3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 450 W Power Supply Review
By Gabriel Torres on January 19, 2010


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Silver Award

We always have a special pleasure reviewing power supplies from brands we’ve never reviewed before, and therefore we were very excited to see what the South Korean 3R System was producing. Is their 450 W power supply a good product? Let’s see.

3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 power supply
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Figure 1: 3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 power supply.

3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 power supply
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Figure 2: 3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 power supply.

3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 is 6 19/64” (160 mm) deep, using a 140 mm fan on its bottom. This unit does not feature a PFC circuit, as you can see by the presence of a 115 V/230 V switch in Figure 1. This power supply is also available as a 230 V only product. Although it does not have PFC, internally the unit uses a design that is more modern than the one used by low-cost power supplies, as we will explain later.

No modular cabling system is provided and all cables have nylon protections, that come from inside the power supply housing. The cables included are:

This configuration is compatible with a 450 W product. All cables use 18 AWG wires, which is the minimum recommended.

3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 power supply
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Figure 3: Cables.

Now let’s take an in-depth look inside this power supply.

A Look Inside The 3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80

We decided to disassemble this power supply to see what it looks like inside, how it is designed, and what components are used. Please read our Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies tutorial to understand how a power supply works and to compare this power supply to others.

This page will be an overview, and then in the following pages we will discuss in detail the quality and ratings of the components used. As you can see, the secondary heatsink has a heat pipe attached to it.

3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 power supply
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Figure 4: Overall look.

3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 power supply
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Figure 5: Overall look.

3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 power supply
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Figure 6: Overall look.

Transient Filtering Stage

As we have mentioned in other articles and reviews, the first place we look when opening a power supply for a hint about its quality, is its filtering stage. The recommended components for this stage are two ferrite coils, two ceramic capacitors (Y capacitors, usually blue), one metalized polyester capacitor (X capacitor), and one MOV (Metal-Oxide Varistor). Very low-end power supplies use fewer components, usually removing the MOV and the first coil.

Even though this power supply has one X capacitor more than the minimum required, it lacks an MOV, which is the component in charge of removing spikes coming from the power grid.

3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 power supply
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Figure 7: Transient filtering stage (part 1).

3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 power supply
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Figure 8: Transient filtering stage (part 2).

In the next page we will have a more detailed discussion about the components used in the 3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80.

Primary Analysis

On this page we will take an in-depth look at the primary stage of 3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80. For a better understanding, please read our Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies tutorial.

This power supply uses one KBU806 rectifying bridge, which supports up to 8 A at 65° C if a heatsink is used, which is not the case. At 115 V this unit would be able to pull up to 920 W from the power grid; assuming 80% efficiency, the bridge would allow this unit to deliver up to 736 W without burning itself out. Of course we are only talking about this component and the real limit will depend on all other components from the power supply.

3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 power supply
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Figure 9: Rectifying bridge.

Usually low-cost power supplies without PFC circuit are based on the obsolete half-bridge design, so it came as a surprise for us to see that iCEAGE IA450HP80 is based on a two-transistor forward design, which is the same design used by power supplies with active PFC. This is the first time we’ve seen a power supply without PFC using this topology.

In the switching section, two 2SK4108 power MOSFET transistors are used on the two-transistor forward configuration, as mentioned. Each transistor is capable of handling up to 20 A at 25° C in continuous mode, or up to 80 A at 25° C in pulse mode. Unfortunately the manufacturer does not provide the current limits at 100° C. These transistors present an RDS(on) of 210 mΩ. This number measures the resistance provided by the transistors when they are turned on; the lower this number, the better (higher efficiency).

3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 power supply
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Figure 10: Switching transistors.

The switching transistors are controlled by a UC3843 PWM controller.

3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 power supply
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Figure 11: PWM controller.

Now let’s take a look at the secondary of this power supply.

Secondary Analysis

This power supply has five Schottky rectifiers on its secondary.

The maximum theoretical current each line can deliver is given by the formula I / (1 - D), where D is the duty cycle used and I is the maximum current supported by the rectifying diode. Just as an exercise, we can assume a typical duty cycle of 30%.

The +12 V output is produced by two STPS20S100CT Schottky rectifiers, each one supporting up to 20 A (10 A per internal diode at 150° C, 0.71 V maximum voltage drop), giving us a maximum theoretical current of 29 A or 343 W for the +12 V output.

The +5 V output is produced by two STPS30S45CW Schottky rectifiers, each one supporting up to 30 A (15 A per internal diode at 110° C, 0.57 V maximum voltage drop), giving us a maximum theoretical current of 43 A or 214 W for the +5 V output.

The +3.3 V output is produced by another STPS30S45CW Schottky rectifier, giving us a maximum theoretical current of 21 A or 71 W for the +3.3 V output.

All these numbers are theoretical. The real amount of current/power each output can deliver is limited by other components, especially by the coils used on each output.

3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 power supply
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Figure 12: +3.3 V, +12 V and +5 V rectifiers.

The outputs are monitored by a WT751002 integrated circuit, which supports only OVP (over voltage protection) and UVP (under voltage protection). Any other protection this unit may have is implemented outside this chip.

3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 power supply
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Figure 13: Monitoring integrated circuit.

Power Distribution

In Figure 14, you can see the power supply label containing all the power specs.

3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 power supply
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Figure 14: Power supply label.

As you can see, according to the label this unit has two +12 V rails. However inside the power supply this product has only one +12 V rail and thus this unit is a single-rail unit. What happens is that 3R System added separated filtering circuits for the two group of wires they call +12V1 and +12V2, which is great, but what constitutes a two-rail design is the presence of two over current protection (OCP) circuits, which this power supply doesn’t have. Read our Everything You Need to Know About Power Supply Protections tutorial for more information.

Now let’s see if this power supply can really deliver 450 W.

Load Tests

We conducted several tests with this power supply, as described in the article Hardware Secrets Power Supply Test Methodology.

First we tested this power supply with five different load patterns, trying to pull around 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100% of its labeled maximum capacity (actual percentage used listed under “% Max Load”), watching how the reviewed unit behaved under each load. In the table below we list the load patterns we used and the results for each load.

If you add all the power listed for each test, you may find a different value than what is posted under “Total” below. Since each output can vary slightly (e.g., the +5 V output working at +5.10 V), the actual total amount of power being delivered is slightly different than the calculated value. On the “Total” row we are using the real amount of power being delivered, as measured by our load tester.  

The +12VA and +12VB inputs listed below are the two +12 V independent inputs from our load tester. During this test both inputs were connected to the power supply single rail (+12VB input was connected to the power supply EPS12V connector and all other cables were connected to the load tester +12VA input).

Note: We are now using the names +12VA and +12VB for the two inputs from our load tester because some people were thinking that the “+12V1” and “+12V2” names present on our table referred to the power supply rails, which is not the case.

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

3 A (36 W)

6.5 A (78 W)

9.5 A (114 W)

13 A (156 W)

16 A (192 W)

+12VB

3 A (36 W)

6.5 A (78 W)

9.5 A (114 W)

13 A (156 W)

16 A (192 W)

+5V

1 A (5 W)

2 A (10 W)

4 A (20 W)

5 A (25 W)

7 A (35 W)

+3.3 V

1 A (5 W)

2 A (6.6 W)

4 A (13.2 W)

5 A (16.5 W)

7 A (23.1 W)

+5VSB

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1.5 A (7.5 W)

2 A (10 W)

-12 V

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

Total

90.4 W

182.1 W

270.0 W

360.9 W

449.0 W

% Max Load

20.1%

40.5%

60.0%

80.2%

99.8%

Room Temp.

44.9° C

43.6° C

43.6° C

45.2° C

47.0° C

PSU Temp.

43.7° C

43.9° C

44.1° C

42.8° C

46.8° C

Voltage Regulation

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Ripple and Noise

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

AC Power

111.9 W

218.1 W

325.2 W

441.0 W

561.0 W

Efficiency

80.8%

83.5%

83.0%

81.8%

80.0%

AC Voltage

118.3 V

117.3 V

116.4 V

115.2 V

113.9 V

Power Factor

0.604

0.652

0.674

0.688

0.700

Final Result

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

iCEAGE IA450HP80 from 3R System can really deliver its labeled power at high temperatures.

This power supply presented efficiency between 80% and 83% during our tests, which is excellent for a low-cost power supply. In fact, this is the first power supply without active PFC that we’ve seen achieving 80%+ efficiency across the board, thanks for its two-transistor forward switching section, unusual for a power supply from this category.

Voltage regulation was superb, with all voltages within 3% from their nominal values (including the -12 V output) – i.e., values closer to their “face value” than required, as the ATX12V specification allows voltages to be within 5% from their nominal values (10% for -12 V).

And then we have noise and ripple, always very low, except on +3.3 V during test five, where this output was operating at its maximum allowed level. Below you can see the results for test five. The maximum allowed is 120 mV on +12 V and 50 mV on +5 V and +3.3 V. All these numbers are peak-to-peak figures.

3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 power supply
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Figure 15: +12VA input from load tester at 449 W (34.6 mV).

3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 power supply
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Figure 16: +12VB input from load tester at 449 W (40.8 mV).

3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 power supply
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Figure 17: +5 V rail with power supply delivering 449 W (23 mV).

3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 power supply
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Figure 18: +3.3 V rail with power supply delivering 449 W (50 mV).

Now let’s see if this unit can deliver more than 450 W.

Overload Tests

First we tried to see if over current protection (OCP) was active; we maxed out the power supply and the unit didn’t shut down.

Then we tried to pull the maximum we could with the power supply still operating under ATX12V specs. The results you can see below. At this test noise level at +3.3 V was already above the maximum allowed.

Input

Maximum

+12V1

20 A (240 W)

+12V2

20 A (240 W)

+5V

10 A (50 W)

+3.3 V

10 A (33 W)

+5VSB

2 A (10 W)

-12 V

0.5 A (6 W)

Total

565.5 W

% Max Load

125.7%

Room Temp.

47.0° C

PSU Temp.

46.8° C

AC Power

736.0 W

Efficiency

76.8%

AC Voltage

112.0 V

Power Factor

0.712

Main Specifications

3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 power supply specs include:

Conclusions

3R System iCEAGE IA450HP80 surprised us. Although being clearly a low-cost power supply, it could achieve efficiency above 80% all the time (peaking 83%), which is fantastic for a product that does not have 80 Plus certification. In fact this is the first time we’ve seen a power supply without PFC circuit achieving such performance – which was possible thanks to the use of a two-transistor forward switching circuit, and it was also the first time we’ve seen a power supply without PFC circuit using this design.

Voltage regulation was superb, with all voltages within 3% from their nominal values (including the -12 V output) – i.e., values closer to their “face value” than required, as the ATX12V specification allows voltages to be within 5% from their nominal values (10% for -12 V).

Noise and ripple were always very low, except at +3.3 V when we pulled the full 450 W from this unit – this is the only reason we are giving it our Silver Award instead of Golden.

For the user on budget living in a country where this power supply is available, this unit is a terrific option, presenting a terrific performance for its price.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/3R-System-iCEAGE-IA450HP80-450-W-Power-Supply-Review/906


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