It wasn't long ago that 350-400 watts was plenty of juice for even the most extreme computer set up, and your average PC could get by with 250-300 watts of power. However, like all things in the tech world things change FAST. Many of the "off the shelf" systems of today are more powerful than what enthusiasts were building last year. Dual core CPU's, dual video cards, SATA HDDs set up in RAID arrays have all come to the mainstream market and all require more power.
Unless you are living in a closet somewhere odds are you have heard of OCZ so I'm not going to go into detail about them, if you haven't heard of OCZ you can take a look Originally known for their RAM modules and their enthusiast attitude OCZ has taken that attitude and expanded on their product line by offering things such as cooling solutions, USB drives and PSUs etc.
The GameXStream being reviewed today isn't their first attempt at PSU's, they have released a couple of other ones that were well received in the PC community, the ModStream and the PowerStream. The GameXStream's target market is the gamer (who would have guessed) and with two variations, a 600W and a 700W it should be more then adequate for even the most power hungry system.
The unit we received is the 700W version, the packaging looks nice without looking to flashy and provides sufficient info about the unit itself. I know the presentation doesn't say anything about performance but I like to see a nice looking package that isn't plastered with tacky colors that I need to wear a pair of sunglasses in order to look at.
Included with the unit is the usual assortment of manual, power cord, mounting screws and the PSU itself. Nothing out of the ordinary. This is just personal preference but I'd really like for high end PSU's to come with thumb screws instead of the old school screws
The Power supply itself is cooled by a single 120mm fan that draws air in and then exhausts it out the back, the back of the unit is a honeycomb grill to provide ample airflow.
As you can see from the pics so far, this is not a modular PSU, all cables are pre attached, the specifications label on the side of the unit gives a more precise break down of wattage supplied to each rail. For those just interested in the numbers here is a quick rundown. For the +3 and +5v rails a total of 155W, with a max output of 36A and 30A respectively. For the +12V1-4 (yes that's 4 12V rails) a max combined power of 680W with a max output of 18A on each rail. And last but not least the -12V and -5V with a combined max output of 20W and output current of 0.5A and 3.0A respectively.
Cable wise you should have more than enough for all of your hardware. Aside from the standard 4 pin molex and floppy connectors you'll also find a 20/24 pin ATX connector and an 8 pin 12v connector. Both of these connectors are split so that if you don't have a motherboard that supports/requires a 24 pin ATX and 8 pin 12v they can still be used as 20 pin and 4 pin. you'll also find 2 dedicated PCI-E cables.
The complete breakdown of available power leads are:
1 X 20/24 pin ATX
2 X PCI-E
1 X 4/8 pin 12v CPU
2 X 4 pin floppy
6 X 4 pin molex
6 X SATA
The test system for this review consists of, Intel P4 CPU 3.40GHz (LGA775), Foxconn NF4SLI7AA-8EKRS2, 2 X 512MB Kingston HyperX, 2 X Asus EN 7600GT, 2 x WD 74GB SATA Raptors, 2 x Maxtor 40GB IDE, ASUS DLDVD/RW, Lite On DVD ROM.
Voltage output was recorded with a digital multimeter at 5 different points: boot, Windows start up (when loading screen appears), Idle, Load and shut down. To achieve a full load on the system Folding @ Home and Prime95 were run while converting a couple of home movies to DVD format. Testing at 5 different points should give a better Idea of the stability of this power supply since most fluctuations would occur when switching between different states.12V
|Windows Start Up
The 12V rail was stable across the board with very little fluctuation from start up to shut down5V
|Windows Start Up
Another excellent showing for the GameXStream, very little fluctuation and right on the money.3.3V
|Windows Start Up
Starting to sound like a broken record now, once again the GameXStream is right on the money and rock solid stable. I have been running this PC with this set up for a while now and have not once had any issues that could be contributed to the PSU.
Up till now I have had my favorites as far as PSU's are concerned and OCZ wasn't on my list. Honestly IMO I've always been of the mindset that OCZ makes RAM (kick ass RAM at that) and that all of the "branching out" to other markets cant be a good thing. It's really no surprise that I have been proven wrong. The OCZ GameXStream is a rock solid PSU, it is an excellent performer voltage wise, well cooled and not so loud that you'll want to keep the PC in another room so you can hear yourself think. OCZ knows what gamers and PC enthusiasts want, extreme performance, stability, quality and last but not least it has to look good to. The GamerXStream provides all of this and more. Some may complain that it isn't modular, but IMO being modular adds another point of failure as well as another point of resistance, which would also reduce the efficiency.
As always you should put just as much thought into the PSU you are going to put into your new rig as you do the rest of your hardware. A PSU can make or break what could otherwise be a killer rig. If you don't want to take any chances, and are looking for a great PSU with more than enough juice to power your next gaming monster and the performance that any gamer demands then you should seriously check out the OCZ GameXStream 700W, it's a killer PSU with killer looks and performance.