Ultra X3 800W Modular PSU

Article Index
Ultra X3 800W Modular PSU
FlexForce Cables and Inside the PSU
Let the Testing Begin!
650W Load Tests and Final Thoughts

Product: Ultra X3 800W Modular PSU
Provided By: Ultra Products
Price: $249.99USD MSRP

Introduction:

There was a time when gamers and enthusiasts didn't pay much attention to their power supply when upgrading their machine.  Things have changed recently though as systems require more power thanks to power-hungry graphics cards and quad-core processors.  These days, a well-equipped machine can easily draw 600W of power consistently, and extreme users will find them needing even more power than that.  Today we are looking at a well-equipped PSU from Ultra Products and will find out if the 800W X3 has enough power for our test rig.  We'll be stressing this unit in the real world, monitoring watt usage and recording rail stability with our Tektronix TDS2002 scope.  Take a look at our PSU testing methods for more details on our PSU testing platform.

Ultra Box
Ultra Box

 

About the X3:

The X3 PSU from Ultra is their third major revision to their modular PSU line.  These power supplies are completely modular - including the 24-pin motherboard connection - a first in modular PSU design.  While some may not like this idea, as more connections can lead to more trouble and a higher amount of products RMA'd, I like modular PSU's very much.  It is very handy to only plug in the wires you need.

Features

Every X3 PSU from Ultra has a single large 12v rail.  While some companies have as many as six 12v rails (see the Zalman ZM850-HP), Ultra believes that a single, solid, high-amp rail is better than several lower-rated rails.  We'll see when it comes to testing, how this rail holds up.  The X3 800W unit has a +12v rail rated at 36A while this 800W unit is rated at 55A.  Once you get into the 1kW unit, we see the +12v rail climb up to 70A, and the new 1600W unit has an insane 117A rating on its single +12v rail.

 

Before we take a look at what you get with this unit, I thought you may be interested to see how it balances the sum of its 800W load.

Energy Efficient

According to the specs on the product page, the PSU has a 28A +5V rail, a 24A 3.3V rail and a massive 55A +12V rail.  These actually differ than the label on the PSU, but we'll get to that in a minute.

 

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.

Box Of Cables
Box Of Cables

 

Because of the modular design, the Ultra X3 is simple to install as it has absolutely no cables dangling to get in the way or to hang up on your tall CPU cooler.  I ♥ modular.

 Back Grill
Back Grill
 PSU Label
PSU Label
Modular Connections
Modular Connections

 

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.  You'll notice that the actual PSU shows a +12v rail rating of 60A, not the 55A stated on the product page.  This brings the +12v line up to 720W.  If you are good at math at all, you'll notice that the rails add up to much more than 800W.  This is important to note, as each company figures things out differently and not all PSU are created equal.

Ultra uses a nice slow 135mm fan that makes very little noise and cannot be heard above the stock cooling on most graphics cards.  With an ambient sound level of 39.9db in our shop, we measured the fan at 42.3db at 6 inches.  For all intents and purposes, this fan is silent.  After a few hours of stress testing at a 650W load, I thought I heard the fan get quite loud.  It turns out that it was the northbridge fan on our 680i based motherboard.  We were overclocking and the chipset was getting very warm.  As far as the X3 800W PSU goes though, we could not  hear the fan at all during testing.