Cooler Master Elite Power 460 W Power Supply Review
By Gabriel Torres on May 21, 2010


Introduction

We also like to review low-end products from time to time so people with a serious budget restriction can have an idea whether it is worthwhile to buy cheap products or not. Today we are going to take an in-depth look at Elite Power 460 W (RS-460-PSAR-J3) from Cooler Master. Can it really deliver its rated power? Is it worthwhile giving it a shot if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on a power supply? Let’s see.

This particular unit is manufactured by FSP, meaning that Cooler Master uses all sort of vendors for their power supplies. For example, most units from the eXtreme Power Plus are manufactured by AcBel Polytech, with some models being manufactured by Seventeam. Cooler Master also uses other vendor for their other power supply series.

By the way, this unit has the same fantastic statement “As sealed stick was removed, lost or damaged, it shall be out of warranty validity” on its label as the members from eXtreme Power Plus series that are manufactured by a different company. So the author of this statement in Engrish is Cooler Master. When will they stop using on-line translators and hire someone that can speak English to write their labels?

Another interesting information from the label: “The +3.3 V & +5 V & +12 V total output shall not exceed 377.9 W.” Well, if you add this to the 12.5 W maximum power for the +5VSB output and the 9.6 W maximum power for the -12 V output you have a 400 W power supply…

We’ve already reviewed the 400 W version from this power supply, so during this review we will be comparing the two of them.

Cooler Master Elite Power 460 W power supply
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Figure 1: Cooler Master Elite Power 460 W power supply.

Cooler Master Elite Power 460 W power supply
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Figure 2: Cooler Master Elite Power 460 W power supply.

Cooler Master Elite Power 460 W is 5 ½” (140 mm) deep, using a 120 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does not feature a PFC circuit, as you can see by the presence of a 115 V/230 V switch in Figure 1, being based on the outdated half-bridge topology.

No modular cabling system is provided and cables don’t have a nylon protection. Only the ATX12V/EPS12V cable use 18 AWG wires. All other wires are 20 AWG, i.e., thinner than recommended. We saw the same configuration on the 400 W model.

The cables included are:

This configuration is identical to the one used on the 400 W model. One curiosity: the SATA connectors don’t have the +3.3 V (orange) wire on them!

Cooler Master Elite Power 460 W 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 Cooler Master Elite Power 460 W

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. Here we could clearly see that both the 400 W and the 460 W models are based on the same project. Let’s see which components (if any) were upgraded in the next pages.

Cooler Master Elite Power 460 W power supply
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Figure 4: Overall look.

Cooler Master Elite Power 460 W power supply
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Figure 5: Overall look.

Cooler Master Elite Power 460 W 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 is an entry-level power supply, it has all the required components on this stage, including two MOV’s (installed between the two electrolytic capacitors from the voltage doubler, not shown on the picture below).

Cooler Master Elite Power 460 W power supply
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Figure 7: Transient filtering stage.

In the next page we will have a more detailed discussion about the components used in the Cooler Master Elite Power 460 W.

Primary Analysis

On this page we will take an in-depth look at the primary stage of Cooler Master Elite Power 460 W. For a better understanding, please read our Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies tutorial.

This power supply uses one GBU1005 rectifying bridge, which supports up to 10 A at 100° C if a heatsink is used, which is not the case (the manufacturer doesn’t say the maximum current without a heatsink installed). If it had the heatsink, this unit would be able to pull up to 1,150 W from a 115 V power grid; assuming 80% efficiency, the bridge would allow this unit to deliver up to 920 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. The 400 W version uses an 8 A bridge here.

Cooler Master Elite Power 460 W power supply
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Figure 8: Rectifying bridge.

This unit is based on the obsolete half-bridge topology using two 2SD209L power NPN transistors on its switching section. Each transistor is capable of handling up to 12 A at 25° C. Unfortunately the manufacturer does not provide the current limit at 100° C. These are the same transistors used on the 400 W version.

Cooler Master Elite Power 460 W power supply
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Figure 9: Switching transistors.

The switching transistors are controlled by an FSP3528 PWM controller, which is located on the secondary from the power supply. As you can see, this circuit is a half-bridge PWM controller that was relabeled by FSP and we are not sure of what circuit it is derived from (the pinout is different from other 20-pin half-bridge PWM controllers we know, like SD6109 and SG6105).

Cooler Master Elite Power 460 W power supply
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Figure 10: PWM controller.

The two electrolytic capacitors from the voltage doubler are from Teapo and labeled at 85° C.

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

Secondary Analysis

This power supply has four Schottky rectifiers on its secondary heatsink.

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. Since this unit is based on the half-bridge topology, the duty cycle used is of 50%.

The +12 V output is produced by two HBR16200 Schottky rectifiers connected in parallel, each one supporting up to 16 A (8 A per internal diode at 150° C, 0.93 V maximum voltage drop – which is pretty high, meaning lower efficiency), giving us a maximum theoretical current of 32 A or 384 W for the +12 V output. These are the same rectifiers used on the 400 W model.

The +5 V output is produced by one STPS2045CT Schottky rectifier, which supports up to 20 A (10 A per internal diode at 155° C, 0.84 V maximum voltage drop), giving us a maximum theoretical current of 20 A or 100 W for the +5 V output. The 400 W version uses a rectifier with the same specs here.

The +3.3 V output is produced by one MBRP3045N Schottky rectifier, which supports up to 30 A (15 A per internal diode at 100° C, maximum voltage drop of 0.80 V), giving us a maximum theoretical current of 30 A or 99 W for the +3.3 V output.  The 400 W version uses a rectifier with the same specs here.

Ouch! This unit has the same secondary as the 400 W model!

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.

Cooler Master Elite Power 460 W power supply
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Figure 11: +3.3 V, +12 V and +5 V rectifiers.

The outputs are monitored by the FSP3528 integrated circuit shown in Figure 10. Since we couldn’t figure out which circuit this product was renamed from we can’t tell what protections it really supports. One thing we can say for sure is that it doesn’t support over current protection (OCP), since there is an unused series of holes on the printed circuit board reserved for an “OCP control board,” that is not present.

The electrolytic capacitors from the secondary are also from Teapo.

Power Distribution

In Figure 12, you can see the power supply label containing all the power specs.

Cooler Master Elite Power 460 W power supply
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Figure 12: Power supply label.

As you can see, according to the label this unit has two +12 V rails. Inside the unit we could see two shunts (current sensors) attached to each +12 V rail, but the power supply is missing the over current protection (OCP), since these shunts are connected to unused holes on the printed circuit board labeled “OCP control board.” Since there is no over current protection circuit, this unit has in fact a single-rail design.

Now let’s see if this power supply can really deliver 460 W.

Load Tests

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

This time we made more detailed tests, starting from 85 W and increasing load little by little until we could see the maximum amount of power we could extract from the reviewed unit, especially because we knew this unit wouldn’t be able to deliver its labeled power, since internally this unit is practically identical to the 400 W from the same series.

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Cooler-Master-Elite-Power-400-W-Power-Supply-Review/975

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 (we connected the EPS12V connector on the +12VB input).

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

3 A (36 W)

3.5 A (42 W)

4.5 A (54 W)

5.5 A (66 W)

6.25 A (75 W)

+12VB

2.5 A (30 W)

3.25 A (39 W)

4 A (48 W)

5 A (60 W)

6 A (72 W)

+5V

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1.5 A (7.5 A)

1.5 A (7.5 A)

2 A (10 W)

+3.3 V

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1.5 A (4.95 W)

1.5 A (4.95 W)

2 A (6.6 W)

+5VSB

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 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

85.9 W

100.9 W

126.3 W

150.2 W

175.4 W

% Max Load

18.7%

21.9%

27.5%

32.7%

38.1%

Room Temp.

46.8° C

44.6° C

44.5° C

44.5° C

46.8° C

PSU Temp.

45.2° C

46.8° C

46.9° C

47.3° C

45.2° C

Voltage Regulation

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Ripple and Noise

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

AC Power

111.9 W

129.2 W

158.6 W

186.4 W

216.1 W

Efficiency

76.8%

78.1%

79.6%

80.6%

81.2%

AC Voltage

115.3 V

116.7 V

115.6 V

114.9 V

114.9 V

Power Factor

0.567

0.581

0.601

0.616

0.632

Final Result

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass


Input

Test 6

Test 7

Test 8

Test 9

Test 10

+12VA

7.5 A (90 W)

8.25 A (99 W)

9.25 A (111 W)

10 A (120 W)

11 A (132 W)

+12VB

7 A (84 W)

8 A (96 W)

9 A (108 W)

10 A (120 W)

11 A (132 W)

+5V

2 A (10 W)

2.5 A (12.5 W)

2.5 A (12.5 W)

3 A (15 W)

3 A (15 W)

+3.3 V

2 A (6.6 W)

2.5 A (8.25 W)

2.5 A (8.25 W)

3 A (9.9 W)

3 A (9.9 W)

+5VSB

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 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

201.8 W

226.8 W

250.3 W

275.0 W

298.4 W

% Max Load

43.9%

49.3%

54.4%

59.8%

64.9%

Room Temp.

45.9° C

46.4° C

46.8° C

47.2° C

48.0° C

PSU Temp.

48.8° C

50.5° C

51.2° C

51.9° C

53.1° C

Voltage Regulation

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Ripple and Noise

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

AC Power

248.1 W

279.2 W

308.5 W

340.7 W

371.6 W

Efficiency

81.3%

81.2%

81.1%

80.7%

80.3%

AC Voltage

114.2 V

113.9 V

113.6 V

113.6 V

112.6 V

Power Factor

0.643

0.652

0.657

0.663

0.669

Final Result

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass


Input

Test 11

Test 12

Test 13

Test 14

Test 15

+12VA

12 A (144 W)

13 A (156 W)

14 A (168 W)

15 A (180 W)

16 A (192 W)

+12VB

11.75 A (141 W)

12.75 A (153 W)

13.5 A (162 W)

14.5 A (174 W)

15.5 A (186 W)

+5V

3.5 A (17.5 W)

3.5 A (17.5 W)

4 A (20 W)

4 A (20 W)

4.5 A (22.5 W)

+3.3 V

3.5 A (11.55 W)

3.5 A (11.55 W)

4 A (13.2 W)

4 A (13.2 W)

4.5 A (14.85 W)

+5VSB

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 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

323.2 W

346.8 W

370.4 W

392.8 W

419.8 W

% Max Load

70.3%

75.4%

80.5%

85.4%

91.3%

Room Temp.

44.5° C

44.5° C

44.0° C

45.6° C

47.3° C

PSU Temp.

49.1° C

49.5° C

50.3° C

51.5° C

53.0° C

Voltage Regulation

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Ripple and Noise

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Fail on +12VA

AC Power

406.0 W

437.0 W

473.0 W

507.0 W

551.0 W

Efficiency

79.6%

79.4%

78.3%

77.5%

76.2%

AC Voltage

114.1 V

113.8 V

113.0 V

111.7 V

110.6 V

Power Factor

0.677

0.678

0.683

0.685

0.688

Final Result

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Fail

Cooler Master Elite Power 460 W can’t deliver its labeled power. The maximum we could pull from it was 420 W. If we tried to pull more than that the unit would shut down (at least it didn’t burn or explode). What is most important here is that this is exactly the same amount that we could pull from Elite Power 400 W, proving that the replacement of the rectifying bridge (the only component that is different between these two units) didn’t make any difference: Elite Power 400 W and Elite Power 460 W are exactly the same power supply with a different label (and price tag). It is simply unbelievable that Cooler Master is doing this kind of thing.

Efficiency was above 80% when we pulled between 150 W and 300 W from this unit. Not bad.

Voltage regulation was outstanding, with all voltages within 3% from their nominal values (except -12 V output during tests one through 10) – 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 exceeded the maximum allowed at +12VA during test 15, with the power supply delivering 420 W. During this test noise and ripple levels were: 123.4 mV at +12VA; 105.0 mV at +12VB; 23.4 mV at +5 V; 37 mV at +3.3 V; 35.2 mV at +5VSB; and 85.8 mV at -12 V. The maximum allowed is 120 mV on +12 V and -12 V outputs and 50 mV on +5 V, +3.3 V and +5VSB outputs. All values are peak-to-peak figures.

Main Specifications

Cooler Master Elite Power 460 W power supply specs include:

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

Conclusions

Cooler Master Elite Power 460 W is simply an Elite Power 400 W with a new label. The two units are absolutely the same (the only component that was upgraded was the rectifying bride, but this change didn’t make any difference in performance). This is simply unbelievable. We wouldn’t be surprised to see this kind of thing still happening in China, but here in the United States? C’mon…

Another example of false advertisement is the manufacturer listing over current protection (OCP) as a feature available on this power supply: inside the unit the space labeled “OCP control board” is empty.

This unit can’t deliver its labeled power – like Elite Power 400 W, it can only deliver up to 420 W. To make things worse, this unit is sold for USD 10 more than Elite Power 400 W – an extra 33% profit for Cooler Master for counterfeiting their own power supplies.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Cooler-Master-Elite-Power-460-W-Power-Supply-Review/1005


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