Posted by Chris Scott Barr on Oct 29, 2009

Review – Ultra X4 850W Modular Power Supply

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When building a gaming computer, each component is important in its own way. Most people focus on their motherboard, CPU, RAM and video card. However, things like your case, hard drive and power supply also play a vital role in things. We’ve covered cases and hard drives, but haven’t really touched on power supplies. These are rather tricky to properly review without specialized equipment. We currently have an Ultra X4 850W Modular Power Supply, and I thought I’d share at least my initial thoughts with you.

Modular power supplies are nothing new, but they are something I would recommend to anyone building a new system (or just replacing their old PSU). I’m very picky about cable management, and having a lot of extra unneeded wires lying around drives me insane. Of course making the inside of your case look better is only one of the benefits, it also helps to maximize airflow thus keeping your components cooler.

The X4 has more cables than most people will ever have a need for. Here’s a breakdown of total connecters:

  • 1x 24-Pin Motherboard Power Connector
  • 1x 8-Pin Motherboard Power Connector
  • 1x 4-Pin Motherboard Power Connector
  • 9x 4-Pin Molex Power Connector
  • 2x 4-Pin Floppy Power Connector
  • 11x SATA Power Connector
  • 6x 6-Pin PCI-E Power Connector
  • 3x 8-Pin PCI-E Power Connector
  • 2x Case Fan Power Connector

Other accessories include a silicone vibration dampener and a carrying case to store all of your unneeded cables. You’ll also find thumbscrews and Velcro ties to make the installation process that much easier.

In addition to providing your gaming rig with the power it needs, the X4 also promises to protect your other components. One of the easiest ways for your computer to get damaged is from a power surge. The X4 actually has integrated short circuit protection which will keep your parts safe in the event of a power surge or brownout. It can also sense dangerous temperatures and cut off power to prevent your computer from overheating. Lastly, the included lifetime warranty means that no matter what happens, you’re going to have an awesome power supply that works.

I’ll admit, this isn’t my most in-depth review, and we are currently working on a new method for testing power supplies in the future. I’ve been using this particular unit in our primary gaming rig for several weeks now, without any issues. With the built-in surge and thermal overload protection, I do feel a little better knowing that I’ve got one more line of defense when it comes to my PC’s safety. At $249 you are going to be able to find other 850W power supplies, but the peace of mind is worth the money.

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