Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R PSU - Testing the AC Fusion 550R

Article Index
Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R PSU
Fusion 550R Features and Specs
Inside the PSU and Test Setup
Testing the AC Fusion 550R

Testing - 225W & 495W: 

We initially plugged the PSU into an EZ PSU Tester 3 in order to power it on for our "idle" measurements.  As noticed below, the voltage rails were fairly stable with no load, but these aren't necessarily indicative of overall load performance.  According to our Kill-a-Watt, the power draw was 6W.  We thought these results would be interesting to include and compare with other power supplies to see how they manage a non-load situation, and how much power the PSU itself will draw.  

Just before we jump into testing it would be helpful to know what each of the +12v rails do.  As near as we can tell, one +12v rail handles the 24-pin, and PCIe connections while the other +12v rail works with the 4-pin power connector and the Molex and SATA lines.  While we don't have any documentation to back this up, we noticed that these two groups followed the same ripple, noise and average voltage readings.

The test system consisted of a Core i7 920 CPU on the ASRock X58 Supercomputer motherboard.  We tested the load with 12GB of DDR3 memory, a single Radeon HD 4870; tons of fans and the low noise CoolIT Domino ALC running at maximum power for the loaded test.  We used a pair of PCIe connectors for the Radeon HD 4870 and still had two more to spare.

 12v1 Load
12v1 Load
 12v2 Load
12v2 Load
   
3.3v Load
3.3v Load
 5v Load
5v Load

 

All of the rails where pretty consistent and all but the 5v line managed to stay above the rated voltage.  Even with no load, the 5v line came just under the 5 volt measurement.  The reality is that it only dropped down to 4.96v - even with a fairly heavy load.  The total fluctuation on this line was only 0.03v - which is pretty much rock solid. The 3.3v line stayed at a solid 3.38v whether at idle or loaded.  The 12v lines dropped a whole 0.1v at full load but managed to stay above the 12.0v requirement.  Keep in mind that Power Supplies are typically allows 10% fluctuation on the 12v lines and 5% on the 5v and 3.3v lines.  The biggest percentage of variance is on the 12v lines and they are less than 3% high, and drop down to about 1% high.  They only vary 2% maximum on their voltage measurement.

 

Ave Voltage

 

Ripple and noise is an area where are few companies try and get away with some poor quality components.  General consumers can easily measure voltage, but not all can measure ripple and noise to see if the quality of the power supplied to their expensive system is actually any good.  We have taken a look at both average voltage as well as average ripple as you could see in the images above.  Below is the chart showing how it adds up through testing.

Ave Ripple

 

The other 550W PSU we've looked at recently was the Tuniq Potency 550W unit and while it stayed within spec on all of the lines, the Arctic Cooling PSU did far better.  The 5v and 3.3v lines are always a little shaky with our precise test equipment, but the Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R was as stable as any PSU I've seen.  The 3.3v and 5v lines are well under the 50mV limit in all load tests and the 12v lines are relatively quiet when compared to most other PSUs on the market.

 

Conclusion:

The Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R 550W PSU is an interesting unit.  It has a few innovative ideas - mainly the fan on the outside of the box that adds to the curb appeal.  It appears to be very stable in terms of voltage as well as ripple and noise.  In fact, it's probably one of the most stable PSUs we've tested around here.  You'd think that it would be a hands-down winner, but it does have a couple of issues.  The fan "grill" is very fragile as it is just plastic, and the bars are spaced wide enough apart that you could easily get something stuck in there, stop the fan and overheat the PSU.  Second, there is only one "line" of Molex connectors and while it is fairly long, if you need Molex connectors at the front of your case from optical drives, they won't likely reach the rear of your case to power a fan as well.  You'll need to use some extension and this cheapens the feel of the unit.  SATA follows the same trend, but this shouldn't be an issue as all SATA devices are pretty much in the same place.

The fact that the Fusion 550R comes with four PCIe connects shows a lot of promise and I'm pretty impressed with the overall finish of the unit.  It would probably make consumers feel more comfortable with the unit if it did carry some sort of SLI or Crossfire certification though.  In terms of Power Factor Correction, under any load the PSU shows 99% just like Arctic Cooling stated.  With a non-load situation, the PFC was 96% - still very good.

Pros:

  • Nice small unit
  • Interesting looks with external fan
  • Four PCIe connectors
  • Extremely quiet/noiseless
  • Very stable voltage

 

Cons:

  • Fan "grill" is fragile
  • All molex connectors on a single line could cause limitations

 

BCCRating

While the Arctic Cooling falls just short of an award due to the fan grill quality as well as the cable configuration limitations, it's one of the most solid PSUs we've tested and for a 550W PSU, it's a great little unit.  If you can live with the grill and don't have a lot of Molex spread, you'll be very happy with this unit.

I'd like to thank Arctic Cooling for sending this unit over for us to review.  If you have any questions or comments please post at the "Comments" link below.