Ultra X4 600 and 850 Watt Modular Power Supplies

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Posted by on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 4:56am

Ultra 850It has been awhile since Ultra released a new power supply, but that changed today. The new X4 is Ultra's newest and best looking power supply. The X4 is aimed at the enthusiast looking to build a gamer rig around and the individual that needs a good reliable power supply for max overclocking and long bench sessions. If these groups of people are fond of it, then the rest of the world usually catches on. We received two units from Ultra, a 600 model and a 850 unit. Lets get the units on the test bench and see what they are all about.

 

Introduction to the Ultra X4

Ultra is known for being the originators of the modular cable concept for power supplies. The whole idea skyrocketed to popularity as every PSU manufacturer produced their own version. It was great for us all as it allowed us to maintain a neat and tidy interior of our PC. Not only was this nicer to look at, but it also allowed for better airflow. The thinner rounded cables let air breeze right by, not blocking it from cooling components that were in much need of cool air.

It has been awhile since Ultra released a new power supply, but that changed today. The new X4 is Ultra's newest and best looking power supply. The X4 is aimed at the enthusiast looking to build a gamer rig around and the individual that needs a good reliable power supply for max overclocking and long bench sessions. If these groups of people are fond of it, then the rest of the world usually catches on. We received two units from Ultra, a 600 model and a 850 unit. Lets get the units on the test bench and see what they are all about.

Ultra's take on the X4

“Ultra’s new X4 family of power supplies represents the pinnacle of Ultra’s engineering prowess when it comes to supplying high-end systems with power” said Nestor Villalobos, Product Manager for Ultra Products. “With features such as fully modular cables, short circuit protection, 80+ certification and a lifetime warranty, the X4 is going to be benchmark by which all other power supplies will be measured.”

About Ultra

Ultra Products is a global, technology-solutions provider with headquarters in Miami, Florida. 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.


 

Packaging and contents

Each unit came in a uniquely "Ultra" box.  Their front, rear and sides of the boxes give details via pictures and verbiage.

Each of the units come with regular screws, thumb screws, rubber vibration mount and cable ties. All the extra cables are packed away in this black pouch.

Features

Modular Design – Patented technology helps reduce clutter by using only the cables needed. This not only increases airflow within the case, but it gives the inside of the computer a clean and professional look that is easier to manage and service.

80 Plus Certified – The X4 line received the coveted 80 Plus Bronze certification meeting a stringent energy efficiency performance specification. This optimization ensures that that less energy is wasted by the computer and heat and noise generated by the PSU are minimized.

Power Protection – Short circuit protection, in-rush current protection, and thermal overload cutoff protection –all work in conjunction to protect systems from under voltage, surges and brown outs.

Simple Installation – All X4 PSUs include thumb screws, zip ties and Velcro straps to make the build process as streamlined as possible.

Lifetime Warranty – Register online or by sending in the included warranty card and receive a lifetime warranty.

Reduced Acoustics – Featuring a large 135mm dual bearing cooling fan, Ultra’s X4 power supplies offer reduced acoustics, increased airflow and longer life. Further, Ultra includes a silicone chassis bracket which significantly reduces vibration noises typically caused between the chassis and the fan.


 

Closer look at the X4 600 and 850

Both of the units are coated with a super sweet-looking gun metal-like black paint. With the popularity all black interior cases we are seeing on the market at the present, a nice looking PSU like this one would make for a nice setup. Along with having beautiful paint jobs, both units are standard size. They each measured just under seven inches in length.

Each unit is cooled by a large 135mm cooling fan. Each fan is covered by a mostly black and silver guard grill and internally governed by load and heat. This means you will not have to worry about your fan is spinning fast enough to cool its internals. It does it all on its own.

Ultra decided to emboss their logos on each side of the unit instead of the usual sticker that spells out all the watts and amperes on each rail. This is nice, if you don't want to see a bunch of scribble when you open your case side panel. Better yet, the sticker is located on the bottom side opposite the fan.

The last side to talk about is where you connect the modular cables. Looking here, you see that all the cables including the main power cables are detachable. Looking at the side without the cables connected, it looks very clean. However, I still don't see the reason for making the main power cables modular as they are needed in every scenario. As you can see in the photo below, the 850 unit has two extra PCIe plugs.

Each cable is sleeved in black using some pretty thin sleeving material. We do like the fact their entire length is covered. This is something we do not see in a lot of power supplies no matter the price and maker. When it comes to having enough cables for all your components, the X4 has plenty. There are a total of six PCIe plugs for even the most demanding SLI and Crossfire setups.

Cables
24 Pin ATX
4 pin AUX
8 Pin AUX
4 Pin Molex
SATA
Floppy 
6 Pin PCIe
8 Pin PCIe
Ultra X4 600
1
1
1
9
9
2
2
1
Ultra X4 850
1
1
1
9
11
2
6
3


 

Testing

We know that testing a power supply on a loaded system is not the very best way, but you can not overlook real world testing. Other sites have methods that use thousands of dollars in equipment to provide greater detail. However, we do have a trusty digital multimeter and OCCT. These sites and the method they use are a good means of determining how good a power supply is, but we feel showing you how it performs under real world conditions as it is just as valid a measure of its performance.

Testing Hardware:
Motherboard: Gigabyte X58-UD5P
Processor: Intel Core i7 920 @ 4.0 @ 1.4v
Ram: OCZ Blade DDR3 PC12800 6GB Tri-Channel
Video Card: XFX HD 4770
HDD: Seagate 7200.11
Power: Thermaltake Tough Power XT 1000
Case: NA
Cooling: Coolermaster 212 Plus
OS: Windows 7 RC
Thermal compound: Tuniq TX

Results

I tested the two power supplies on the same test bench and honestly I got some pretty interesting results from the two. We measured each of the rails and were totally puzzled by the results. The 600 watt model performed great on the 5v and 12v rails reading 4.93 and 12.22 with a load. The 3v read 3.24 which is okay but could be better.

And for the 850 watt model all the rails read well: 3.34, 4.99 and 11.87 with a load. But we honestly thought the 12v rail would read higher as the test equipment isn't really enough to push a 850 watt power supply. Be as it may, the numbers are still within the acceptable range.


 

Conclusion

The Ultra X4 600 and 850 units are very good looking power supplies. You can never go wrong with a modular power supply. The arrangement makes for better air flow within the case and allows for better cable management. When comes to the modular cables on the Ultra X4's, they are very well sleeved as they are sleeved completely. Speaking of modular cables, the X4's main and aux ATX cables are even modular. The is no real reason for wanting this as the cables are needed no matter the situation.

The X4 performance number were well in the range of being acceptable. But I was looking for a little more juice on the 12v rail for the 850 watt model. The more important numbers that you would like to see as in efficiency rating which is 80Plus, 37A on the 600 model and 60A on the 850 are just a few numbers making the Ultra X4 a decent buy.

The 135mm cooling fan is another reason for the Ultra being a good unit. During the testing on our open-air bench, we heard very little from the unit, making it suitable for locations like in a home theatre.

The 750, 850, 1050 and 1200 watt models are currently available from places like Comp USA and Tiger Direct. According to Ultra the 500 and 600 watt units should be ready by the end of the month. If you are in need of more than 1200 watts a massive 1600 watt model will be ready in late 4th quarter 09.

 

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