OCZ ModXStream Pro Review

OCZ ModXStream Pro

Power supplies are often a neglected part of any computer rig. They have neither the interest of a graphics card nor the features of a motherboard and so often finds itself bottom of the list when it comes to building a rig. However, the humble power supply is an essential part of any computer and a bad unit can ruin not only itself but also other components. Other things to consider are the peak output power, efficiency and whether it is SLI ready, but the main thing that a PSU needs to achieve is rock solid rail stability. OCZ sell a range of different wattage units and today we look at one from the ModXStream range that aims to achieve all this and more. Introducing the OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W…

Description

The ModXStream Pro Series is the superlative solution for driving today’s gaming systems, and can power both NVIDIA® SLI™ and ATI CrossFire™ modes. Professional-grade yet designed with gamers and modders in mind, this PSU is stable, robust, and sports a sleek look and compact form factor. Kept ultra-cool with a load controlled 120mm fan, the ModXStream Pro was engineered to be the quietest PSU available and eliminate distracting noises from your PC. Highly efficient, featuring up to 86% efficiency at typical load and up to 82% at full load, this leading-edge power supply remains rock solid and powerful while retaining superior efficiency under load.

The OCZ ModXStream provides Universal Input and Active PFC (Power Factor Correction) to effectively regulate input voltage across worldwide power grids and maintain an economical, stable supply of power. Available in configurations ranging from 400W to 700W and backed with OCZ’s 3-year “power swap” warranty, the OCZ ModXStream Pro gives you the ultimate power and peace of mind to ensure the stability, low noise, optimized air flow, and efficiency of your gaming system.

Features

  • 400W, 500W, 600W, 700W Configurations
  • OCZ PowerWhisper™ Technology
  • Internal 120mm fan (500W-700W)
  • Can power SLI™ and CrossFire™ graphics
  • 3 year warranty backed by OCZ’s exclusive PowerSwap™ replacement program. No more endless return-for-repair loops!

OCZ ModXStream Pro Specifications

OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Power Supply Review

  • 150 x 165 x 86mm (W x L x H)
  • ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V
  • 82% Efficiency (Typical Load)
  • Overvoltage/Overcurrent/Short-Circuit protection
  • (.99) Active PFC
  • MTBF: 100,000 hours @ 25C
  • 100~240Vac 10-5A 50/60Hz
  • +3.3V (30A), +5V (30A), +12V1 (20A), +12V2 (20A), +12V3 (20A), +12V4 (20A) Maximum ratings are shown.

Contents & Packaging

The retail packaging for the ModXStream power supplies is jammed-packed with information. The front depicts an image of the unit alongside a list of features from the efficiency to the EZMod cable management. A couple of badges highlight the 3 year warranty and that this series of power supplies are nVidia SLI ready.

 

The OCZ ModXStream Pro sides contain yet more information with translations and the 80 PLUS certification badge.

 

The back sees the full list of features each with an accompanying description and the host of badges are again displayed at the bottom. Finally, a image showing the modular connections of the unit is shown with a close up of the EZMod cable management system which sounds a little like the E/Z classification of organic chemicals!

 

The modular cables of the OCZ ModXStream Pro have their own zip-up bag which is a nice touch and of course where would we be without a trusty user manual and power cable.

 

OCZ ModXStream 600W

Matte black or dark grey is definitely a power supply colour so much so that ‘Power supply grey’ should be added to the Dulux colour chart. The outer casing of the ModXStream has had this exact lick of paint with a shiny grill sitting atop the 140mm fan.

The unit sees all the things that we have now come to expect from all power supplies on the market: an active PFC (power factor correction), high efficiency and even 80 PLUS certification.

 

A ModXStream sticker depicting the OCZ logo and the wattage of the unit in questions fills on side of the PSU with another home to the specs.

A brief look at the outputs table reveals that there are four +12V rails all at 20A with the +3.3V and +5V rails at 30A which is pretty standard. Of course the input voltage ranges from 100-240V to accommodate both UK and US mains sockets.

A warning and some recycling logos can also be found here along with the UL number – E243823. From this we were able to glean that the units were built by Topower, a respectable brand who concentrate on the building on power supply units and so should know their stuff.

 

The traditional power supply grill protects the fan and internals behind with an OCZ logo in the centre and is marketed at being exceptionally silent which a bonus is for those of us who simply cannot stand the sound of fans whirring away.

 

The honeycomb grill as expected covers most of the back bar the kettle plug socket and on/off switch allowing airflow to circulate through the internals and remove hot air.

 

Finally, we come to the modular connections of which there are six in total: the PCI-e cables using an 8-pin connection and the others a lesser 6-pin connector. Moreover, a sticker reveals exactly which pin is ground, +5.5v etc.

 

A total of three cables come pre-attached to the unit:

  • 20+4 pin ATX motherboard
  • 4pin CPU
  • 8pin CPU

 

These cables give good versatility in that they can support both the older 4pin and newer 8pin CPU connections as well as both 20 and 24 pin ATX connectors.
The rest of the cables are modular:

  • 1 * 6-pin PCI-e
  • 1 * 6+2-pin PCI-e
  • 4 * molex
  • 2 * FDD
  • 6 * SATA

 

The PCI-e cables are distinguishable by their red connectors and allow dual graphics card configurations to be powered by the ModXStream unit.

The six SATA connections should be more than enough but it is interesting that 2 FDD connectors are included considering that not many users even use one nowadays.

Testing

Installation

The Test Setup:

ProcessorIntel Core i7 C0 920 @ 2.67GHz
MotherboardAsus P6T
Graphics CardXFX 1GB Radeon 4870
MemoryOCZ Gold Triple Channel Platinum-10666 6GB (3 x 2GB)
Hard DriveSeagate Barracuda 3.0GB/s 7200.10 500GB,
Western Digital Caviar Blue 160GB
Power SupplyNOX Apex 700W
EnclosureCooler Master ATCS-840
OSWindows Vista 64-bit

Methodology

Power supply testing requires a lot of expensive testing equipment in order to create an artificial load environment to fully test out a unit. Here, at Verdis Reviews we simply don’t have a big enough budget to allow for this and so our methodology is much simpler. We realise it’s not perfect but it does show the rail stability for a number of different applications.

The rail stability test is comprised of a number of different tests each designed to put a different load on the power supply. During each test the voltages of the 3.3v, 5v and 12v rails are taken and compared to the ATX limits. Voltages are taken manually using a multimeter.

Test 1: 3Dmark Vantage (approx. 280W)
Test 2: Prime95 (approx. 370W)
Test 3: Prime95 + 3Dmark Vantage (approx. 450W)

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 the NOX Apex 700W power supply.

Results

3.3V Rail

ATX limits (V): 3.14 – 3.47
TestVoltage/VPass/Fail
Idle3.34Pass
13.31Pass
23.39Pass
33.39Pass

5V Rail

ATX limits (V): 4.75 – 5.25
TestVoltage/VPass/Fail
Idle5.12Pass
15.12Pass
25.04Pass
34.98Pass

12V Rail

ATX limits (V): 11.40 – 12.60
TestVoltage/VPass/Fail
Idle12.35Pass
112.19Pass
211.96Pass
312.11Pass

As expected all the OCZ ModXStream Pro tests were passed and to be honest if any had failed it would have been a very bad sign. The voltages do fluctuate a little but in general remain pretty constant providing a solid set of results.

Power Consumption & PF Rating

PF StandbyPF IdlePF LoadStandy WattageIdle WattageLoad Wattage
OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W0.870.940.964214430
Noz Apex 700W0.860.940.972206434

N.B. Load achieved here using Prime95 + 3Dmark Vantage.

The PF ratings are very good and prove that the unit, for the most part, is able to stay over 86% efficiency. The power consumption too isn’t bad with the results only a few watts higher at standby and idle but a few less at full load.

Noise

The power supply is actually very quiet and the 135mm fan was a good choice instead of a 120mm design – the noise levels are not really audible above other case fans.

Cost

The 600W ModXStream unit retails for around about £70 which is a reasonably price indeed considering its noise outputs and rail stability.

Conclusion

With our method of testing rail stability we cannot categorically declare that the rail voltages are pretty solid and stable but the results do point towards this. Staying well within the ATX limits, the ModXStream Pro 600w unit does a good job and the fluctuations are not too big even at higher outputs.

The noise levels are minimal which could attract the interest of silent enthusiast’s intent on finding a very quiet PSU – the 135mm fan is very effective in this regard.

All things considered, the ModXStream power supply is a highly efficient and very well put together unit. There are no obvious flaws and the aesthetics have been well considered. Overall, it’s a very tempting purchase indeed.

Pros

  • Very quiet
  • Pretty stable rails
  • Good price point
  • Looks good

Cons

  • 12V Rail Slightly Looser

90%

Thanks go to OCZ for providing the Power Supply for review.

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