary graphics card leads are fixed. They’re also round and sleeved. The other cables are modular and flat.
Cooler Master finishes last in our round-up when it comes to the number of connectors to which you have access. There are two PCIe, six SATA, and three Molex plugs. Cable length isn't a strong suit either. The fixed cables are relatively long, but the modular ones are simply shorter than competing units in today's story.
|AC Input||100-240 V, 50-60 Hz|
|DC Output||+3.3 V||+5 V||+12 V (#1)||+12 V (#2)||+12 V (#3)||+12 V (#4)||-12 V||+5 Vsb|
|20 A||20 A||36 A||N/A||N/A||N/A||0.3 A||2.5 A|
|Individual Output||3.6 W||12.5 W|
|Rail Utilization||Sys||Sys||CPU & VGA|
|Combined Output||100 W||432 W|
|Total Continuous Output||450 W|
A look at the V450S' efficiency puts those shorter cables out of mind for a minute. No other power supply in this round-up comes close to its numbers, especially at low loads.
At 100- and 50-percent load, the V450S lands about one-half percent above what's necessary for 80 PLUS Gold certification. At 20 percent, it hits 89.7 percent (instead of the 87 percent required), which is about 2.5 percent better than the assembled competition. Moreover, its lead increases with lower loads. Barely any PSU out there can manage an efficiency of more than 80 percent at a 25 W load.
This takes us to the ripple and noise measurements. Everything looks good there well. We measure very little ripple on all rails, and a smooth curve tells a story of high-quality components.
The V450S' fan runs continuously, but it doesn’t generate as much noise as the Revolution X't's cooler. An acoustic output of 31.1 dB(A) measured at 50 W is very quiet. It doesn’t get much louder at medium loads, either. Cooler Master's V450S produces 31.6 dB(A) at 200 W.
A Look at the PCB
Cooler Master makes decisions similar to what we saw from Enermax. The OEM manufacturer Enhance, which is Cooler Master’s current favorite, built a modern design with an LLC (two inductor, one capacitor) topology and DC-to-DC converters for the smaller voltages. The VS family features a mix of Japanese and Chinese components as well. To that point, the large primary capacitor is made by Panasonic, while the secondary ones are built by Suncon.
There’s also a complete input filter design, and everything appears to be soldered well. Finally, there’s an eye-catching heat sink on the primary side of the PSU that’s rather large for a Gold-certified unit.
Although this power supply is available in Europe where our testing was conducted, Cooler Master doesn't sell it in the U.S. Regardless of how much we like it, only our readers overseas have access to the V450S.