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Appeared on: Thursday, May 04, 2006
Spire RocKeteer VI - SP-600W


1. Introduction

Spire was founded in 1991 and has since been providing a wide range of cooling solutions, PC cases, power supplies and modding accessories. Spire's production facilities are located in China with corporate offices in the USA, while they also have overseas branches in The Netherlands, U.K., Germany, France, Taiwan, Japan and Brazil.

In this review, we will be taking a look at Spire's impressive power supply, the Rocketeer VI. This is a 600W power supply, from the new Spire SLI series BTX / ATX Modular EZ-Cable Gaming series. According to Spire, the new series provides a way to keep the unit cool, even with the most demanding PC users. Housed in dark grey titanium colored enclosures, these power supplies feature multiple, low-noise blue LED ball bearing fans to ensure smooth and silent operation in the workplace or home office. Whether it is work or play, business presentations or games, applications can take center stage because they no longer have to compete with typical PC cooling noise.

Features:

Specifications

Below, you can see the specifications for the SP-600W RocKeteer VI - SLI Series PSU.

Application Intel BTX 1.0a, ATX 2.01
ATX 12V Power Supply Design Guide Ver. 2.01
Voltage 200~240 Vac / 100~120 Vac
(Europe=Active PFC / USA=Select Switch)

Frequency

47Hz ~ 63Hz

Current 10.0A for 100VAC / 6.0A for 240VAC

Output

+3.3V@28A; +5V@45A; +12V@26A; -12V@1.0A; -5V@0.8A; +5VSB@2.5A

Hold-up Time 16 ms

Nom. Power

600W

Max. Power 650W

P.G. Signal

100 ~ 500 ms

Voltage Protection Two (2) 12V trip point 13.4V - 15.6V | +5V trip point 5.74V - 7.0V | +3.3V trip point 3.76V - 4.3V
Protection Features Short Circuit, Over Voltage, Over Temperature & Over Power Protection
Cooling fans 1 Blue LED 80x80x25mm Dual Ball Bearing
1 Blue LED 120x120x25mm Dual Ball Bearing
Thermo Reactive Cooling System 120mm Fan only starts at 45C and above or if the Turbo Fan Switch is switched on
Noise Level 10.0 ~ 19.0 dBA Max.
Dimensions 160mm (L) x 150mm (W) x 85mm (H)
Case Aluminum, Titanium mirror finish
Connectors 20+4-pin BTX (Motherboard) x1 | 4-pin 12V (Motherboard) x1 | 6Pin PCI express VGA x2 |
Multi-use x6 | SATA x4
Additional Connectors 3-pin Fan Connector, Two PCI Express 6-pin Graphics Card Connector
Wiring BTX to ATX adapter x1 | 6Pin PCI express VGA x2 | 4-pin (3IDE) / (1 Floppy) x2 | 6-pin (HDD/VGA) x2 | 4-pin (3 IDE Multi-use) x6 | 15-pin (2 SATA) x4
Wiring Copper shielded & UV Nylon Sleeved
MTBF 400.000 hours
Warranty 3 Year Limited Warranty
Safety
Approvals
UL, FCC, CE, CSA, TUV

AC INPUT 200-240Vac 6A 60/50Hz Peak Load
DC OUTPUT +3.3V +5V +12V1 +12V2 -12V -5V +5VSB
SP-600W Max output Current 26A 40A 20A 20A 0.8A 0.5A 2.5A 650W
Max combined Wattage 190W 432W 9.6W 2.5W 12.5W
580W 25W

Retail Package

The retail package is quite complete, and includes everything you need. The user’s guide will help you to set up the PSU and make all the connections. Even if someone gets confused with all these cables, there is no way to make a faulty connection, since each cable can only be connected to its corresponding socket.

There's also a selection of cables, allowing you to connect up to 7 4-pin peripherals (like DVD burners and hard disks), 4 SATA devices, 2 PCI-Express VGA cards and 2 floppy drives. In case you want to use the mini P.S.T., the maximum 4-pin peripherals that can be powered are 6, since there is a 1 to 1 power connector that is used to power up the mini P.S.T.

We were impressed with the quality of the cables, which also includes cable ties. There are also five screws, one spare, just in case you lose one! There are not many packages that go to such detail.

The three year warranty is also something you should keep consider if you are shopping around for a power supply for your system.

Let's have a closer look at the SP-600W Rocketeer VI - SLI Series PSU.


2. A Closer Look

The power supply comes wrapped in protective bubble wrap. The size of the power supply, looks larger than normal.

After we removed the wrapping, the dark grey titanium colored mirror finish is very flashy. The design, as well as the quality of the aluminium construction, is very good.

The two blue LED, dual ball bearing fans, give a great look to the PSU but their primary function is to keep it cool. The 12cm fan, on the underside of the PSU, draws air from the PC case and directs it to the 8cm at the back, where it is expelled. The 12cm fan starts up at 45°C and above, or if the Turbo Fan Switch is switched on

On the back panel, there are the power output connections and cables. Only the 20+4 pin and 4 pin 12V (for the motherboard) cables are attached to the PSU. The remaining cables can be attached to the eight, blue coloured connectors. This is very convenient, and has been adapted by many PSU manufacturers recently. It helps keep your PC case free of useless cables. You connect only those cables you need.

Below the 8cm fan at the back, there are the power input connection, the power switch and a button that activate the Turbo Fan. According to Spire, the fans are completely silent with 10.0 dBA at 45°C / 113°F, while under full load, the noise won't exceed 19.0 dBA Max.

Specifications regarding voltages and power output, can be found on the label on the side panel of the PSU.

Let's install this pretty baby on our system...


3. Installation

For the installation process, we used a full tower PC case from Antec. We firstly removed our previous power supply unit in order to install the Rocketeer 600W.

The size of the Rocketeer is bigger than a common PSU, especially in length. Below, you can see the difference between the Rocketeer and a standard PSU from Coolermaster.

The Rocketeer looks sturdier, while its cables are fewer and in consequence, tidier.

You install the Rocketeer in the appropriate position and screw the four screws on the back as you would any other power supply. Simple enough. Make sure the 120mm fan faces downwards into the case, in order to draw the hot air from the inside of the case.

The Rocketeer fitted into our Antec case without any problem. On the back, you can see the 80mm fan, the power input connection, power on/off switch and the Turbo booster fan switch.

Next step is to install the 24pin motherboard power cable, and the 4pin ( or 8pin for P4 Dual Core) 12V cables.

The rest of the cables can be installed depending on your needs. In our example, we used one 6pin cable for our VGA card, two SATA cables and two 4pin cables. The shielded cables are thick and need some room in order to bend. Our only problem was with the plastic blue connectors, at the end of the SATA cables. These are attached to hard disk drives or the burners. But the SATA connectors are a bit fragile, and the plastic is not all that thick. After some plugging and unplugging, one of our SATA power connectors broke. We believe that a slightly more flexible plastic material might avoid this.

If you spend some time during the installation process, you will be rewarded with the outcome, as there are no useless cables hanging around, something that also helps create better airflow in your case.

At the back, the blue LED 80mm fan is continually lit, emitting a, what else, blue light. The Spire PSU will certainly add to the look of your PC case as well...

In contrast, the large 120mm on the underside, is also equipped with blue LEDs, but is not on all the time. The blue light you see in the picture below, comes from the rear, 80mm fan and shines through the 120mm. According to Spire, the 120mm fan kicks in at 45°C and above...

...or if you press the Turbo Fan switch, located on the back of the PSU. In either case, the 120mm fan starts up and fills the case with its strong, blue light.

A good and impressive power supply in combination with an also impressive motherboard, such as our ABIT, will give your case a unique look.

Now, everything is set up and we can test the Rocketeer.


4. Performance

The output power specs for the Rocketeer 600W are given in the following table:

AC INPUT 200-240Vac 6A 60/50Hz Peak Load
DC OUTPUT +3.3V +5V +12V1 +12V2 -12V -5V +5VSB
SP-600W Max output Current 26A 40A 20A 20A 0.8A 0.5A 2.5A 650W
Max combined Wattage 190W 432W 9.6W 2.5W 12.5W
580W 25W

The following table lists the industry wide specifications for DC Output Voltage Regulation.

Output Range MIN Normal MAX Unit
+12V1DC ±5% +11.40 +12.00 +12.60 Volts
+12V2DC ±5% +11.40 +12.00 +12.60 Volts
+5VDC ±5% +4.75 +5.00 +5.25 Volts
+3.3VDC ±5% +3.14 +3.30 +3.47 Volts
-12VDC ±10% -10.80 -12.00 -13.20 Volts
+5VSB ±5% +4.75 +5.00 +5.25 Volts

We used the Speedfan utility in order to check the voltages for our system with the Rocketeer installed. We took two measurements, one in idle and one more while running the 3DMark2005 benchmark. In the latter case, we also set the rotation speed of our seven fans (2x120mm, 2x80mm and 3x40mm) to maximum for more power consumption. Our system also has a 7800GTX VGA card, three hard disk drives and two DVD burners.

+12V


Idle


3DMark2005

+5V


Idle


3DMark2005

+3.3V


Idle


3DMark2005

+5VSB

In almost all cases, the voltages were within the industry set standards. For the +3.3V rail however, the Speedfan utility reported +3.47V for most of the time, but there was the odd spike hitting +3.49V. The limits for this rail are +3.14V to +3.47V. We believe that with an even higher load, there may be further drift from the nominal voltage. Otherwise, a very good performance from the Rocketeer 600W.

Ambient noise, mostly emanating from the fans rotating, is another very important factor when evaluating a PSU. In this regard, the Rocketeer performed according to the manufacturer's specifications, and it is indeed quiet. However, if you decide to flip the Turbo fan switch on, make sure you really need to :-). This activates the 120mm fan and the noise from both fans working at maximum rotation speed is high and bothersome, even when playing a game with the volume turned up. The noise is noticeable, no matter what you do.


5. Conclusion

The Rocketeer VI is a 600W PSU from Spire's new SLI series BTX / ATX Modular EZ-Cable Gaming power supplies. It is a power supply that is designed to fulfil the needs of the most demanding PC user. It has a great cooling system, with two fans, one 120mm fat on the underside and an 80mm fan at the back. Its dark grey titanium enclosure is of good construction and high quality.

The installation process was easy enough and no fiddling around or extra parts were required. And the best of all, you connect power output cables from the PSU as you need them. In other words, the number of cables you use, depends on the devices you have installed in your system. This makes for a tidier layout and also doesn't interfere with the airflow inside the PC case. But even if you use all of the provided cables, there is still no problem since the cables are nice and compact. Our only advice is take a little care with the connectors, as the plastic is a little fragile and we ended up breaking one of our SATA connectors. This is probably something that Spire should look into.

When it comes to performance, we have no complaints. Enough power to supply your hungry system, at voltage levels within the limits set out for ATX DC Output Voltage Regulation. The noise from the PSU is not noticeable, unless you manually activate the Turbo fan switch. The noise then becomes annoying, but the Turbo fan is really only required when the PSU goes above 45°C and kicks in automatically.

Overall, the Rocketeer VI 600W is a great solution and we would recommend it. When this review was being carried out, the price for the device on the e-market was around US$105, which is quite reasonable.



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