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CoolMax CUQ-1200B Modular 1200W Power Supply Unit E-mail
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Written by Olin Coles   
Sunday, 25 November 2007
Table of Contents: Page Index
CoolMax CUQ-1200B Modular 1200W Power Supply Unit
Closer Look: Exterior Design
CUQ-1200B Cables and Wiring
Testing Voltage Ripple and Regulation
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Final Thoughts

When I approach a power supply review, I look closely at a few specific items. Looks are important, but they aren't at the top of the list. More important is the PSU's ability to do its job, and do it efficiently. CoolMax had done a good job at delivering the product in an appealing design, but there were only a few small items which kept me from considering this for the Editor Choice award.

CoolMax CUQ-1200B 1200W Modular Power Supply Unit

While there are just a few little items on my list of recommended improvements, for the most part they are all refinement issues. The large array of native cable groups is sure to cut down on RMA issues due to faulty modular cables, but I think there are too many for this unit to take advantage of the modular connections. The use of a second 80mm cooling fan may have been unnecessary for a PSU marketed as ultra-efficient. Otherwise, this unit survives my inspection with no real flaws to be found.

CoolMax CUQ-1200B Conclusion

CoolMax emphasizes the Green-format environmental friendliness in every aspect of their retail packaging design. On the front of the box in extra-large font is the catch phrase "Max Green, Purify Environment", which is essentially the first impression you receive with this product. Using simple green on white color schemes, the CUQ-1200B would have you believe that it's actually saving the planet. While the presentation is nice, I discovered it to be more or less a mixed message. After all, you can't market your environmentally friendly position by ignoring recycled cardboard packaging.

CoolMax describes the finish on their CUQ-1200B as a "Hairline Aluminum Effect Surface", which is another way of saying it's not polished. A polished finish may potentially add some luster to the smoky raw-aluminum chassis, but I seem to agree with CoolMax in their decision to keep the chassis finger-print friendly. The gold fan grills add accent.

Power supply units are one of the few computer components which historically have been built solid. In all honesty, you could throw a PSU around the room like dodge-ball and it would still probably work just fine. This takes the structural weakness away from the chassis, an places it onto accessories like modular cabling. One downside to modular cables is that you'll have a hard time replacing one if it becomes unusable. CoolMax has a mix of native cable groups with accessories utilizing the modular connections.

The CUQ-1200B offered average AC current ripple fluctuation results, but the DC voltage regulation is well above average. While the marketing material boasts a maximum 87% efficiency, the test results indicate that this sort of performance would only be possible in a best-case lab scenario. The 80-PLUS certification is real, however, and the list of features extends well beyond efficiency and convenience.

Presently the CoolMax CUQ-1200B Modular 1200W Power Supply Unit is available at NewEgg.com for $299.99, making it the most affordable 1200W PSU sold. Even at this price I still suspect that only the most elite hardware enthusiasts and hardcore gamers running SLi or CrossFire will ever be shopping for a product like this, the value is unbeatable and opens the door for those interested in future-proofing or upgrading their existing system.

Everything a serious hardware enthusiast or hardcore gamer could ever want is available in the CoolMax CUQ-1200B Modular 1200W PSU. The value is clearly a welcome bonus, since the bulk of 850~1000W units are selling within the same range as this 1200W unit. Additionally, highly-stable voltage regulation and sufficiently tame AC ripple make the CUQ-1200B a great choice when shopping for a high-output power supply unit.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award

+ 80-PLUS Efficiency Rated
+ Fully-sleeved modular cables
+ Excellent DC voltage regulation
+ 900W of 12V power
+ Plenty of connections
+ High-quality construction
+ Great component cooling
+ Attractive smoke aluminum finish

Cons:

- Slightly above average AC ripple
- Too many native cable groups
- No included safety caps for unused connectors

Ratings:

• Presentation: 8.25
• Appearance: 9.25
• Construction: 9.50
• Functionality: 9.25
• Value: 8.75

Final Score: 9.0 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

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Comments 

 
# It don't work!!!!Steve Haymaker 2012-03-13 02:02
It don't work. But it will fire up if I put a hair dryer to it and
tape up the rear fan and cover the big fan. If it gets a gulp of cool
air, it shuts down like someone pulled the plug! This thing is brand
new and I can't return it. $189 + shipping, I guess I'm screwed!
Know this, I won't buy another COOLMAX.
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