Cougar recently introduced a line of power supply units VTX-oriented users with a limited budget. VTX line has certified 80PLUS Bronze, a good set of power interfaces and nice design. Power is from 400 to 700 watts, the power units VTX oriented gaming system. Capacity from 400 to 700 watts, too, corresponds to the typical gaming computers. In our test lab arrived Cougar VTX450 power supply 450 watts.
The Cougar brand, which is backed by the company HEC / Compucase, quite well known in the power supply market, although not in the exclusive high-end segment. Today, under the brand Cougar available different models of power supplies, but they are focused mainly on the entry-level segment or gamers. With efficiency 80PLUS Bronze Cougar CMX releases line, LX and now VTX. Also with 80PLUS Bronze certification offered CMD models 500 and 600 watts with a digital interface through which they can be integrated into the Cougar UIX system. Note GX family with certification 80PLUS Gold and model STX / STE, focused on the initial segment, so Cougar offers quite a wide range of products, especially the Bronze happy family with a capacity from 400 to 1,200 watts. As we mentioned above, Cougar does not offer a high-end power supplies.
VTX line consists of five models with 400, 450, 500, 600 and 700 watts. The efficiency and size of the body is identical for all models, the difference lies in the power and the number of interfaces. Prices family VTX range from 45 euros for VTX400 to more than 70 euros per VTX700.
The table shows the key specifications Cougar VTX450:
Cougar VTX450: Review Technical Specifications
|Make and Model||Cougar|
|Model||VTX450 / CGR BS-450|
|Retail price||from 50 euros|
|+ 3,3V||A 24|
|+ 5Vsb||3 A|
|Power 12||420 W|
|Power 3.3 V and 5 V||120W|
|aggregate capacity||450 W|
|EPS / 12V / CPU||1x 8 (4 + 4) -kont.|
(6P / 8 (6 + 2) P / 8P)
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||140 x 150 x 86 mm|
|Modular cable connection||No|
|manufacturer’s Warranty||3 years|
Below we consider the Cougar VTX450 more detail.
Cougar PSU is supplied in a comparatively compact cubic box shape, the front and rear main information present on the power supply, the power supply inside the box is packed with a film bubbles.
Package Cougar VTX450 simple and unfussy. In addition to the power cable from the network, you will receive the installation screws and a brief user’s guide, which describes the installation and safety instructions given.
Power Supply Cougar VTX450 not released any original design, because in front of us is still an inexpensive model. But look, you can still be called stylish and attractive. Housing supply unit made of steel sheet with a jet black color. Hull length is small, 140 mm just fit into ATX Design Guide. However, for the 450-watt power supply is not surprising. However, other units and VTX supply line, including a 700-Watt model have the same compact dimensions.
On the sidewall of the housing you can see quite a large sticker with the technical specifications. Ventilation grille built 120-mm fan is made as simple as possible, not a separate component, and cut-outs in the top of the PSU panel.
In the center of the ventilation grilles located Cougar logo. Since VTX Series modular cable connection is not provided, the internal power supply panel is nothing interesting.
As can be seen from the table of specifications, Cougar VTX450 offers a pretty decent power level, 80PLUS Bronze efficiency can be called quite modern. Secondary voltages available on the combined power to 120 W, the maximum load on the line 24 is 3.3 A, the line 5 – 15 A. The power supply provides a single line 12 on which the load can be up to 35 A, that is, the power up to 420 watts.
In the case of power units, some functions, such as a stylish appearance, high power and a large amount of power interfaces, usually visible at first sight. What can be said about such characteristics as defined protection scheme. However, they are quite important. If you believe the Cougar VTX450 power supply supports the protection from excessively high and low voltage (OVP / UVP), overload (OPP), over-current through (OCP) and short-circuit (SCP). Overheating protection (OTP), apparently, it is not integrated, but power supply with active cooling so urgent. The more power a small class.
As in the case of other power supply units tested, we checked whether the overload protection. As a secondary line voltages 5 V withstand 20 A line of 3.3 – 27 A to turn off that 450-watt power supply a good level. Cougar VTX450 could give up to 42 A at 12 V line with minimum load on the secondary voltage, which is also good for rated loads up to 35 A.
Cougar Power supply facilities are going to “parent” company HEC / Compucase. Use the classic topology without the Double Forward DC-DC technology. Cougar VTX450 equipped capacitors Taiwanese manufacturer Teapo. The main capacitor has a capacitance of 400 uF, 400 V, it belongs to the standard series (LH). For secondary circuits are used mainly capacitors Low-ESR (105 C, most of SC family).
Below we describe the noise and equipment.
Cougar VTX450 declared with a 120 mm fan “Ultra Silent”. The ventilation grille is also optimized for maximum quiet operation.
120 mm fan is also made under the Cougar brand with the model number “EFS-12E12H”. Fan made at HEC capacity, this model under the brand HEC has already met us two years ago, EVGA power supplies. Fan uses the classic plain bearing (Sleeve Bearing) without any “hydrodynamic” technology.
In the fan EFS-12E12H in Cougar VTX450 PSU showed himself well. He started to work with a speed of 750 rev / min, which is supported to the fan load of 60 per cent. Then the speed was increased to about 800 rev / min. Fan worked with the still fairly quiet, you can hear it was only in the immediate vicinity. With further increasing load fan increased to 960 revs / min at a load of 80 percent and up to 1,300 r / min at full load. At a speed of 1,000 rev / min fan it becomes noticeable, but still worked quietly. At 1,300 rev / min at full load the fan noise became more noticeable, but it is tolerable for a given speed level. Of course, the fan hardly refers to “UltraSilent” category, but the category it is very quiet, in the usual case, air-cooled, he will hardly be noticeable.
Cougar equipped Cougar VTX450 non-replaceable cables, power set of interfaces can be called quite rich. Each wire in the cable is enclosed in a black sheath, which is quite rare, usually only in high-end models.
On interfaces Cougar VTX450 provides quite a decent set. One cable provides two PCI Express connector that for model 450 watts – quite a good option. With Cougar VTX450 power supply can be easily powered high-performance graphics card with two connectors. Among other features, we note plug EPS 8 (4 + 4) contacts, four SATA connectors and three Molex. Of course, four SATA connector for the 400 W class power supply – not so much, especially since SATA devices are distributed in the body in different places. Cougar and has provided such a case, distributing power connectors periphery (4-pin. The Molex and SATA) for two power cords. So the connection flexibility provided.
After the announcement of the program 80 PLUS, the last 8 years at PSU market efficiency began to play an increasingly important role. The buyer got a pretty simple criterion to select – 80 PLUS, and the manufacturers have appeared convenient opportunity to differentiate their products through the certification level of efficiency. It’s nice to PSU efficiency that customers now receive several reasons justifying the purchase of a very good power supply. Let’s start with energy saving, which is reflected in the account of electricity, and if you are worried about the environment, you can slightly reduce the amount of combustion of fossil fuels and carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. Also, smaller energy conversion loss leads to less heating power supply components. Finally, a more efficient power supply means more quality components and the latest technology. In any case, we performed quality control of the output voltage as a good power supply should not only work efficiently, but also stable.
Thanks to our test station we can fix the power consumed by the power supply from the wall outlet and power load (imaginary) of the computer that allows you to calculate the efficiency of power supplies. First we look at the effectiveness of different loads, and then move on to assess the effectiveness of a fixed load at three levels.
We start testing the effectiveness of a very small load of 5%, which is about 25 watts of power. Since power supplies are usually not optimized for such a low load, the efficiency is low. In the case of our Cougar VTX 450 we got a 69.7% efficiency. When the load increases to the quires percent efficiency reached 78.6%.
At 20% load, our test unit power went out on the calculated efficiency. It amounted to 84.7%. Typically, power supplies are located at maximum efficiency in the load range from 40% to 60%, in the case of 450-watt power supply Cougar we have a maximum of 87.7% at a load of 60%, which is relatively late. After peaking at 60% efficiency begins to decline slowly, but at full load, it is still quite decent – 86%. Thus, the VTX 450 achieves 85% efficiency at all loads above 20%, which is welcome. However, the remaining 20% for the 450-watt power supply cover idle mode power consumption less than 90W, and here Cougar VTX450 efficiency can be called average.
For power supplies, we also had three dimensions, corresponding to the three 80 PLUS certification level (20%, 50%, 100% load) with mains supply 115 V / 60 Hz. The distribution of our test station load does not quite match that of 80PLUS in laboratories, but to use it for an exemplary comparison. Power Supply Cougar VTX450 showed the effectiveness of 83% / 85.5% / 83.2%, which exceeds the 80PLUS Bronze least 82% / 85% / 82%.
Equally interesting it is to compare the efficacy in three fixed loads, because it allows to evaluate the efficiency of power units in terms as if they are set to the same configuration. The first load of 90 W corresponds to the old office PC or a modern computer average in idle mode. There Cougar VTX450 showed quite a decent efficiency of 85.8%. However, compared to other power units 80PLUS Bronze efficiency is not as high, which implies a higher efficiency curve. But the difference is small, the power unit Cougar VTX450 shows much better models with low efficiency.
At a higher level, 250-watt load Cougar VTX450 power supply showed a slightly higher level of efficiency of 87.1%. There Cougar VTX450 runs almost at maximum efficiency, while skips forward some other models 80PLUS Bronze. At the third level of load of 500 W, which is, in fact, already puts the power supply in a state of overload, we have 85.6% efficiency, this Cougar also gives good results.
In general, the efficiency can not be considered an advantage Cougar VTX450, but it is also a disadvantage not. The power supply unit provides high efficiency in comparison with other models 80PLUS Bronze.
The quality of the output voltage is one of the most important criteria for the power supply, no less important than efficiency. The power supply must work stably, the voltage must not “jump”, otherwise it may affect your computer. So we checked the voltage levels at different loads, and evaluated whether they are within acceptable ranges ATX specifications. Recall that according to ATX specifications permitted deviation of plus / minus 5 percent of rated voltage, we just set the data threshold values on the charts as the boundary.
In addition, we evaluated the quality of the output voltage using oscilloscope. In particular, we evaluated the high frequency noise and ripple voltages that occur on the output lines of the DC. They are associated with the principle of pulse power supplies, and depending on the design and quality of power supply filters may be smoothed with varying degrees of success. ATX standard provides for a line of 12 allowable ripple 120 mV (peak to peak), and the lines for 3.3 V and 5 V – 50 mV (peak to peak).
According to a stable voltage as the load grows Cougar VTX450 power unit proved to be a good thing. The secondary voltage is reduced by 2.3% or 2.8% is within tolerance. By line 12 the voltage at the load is increased from 10% to full decreased by only 0.7%. Here, the power supply has shown himself perfectly.
As pulsations and noise pattern is also good. Cougar Power supply ripple showed up to 31 or 25 mV along the lines of 3.3 V and 5 V. Recall that in both cases the permissible level is 50 mV. On line 12 we got a relatively good result for the class, to 42 mV at the maximum allowable level of 120 mV.
Power Supply Cougar VTX450 performed well on the stress quality for its class. The voltage drop across a small ripple and noise were moderate, within the permissible values.
Cougar VTX introduced a new line of power supplies aimed at the budget segment. Our test sample Cougar VTX450 450 W provides stability and quiet operation, while the price is very attractive.
Cougar VTX450 equipped with two connectors PCI Express, a system cable connections are not modular. Power 420 W at 12 V line is ample power for graphics performance. Output voltages were pretty good for your topology, the same applies to ripple / noise for PD class. Efficiency Cougar VTX450 was on the average level among the models 80Plus Bronze, but it is quite possible to reconcile, given the price.
The level of noise Cougar VTX450 quite good. Of course, we have not quiet power supply, but at low-medium load it works subtly. Of course, some people may not like the presence of all four plug the SATA, but for this power class of such amounts, in practice, enough.
In general, Cougar VTX450 – a decent entry-level power unit, which has left a positive impression.