Cougar CMX V2 700 W Power Supply Review
By Gabriel Torres on December 6, 2012


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

Last year, we reviewed the Cougar CMX 700 W power supply, which failed our tests. Cougar released an updated version of this power supply in order to correct the issues we found. Let’s check it out.

Cougar is a brand that belongs to HEC/Compucase. The CMX V2 series is comprised of 80 Plus Bronze units with a modular cabling system, in 450 W, 550 W, 700 W, 850 W, 1,000 W, and 1,200 W versions. (The previous version of this series didn’t have 450 W and 850 W models.) The 850 W, 1,000 W and 1,200 W versions use a DC-DC design in their secondary, a feature not available in the other models. 

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 1: Cougar CMX V2 700 W power supply

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 2: Cougar CMX V2 700 W power supply

The Cougar CMX V2 700 W is 6.3” (160 mm) deep, using a 140 mm fan on its bottom (Power Logic PLA14025S12M). The fan sticker says that it has a hydro-dynamic bearing, however, the part number decodes to a sleeve bearing model. (See the letter “S.” Hydro-dynamic bearing fans would have the letter “H” there.)

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 3: Fan

This unit has a modular cabling system with six connectors, two red for video card power cables and four black for SATA and peripheral power cables. The unit comes with the main motherboard cable, an ATX12V/EPS12V cable, and a video card power cable permanently attached to it. They use nylon sleeves that come from inside the unit. This power supply comes with the following cables:

The main motherboard cable was upgraded to use thicker, 16 AWG wires, which is great to see. All other wires are 18 AWG, which is the correct gauge to be used.

The V2 series uses “flat” SATA and peripheral cables, whereas on the previous version, these cables had nylon sleeves painted in orange, white, and black. This is a quick way to correctly identify that you are looking at a V2 unit, since there is nothing written on the power supply case identifying it as a “V2” unit.

The cable configuration of the CMX V2 700 W is different from the one used with the CMX 700 W. The original CMX 700 W used four individual cables for the video card power connectors, while on the CMX V2 700 W, each of the two cables has two connectors attached. The number of SATA (eight on the CMX 700 W, nine on the CMX V2 700 W) and peripheral (six on the CMX 700 W, four on the CMX V2 700 W) connectors is different. The CMX 700 W carried an adapter to convert any peripheral power connector into a floppy disk drive power connector, which is not present on the CMX V2 700 W.

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 4: Cables

Let’s now take an in-depth look inside this power supply.

A Look Inside the Cougar CMX V2 700 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.

On this page we will have an overall look, while in the following pages we will discuss in detail the quality and ratings of the components used.

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 5: Top view

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 6: Front quarter view

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 7: Rear quarter view

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 8: The printed circuit board

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. 

In this power supply, this stage is flawless. It has one X capacitor, two Y capacitors, and one ferrite coil more than the minimum required.

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 9: Transient filtering stage (part 1)

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 10: Transient filtering stage (part 2)

On the next page, we will have a more detailed discussion about the components used in the Cougar CMX V2 700 W.

Primary Analysis

On this page, we will take an in-depth look at the primary stage of the Cougar CMX V2 700 W. For a better understanding, please read our “Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies” tutorial.

This power supply uses one GBJ1506 rectifying bridge, attached to the same heatsink as the active PFC transistors. This component supports up to 15 A at 100° C, so in theory, you would be able to pull up to 1,725 W from a 115 V power grid. Assuming 80% efficiency, the bridge would allow this unit to deliver up to 1,380 W without burning itself out. Of course, we are only talking about this particular component. The real limit will depend on all the components combined in this power supply.

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 11: Rectifying bridge

The active PFC circuit uses three IPP60R190P MOSFETs, each supporting up to 20.2 A at 25° C or 12.8 A at 100° C in continuous mode (note the difference temperature makes), or 59 A in pulse mode at 25° C. These transistors present a 190 mΩ resistance when turned on, a characteristic called RDS(on). The lower the number the better, meaning that the transistor will waste less power, and the power supply will have a higher efficiency. 

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 12: Active PFC transistors and diode

The output of the active PFC circuit is filtered by one 470 µF x 400 V Japanese electrolytic capacitor, from Chemi-Con, labeled at 105° C.

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 13: Capacitor

In the switching section, another two IPP60R190P MOSFETs are used in the traditional two-transistor forward configuration. The specifications for these transistors were already discussed above. 

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 14: One of the switching transistors

The primary is controlled by an FAN4800 active PFC/PWM combo controller.  

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 15: Active PFC/PWM combo controller

The primary of the CMX V2 700 W is identical to the primary of the CMX 700 W.

Let’s now take a look at the secondary of this power supply.

Secondary Analysis

The Cougar CMX V2 700 W has eight Schottky rectifiers attached to the 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. As an exercise, we can assume a duty cycle of 30 percent.

The +12 V output uses four SBR30A60CT Schottky rectifiers (30 A, 15 A per internal diode at 110° C, 0.60 V maximum voltage drop), giving us a maximum theoretical current of 86 A or 1,209 W for this output.

The +5 V output uses two SBR30A40CT Schottky rectifiers (30 A, 15 A per internal diode at 110° C, 0.50 V maximum voltage drop), giving us a maximum theoretical current of 43 A or 214 W for this output.

The +3.3 V output uses another two SBR30A40CT Schottky rectifiers, giving us a maximum theoretical current of 43 A or 141 W for this output.

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 16: The +3.3 V, +5 V, and +12 V rectifiers

This power supply uses a PS223 monitoring integrated circuit, which supports over voltage (OVP), under voltage (UVP), over current (OCP), and over temperature (OTP) protections. This chip has four OCP channels, one for +3.3 V, one for +5 V, and two for +12 V, correctly matching the number of +12 V rails advertised by the power supply manufacturer (two).   

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 17: Monitoring circuit

The electrolytic capacitors available in the secondary are from Teapo, and are labeled at 105° C.

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 18: Capacitors

The secondary of the CMX V2 700 W is identical to that of the CMX 700 W.

The +5VSB Power Supply

The +5VSB (a.k.a. standby) power supply is independent of the main power supply, since it is on continuously.

On the Cougar CMX V2 700 W, the +5VSB power supply uses a TNY279PN integrated circuit, which incorporates the PWM controller and the switching transistor in a single chip. 

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 19: The +5VSB integrated circuit with an integrated switching transistor

The rectification of the +5VSB output is performed by an SBL1040CT Schottky rectifier, which supports up to 10 A (5 A per internal diode at 95° C, 0.55 V maximum voltage drop).

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 20: The +5VSB rectifier

Power Distribution

In Figure 21, you can see the power supply label containing all the power specs.

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 21: Power supply label

This power supply is sold as having two +12 V rails, which is correct, since this unit has two +12 V over current protection channels. Click here to understand more about this subject.  

The two +12 V rails are distributed as follows:

The power supply has a sticker on the modular cabling system saying which red connector is connected to which +12 V rail. This was correct from the original CMX 700 W unit, where this information was present, but internally both connectors were installed on the same +12 V rail.

How much power can this unit really deliver? Let’s check it out.

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 the behavior of the reviewed unit 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 powers listed for each test, you may find a different value than what is posted under “Total” below. Since each output can have a slight variation (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. In 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, the +12VA input was connected to the power supply’s +12V1 rail, while the +12VB input was connected to the power supply’s +12V2 rail.

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

5 A (60 W)

10.5 A (126 W)

15.5 A (186 W)

20.5 A (246 W)

26.5 A (318 W)

+12VB

5 A (60 W)

10.5 A (126 W)

15.5 A (186 W)

20.5 A (246 W)

26.5 A (318 W)

+5 V

1 A (5 W)

2 A (10 W)

4 A (20 W)

6 A (30 W)

8 A (40 W)

+3.3 V

1 A (3.3 W)

2 A (6.6 W)

4 A (13.2 W)

6 A (19.8 W)

8 A (26.4 W)

+5VSB

1 A (5 W)

1.5 A (7.5 W)

2 A (10 W)

2.5 A (12.5 W)

3 A (15 W)

-12 V

0.3 A (3.6 W)

0.3 A (3.6 W)

0.3 A (3.6 W)

0.3 A (3.6 W)

0.3 A (3.6 W)

Total

136.3 W

276.9 W

412.8 W

545.5 W

698.6 W

% Max Load

19.5%

39.6%

59.0%

77.9%

99.8%

Room Temp.

44.9° C

44.4° C

45.2° C

47.0° C

49.9° C

PSU Temp.

48.2° C

48.3° C

48.7° C

50.0° C

53.0° C

Voltage Regulation

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Ripple and Noise

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

AC Power

159.7 W

319.6 W

481.1 W

649.0 W

857.0 W

Efficiency

85.3%

86.6%

85.8%

84.1%

81.5%

AC Voltage

117.7 V

116.3 V

114.6 V

112.7 V

110.7 V

Power Factor

0.972

0.989

0.994

0.995

0.995

Final Result

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

The Cougar CMX V2 700 W passed our tests.

The 80 Plus Bronze certification promises efficiency of at least 82% under light (i.e., 20%) load, 85% under typical (i.e., 50%) load, and 82% under full (i.e., 100%) load. During our tests, the CMX V2 700 W was not able to present 82% efficiency at full load. However, we have to consider that we tested this power supply at almost 50° C, while the 80 Plus certification tests are conducted at 23° C, and efficiency drops as temperature increases. Another explanation for the lower efficiency is because of the AC voltage, which was below 115 V during this particular test. On the other hand, we have excellent efficiency numbers for the other tests, in particular at light load, where we saw 85% efficiency.

Let’s discuss voltage regulation on the next page.

Voltage Regulation Tests

The ATX12V specification states that positive voltages must be within 5% of their nominal values, and negative voltages must be within 10% of their nominal values. We consider a power supply as “flawless” if it shows voltages within 3% of its nominal values. In the table below, you can see the power supply voltages during our tests and, in the following table, the deviation, in percentage, of their nominal values.

As you can see, the Cougar CMX V2 700 W passed our tests, with the manufacturer fixing the huge voltage regulation problem at +3.3 V output that we’ve seen with the original CMX 700 W.

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

+11.96 V

+11.90 V

+11.86 V

+11.77 V

+11.67 V

+12VB

+11.94 V

+11.85 V

+11.78 V

+11.68 V

+11.54 V

+5 V

+5.06 V

+5.04 V

+5.01 V

+4.98 V

+4.96 V

+3.3 V

+3.30 V

+3.28 V

+3.26 V

+3.23 V

+3.20 V

+5VSB

+4.98 V

+4.95 V

+4.92 V

+4.89 V

+4.85 V

-12 V

-11.63 V

-11.76 V

-11.88 V

-11.96 V

-12.05 V


Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

-0.33%

-0.83%

-1.17%

-1.92%

-2.75%

+12VB

-0.50%

-1.25%

-1.83%

-2.67%

-3.83%

+5 V

1.20%

0.80%

0.20%

-0.40%

-0.80%

+3.3 V

0.00%

-0.61%

-1.21%

-2.12%

-3.03%

+5VSB

-0.40%

-1.00%

-1.60%

-2.20%

-3.00%

-12 V

3.18%

2.04%

1.01%

0.33%

-0.41%

Let’s discuss the ripple and noise levels on the next page.

Ripple and Noise Tests

Voltages at the power supply outputs must be as “clean” as possible, with no noise or oscillation (also known as “ripple”). The maximum ripple and noise levels allowed are 120 mV for +12 V and -12 V outputs, and 50 mV for +5 V, +3.3 V and +5VSB outputs. All values are peak-to-peak figures. We consider a power supply as being top-notch if it can produce half or less of the maximum allowed ripple and noise levels.

The Cougar CMX V2 700 W provided low ripple and noise levels, as you can see in the table below.

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

16.2 mV

18.6 mV

26.6 mV

40.2 mV

55.4 mV

+12VB

13.0 mV

15.6 mV

24.6 mV

43.2 mV

63.2 mV

+5 V

11.2 mV

13.0 mV

15.2 mV

18.2 mV

21.2 mV

+3.3 V

13.8 mV

14.2 mV

15.4 mV

16.4 mV

16.4 mV

+5VSB

20.6 mV

19.8 mV

22.2 mV

29.4 mV

36.8 mV

-12 V

27.2 mV

29.0 mV

32.8 mV

36.8 mV

42.8 mV

Below you can see the waveforms of the outputs during test five.

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 22: +12VA input from load tester during test five at 698.6 W (55.4 mV)

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 23: +12VB input from load tester during test five at 698.6 W (63.2 mV)

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 24: +5V rail during test five at 698.6 W (21.2 mV)

Cougar CMX V2 700 w
click to enlarge
Figure 25: +3.3 V rail during test five at 698.6 W (16.4 mV)

Let’s see if we can pull more than 700 W from this unit.

Overload Tests

Below you can see the maximum we could pull from this power supply. The objective of this test is to see if the power supply has its protection circuits working properly. The maximum we could pull from this power supply is listed below. During this test, ripple and noise levels were still low, and voltages were still within their allowed range.

Input

Overload Test

+12VA

29 A (348 W)

+12VB

29 A (348 W)

+5 V

13 A (65 W)

+3.3 V

13 A (42.9 W)

+5VSB

3 A (15 W)

-12 V

0.3 A (3.6 W)

Total

798.9 W

% Max Load

114.1%

Room Temp.

48.5° C

PSU Temp.

52.4° C

AC Power

1,006 W

Efficiency

79.4%

AC Voltage

108.9 V

Power Factor

0.996

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the Cougar CMX V2 700 W power supply include:

Conclusions

Cougar really fixed the huge voltage regulation problems we detected with its CMX 700 W with this new “V2” revised version, which passed our tests with flying colors. It is always terrific to see a manufacturer using our reviews to improve their products. Therefore, we recommend the CMX V2 700 W. 

Although based on the same platform as its problematic sister, on the CMX V2 700 W, the manufacturer changed its cable configuration, added thicker wires on the main motherboard cable, and changed the configuration of the +12 V rails.

The only “problem” with this power supply is that “V2” is not written anywhere on it. So, you won’t know if you are looking at an older, problematic unit or the new, revised “V2” unit when buying this power supply. However, you can easily identify which version it is by looking at the cables of the modular cabling system. If they use nylon sleeves painted orange, white, and black, you are facing an older, problematic version, which you should not buy. You must buy the model with the flat modular cables. (See Figure 4.)

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Cougar-CMX-V2-700-W-Power-Supply-Review/1686


© 2004-14, Hardware Secrets, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Total or partial reproduction of the contents of this site, as well as that of the texts available for downloading, be this in the electronic media, in print, or any other form of distribution, is expressly forbidden. Those who do not comply with these copyright laws will be indicted and punished according to the International Copyrights Law.

We do not take responsibility for material damage of any kind caused by the use of information contained in Hardware Secrets.