Viper Lair
Sponsor
Menu
Latest Stuff

 

SilverStone Temjin TJ10
MSI NX8800GT T2D512E-OC
MSI RX2600XT Diamond OC Edition
Asus Blitz Formula
MSI K9AG Neo2 Digital
Mushkin HP2-6400
MSI 8600 GT OC Edition
Asus P5K Deluxe
GalaXy TVistoU2F HDD Enclosure
HIS Radeon HD 2600 Pro 512MB
Latest Stuff
Search for lowest prices:


for 


Price Search:    for    

Cooler Master iGreen Power 600W Cooler Master iGreen Power 600W: We take a look at Cooler Master's iGreen PSU, which promises better power efficiency as well as being friendlier to the environment.
Date: June 12, 2006
Manufacturer:
Written By:
Price:

Cooler Master are well known for their cases and cooling accessories, and over the past couple years, their power supplies are popular products in their portfolio. Cooler Master does bundle some of their PSUs in many of their entry level cases, but their premium PSUs are typically sold as standalone products.

Such is the case with the . The problem with many power supplies these days is that while they can draw a lot of power, a good deal of it ends up being wasted and the end result is more heat and wasted energy. Many PSUs from all manufacturers suffer from this, and the iGreen Power sets out to address this issue in Cooler Master's product lineup.

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 82% (120W) / 85% (300W) / 82% (600W)
Output Capacity 600 Watts Continuous
MTBF > 400,000 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 iGreen Power is quite heavy. 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.

Everything is neatly packaged in egg carton cardboard. Inside, we have the iGreen Power 600W PSU, a power cable, manual, and installation screws. Except for the manual and power connections, everything is tightly wrapped in a plastic bag.

The iGreen Power 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 166W is provided on the +3.3v and +5v rails, 456W on the +12v rail, 6W on the negative rails, and 15W on the +5v rail (for USB) giving us 643W total. The iGreen Power is rated for a maximum of 700W but allows for 600W continuous. The iGreen Power also has triple +12v rails (peaks of 16A, 14A and 8A respectively). 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.

Cracking the unit open reveals a large number of heatsinks and PSU circuitry. The iGreen 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.

Both SLI and CrossFire are fully supported and the iGreen does meet NVIDIA's requirement for SLI certification. In addition to SLI certification, the iGreen meet's Intel's ATX12V v2.2 specifications, as well as Energy Star and Blue Angel requirements. The latter specifications plays a part in the whole green in iGreen.

Through Double Forward Switching Circuit Technology, Cooler Master is able to achieve 85% power efficiency. In layman's terms, this means for every 10W of power drawn, 8.5W is converted into usable power for the PC. Compare this to the Cooler Master Real Power 550, the iGreen Power is 10% more efficient. Cooler Master touts the iGreen as the first PSU with 85% power efficiency, which is true for a 600W power supply.

Cooling is provided by a Protechnic Electric MGA12012HB-025 120mm fan controlled by an internal fan speed controller. The fan is rated at a maximum of 2500rpm at 100% load and with a noise rating of 38dBA and 17dBA at low speed settings. The high speed noise is a bit louder than some of the previous Cooler Master PSUs we've worked with in the past, but still below the noise output of typical CPU heatsinks.

Since the iGreen uses a larger 120mm fan, 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.

The shell of the iGreen PSU is highly reflective, and will look quite nice for those of you with case windows. You can see in the top left image that Cooler Master uses a zip tie to secure the cables coming out of the case. We would like to have seen some sort of ring core to shield the cables and internal components from EMI, and hopefully we'll see such a feature in the future.

All of the cables are covered in a braided sheath which serves to hide the mostly unattractive multicolored wiring. All the cables are very long and we had no problems running them through our Koolance PC3-720SL. For your connections, you have the following: one 20+4 pin motherboard connection, a 4 pin +12v CPU connection, an 8 pin +12V CPU connection, two PCI-E connections, 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 P4N Diamond: Intel Pentium 4 560, 2GB Corsair DDR2 8000UL, 2 x Seagate 400GB, Seagate 120GB, 2 x MSI 7800GTX, MSI 16X DL, AOpen CDRW 52X, Koolance PC3-720SL.

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 Enermax EG701AX, Enermax Liberty EL620AWT and Cooler Master's RealPower 450W. The P4 560 will be clocked at 18x215 for all testing. 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 turned up the thermostat to 30°C (max in our house), disabled the case fans and set the Koolance liquid cooler to a low enough fan setting to keep the system stable at 3.87GHz. According to MBM, the internal case temperature got to about ~50°C, and a thermal probe attached a heatsink inside the PSUs read 56°C for the Enermax EG701AX, 54°C for the Liberty EL620AWT, 53°C on the Cooler Master Real Power 450 and 45°C for the iGreen Power. As we'll soon see with the load testing, the iGreen isn't wasting as much power as the other PSUs and the end result is a cooler running unit.

Idle

+3.3v
+5v
+12v
CM iGreen Power
3.28
5.02
12.09
Enermax EL620
3.30
5.11
12.06
Enermax EG701AX
3.30
5.08
12.07
CM RealPower
3.26
5.01
12.01

Load

+3.3v
+5v
+12v
CM iGreen Power
3.27
5.00
12.03
Enermax EL620
3.29
5.05
12.02
Enermax EG701AX
3.27
5.02
11.98
CM RealPower
3.26
5.00
11.96

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. The iGreen compares well with the Enermax PSUs and improves upon the Real Power's 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 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 iGreen Power
3.23
4.99
11.97
Enermax EL620
3.25
5.02
12.00
Enermax EG701AX
3.24
5.01
11.94
CM RealPower
3.21
4.98
11.90

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

Overall the Cooler Master iGreen Power 600W was a very solid power supply in all of our tests. The +5v was a little low compared to the competition, but the +12v rails were right up there. The Enermax PSUs had the better numbers for the most part but neither of them beat the iGreen by a wide enough of a margin for us to call it deal breakers. Despite the 2nd to 3rd place finish, the iGreen has plenty of appeal, especially for those of you who pay for your own energy bills.

There's too many variables in my home to gauge whether or not the iGreen will save me a lot of money, but certainly the iGreen seems to waste less energy given the cooler running temperatures than our comparison units. Despite it not being "cool" for enthusiasts to admit, less waste is better for the environment. I've spoken with another webmaster who mentioned that he's planning to equip all the PCs in his environment with high efficiency PSUs for the power savings and long term friendliness for Mother Nature.

That said, the iGreen is not about tree hugging only as the power provided for your computer is plentiful and reliable. Along with the increased efficiency, everything else we've come to expect from performance power supplies are present, such as SLI and CrossFire support, plenty of connections and good build quality.

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

HOME

Copyright 2001-2006 Viper Lair. All Rights Reserved.

AMD CPU'S
Intel CPU'S
ATI Video Cards
NVIDIA Cards
Memory