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Cooler Master Real Power Pro 650W Cooler Master Real Power Pro 650W: While PSU units are getting bigger, are they really getting better? Cooler Master's latest doesn't hit the 1k Watt mark, but it's the quality that matters.
Date: June 18, 2007
Manufacturer:
Written By:
Price:

Having a 600W or higher power supply doesn't mean anything if the power provided isn't reliable. Most of the time, the big numbers thrown at us are theoretical peak voltages, and rarely do we see such performance in real-world situations. If you browse user forums where people are struggling with getting a piece of hardware to run reliably, in many cases, the power supply is the culprit.

Let's make this clear, just because you have a generic 600W PSU does not mean you'll be able to get all that power. Unfortunently, even the big companies who preach about getting beefier PSUs for their hardware don't make it clear exactly how much peak, and continuous power you really need.

Cooler Master are well known for their cases and cooling accessories, but their power supplies are also a big part of their portfolio, especially the Real Power series. Thus far in 2007, we've seen more and more 1000W+ power supplies hit the market, and although the Cooler Master Real Power Pro 650W (model #RS-650-ACAA) doesn't reach that number, there are plenty of other features that puts it up for potential contendership in your next major PC upgrade.

Specifications

Type ATX Form Factor 12V V2.2 / SSI standard EPS 12V V2.91
Input Voltage 90 ~ 264V (Auto Range)
Input Current 10A @ 115Vac / 5A @ 230Vac
Input Frequency Range 47~63 Hz
Power Good Signal 100 ~ 500 ms
Hold Up Time > 17ms
Efficiency > 80% Typical
Output Capacity 650 Watts Continuous, 780W Peak
MTBF > 100,000 Hours
Dimension Standard ATX 150 x 140 x 86 (mm)

Like many power supplies, at least those that are of good quality that has passed through our labs, the Real Power Pro is quite heavy, matching the weight of other comparatively rated PSUs we have. While the PSU rule of weight does not always hold true, the general consensus is that the heavier it is, the better quality it is. In part, this is simply due to the better quality heatsinks and capacitors in the unit.

The PSU is neatly packaged in a plastic bag, which in turn is packed into a foam inner compartment. Inside, we have the Real Power Pro 650W PSU, a power cable, manual, and installation screws. The power connections, as well as the screws and power cable rest in the smaller compartment next to the Real Power Pro.

The Real Power Pro 650W is an ATX power supply. The dimensions are within ATX specifications and the PSU measures 150 mm x 140 mm x 86 mm. The drive is not modular, so everything you need is already pre-wired to the PSU. There is a specifications sticker on the left side (when facing the PSU from where the cables exit) of the PSU.

At first glance, we can see that a total of 191 Watts are provided on the +3.3v and +5v rails, 540W on the +12v rail, 9.6W on the negative rails, and 17.5W on the +5v rail (for USB) giving us 650W total. The Real Power Pro is rated for a maximum of 780W but under normal circumstances (that's equipped in a PC that will max it out) it runs at 650W continuous. The Real Power Pro also has triple +12v rails (peaks of 19A across the board). Additional rails will aid in keeping a system stable as you can separate devices based on power consumption into the rails of your choosing. This is extremely important these days with water cooling, and multiple video card setups.

Both SLI and CrossFire are fully supported. In regards to power standards, the Real Power Pro complies with Intel's ATX 12V v2.2 and SSI standard EPS 12V v2.91, as well as Energy Star and Blue Angel requirements. The unit is a green power design, and is rated at more than 80% efficiency under typical load.

The Real Power PSU features protection for Over-Temperature, Over-Voltage, Under-Voltage, Over-Current, Short Circuit Protection, and Over-Loading. If such an event occurs, the Power Failure Detector on the rear of the PSU will light up to indicate a failure.

Cooler Master chose the "Honey Comb" structure for the rear of the unit. The perforations allows a fair amount of air to be exhausted (via the 120mm fan) and is less obstructive than traditional precut grill methods. No voltage switch is present as the PSU auto regulates the power. Just above the power switch is the indicator light mentioned earlier to warn the user of errors in the voltage.

Exact CFM requirements will vary depending on the load and environment, but 60 to 80 CFM is typical of the cooling fan on the Real Power. The circuitry in the PSU senses the temperature of the internal heatsink and/or ambient air and adjusts the fan speed accordingly to keep the unit operating within specifications.

All of the cables are covered in a braided sheath which serves to hide the multicolored wiring. All the cables are very long and we had no problems running them through our Cooler Master Stacker behemoth. For your connections, you have the following: one 24 pin motherboard connection (P1), a 4 pin +12v CPU connection (P2), an 8 pin +12V CPU connection (P3), two PCI-E connections (P4 and P5), six SATA, five Molex, and one floppy connection. Each Molex connection have push tabs that make removal easier when you're swapping devices.

Testing

MSI 975X Diamond: Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840 w/Zalman CNPS9500, 2GB Corsair DDR2 8000UL, 2 x Seagate 400GB, Seagate 120GB, Asus Radeon X1900 XTX, MSI 16X DL, AOpen CDRW 52X.

To load up the system, we run Prime95 run for 60 minutes, with Folding @ Home running in the background, as well as ripping a War of the Worlds DVD to the Seagate RAID setup. We also ran a continuous loop of VirusScan and a looping demo of 3DMark05. Voltages were monitored with ABRA DM-9700 multimeter. The comparison PSUs are the Cooler Master iGreen 600W, Corsair HX620W, and the Enermax Liberty EL620AWT. All the power supplies were plugged into a Belkin UPS (separately for each test) for the first set of tests.

Temperatures

Most PSUs have an ideal operating temperature of about 40°C, so we disabled the case fans and taped shut all the case openings other than the PSU exhaust. According to MBM, the internal case temperature got to about ~42°C, and a thermal probe attached a heatsink inside the PSUs read 46°C for the Enermax Liberty EL620AWT, 45°C on the iGreen Power, Corsair HX620W and Cooler Master Real Power 650W.

Idle

+3.3v
+5v
+12v
CM Real Power Pro
3.30
5.12
12.08
Enermax EL620
3.31
5.12
12.07
Corsair HX620W
3.30
5.11
12.08
CM iGreen Power
3.27
5.08
12.09

Load

+3.3v
+5v
+12v
CM Real Power Pro
3.23
5.00
12.02
Enermax EL620
3.22
5.01
12.01
Corsair HX620W
3.21
5.02
11.96
CM iGreen Power
3.22
5.00
12.01

While the Belkin regulated the power drawn from the wall outlet, you'll still need a decent PSU to provide clean and reliable power to your PC. All of the power supplies do well here and there is little difference between the results.

Wall Socket Test

Living in a new home, most of our wires are in pretty good shape. I did want to see how the PSUs would react plugged into a wall socket though (no power bar or UPS) and the other socket with a second PC equipped with a 21" CRT yanked from storage drawing power from a power bar. I managed to pack two additional 17" monitors to the power bar, as well as a 4.1 Logitech speaker set. I turned on a second 19" monitor plugged into another socket which shares the wiring circuit and ended with these results.

Load

+3.3v
+5v
+12v
CM Real Power Pro
3.22
4.98
11.99
Enermax EL620
3.20
5.00
12.01
Corsair HX620W
3.20
5.00
11.95
CM iGreen Power
3.21
4.99
11.98

All the PSUs lost a bit of power, but not enough to cause any problems at all. The Enermax Liberty still holds up a little better but none of the units suffered any instability.

Final Words

Cooler Master's Real Power 650W is about as reliable as we would expect from their Real Power series of power supplies. The system never faltered during testing, though we only managed to draw enough power to tax 75% of it's total rated power. That said, we would feel comfortable recommending this power supply for any high end system, short of a quad video card setup. Main reason for this though is the shortage of PCIE connections.

Build quality is excellent, and the braided cables are a nice touch. The quick release molex connections are not unique to Cooler Master, but they work well and they do make removal much easier than connections of the past. The length of cables is sufficient for most scenarios, and we had no issues in our very large full tower. We would have liked to have seen some sort of ring around the cabling much like the one found on Enermax's high end PSUs to reduce EMI, but the electrical noise was a non-issue today.

Speaking of noise, the Real Power 650W was near silent and only became noticeable (and only when putting our ear next to the fan) after a 90min MPEG-2 encode we were running. The temperature at the time was 46°C, so the PSU did keep relatively cool.

In regards to our specific review model, we think it's suitable for any performance mainstream PC. Anything with multiple CPUs or more than 2 high-end video cards (you will need to use some sort of molex-to-PCIE adapter) will probably steer your purchasing choice to a power supply with a higher power rating. On that note, Cooler Master does have 850W and 1000W versions of the Real Power Pro should your needs require it.

Hit us up in the Forums if you have any questions.

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