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  Forum Index - Reviews - Ultra X3 800w PSU
Supplier: Ultra
Price: $249 from UltraReviewed: Mar 25, 2008

Author Initial Thread
faceless105
Selfmade Modder

Joined: Jun 30, 2006
Posts: 4542
Post Subject: Ultra X3 800w PSU
Posted on: Mar 25, 2008

When you're running a high end gaming rig, having more power is a key issue. On top of that you need your power source to be reliable and stable. This is why today I'm happy to be reviewing the Ultra X3 800w PSU.



The X3 comes with a ton of features that really make it an impressive. At a full load the X3 has approximately 80% efficiency. This PSU is able to produce much more energy for you with greater efficiency and lower heat production then a large number of other power supplies out there. It is also equipped to handle the most high end graphics cards on the market today.



The X3 is a modular power supply which makes it a great option in any PC. This makes the task of cable management a reality. This also allows for a cleaner looking PC and improved airflow. In addition to being modular, the X3 uses ForceFlex cables that are thinner and blend together better then normal cables. The wires are bonded together so you won't have such a tangle of wires. Additionally, the cables are very long so you won't run into problems with cables being to short. For all of you with full size server cases, this is excellent news.



Out of the box, this PSU is a bit larger then the average PSU. It comes equipped with a 135mm fan and overall, the PSU measures a few inches longer then the average PSU so this might be over kill if you're building something for a microATX setup. In the box, there's the X3 and a box of cables. Now I know I listed the cables and the numbers of them, but you really just can't get a good feel for that volume of cables until you see a picture like this..



Within that huge amount of cables, there is a power cord mixed in (bottom right), and even a cable with three 3-pin connectors for fans. The 3-pin connector really surprised me just because I haven't seen any PSUs before put in that extra effort to include things like that.

Now for the first hand experience, the testing phase. For a test setup I grabbed an old PC, five hard drives (one is in the old PC), and two fans to keep everything cool. If you would like to see how we do our testing, we have all our equipment listed here.



After letting it run for a while, I took some temperature readings.
Now this is an open air environment, so temperatures will probably be a little higher inside a case, depending on your setup. The setup pictured above was running, five hard drives, two 80mm fans, and a 900mhz computer. After waiting half an hour to be sure the temperatures have leveled off, using my infrared temperature gun, I poked around the PSU, finding a max temperature of 84 degrees Fahrenheit, and a minimum temperature of 73 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a pretty comfortable temperature and not to far off from room temperature so I was really pleased with these readings.

Next, I back plugged the molex connectors and took some voltage samplings and everything was well within the proper voltage. The last thing we did was take a noise level reading. To do this we used a jumper to turn on the PSU since the 40mm cpu fan that we had running it initially was easily putting out more noise then the PSU was. Once we let it run again with the same load, we found that the noise level was below the accurate range of measure for my sound meter which goes as low as 35 dBA. The amount of volume put out is hardly noticeable due largely in part to the 135mm fan mounted inside. With larger fans, they don't need to spin as fast to produce as much air flow as smaller fans. This allows them to push more air while generating less noise which is something that everyone can enjoy.



This PSU has passed all of our tests with flying colors. The noise is not a problem at all, and the temperatures are more then acceptable. In addition the X3 has a few features that we think are worth mentioning that you hopefully never need to fall back on. The X3 offers Short Circuit Protection, In-Rush Current Protection, and Thermal Overload Cutoff Protection. In addition to that, registering your product gives you a lifetime warranty, which is hard to top.



The X3 can handle a fairly strong load, and more importantly it doesn't feel as though it'll sputter out trying to do so. The modular design really makes working with the PSU a real treat as well since you can keep your setup fairly customized to limit the amount of tangled cables. I'd recommend the X3 to anyone looking for a new PSU, especially if they're interested in a modular one. I'd also really like to thank Ultra for giving me the opportunity to review their PSU.

If anyone has any questions of comments I'd love to hear them :)

If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?
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doghills
Partial Forum Addict

Joined: Jun 22, 2007
Posts: 440
Post Subject: subject
Posted on: Mar 25, 2008


Just a thought you should keep some of these PSUs and compare them to each other. If you could get one of those power checking things that plug in to the wall you could compare how much power each power supply uses if you used the same set up every time.


Paradoxal n.

1. A mythical creature that exists only if you don't believe in it.
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sP00N
Modding Wizard

Joined: Jul 5, 2007
Posts: 779
Post Subject:
Posted on: Mar 25, 2008


that setup is no where near the amount you'll need to really stress a psu of that caliber. Get some of those killa-watt power consumption wall meter things and a multimeter to measure voltages.

Also all temps should be in Celsius since the US is the only place to use Fareinheight.

It looks like a nice PSU, Id kill for a modualr psu right about now :P


steamid: dead7iest_weap0n
AMD X4 720 @ 3.5GHZ, 4GB DDR2, PowerColor 5770 1GB, 40" LCD, 200gb+ 2TB HDD's
Now A+, Net+, Linux+ and MCTS Windows 7 and Server '08 Certified :D
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faceless105
Selfmade Modder

Joined: Jun 30, 2006
Posts: 4542
Post Subject: subject
Posted on: Mar 25, 2008


I've been looking into building a load tester. It might be my summer project. Purchasing one will cost me about $10,000 and thats on the cheaper end. Building on will require a lot of manual settings for power adjustments and such, but the cost I've read will be a little under $1000. The big expense in it is getting a ton of higher end resisters.


If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?
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sP00N
Modding Wizard

Joined: Jul 5, 2007
Posts: 779
Post Subject: subject
Posted on: Mar 25, 2008


Save your case and just get a quad core rig :P With water cooling and a beefy oc you could easily consume 600-800watts.


steamid: dead7iest_weap0n
AMD X4 720 @ 3.5GHZ, 4GB DDR2, PowerColor 5770 1GB, 40" LCD, 200gb+ 2TB HDD's
Now A+, Net+, Linux+ and MCTS Windows 7 and Server '08 Certified :D
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doghills
Partial Forum Addict

Joined: Jun 22, 2007
Posts: 440
Post Subject: subject
Posted on: Mar 25, 2008


Actually spoon does have a good point. I have seen Phenom quads for $160 with motherboard at fry's. (I don't know if there is one near you.) You could get one of those and 2 2900s in crossfire for the same price or cheaper. I know 1 2900 sucks like 220 watts or 300 I think.


Paradoxal n.

1. A mythical creature that exists only if you don't believe in it.
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sP00N
Modding Wizard

Joined: Jul 5, 2007
Posts: 779
Post Subject: subject
Posted on: Mar 25, 2008


yeah a couple of 2900's and an older core 2 quad with a lower speed. Overclock them and you can definitely be pulling some serious wattage.

And you'll also have an awesome gaming rig :D


steamid: dead7iest_weap0n
AMD X4 720 @ 3.5GHZ, 4GB DDR2, PowerColor 5770 1GB, 40" LCD, 200gb+ 2TB HDD's
Now A+, Net+, Linux+ and MCTS Windows 7 and Server '08 Certified :D
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doghills
Partial Forum Addict

Joined: Jun 22, 2007
Posts: 440
Post Subject:
Posted on: Mar 25, 2008


People always seem to forget that 2900s really didn't suck to bad. Just bad in a ratio of cost/performance. But now you can find them cheaply. Using a quick ebay search it looks like they go for around $200 at the moment. Some auctions go cheaper. (When looking make sure you use a bunch of different combinations of spacings such as hd 2900xt hd2900xt and so on.)


Paradoxal n.

1. A mythical creature that exists only if you don't believe in it.
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faceless105
Selfmade Modder

Joined: Jun 30, 2006
Posts: 4542
Post Subject: subject
Posted on: Mar 25, 2008


yeah and I know I could jack up the power usage through a number of methods, but I'd want a pretty universal device to control power consumption. The last PSU I reviewed was 650w, this one was 800w, I have another coming soon at 750w. so being able to variably adjust the power consumption would be very ideal for load testing. Like I said though I think this will be my summer project, designing and building a PSU load tester. I've gotten into a few decent discussions over how this would be done on another forum. It's fairly costly, but it still looks like a great project that I doubt I'll be able to pass up.


If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?
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