InWin Commander 750W Power Supply Review

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Introduction

There are a huge number of power supply companies out there ranging from the well-known brands of Enermax, Corsair and Cooler master to much smaller less well known brands. Today, we have a unit from one of the less publicised companies – InWin. We’ve previously seen great things from this company with the likes of the B2 Stealth Bomber and their PSU series too features a strong military theme. Introducing the InWin Commander 750W unit…

Company Information – InWin

IN-WIN Development Inc., an ISO 9001 manufacturer of professional computer chassis, power supplies and digital storage devices, is the leading provider of enclosure solutions to system integrators worldwide. Founded in 1986, IN-WIN provides high quality chassis that conform to all safety regulations, as well as unsurpassed customer service.

Contents & Packaging

The packaging for the Commander 750W follows the army theme with a camo-styled box. This background then gives rise to a few details in yellow print such as the input voltages and frequencies along with an interesting InWin Commander badge. On a more factual note, the two other badges at the bottom reveal that the unit is 80 PLUS certified as well as Nvidia SLI ready.

 

The back is much more factual and sees the full list of features and specifications.

 

InWin have included the usual power cable and 4 screws for installing the unit into a case; however there are also a number of other accessories which include a manual, carry bag, cable ties (for cable management) and also a black Velcro case for keeping all the unused modular cables into. Of course it’s not entirely necessary but it’s a nice inclusion.

 

The Product – InWin Commander 750W

The unit is about average size for an ATX power supply and follows on the army theme with a matte green colour.

 

The commander series of power supplies feature a black 140mm fan which is marketed as silent – a tough accolade to live up to so it will be interesting to see what kind of noise outputs it produces. Atop this fan is a black grill to protect both the fan and internal components behind it.

In terms of aesthetics, the colour scheme of black and green looks very good in true military style.

 

The unit features the usual kettle plug socket and power switch above it. Again, the rest of this side is dedicated to the customary honeycomb grill.

 

The opposite side sees the same matte green background but this time giving rise to some army-styled yellow font – a few details on the input voltages, currents and frequencies are accompanied by the large InWin Commander badge in all its glory.

 

The bottom of the Commander sees the facts and figures including all the electrical data. The table sees the DC output of each rail along with the maximum current outputs.

As you can see there are four 12V rails which, when combined with the other rails, gives a maximum output of 750W.

 

With the commander series all being modular PSUs, there are lots of sockets on the front of the unit for plugging in the allotted cables. Each socket has a black cap and removing these reveals that the PCI-e and CPU connectors have 8-pin adapters with the molex/SATA having a smaller 6-pin connection.

Under each set of sockets is a small picture of the cables that should be connected to them with the red PCI-e on the left, SATA/molex in the middle and finally the CPU power on the right.

 

Cabling

The only cable that is mandatory from the unit is 20+4 pin ATX motherboard connection; it has, as all the cables do, black braiding with heat-shrunk rubber ends which keeps everything neat and tidy.

 

In total there are 9 modular cable bundles:

  • 4 * 6+2pin PCI-e cables
  • 1 * 4+4pin CPU Power cable
  • 2 * Molex cables (7 * molex, 1 * FDD connectors)
  • 2 * SATA cables (6 * SATA connectors)

Four PCI-e cables seem slightly excessive but at least you can choose to connect as many as you need. The fact that they are 6+2pin is useful though as they can then fit both the 6 and 8 pin PCI-e connections.

 

The CPU power cable too is dual compatible with it being 4+4 and thus fitting the older 4pin CPU motherboards and the newer 8pin versions.

Finally, we come on to the Molex and SATA bundles. There is two of each with the SATA cables having three SATA connections. The molex cables are slightly different from each other with one having four molex connections and the other three plus a FDD connector.

 

Testing

The Test Setup:

Processor Intel C2Q Q9450 Quad Core @ 2.80GHz
Motherboard Gigabyte S-Series GA-73PVM-S2H
Graphics Card XFX 8600GT
Memory Corsair XMS2 PC6400 (2x 1GB)
Hard Drive Hitachi HDT7250 (250GB)
Power Supply NOX Apex 700W
OS Windows XP Pro 32bit

Methodology

In order to properly test power supplies, very expensive equipment is needed which unfortunately Verdis Reviews cannot provide at this stage. Thus, we realise this method is not perfect but it does give an indication to the nature of a particular unit.

The first part of the process is to test the stability of three fixed rails: 3.3V, 5V and 12V. This is done at both idle and load states. The former is done by leaving the computer powered up but not running any applications or processes for 30 minutes. Then, using a multi-meter, the readings for each of the rails are taken from the motherboard ATX connector. For idle testing, the PC is put under as much strain as possible using 4 processes of CPU Burn-In to load all four cores as well as 3Dmark06 to load the GPU. The readings are again taken again manually with a multi-meter.

The next part of the testing looks at efficiency by taking a PF rating as well as readings for the wattage used at standby, idle and load states.

We also briefly touch upon noise although we can’t be very scientific due to not having any high tech sound testing equipment.

For comparison purposes, we will be testing a number of other units.

Results

Rail Stability

Evidently from the graph below, the rails are generally pretty stable for the Commander 750W; the voltages don’t tend to differ too much from idle to load which is a good sign. Having said that, the 12V rail is a little further out and it could be a bit tighter in all truth.

However, overall the unit is able to compete just as well as its competitors with no major failings.

 

PF Rating & Power Consumption

The efficiency, in terms of PF rating, of the InWin unit comes out on top with a very good standby PF. At load too, albeit not using much of the overall wattage of the unit, 0.87 is very good.

Looking at the power consumption, we can see that this particular unit is a little more power hungry than those tested against but overall it’s not bad at all and shouldn’t bump up your electricity bill!

NoiseInWin have marketing the fan as being ‘silent’; I wouldn’t go quite that far as a little bit of noise is evident but it’s not much at all and it’s certainly not very audible over the other fans in my rig.

CostA quick look around for prices, reveals the unit to be at cheapest around £100. I would say this is slightly above average pricing for a 750W unit but time after time we see it that the more expensive units have been built much better – this is no exception.

Conclusion

Clearly, the InWin Commander has some very good attributes; for starters the unit is very attractive and the military theme had been pulled off well giving this unit the edge in terms of looks. The performance too is very solid with pretty tight rails.

Despite only being 80 PLUS certified and not bronze or higher, the unit does a good job in terms of power factor and is able to be quite efficient. The results are clearly good but then again they are not exactly ‘standing out’.

Overall, this unit is a very solid competitor that is able to combine great aesthetics with reasonable performance – certainly not a bad contender if you’re looking for a PSU.

Pros

  • Good rail stability
  • Very quiet
  • Great looks
  • Good efficiency
  • Modular

Cons

  • Higher price point than competitors

80

Thanks go to InWin for providing the power supply for review.

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