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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Build Quality

As we already know the Cooler Master GX 650W features a single 120mm fan design like many other offerings on the market that has come to be the preferred standard for quiet cooling environments due to the ability to move a larger volume of air at slower speeds than a smaller diameter fan. While great for quiet computing environments the key criteria in our evaluation is whether or not the cooling solution is sufficient, not necessary it’s sound level or form factor.

External Build Quality

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Externally, the Cooler Master GX 650W is following in the theme established with the packaging and has a black and sort of orange color scheme going for it. The color scheme is certainly not subtle by any means and the large sticker with the GX 650W name on the side will definitely stand out. The look will appeal to some people but it is likely to put others off and may not be the best universal bet in a windowed case. As for the actual finish itself, it is a flat black paint that is reasonably well done, it does scratch with only a bit of effort though. The top is dominated by a single 120mm fan that somehow is devoid of any orange accenting, odd. The rear of the unit is your standard stamped grill with no selector switch indicating the presence of APFC and full range operation.

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The Cooler Master GX 650W comes in at a length of ~6 inches. The cables provide a serviceable length of ~16 to 21 inches to the first or only connector depending on the connector type. The sleeving on the cables is generally well done, though short of the ends of the cables by up to 2 inches. Where the wiring enters the housing, however, there is no wire guard and on the unit pictured the sleeving was already snagged and wearing through at this point.

Internal Build Quality

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Once we open the GX 650W we are left looking at an older Seventeam design. The GX 650W appears to be a double forward group regulated design and not a particularly high end one at that. The PCB in this unit is a single layer PCB and the soldering is clearly not the best we have seen. Going back to the overhead, we see that the unit is equipped with a pair of fingered and bent heatsinks that are cooled by a single 120mm overhead fan provided by ADDA and rated at 12v 0.5A.

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The primary side starts with the little bit of the filtering that is attached to the AC input receptacle. This continues on the PCB and in the end is complete. As we continue on to the primary side we see bridge rectifiers on the primary side heatsink along with the PFC diode, and the main switching transistors. We also see the large APFC coil and the main capacitor. This capacitor is provided by Su’scon and is rated at 470uF 400v 85C.

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Once we move over to the secondary we see a pair of coils indicating the group regulated nature of this design. The large add-in PCB here houses the output protection circuitry IC, as well as the fan controller. Tucked in behind that PCB among the wiring are a number of Su’scon capacitors that are tasked with filtering the DC Output. The wiring itself is all tightly bound up and routed out of the unit through the housing sans wire guard.

Build Quality Summary

The Build Quality of the Cooler Master GX 650W is not what we would call top notch exactly. The exterior of the unit is not really bad per se, but the look is something that is just barely above generic and possibly fully in the juvenile range. The finish is ok on the unit, but the flat paint on it is nothing special and nowhere near as durable as many of the other finishes we have seen on power supplies of the same class (price and output). On top of that the unit also drops the wire guard that is normally in place to protect the wiring from rubbing on the housing. When we move to the interior we drop down another couple of notches as we find an older Seventeam design lurking inside. This single layer PCB double forward group regulated design was really an entry level design a couple of years ago, and today it is bordering on ancient. Beyond the design we have that single layer PCB coupled with not the cleanest soldering we have seen, not the best integration we have seen, and dicey Su'scon capacitors all around. All in all, this unit is not shaping up to be what we were expecting from a unit so highly touted as a gamers power supply. Let's move on and see if the book's cover has just thrown us here today.