Aerocool Strike-X 800 Watt PSU Review

 

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Aerocool's Strike-X product line aims to provide the best in gaming equipment for enthusiasts, bringing everything from cases to fan controllers to the table. The Strike-X series is easily recognizable by the red and black color scheme with the Strike-X logo somewhere on the product. Recently, they added a few power supplies to their repertoire, each with all the features needed to please a computer enthusiast or gamer. There are four different power supplies in the series, but they only have small differences from each other, mainly in the wattage provided, efficiency rating, and cabling options.  I have the 800 watt version to work with, which offers an 80+ Silver efficiency rating, modular cabling, active power factor correction, and many more appealing features for gamers to get the most out of their components.

Packaging

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Everything is placed nicely in the packaging, and the small boxes used to hold the cables can be used to store unused connectors in an organized fashion.

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The power supply unit arrives with modular cables and mounting screws side by side with the power supply. The main power connecter and 12 V line are built in; this prevents accidental unplugging and a cluttering of the connection panel. The Strike-X logo is displayed as a red anodized aluminum "X" with wide hexagonal mesh fill covering the low noise fan and hardware.

Features

The Strike-X 800 watt has an array of features seen on most power supplies these days, as well as a few others that are limited to this product line only. Aerocool has a patented airflow technology that helps hot air leave the PSU faster, which means lower fan speeds and less noise. The aluminum mesh exterior with a red and black "X" is very attractive, but in a case where the PSU is mounted downward on the bottom, the "X" faces downwards, meaning all of the artwork and looks go unnoticed when in the case due to the item's orientation.

Other features:

  • Compatible with ATX 12V 2.3 and EPS 12V 2.92
  • Low Noise 13.9cm Fan with intelligent fan speed control
  • High-Efficiency (up to 88%) – 80+ Silver Certified
  • Modular Cable w/ Black Sleeving to reduce the cable mess inside your chassis and improves the air flow of your system.
  • Supports Dual Core CPU, ATI CrossFire, NVIDIA SLi and all Multi-Core GPU technologies.
  • Built in next generation 6+2 pin PCI-Express graphic card connector.
  • Active Power Factor Correction (PF>0.99)
  • Extremely good voltage regulation (±5%): provides steady power input
  • High reliability: MTBF>120,000 hours
  • Green power design that meets EuP requirements
  • Protections: Over Current, Over Voltage, Over Wattage, Over Temperature and Short-Circuit protection
  • Safety / EMI Approvals: CE, CB, TUV, FCC, UL

Cabling Options:

  • 20+4 pin main power (x1)
  • 8 pin CPU power (x1)
  • SATA power cable (x8)
  • 4 pin molex connector (x5)
  • Floppy disk drive power (x1)
  • 4+4 pin connector (x1)
  • PCI Express 6+2 pin (x4)

Cables / Modular Connection Panel:

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Side Panel Label:

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The red anodized aluminum accents add a very nice touch to the unit, and the remainder of the case has a light texture to it which diffuses light nicely and creates a unique appearance.

Strike-X Logo:

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Qualitative Review

Since I do not have the proper load testing equipment, I cannot do a full testing / quantitative review of any power supply. Obtaining this type of test bed is in the works, but I was not able to have it in time to test this power supply, as we had a limited time frame for this test sample before sending it back to Aerocool. Instead of the full load of testing, I installed the unit into my computer for a couple weeks to see if anything from a performance, aesthetic, or usability perspective stands out.

One of the first things I noticed was how easy cable management becomes with a modular cable system. Rather than having to find a place behind the side panel of my case for a bunch of unused cables, I simply did not have to attach them. The black mesh surrounding the cables keeps them contained and hardly visible, and the length was no issue for my mid tower case. Cable management is one of the most important tasks when building a PC (better cooling, cleaner look) and it is easy with the Aerocool Strike-X modular PSU.

When it comes to PSU cooling, I prefer to isolate the unit from the rest of my computer. I do so by pointing the intake fan down, so it pulls cool air from outside and spews it out the back instead of pulling warm air from inside my computer to “cool” the power supply. I have a filter in my case under the PSU so no particulate gets sucked, which could cause a short or lead to overheating. The downside to this is purely aesthetic; the Strike-X logo on the fan grill is no longer visible. It happened to work out that my case is colored red and black, so the red covering on the power supply goes well with the rest of the interior.

Lastly, I did a quick noise test (nothing fancy, just using my own ears). I shut off all of my case fans (except the CPU heatsink) and put my system at full load. A combination of Aerocool’s patented low noise cooling system and the downward facing fan meant little to no ambient noise from the PSU. Of course I cannot be sure of how much power I am actually pulling from the unit or if it’s close to a full load, but without load testing equipment, I cannot get a more accurate rating of the noise output, and pretending to do so would do more harm than good.

I did not encounter any random blue screens or hardware issues that would point towards inconsistent power from the power supply.

Specs: Intel i5-760 OC'ed to 4.01 GHz, ASUS P7P55D Deluxe motherboard, Nvidia GeForce GTX460, Coolermaster Hyper-612 heatsink, 8 GB Corsair XMS RAM, 60GB OCR Vertex 3 SSD, 2.5 TB media storage, LG Bluray burner, Coolermaster Centurion 5 II Red mid tower case.

Installation:

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Even the PCI Express wiring was easy to manage, especially since only one cable was required to connect both ports on my graphics card. The CPU power cable at the top had no issue reaching the entire length of the case behind the motherboard, so there was no need to stretch it across my graphics card and CPU cooler.

Wrap Up

The Aerocool Strike-X 800 watt power supply looks and feels like it was made for gamers, as intended by Aerocool. The meshed aluminum with red and black anodizing make for a very attractive unit, especially if paired with a similarly colored case, such as Aerocool's Strike-X case line (the G7 or S7 models). A quiet cooling system and modular cabling help make this power supply go unnoticed when operating.  The sleeving is also well done, as all cables are wrapped tightly and look very clean.  A big plus here is that Aerocool didn't permanently attach any unnecessary cables, only the CPU power and motherboard power.  Other power supplies may also have a molex or SATA cable permanently attached, which may or may not be of use, relatively defeating the purpose of cable modularity.  They've also included four peripheral power ports and two PCI-e ensuring you should have plenty of connection options for a wide array of hardware, where other modular power supplies may limit you to two or three total peripheral power connectors when two PCI-e cables are in use. Overall it appears to be a solid unit with attractive aesthetics and is available with a quality modular panel, high efficiency ratings, and quality sleeving.

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