Introduction

We've been eagerly awaiting our Cooler Master UCP sample; unfortunately, it was delayed an extra three weeks during shipment by the carrier. We first saw this new series at CeBIT 2008 earlier this year, and other than the name (previously called Ultimate Warranty Protection/UWP) not much has changed. This power supply has some impressive features and specifications, and we were definitely interested in putting it through our test regimen to see how it actually performs.


What's so special about Cooler Master UCP line? A press release points out the fact that they are the first company to receive an 80Plus Silver certification, which certainly generated some media attention. It's not that we've never seen an 88% efficiency power supply before, but the certification "guarantees" this level of performance to end-users. The difference between a regular 80Plus certification and an 80Plus Silver certification isn't all that great either, as it usually means only a few percent better efficiency overall. Even if you run the power supply constantly for years, you might only save $25. Still, it's a nice marketing tool, and there is an assumption that higher efficiency often means better overall quality. That may be true to a certain extent, but let's get to the rest of our testing before we come to any firm conclusions.

The 900W UCP that we received is quite long at 190mm (7.5 inches), with a 120mm fan toward the bottom-front of the casing (assuming a normal mounting position at the top of your computer chassis). Cooler master puts a large label on the top of the power supply, where it will be hidden in most computer cases. The 3.3V and 5V rails are rated at 25A, which is more than sufficient in our opinion. The 12V rails are the more important factor in modern systems, and here Cooler Master provides four 12V rails with different amperages. 12V1 is rated at 25A and is for the CPU, while 12V2 is only 20A and is also for the CPU socket.


The specifications state that the first 12V rail is for the ATX12V connector, but it actually is used for the 24-pin motherboard connector, the ATX12V 4-pin connector, and the various Molex/SATA connectors. The added amperage makes sense in that case, as much of the system will be powered through that rail. The second 12V rail is for the EPS12V 8-pin connector, while the two remaining 12V rails are for the six PEG connectors.

Going back to the main 12V rail, how much power a graphics card draws from the PEG connection and how much it draws from the motherboard x16 slot varies by design, so having so many peripherals dependent on the one 12V rail may not have been the best choice. This is another instance where a single large 12V rail can sometimes be a better solution. Regardless, very few systems will actually come anywhere near maxing out the available power, but if you plan on connecting several hard drives and overclocking a quad-core processor you might run into problems.

Packaging and Appearance
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  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, July 29, 2008 - link

    "We see very little voltage drop on the rails, which is very good. All of the rails are within 2% to 2.5% of regulation, starting slightly higher than the target voltage and dropping slightly below target at higher loads. Ripple on the 12V rails is also exceptionally good, measuring at most 8mV. Lower voltage rails also perform decently, though not quite as good, measuring up to 21mV. The ability of this power supply to deliver the required wattage with little voltage drop even at higher loads leaves us with a good impression."

    Posting a graph that shows ripple isn't really any more informative than what we did right there: up to 8mV ripple on the 12V rails and 21mV on the 3.3V and 5V lines. You might want to read the text a bit more closely before firing off complaints. We state in the conclusion that the PSU has very good ripple results, and I guess that's probably as far as you got? The previous several pages of test results are there for a reason.
    Reply
  • Amart - Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - link

    A graph educates people, and shows that you've performed the necessary readings to construct it. Ripple/Noise is arguably one of the most important graphs to have on a review.

    Sure, you had 'something' in this review, which is an improvement over the last few months.

    Reply
  • Christoph Katzer - Tuesday, July 29, 2008 - link

    With 78mV no company in the high-end field would have released the product... Reply
  • mindless1 - Tuesday, July 29, 2008 - link

    Do you have any evidence that 78mV of ripple has caused any problems by itself, isolated as the variable? The powered parts themselves cause more than 78mV of ripple local to them, where it might matter if it ever did - this if you had a hypothetically perfect 0mV ripple PSU. Reply
  • Zak - Tuesday, July 29, 2008 - link

    I found CM products to have competitive prices - but I don't shop for high end stuff - and I've always received their rebates. Reply
  • nycromes - Tuesday, July 29, 2008 - link

    I too have only had good experiences with their products and rebates. I have heard that others have experienced problems with rebates, but I don't usually hear many complaints regarding their products.

    I guess that some people must get a different experience than others, the question is which one of us had the normal experience and which one of us got lucky. Until I have a bad experience, I am sticking with my Coolermaster products.
    Reply
  • Glenn - Tuesday, July 29, 2008 - link

    You forgot to mention the business model coolermaster has relied on. Sell your product that has a worth of about $25 for retail price of $75 and then offer a $65 rebate that will likely not get paid!

    Then, when the customer has problems with the product, just make the process to repair or replace so difficult, that only the most persistant buyers will percivere the process to get something done!

    Hey, it must be working for them!
    Reply
  • JEDIYoda - Tuesday, July 29, 2008 - link

    so what does anything you say have to do with this review?
    For that matter can you back up what your claiming with links??
    Reply
  • Glenn - Tuesday, July 29, 2008 - link

    It has everything to do with any Coolermaster product review! If the company is poor on customer support, then it affects the value equation for prudent buyers. Sorry you don't understand!

    Do some reading-
    Reply
  • JEDIYoda - Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - link

    I do understand very well! It is you that has a axe to grind against the Coolermaster products.

    The company support and how they handle problems has nothing at all to do with this review of the product!!

    Yoyr bitch is against the compant itself...the 2 are very seperate!!

    As usual a very well done review!!
    Reply

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