Ultra X3 600W Totally Modular PSU
|Ultra X3 600W Totally Modular PSU|
|Cables, Specs and More!|
|Lab and Real-World Tests|
|Final Graphs and Final Thoughts|
A PSU is arguably one of the more important elements in your system, but one that either gets over-looked completely, or simply stressed about too much. Companies love to drown us with their specs and features. Number of 12v Rails, AMPs/rail, modular connections, LED fans, adjustable rails and more seem to take more priority over just plain solid reliable power. Today we are looking at the X3 Modular PSU from Ultra Products and aim to find out if this unit is solid, reliable and quiet enough for you to put in your PC.
It's been a while since we have reviewed our last PSU. It's good to get back into the proverbial PSU saddle and since our look at the 800W X-Pro, we've made a few changes to our PSU review guidelines and are on our way to making more. While many sites simply plug a PSU into the wall, jump it and test it with no load at all, we are looking into this idea and going to show you why this is not accurate. Although at this point, we don't have the capacity to perform full-load tests, we do have a way to measure the amount of power drawn from the PSU to give you results based on a minimum load (idle - plugged into EZ-PSU Tester 3), a 200W load (Q6600 system idle in Windows) and a 400W load (running 100% CPU & GPU load). In the future we are hoping to finish a PSU load tester that will enable us to stress power supplies even further, but for now this is what we have available. You can always view our up-to date PSU testing methodology over here.
About the X3 Series:
The X3 PSU from Ultra represents the third generation of their modular Power Supplies. These power supplies are completely modular, meaning even the 24-pin motherboard cable is modular. While some may not like this idea, as more connections can equate to more trouble and a higher level of products RMA'd, I like modular units.
The Ultra X3 Series PSU has a single 12v rail. While some companies have as many as six 12v rails on high-end PSU's it is Ultra's apparent belief that a single, solid, high-amp 12v rail is better than several smaller rated rails. We'll see when it comes to testing, how this rail holds up.
In The Box:
The Ultra X3 600W PSU comes in a rather large box, and is quite heavy. If heavy means quality, this should be a good PSU. Inside the box is a smaller box that houses all of your modular cables, a power cable and some screws for mounting this unit in your case.
Because of the completely modular design, the Ultra X3 is a snap to install as it doesn't have anything dangling to get in the way.
As you can see, the X3 has an amazing finish that shows fingerprints, smudges and dust irritatingly well. As we take a look around this unit, we see that it comes with all the usual amalgamation of stickers stating that it has passed certification. Also on the side of the unit is a label touting the amp rating of each rail.
Ventilation is taken care of by a honey-comb grill on the back or the PSU as well as a large 130mm fan that has proven to be very quiet. With an ambient sound level of 39.8db in our shop, we measured the fan at 42.1db at 6 inches. For all intents and purposes, this fan is silent. At no point throughout testing could we hear the fan at all.