A Closer Look
Like a good meal, presentation and first impressions last. Even before opening the box there's a feeling of quality and a serious amount of weight! This is one heavy box, and whilst I didn't take the time to weigh the unit it feels almost twice as heavy as my Enermax 350w. The packaging is nicely decorated with pertinent information and doesn't look cheap or tacky. Ok, enough about the packaging lets open it up and get to the goods.
Inside the PSU is carefully wrapped in bubble wrap with the extras bagged and packaged neatly. The extras include the very detailed manual, the power lead, a 24 to 20 pin adaptor cable and 4 screws for mounting purposes. After unwrapping the bubble wrap you're presented with a matt black, brushed aluminium unit. Three clear bladed fans are inset in the unit, one at the rear, one at the front and one below. Each fan is protected by a stainless steel grill which provides a nice contrast to the all black casing.
At the left hand side of the unit we have the units specifications adorned on a sticker. The sticker provides details for the three different units in the Stealth line-up. At the front we have the first of the fans and the outing for the power leads. Unlike standard PSU's the power leads exit the unit on the left hand side rather than the right, I assume to make sure that the fan is in the correct position (the right hand side) to provide the most efficient use.
There is a nice black sheath around the main motherboard power connector to help contain all the separate wires in the loom and unlike some I have seen it isn't loose fitting but just tight. The motherboard connector is of the 20+4 variety, with an adaptor cable included with the extras to take it back down to a 20 pin. We also have wires for 4 pin ATX and 8 Pin ATX as well as 6 pin AUX. This makes it possible to power a very wide range of systems right out of the box. There are a total of ten 4 pin Molex connectors as well as two 4 pin FDD connectors.
All of the leads are VERY long; I doubt very much that any system would be so big as to not be reached by these wires. This a 2 edged sword though, as all the extra length can make for a difficult time in hiding any wiring that isn't in use or is overly long for your purposes, especially in mid towers (or smaller).
Moving round to the rear of the unit we have the third 80mm fan on the right, again protected by a grill. To the centre of the unit is a little red switch which I'll come back to in a moment. Top left there is a power output* to power any external devices such as perhaps a printer, or maybe a water-cooling pump. Just below that is the ON/OFF switch and finally bottom left has the power input socket.
*The power outlet on this unit, despite the unit being from the UK is of the American variety. I can personally live without using this but since it's there it would be nice to use it, and I know some people will be interested in this PSU to be able to use this outlet. So I've asked my man Pete at about this, and this is what he came back with.
They will be supplied in future to the UK with mains adapter.
Vantec say 'Since our standard AC outlet is American type we normally supply customers with AC outlet plug adapters (see attached) to fit the AC outlet used in your region....'
So there you have it. From now on the adaptors will be supplied for your region.*
Ok, going back to the centre red switch, this is for fan control. The switch has three positions, Low, Medium and Automatic. When in the Low position the unit is very quiet indeed, barely above a whisper. At Medium setting, the fan speeds increase as does the noise, but again it's not overly loud, with my GF 4 fan being about the same level. The Automatic setting is supposed to adjust the fans speed according to temperature between 1000 and 2500 rpm, but I've yet to see/hear any drop from the max 2500rpm during my use of this unit. This does make the unit quite noisy but I would have to say that the majority of users running air-cooling and other loud components will hear those above the noise generated by the PSU's fans. From my personal perspective, setting it to low permanently is fine.
The flow of air created by the 3 fans is pretty good from a case cooling perspective. The bottom and front fan draw the interior case air into the unit, and with the odds being that your PSU will be towards the top of your case, that front fan should do well in preventing a hot spot at the top of your case. The rear fan exhausts all the hot air collected out of the case and PSU.
Bad points &.. Well that temperature adjusting is either not working for me or I simply have too hot a system for it to lower the fan speed automatically. Having the wire loom exit the front of the PSU from the left hand side is & I'm not sure. It looks a bit unsightly in my windowed case but maybe that's just because I'm not used to it? At the end of the day you would still see it even if it was on the right hand side, just it would be further away from the window. I don't know, that's something you would have to make your own mind up about. I would have prefered to see a proper UK standard outlet on the PSU rather than having to use an adaptor, or at the very least having the adaptor colour coded to match the unit. So far, these are the only bad points I can make. Let's see how it actually performs.
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