By: Chris Angelini
We already know from stories like Patrick’s piece Efficiency: Core 2 Nukes Atom on the Desktop that buying the right power supply is critical—not only to make sure your system has enough available power output, but also that it doesn’t have too much, hurting efficiency. As a result of stories like that one, you’d think high-output units would look less attractive in the eyes of discerning enthusiasts. However, what about when you truly need a high-end power supply? We’ve been using Cooler Master’s UCP 1100 W in the lab for a couple of months now and have had great luck with it driving some of the most demanding configurations we’ve put together, regardless of how many CPUs, GPUs, or hard drives they’ve had.
You really get a sense of the systems this power supply is designed to support just by looking at its vast array of connectors. A single 24-pin ATX cable is standard, but the two 2x2 +12V auxiliary plugs are a clear indication of dual-processor support. And the three eight-pin PCI Express 2.0 power connectors, each with its own six-pin auxiliary connector for graphics card compatibility, accommodate as many as three flagship graphics cards. That’s enough connectivity for three GeForce GTX 280s or a pair of Radeon HD 4870 X2s. Armed with nine SATA plugs as well, Cooler Master’s beefiest PSU is the foundation for either a potent gaming machine or a massive video editing workstation.
Of course, the UCP has ample output able to back that array of connectors. Its rated capacity is 1,100 W, but peaks at up to 1,320 W. The supply boasts remarkable efficiency ratings to help make the best use of power coming from the wall, even when you’re not running your system at load. An 80 Plus Silver certification represents 88% efficiency at 50% load and 85% at 20% and 100% loads. So, you get tons of connectivity, oodles of output, and efficient operation, even when you’re idling around the Windows desktop.
- Intel Core 2 E8600
- Corsair Flash Voyager 64 GB
- MSI X58 Eclipse SLI
- Sapphire Radeon HD 4670 512MB
- Vigor Gaming Monsoon III LT
- Cooler Master UCP 1100 W PSU
- Intel Core i7 920
- Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5 TB HDD
- Diamond Radeon HD 4870 X2 Overclocked Edition
- Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R
- Corsair And OCZ Triple-Channel DDR3
- Samsung 64GB SATA II SSD