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CoolMax CR-500B Power Supply

Looking to tame your power-hungry beast of a computer while keeping your wallet happy? Look no further than Coolmax’s CR-500B!

[review_ad]Introduction


To say that a power supply is a vital component of a computer would nearly be an understatement; here at Bjorn3d we constantly recommend high-end power supplies as the solution to many problems involving top-notch graphics cards and powerful computers. Many people fail to see the necessity, and now the necessity can be fulfilled with COOLMAX’s quiet, affordable, and full-featured new CR-500B 500W Power Supply. Before I continue, I must graciously thank IOCombo.com for providing this review unit!

Features and Specifications


If you are wondering what sort of features you can look forward to in this COOLMAX unit, there are several of particular note:

  • A huge 140mm fan (bigger than the already-large 120mm fans that can be found)
  • 4 modes of cooling operation: Low, Medium, High, and Automatic
  • Solid selection knob for choosing the cooling mode
  • Silent Operation (if selecting the appropriate cooling mode)
  • Plenty of power for even the most demanding situations, including the new Geforce 6800 Ultra cards!
  • Serial ATA power connector for use with new Serial ATA devices.
  • Plenty of connectors (6 Molex, 2 Floppy, 1 SATA, 1 P4, 1 Accessory, 1 Mobo).

Lots of power headers…including one for SATA!

Manufacturer specifications and features:

Features:

  • Built-in long life 140mm silent cooling fan
  • Serial ATA 150 Ready
  • 3 Speed Fan Control SwitchUniversal Connector Fits Most of Branded Motherboards.
  • Fully support All Intel & AMD series demand.
  • High quality gold-coated fan guard & connectors are good for conduction.
  • Tube-tide design to tidy the wires.
  • Over voltage protection, short circuit protection on all output levels
  • All DC output wires have 500mm length minimal

Specifications:

  • Active PFC: 0.95@230VAC; Passive PFC: 0.7@230VAC
  • With +5VSB: 0~2.5A Max.
  • AC input 100~132VAC or 200~264VAC
  • Frequency 47~63Hz
  • Efficiency >75% at full load
  • Meet FCC part 15 Class B, CISPR 22 Class B
  • Designed refer to UL, CSA, TUV, CE regulations
  • Meet Intel ATX12V/ATX 2.03
  • Dimension: 150x140x86 mm

The specification sheet on the side of the PSU.

Power chart:

AC INPUT 100~132VAC or 200~264VAC
MODEL DC OUTPUT +3.3A +5V +12V -5V -12V +5VSB
CR-500
CR-500B
(500W)
Max. Output Current 30A 45A 28A 0.5A 1A 2.5A
Max. Combined Wattage 275W 336W 2.5W 12W 12.5W
473W
Ripple & Noise 100mV 100mV 150mV 100mV 200mV 100mV

The packaging lists these features:

  • High performance components are designed for extra long life and provide maximum system performance
  • Heavy duty transformers designed to support high performance system several drives
  • Cable-tube on main power cables for better cable routing and neatness (optional)
  • Aluminum Chassis (optional)
  • Real No noise Design.
  • Compatible with all leading processors including Pentium III, 4 and AMD Athon XP
  • Built in EMI filter low ripple noise
  • Over voltage Over power and Short circuit protection
  • Tube-tide design to tidy the wires
  • Designed refer to UL, CSA, TUV regulations. Meet Intel ATX12V/ATX 2.03

Lots of features can be found, but how well does everything perform?

FIND THE BEST PRICES FOR POWER SUPPLIES AT PRICEGRABBER

Packaging, Quality, and Appearance


When the review unit arrived, I noted the sturdy, functional box that it came in and hastily opened it. The power supply was packaged well, with foam blocks in place so as to not allow the unit to rattle about.


COOLMAX included everything that could be needed, including an ATX to server-style ATX adapter.

Of special note is the little model number table on the side of the box; if you notice, it says “300W” next to the filled in CR-500B model. Apparently, the box was misprinted! So if you get this power supply and notice this, have no worries because the product website lists this device as 500 watts as it should be and as the model number denotes. (As an extra note if concerned, add up the watts on the side of the PSU and they will add up perfectly to 500.)


Note the 300W misprint!

The power supply unit itself seems well constructed. The unit intakes air through a sturdy wire mesh on the back, near the much-touted speed selection knob. While the mesh is fairly strong by itself, the back of the unit is further reinforced by beams that cross through the mesh. The most notable feature of the PSU, the enormous 140mm fan, is mounted securely and is covered with a shiny brass-colored grill (COOLMAX claims that it is gold-coated) for user protection.


The PSU is both attractive and functional.

COOLMAX certainly doesn’t slack in the looks department either; in fact, the PSU’s cool black finish and shiny fan grill put my budget chassis to shame. COOLMAX’s decision to opt with a nifty clear fan also adds to the appearance…the obviously “plastic” look is eclipsed by its performance.

I have always liked the plastic mesh-type cable tubes used on higher-end PSUs for the motherboard power cables; COOLMAX certainly doesn’t disappoint in this regard! This power supply unit excels in nearly every aspect visually and feature-wise, but does it hold its own in the performance tests?

Performance


The greatest herald to a good power supply is complete, faithful dedication that performs selflessly and quietly. Anything less is simply unacceptable, as it will sacrifice the reliability and usability of your computer. The enormous power draw of modern graphics cards, CPUs, and other components can severely influence the stability of your computer. Where cheap “no-name” power supplies used to be the norm, people are now finding that it is worth investing in a better unit for both peace of mind and capability in future applications. Does the COOLMAX CR-500B live up to the hype?

If flawless operation is any indicator of performance and quality, I have to say that I am very satisfied with this power supply. Not only has the overall system temperature dropped a couple degrees due to the large amount of air moved by the 140mm fan, but I have noticed that the noise level is better than acceptable even on the “high” speed setting. My computer has far more potential computing headroom now that I have a power supply that can handle almost anything I can throw at it, whether it be an array of SATA drives or the latest graphics card and CPU.

Further, the CR-500B performs well even under high-stress. Although it can be foreseen that the power supply will take an output hit under such situations, all fluctuations were minimal and thus well within the acceptable ~5% range. This unit performs admirably.

FIND THE BEST PRICES FOR POWER SUPPLIES AT PRICEGRABBER

Conclusion


It is easy to see that COOLMAX has created a winner in the CR-500B. Empowering a huge 500 watts and containing innovative features such as the adjustable fan speed, the power supply is an excellent choice for anyone who is looking to upgrade in the near future or who is building a computer today. The CR-500B offers suitable headroom for quite an arsenal of equipment, and provides the needed power smoothly and reliably.


The COOLMAX CR-500B: An excellent choice.

For those who are also concerned with the appearance of their computer internals, this power supply combines sleek looks with power. From gold plated connectors to 140mm fan, COOLMAX has created a unit with performance in mind. Excellent quality, performance, and a competitive price compel me to give the COOLMAX CR-500B an 8.5 out of 10 and award it the Bjorn3d Seal of Approval.

Price: $67.95 at IOCombo.com

Warranty Information: 1 Year

Pros:

  • 500 watts of power
  • SATA connectors
  • Silent & Cool operation
  • Adjustable fan speed
  • Enormous 140mm fan
  • Headroom for future expansion
  • Solid construction
  • Slick black finish
  • Competitive price

Cons:

  • Only one SATA connector

FIND THE BEST PRICES FOR POWER SUPPLIES AT PRICEGRABBER

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