7-Way 550-600 Watt Power Supply Roundup ReviewFri, Jun 21, 2013 - 12:00 AM
Cougar PowerX 550W
Cougar is a subsidiary company of HEC, providing higher-than-OEM quality power supplies and cases for advanced users and enthusiasts. The power supply we have here today is the PowerX series 550W model. The PowerX series is aiming to merge aesthetics with high value, for gamers and modders on a tight budget.
The Cougar PowerX 550W unit arrived in a small but sturdy and functional cardboard box with the power supply well packed inside it. Plenty of information regarding the features of the power supply can be found at the rear side of the box. However, supplied with the power supply there is virtually no bundle to speak of as it consists only of the necessary A/C power cable and typical steel mounting screws.
Cougar used a typical ATX chassis which replaced the basic cover of with a proprietary one, which has been sprayed with a dark orange paint and with the company logo embossed on its left side. The fan guard is also part of the cover, forming a parallel octagonal grid design. A sticker with the company logo can be seen over the center of the fan. The rest of the 150mm long chassis has been sprayed with a matte black paint.
This time the company decided to place the sticker with the specifications of the power supply on the right side of the power supply, where it will be visible if the side panel of a case has a window over the PSU compartment. Strangely, the side with the engraved company logo will be facing the right side of the case, keeping it out of sight. There is nothing noteworthy to mention about the rear or top sides of this power supply, both of which are perfectly clean. All of the cables are hardwired to the unit and are typical cables with color-coded wires and black sleeving.
The 120mm fan inside the PowerX 550W power supply has been rebranded but we could easily identify it as the DFS122512M, a popular model by Young Lin Tech. This is a typical sleeve bearing fan with a maximum speed of 1500RPM; nothing really important about it save from the fact that it comes from a well-known manufacturer.
As we mentioned above, Cougar is a subsidiary of HEC and thus HEC, who has been designing and producing switching power supplies for decades, is the OEM behind the PowerX 550W model. The assembly quality is good, with few mediocre soldering joints which are obviously hand-made. The filtering stage is almost textbook and consists of three Y capacitors, one X capacitor, one filtering choke and a MOV; just a single Y capacitor over the bare minimum required by the ATX design guide. The heatsinks used are quite good for a product of this class.
A Matsushita (Panasonic) 330uF/400V capacitor rated for operation at 105°C and a large coil form the passive components of the APFC stage, with the active components mounted on the large heatsink to the primary side of the transformer, which also houses the primary inversion circuit components that form a half-bridge inverter. The heatsink on the secondary side of the transformer holds five transistors, responsible for the generation of all voltage lines as this design has no DC to DC conversion components. The electrolytic capacitors on the secondary side of this power supply are supplied by Teapo, the well-known Taiwanese manufacturer.