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Appeared on: Monday, October 20, 2008
Glacialpower GP-AL650


1. About the Glacialpower GP-AL650

As newcomer in the market of power supply units for PCs, GlacialPower, send us its first product rated at 650Watt. While GlacialPower may not sound familiar to you, it is actually a different name for the GlacialTech power supply products. The specific product had been announced more than one year ago but finally reached the market this year.

The AL series of PSUs is targeted at performance desktops, graphic workstations and gaming machines, at least according to the company. The complete series are rated with wattages of 350, 450, 55 and 650 Watts and offer Active Power Factor Correction (APFF) and 8/12cm fan options for cooling.

Our test sample is the 650 Watt version model GlacialPower GP-AL650A.

Conforming to ATX 12V (version 2.2 form factor) these PSUs support the Universal AC input range from 90V~264V AC with Active PFC and deliver an 80%+ average power efficiency and reduced power loss during transmission . The PSUs are also loaded with the latest internal power protection features including SCP, OTP, OPP, OVP (Over Voltage Protection) and OCP (Over Current Protection) to help safeguard PC peripherals from sudden power outages.

At full load, the fan noise does not go above 30dBA, according to GlacialPower. New onboard features like ‘Fan Speed Control’, ‘Delayed Shut Down’, ‘Automatic Fan Switch Off at low loads’ enable longer life for system components. Their MTBF is more than 100,000 hours and they are backed by a 2-year warranty.

- Features

- Technical specifications      


2. The device

The 80plus.org certified product retails for around €60, as found over online stores.

While there is not any Nvidia certification for SLI use, we used the power supply with two Nvidia 7900GS graphics cards and we didn't witness any problem. However we cannot be sure about the newest and more power hungry 260/280GTX series.

Inside the box you will find everything well packaged and secured placed into a plastic foam shell that keeps the PSU in place.

 

The PSU has the typical dimensions for this category and should fit in all PC cases. The product is certified for ATX v2.2 standard. At the top side you can see the 120mm rotating fan from ADDA.

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The power supply has a matte black finish with smooth edges for easy handling. The rear side has a honeycomb design that allows hot air escape from the internal of the PSU's keeping temperature low.

The GlacialPower GP-AL650 has two +12V rails rated at 0-25 and 0-20Amps . Both rails are powered from a single source, which theoretically could have an affect in the power efficiency of the rails under heavy loads. However, the independent source designs are more expensive.

The +5V and +3.3V share the same rail as happens with the +12V. Summing all outputs we have a total of 650Watt. What is rather strange, is the fact that the +5Vsb rail has 15Watt, when usually we found 0.5A values. That's a positive thing since you can power your USB ports from that rail instead of the +5V, provided that your motherboard supports this function (via motherboard jumper).

Unpacking the various connectors we find many cables:

Connectors Included # Overall Length

ATX 24 pin & 20 pin compatible
x1 510mm

EPS/ATX12V 4+4 pin
x1 520mm

PCI-E 6+2 pin
x2 420mm

SATA
x6 720mm

4 pin Peripheral
x6 640mm

Floppy
x1 -

We should note here that we would like to see longer cables since with the latest motherboards and graphics cards, the length of the power cables is very important and long cables allows for easier connections. What we didn't like is the fact that the 4+4pins are not connected.

The 6+2 pin connectors for PCI-E cards should be enough even for the latest generation of graphics cards.


3. Basic tests

Testing the efficiency of a PSU is not very easy and it requires use of specialized hardware. The goal would be to see whether the PSU delivers efficient current to simultaneously power all the devices that are connected to the PSUs power lines.

For this review, we have just tried to load our test PC with many devices and created extensive CPU+3D workload by using 3D Mark Vantage and PC Mark Vantage. Our test PC was as follows:

All PSU ratings were monitored with Everest Ultimate Edition v3.0. The following table lists the industry wide specifications for DC Output Voltage Regulation.

 

After running both benchmarks, the monitored outputs showed us how much stress the PSU has taken. A summary of the results can be found at the following table:

Minimum
Maximum
+3.3 V
V
3,24
3,27
+5 V
V
4,88
4,93
+12 V
V
12,20
12,29

The results indicate that the PSU performed within the standard range. On the other hand, the dual VGA setup seems to stretch the power supply and we have high variation at the +12Volts rail.


4. Final thoughts

The GlacialPower GP-AL650 is a new product that features good specifications and great retail price.

The retail package is simple and carries the certification from the 80Plus.org organization. All the power cables are fixed and there is no modular design. Most of them have good length, although we would like to see longer cables since they would allow for easier installation in new PCs.

The PSU is backed by a 2-year warranty is not very competitive to what some other brands are offering (OCZ, Corsair).

Our simple tests indicate that the PSU performs adequately, at least for the end-user's perspective. The product is not certified for SLI use but we tried loading it with two Nvidia 7900GS cards. The system was stable although our performance tests showed a high variation in the voltage at the +12V rail.

If your budget for a new PSU is around €60 and you are looking for stable operation for your mid-range PC, the GlacialPower GP-AL650 is a good suggestion. Unless your PC configuration includes power demanding high-end graphics cards, you won't face any major problems.

- The Good

- The Bad



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