Cooler Master GX 650W Power Supply Review

Cooler Master is breaking new maketing ground this time around with a "Gamer Xtreme" PSU at 650 watts. Marketing aside, it is packing a 52 amp single rail and a 5 year warranty, so maybe all is not lost on kitschy sales speak. Gag me with a spoon.

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Overview

The first thing we are going to look at with the Cooler Master GX 650W is its packaging, accessories, and documentation. While normally none of these items is a make or break item for a power supply the packaging quite often contains a lot of information about the product we are purchasing. The inclusion of an owner’s manual that provides actual information about our product is also of great help. Accessories are almost unnecessary with a power supply as the unit is self contained, unless it is modular, but there are cases where a manufacturer can include useful accessories to make installation, routing, and use more efficient.

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First impressions of the Cooler Master GX 650W packaging are certainly going to be that it stands out. Indeed, I have even found myself detouring while walking down the aisle of my local Microcenter and Fry’s to look at the GX line of power supplies a number of times. Not that the packaging is particularly elegant or anything, but it does certainly "pop" in a way that might be beneficial on those long aisles of poorly maintained shelf space of a retail store. (Which is an entire other issue I could go into, but really Microcenter and Fry'sآ….can’t someone have one of the 8 guys who asked me if I needed something also be straightening product so it at least is close to the correct position on the shelf? ) Moving on, while the packaging is certainly meant to attract those that love flashy and gaudy, it does present a fair amount of information about the product quickly including the connector count (broken down below), the power table (broken down below), a slew of certifications, a ton of marketing points, an 80Plus Certified logo, a 5 year warranty, and the name and web address in more languages than a UN meeting. Among these badges was an 80Plus symbol and a quick check of the 80Plus website shows that the unit is certified for entry level 80Plus with a peak efficiency of ~85%. More interestingly, the packaging skirts around saying that the GX 650W is SLI certified but rather says that it has a "single 12v rail for the most demanding SLI configurations". Given that that the unit is not SLI certified at the time of writing that is probably a good idea side stepping the claim, but it seems doubtful that a 650W power supply is going to support the most demanding SLI configurations even with a single 12v rail. wink Lastly, we see that the unit is backed by a 5 year warranty from Cooler Master which is excellent.

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The power information for the Cooler Master GX 650W looks very promising. The GX 650W has up to ~96% of its capacity available to the 12v rail (52A) if needed, with a maximum of 150W available on the minor rails. This is coupled with 3 Molex, 6 SATA, and 2 modified 8 pin PCI-Express connectors. So while not rated for SLI at this time, this unit likely could run a lower end SLI setup that uses just one PCI-E connector per card if the paper specifications are accurate. However, this total connector layout is certainly "light" compared to what we have seen from other quality units in this general range. Indeed, the recent Seasonic X-560 had far more peripheral connectors available to it while being smaller in capacity by 90W. Perhaps Cooler Master is being conservative here or has better research into the actual usage patterns of their customers, but the flexibility in applications of this unit is certainly nowhere near as great as it was for the X-560.

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The manual for the Cooler Master GX 650W is the bare minimum of bare minimum. It includes a single sheet of paper folded in half and then into thirds. Contained on this piece of paper is the power label for all of the GX units (including a currently unreleased GX branded 550W unit), some simple installation instruction, and a limited pinout table in a number of languages. That is literally it. Right, let’s move on.