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Ultra ULT40064 X3 1000 Watt Power Supply

 

Today we are indeed fortunate to have the opportunity to review Ultra Product’s ULT40064 X3 1000 Watt power supply. It is our goal to use our real world testing methodologies coupled with a high-end test system to determine if this product will stand up to the the extreme rigors that enthusiasts tend to enjoy. Please join us in this endeavor.

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INTRODUCTION

Over the last year or so the “Bigger is Better” philosophy has permeated the development plans of almost every power supply manufacturer. This mentality is due in no small part to the significant increases in power demands of today’s high-end equipment. The enthusiast that doesn’t have a minimum of 850 Watts of pulse-pounding power is considered by his/her peers to be sorely lacking! In fact, with almost every system problem described on the majority of computer forums one of the first solutions to be offered is “get a larger power supply”. Have we made our point? In any case our consensus at Bjorn3D is that that a quality, properly sized power supply (notice we did not say huge) is the single most important element in assuring the functionality of your system as well as future-proofing it.

Today we are indeed fortunate to have the opportunity to review Ultra Product’s ULT40064 X3 1000 Watt power supply. It is our goal to use our real world testing methodologies coupled with a high-end test system to determine if this product will stand up to the extreme rigors that enthusiasts tend to enjoy. Please join us in this endeavor.

 

Ultra Products is a global, technology-solutions provider with headquarters in Fletcher, Ohio. The company strives to offer a wide range of solutions, products and services all with a common thread: Innovation, value and quality.

It is Ultra’s mission to be the best provider of technology-solutions in the global market. By offering superior, innovative products and ensuring a high level of customer service, Ultra guarantees its customers receive an exceptional value in everything they do.

Innovative and Quality Products

Ultra Products is constantly monitoring industry developments to guarantee the product lines are up-to-date with the latest innovations; products are manufactured and engineered to exceed customer application requirements. Ultra currently offers: case fans and lights, CPU designer cases, DVD products, hard drive coolers, media drives, complete memory solutions, memory coolers and power supplies.

Extensive Service Offerings

Ultra Products constantly searches for opportunities to grow and to improve its services to meet the customer’s changing needs. Customer service does not end but begins with the sale and Ultra’s relationship with the customer continues to build from there.

The Ultra Advantage!

To ensure your complete satisfaction, all Ultra Power Supplies and Cases now carry a three-year warranty that they will be free from defects in materials or workmanship. In addition, that warranty can be upgraded to a LIFETIME warranty by simply registering online for the Ultra Advantage. The incomparable Ultra Advantage provides the most comprehensive warranty coverage possible. If you opt for the Ultra Advantage, all power supplies, cases and memory products are protected by our Lifetime Warranty, upgraded from three year. Under Ultra Advantage, all our other products are upgraded from the standard one-year to 3-year coverage! No other company delivers a consumer care package that can top ours. At Ultra, customer service is our most important mission. That’s why every Ultra product must meet the highest industry standards for quality and reliability. And our warranty program is second to none.

Corporate Values

Ultra’s reputation is critical to the continued growth and success of the company. From top to bottom, every Ultra Products employee is trained to treat its partners in the same courteous and professional manner as Ultra wishes to be treated.

Ultra Products will continue to design exclusive, breakthrough add-ons and components that make end users’ computing experience more exciting and enjoyable!

FEATURES & SPECIFICATIONS

Features

  • Supports AMD and Intel Motherboards
  • Low Acoustic Noise
  • 135mm Fan
  • Meets ATX Version 2.2, v1.3, and ATX 12V Version 2.2 Specifications
  • Short Circuit Protection
  • In-Rush Current Protection
  • Thermal Overload Cutoff Protection
  • MTBF > 100,000 Hours at Full Load, 110VAC and 25°C Ambient Condition
  • FCC and UL Recognized

Specifications

Ultra ULT40064 X3 … 1000 Watt PSU
Output Specifications

Max Output Current

+5V

+3.3V

+12V

-12V

+5Vsb

28A

24A

70A

0.8A

3A

Max Combined Wattage

160W

840W

9.6W

15W

980W

19.7W

1000W

Min – Max Output Current

Output Voltage

Min(A)

Max(A)

+3.3V

0.8

24

+5V

0.5

28

+12V

4

70

-12V

0

0.8

+5Vsb

0.1

3

General Specifications

Voltage Range

115 – 230 VAC

Max Current at 115VAC(RMS)

13A

Max Current at 230VAC(RMS)

8A

Frequency

50Hz ~ 60Hz

Power Efficiency

80% at typical load

Ambient Operating Temperature

0° to +40° Celsius

Ambient Operating Humitify

20% – 90%

Ambient Storage Temperature

-20° to +85° Celsius

Ambient Storage Humitify

10% – 95%

Mean Time Between Failure(MTBF)

100,000 hours @ 25° Celsius

Safety Agency Approvals

UL1950, IEC60950, FCC Class B, CE,CB

Dimensions

(L) 7.5″ x (W) 5.75″ x (H) 3.25″

Weight

7 lbs.

CLOSER LOOK

Packaging

The Ultra X3 1000 Watt power supply arrived at our doorstep ready for action! We feel this is due in no small part due to excellent packaging Ultra uses for this product. We say this as the box the Ultra container was housed in appeared as though the shipping vendor used it for a quick game of Soccer just prior to delivery. Luckily the inner container did not have a scratch on it.


Ultra X3 1000 … Outer Container

The inside of this package is compartmentalized with the upper section holding another box that houses and protects the cabling and other accessories.


Ultra X3 1000 … Inner Container

 


Ultra X3 1000 … Cables & Accessories

In the lower compartment, is the Ultra X3 1000 Power supply housed in approximately 2 inches of additional cellular foam protection.


Ultra X3 1000 … Power Supply Compartment

CLOSER LOOK

Ultra products has two models of the X3 1000 power supply; the ULT40064 (which we are reviewing today) is intended for systems which might potentially use SLI™ and the ULT40064A is for rigs which might utilize CrossFire™ graphics solutions. Looking at the two models on the Ultra Product’s website we were unable to see any differences in the specifications or external design.

Ultra X3 1000 Power Supply

We have heard many descriptions of the exterior finish of the Ultra X3 1000; these have varied from black chrome to gunmetal. Each could easily be applicable depending on the lighting conditions in which the finish is viewed. In any case, Ultra has done an excellent job with the uniformity of this power supply’s finished exterior. There are no flaws that we could see but as with most glossy dark finishes fingerprints can be an issue.

Ultra X3 1000 … Side View

The rear of the X3 1000 has one of the best grills we’ve seen from a cooling standpoint. There is little if any obstruction to the heated air being exhausted by the unit’s 135mm fan.

Ultra X3 1000 … Rear View

To the best of our recollection the Ultra X3 series was one the first to take the modular trend in power supplies to the next level; 100% modular. There are some that still some that argue the possibility of power degradation with the main power cables being modular. We were unable to detect any differences in our testing between the units with hardwired main power cables and the X3 1000. We might add that we feel the 100% modular approach certainly makes for optimal cable management.

Ultra X3 1000 … Modular Connectors

Ultra X3 1000 … Top View

CLOSER LOOK

Included Components & Cabling

Aside from the Ultra ULT40064 X3 1000 Watt power supply the following components and cables are included:

  • 1 – Users Manual
  • 5 – Chassis Screws
  • 1 – Power Cord
  • 1 – 19.5 inch (495.3mm) 24 pin main power cable
  • 1 – 19.5 inch (495.3mm) +12V 4pin motherboard cable
  • 1 – 19.5 inch (495.3mm) 8 pin EPS cable
  • 4 – 19.5 inch (495.3mm) 6 pin PCI Express cables
  • 2 – 19.5 inch (495.3mm) 8 pin PCI Express cables
  • 2 – 25.5 inch (647.7mm) 5 pin SATA power (3 devices)
  • 2 – 21.5 inch (546.1mm) 5 pin SATA power (2 devices)
  • 1 – 23.5 inch (596.6mm) 4 Pin power cable (2 devices)
  • 1 – 29.5 inch (749.3mm) 4 Pin power cable (2 devices + 2 Floppy)
  • 1 – 23.5 inch (596.6mm) 4 Pin power cable (3 devices)
  • 1 –   7.5 inch (190.5mm) 4 Pin power cable (3 devices)
  • 1 – 25.5 inch (647.7mm) 3 pin fan connector (3 devices)

In our opinion one of best features the Ultra X3 1000 brings to the consumer is its cabling. Ultra has chosen to use a rubberized coating they call “Flex Force®” that makes each cable extremely easy to contour to your system’s configuration. The Flex Force cables are flat, thin, and extremely malleable making for the best power supply cable management of any we’ve ever tested. Our only negative concerning the cables is found in the main power cables’ (24pin & 8pin EPS) length. At only 19.5 inches these may prove to be a bit short for some of the larger full-tower cases especially when the power supply is mounted in the bottom of the case.

Ultra X3 1000 … Included Accessories

Some might point out that the included power cables do not include a separate 20 pin main power cable or an adaptable 20+4 pin main power cable. We feel since the vast majority of the motherboards on the market today use a 24 pin main power connector this arrangement is most appropriate. Let’s face it if you’re buying a 1000 Watt power supply, it’s most likely not for a two year old motherboard!

Internal Views

Inside the case we see a component view of the ULT40064 X3 1000 Watt power supply. There are two large aluminum heat sinks each horizontally configured with a 135mm fan positioned directly above them for optimal heat dissipation through the rear of the power supply.

Ultra X3 1000 … Inside View

A gross overview of the components shows them to be high-quality industrial grade. All of the solder joints and connections within appear to be immaculate with not imperfections from a visual perspective.

Ultra X3 1000 … Inside View

As shown in the image below the 135mm is 11 bladed and rebadged with the Ultra label. We are uncertain of who manufacturers it and were unable to obtain its specifications, but we found it to be quite adequate in cooling this behemoth and quiet to boot.

Ultra X3 1000 … 135mm Fan

Ask any computer enthusiast and you will get a different answer on which is better when comparing a power supply that uses a single 12V rail or one that has multiple 12V rails and uses load balancing. If you survey the current power supplies on the market you will find a varied array of both technologies being used. The Ultra X3 1000 Watt power supply uses a single 12V rail for its maximum 70A current delivery. We at Bjorn3D are somewhat partial to the single 12V approach as long as there is adequate over voltage protection in place. In theory given the power draw of many of the graphics cards on the market at both idle and load conditions this approach just seems to make more sense.

TESTING

Test Platform
Processor Intel E6850 Core 2 Duo @ 3.6 GHz
Motherboard EVGA 680i SLI
Memory 4GB of Mushkin XP2-6400 DDR-2
Drive(s) 3 – Seagate 750GB Barracuda ES SATA Drives
2 – Seagate 1TB Barracuda ES.2 SATA Drives
Graphics XFX 8800 GTX XXX & Foxconn 8800GTX in SLI (Both fans @ 100%)
CPU Cooling Enzotech Ultra w/Delta 120mm 90CFM fan
Case Cooling 2 – 120mm cooling fans
Power Supply Test Item # 1:  Ultra X3 1000 Watt
Test Item # 2:  Tagan TG800-U88 BZ 800 Watt
Test Item # 3:  PC Power & Cooling 1KWSR 1000
Case Large HSPC Tech station
Operating System Windows XP SP-2

Test Methodology

Let’s face it, with a power supply this is the real meat of any review. Power supply pictures and verbose descriptions mean absolutely nothing without the ability to produce the desired results. We decided to compare our test results for the for the Ultra X3 1000 Watt power supply to that of the ABS-Tagan TG800-U88 BZ 800 Watt power supply in “Turbo Mode” (single 12V rail) and the PC Power & Cooling 1KWSR 1000 Watt power supply. This means all of our test units will have a single 12V rail thus making the comparison somewhat more fair.

To act as a break-in period for the Ultra X3 1000 Watt power supply we ran it for several days in the above described test system case and allowed it to run virtually undisturbed during normal everyday use ranging from surfing the Net to some hard-core gaming. To establish load conditions we ran a variety of different processes on our test system to create as much power demand on the Ultra X3 1000 Watt power supply as the components of the test system will allow.

Because of the complexity of changing out a power supply three different times we decided to test the components using our large HSPC Tech station. While this test environment doesn’t completely simulate the results in a case we feel that using it uniformly with all test components should make all the results relative. All electrical measurements were measured using a Velleman digital multimeter and a Seasonic Power Angel. Sound/noise measurements will be acquired using a new Omega HHSL-1 digital SPL meter.

As most of you are aware it is virtually impossible to drive a 1000 Watt PSU to its maximum load capabilities using even the most sophisticated test rig even with the number of components we have added to increase power draw. Unfortunately, at present Bjorn3D doesn’t presently own an electronic load simulator to drive these devices to their maximum output. While measurements taken using one of these devices show the true and ultimate capabilities of the power supply being tested, it’s not “real world”. By this I simply mean other than for bragging rights, why measure something you’ll probably never practically attain. The question then arises why buy a power supply that provides more than you need? Most computer enthusiasts subscribe to the premise that a power supply should never be driven in a real life environment to more than 75% – 80% of it’s maximum output for obvious system performance reasons. I personally feel the 60% – 70% range gives you more of a performance comfort zone not to mention keeping your system nice and cool which also translates into quiet.

With our system tuned and ready to go we did initial power consumption measurements at both idle and full system load. With every component tweaked to draw the maximum power possible we were able to achieve power consumption levels of 350 Watts (± 5%) at idle and 550 Watts (± 5%) at load. The demand would have been higher if we had been able to run our SLI configuration with two XFX 8800GTX XXX graphics cards. Since we only have one and had to substitute a Foxconn 8800GTX that was clocked at normal speed as the second card in our SLI configuration. As you are probably well aware when running SLI with cards of two different speeds the system will default to the clock speed of the lowest clocked card.


The Competitors
(L to R) PCP & C 1KWSR, Ultra X3 1000, & ABS-Tagan BZ 800

As the image above depicts the Ultra X3 1000 power supply is a midsize power supply at 7.5 inches in length. At this size there are not nearly as many case restrictions as one might encounter with the PCP & C 1KWSR which is > 9 inches in length.

 

TEST RESULTS

Power Test Results

The current ATX 2.2 specifications allow for the following variation in voltage outputs:

  • 3.3 Volt Rail:   3.135V – 3.465V
  • 5 Volt Rail:   4.75V – 5,25V
  • 12 Volt Rail:   11.4V – 12.6V

Power Output Results(V)
Measured with Velleman DVM850BL Multimeter

Power Rail PCP &C 1KWSR 1000 Watt PSU ABS-Tagan 800 Watt PSU in Turbo Mode Ultra X3 1000 Watt PSU
Idle Load Idle Load Idle Load
3.3v 3.355 3.354 3.345 3.340 3.350 3.335
5v 5.10 5.055 5.15 5.125 5.12 5.08
12v1 12.10 12.04 12.15 12.10 12.14 12.02
Wattage Used Idle Power: 350Watt(± 5%)
Load Power: 550Watt(± 5%)

 

Power Factor Test Results

 

 

Power Factor Percentage
Measured with Seasonic Power Angel

Power Supply Idle Load
PCP & C 1KWSR 1000 Watt PSU 96% 97%
ABS-Tagan BZ 800 Watt PSU Turbo Mode 97% 98.5%
Ultra X3 1000 Watt PSU 97.5% 99%

Power Efficiency Results

In the image below Ultra provides us with their test results for the efficiency rating of the ULT40064 X3 1000 Watt power supply throughout its entire power output spectrum. For those unaware, PSU %Efficiency = DC Output / AC Input. While we don’t have the test equipment to verify these supplied figures, we find them to be much more realistic that some of the efficiency ratings we’ve seen claimed by other manufacturers over the years. The 80% and above mark seems to be the gold standard today in powers supplies. The figure shows that up until the Ultra X3 1000 surpasses 70% of its output capabilities that the 80% standard is met. For the remaining 30% of the power spectrum we only see a maximum 2% drop.

Sound Pressure Level Results

 

Sound Pressure Level dBA @ 1 Meter
Measured with Omega HHSL-1 Digital SPL Meter

Power Supply Idle Load
PC Power and Cooling
1KWSR 1000 Watt PSU
30 38
ABS-Tagan 800 Watt PSU Turbo Mode 28 30
Ultra X3 1000 Watt PSU 30 34

 

CONCLUSION

We have literally been inundated with power supply reviews at Bjorn3D over the last several months. This to us means two things: 1)  There are a number of new and exciting power supplies hitting the market; and 2) We must be doing something right with our power supply reviews. That being said, we turn to today’s product review of Ultra Product’s ULT40064 X3 1000 Watt power supply. Even though this product has been on the market for several months we still find it to be quite exciting and innovative.

Measuring the worth of today’s high output power supplies is really no different than measuring the worth of other products. We have a set of acceptable power output standards for load ranges as dictated by the current ATX 2.2 standards. Most of the power supplies we test certainly fit within the ranges otherwise they wouldn’t be on the market very long. We are then forced to look at the statistical variance levels from the specified voltage for each output rail. Next, we must take into consideration those incidental factors such as internal components, cabling, noise level, cooling, bang for the buck, accessories and the aesthetic appearance of the product being tested. Finally, there is a feeling that each reviewer gets about the product being reviewed that must be translated without exhibiting bias and any negatives the review may have produced.

In the case of Ultra Product’s ULT40064 X3 1000 Watt power supply we found the power output on all rails to be excellent and the variance under load to be infinitesimally small. The strongest incidental factors that this unit exhibits is the fact that it is 100% modular in design and the design of the Flex Force® cables provided. Overall the noise level was quite acceptable with little or no audible difference in the fan within the load levels we were able to muster. The only real negative that we found were the 19.5 lengths of the two main power cables. We find these cable lengths to be potentially troublesome for the consumer using or considering a full-tower case where the power supply rests in the bottom of the enclosure. This could easily be rectified by Ultra offering longer main power cables as an option.

Overall we were extremely impressed with everything this power supply has to offer up to and including its aesthetic appeal. We found the $299 USD MSRP to be quite reasonable for the product’s offerings. A quick on-line search showed as much as a ± $50 USD variance from the MSRP at popular etailers. We can heartily recommend Ultra Product’s ULT40064 X3 1000 Watt power supply to anyone need a high quality, high-output power supply for a future or current system. If 1000 Watts isn’t enough or is too much, Ultra has a complete line of X3 powers supplies ranging from 600 to a whopping 1600 Watts.

 

Pros:

+  1000 watts of clean, solid, and stable power
+  One single dedicated +12V rail
+  Active PFC
+  Efficiency rating > 80%
+  Quad SLI/GPU ready
+  Compact case dimensions for it’s output
+  Dual Core/Quad Core CPU ready
+  Next Generation 8-pin PCI-E connectors
+  Flex Force® cables
+  Quiet operation
+  Lifetime Warranty 

 

Cons:

-  The main power connection cables are to short for many of today’s current cases 

Final Score: 9 out of 10 and the Bjorn3D Seal of Approval.

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