Vantec also gave us the opportunity to take a first look at their Ion PSU.  The Ion is essentially the same as the Stealth but with a steel construction to cut costs down.  Vantec Ions are fairly new to the PC market, so you may have trouble finding them in retail channels still.

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Click to Enlarge

While visiting the Vantec headquarters last month, one of the more interesting things Vantec had to mention to us was their discontent with variable fan controls.  Other power supply companies have also shown their dislike for the feature, since it significantly raises costs, lowers performance and is generally used improperly (if at all).  Further revisions of the Stealth and Ion supplies may drop the fan controller in favor of automatic controls.

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Click to Enlarge

Both the Ion and the Stealth power supplies made a name for themselves but cramming an uncanny amount of connectors onboard.  The Ion comes with 9 standard sized molexes, plus one serial ATA adaptor.  Interestingly enough, the Ion does not come with a universal ATX connector, and just ships with a standard ATX adaptor. 

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Click to Enlarge

Wattages

 

3.3V

5V

12V

-12

-5

+5vsb

combined theoretical

actual combined

advertised  total

Vantec Ion 400W

85.80

200.00

192.00

12.00

4.00

12.50

285.80

220.00

400.00

The Ion has a very low +3.3V rail, like Vantec’s 520W Stealth.  Unfortunately, the Stealth could make up by having a large +12V rail for Intel systems as well.  The Ion will work fine for your basic AMD or Intel system, but those who really push the limit (particularly with a hungry video card) are going to eventually have problems with the low output on this unit.

For $60, the Ion is priced about half that of the Stealth.  The steel construction obviously reduces costs, as well as the elimination of the Universal ATX connector, which we can only guess cuts down on the number of rare components needed for construction.  If anything, the Ion targets the low end system builder market better than its aluminum predecessor.

Vantec Stealth 520W TTGI/SuperFlower 520SS 4Fan
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  • Anonymous User - Saturday, August 2, 2003 - link

    #11, yes P=IxV, but the power ratings in the table were obviously taken from manufacturers' data rather than actual measurements, which is why when any power rating for any of the positive voltages is divided by that voltage, the quotient exactly equals an integer. That would not be a problem if all manufacturers applied identical standards to their specifications, but many computer users have learned that this isn't the case. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, August 2, 2003 - link

    Perhaps you could include a Q-Tec PSU in the next review? They retail here in Sweden at about 60% of the price of corresponding Enermax and other high quality units, so assuming they aren't totally lousy they're very cheap. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Friday, August 1, 2003 - link

    I agree with #15. Definitely take a look at the PC Power and Cooling 400w Silencer PSU. I own two of these units and they're very high quality with reasonably low noise. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Friday, August 1, 2003 - link

    Enlight power supplies are always being excluded from these PSU comparsions. I have a Enlight 360W PSU and it's very stable and very quiet. Test some Enlight PSUs! Reply
  • Anonymous User - Friday, August 1, 2003 - link

    I appreciated the comments concerning AMD users, but what I really need is some sort of guidance on AMD processor speed vs combined power or 3.3V rail current for upgrading older systems. Many older cases have limited power supplies and I'm trying to figure out the fastest processor I can install and still have reliable operation. Example: A 300 watt supply with 25A of 3.3V can only support up to a Athlon 1600+ on an ECS K7S5A Pro or a 350 watt with a combined power of 200W can support up to 2200+. Oh, and forget that old 250 watt power supply altogether. I need something like that... yeah, I know: your mileage may vary, void where prohibited by law, no watts were endangered in the making of this article.....:-) Reply
  • Anonymous User - Friday, August 1, 2003 - link

    Next time you guys might want to check out the PC P&C Silencer 400. It's built just as heavily as the Turbo Cool but with a quieter fan. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Friday, August 1, 2003 - link

    Hey guys, im sure 1 or 2 of you resistorheads are an ee or will soon be one.. ripple and noise are only part of a good pwr supply.. we need the facts... how many watts do these power supplies really put out. how do they respond with a big load.. will they take an overload.. how well are they protected...thats what i wanna read about Reply
  • MIDIman - Friday, August 1, 2003 - link

    WOW - excellent review. I'm getting a zalman for my silent box.

    Nice to see you guys pumping out articles quickly again! Thanks!
    Reply
  • idenyit - Friday, August 1, 2003 - link

    hey just wondering the allied A400ATX hows that compare with the B400ATX thats offered on newegg? any differences? Reply
  • Anonymous User - Friday, August 1, 2003 - link

    #10, doesnt P=IV? The Power and Voltage measurements were given. Reply

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