The Arctic Cooling Fusion 550RF only has a few minor issues that I ran into. The issue that was of the most concern to me was the 4-pin +12 Volt motherboard connector. It was a bit short. I am using a full tower case that the power supply mounted on the bottom. No matter what I did, the 4-pin connector wouldn’t reach the plug it needed. You can see below that even after removing the graphic cards it was still too short.
If I had been using a case that the power supply was mounted on top it would not have been noticed. It would have been nice to have the shorter cable for cable management if the power supply were mounted on top.
One of the other issues that I had was about the SATA connections. Though it provides six connectors, they are all on one wire.
Due to my case Layout I would have been limited to 4 sata devices. I could use 4-pin to SATA adapters if I needed more in a pinch since it does offer 3, 4 pin Molex connectors. This is again not a major issue, but an issue regardless.
The issue about the cable length is addressed by Arctic Cooling in the installation guide available from their website. It states:
“In Order to limit the resistance caused by power transfer from the PSU to the components, we limit the cable length to a minimum and do not use detachable cables since they would increase the number of plugs and thus increase resistance. A lower resistance leads to more accurate voltage.”
There are only a couple of changes I would like to see. The first is an 8-pin +12 Volt motherboard cable. I have read that it is not needed unless you have a processor that requires more than 150 Watts, but it is a change that would make me more comfortable. The second would be longer cables. As you can see above I would be unable to use this power supply without an extension. The final thing I would like to see is the 6 sata connectors split up to multiple cables. If my optical drive had been in the top bay I would have needed to move it down to where it is currently. All said and done, though, our testing shows it is still more than able to handle an overclocked Core i7 system running SLI graphics with no problems at all.
All in all, Arctic Cooling has released a great product with the Fusion 550RF Power Supply. Aside from the cable issues I have with it, it performed well above and beyond my expectations. When it comes to pricing, the Arctic Cooling Fusion 550RF 550W ATX power supply runs $69.56, which is a special sale price that runs through 6/23/2009. At this price the Fusion 550RF is one of the most budget friendly 80 PLUS certified Active PFC power supplies between the 500-600W range. Other popular models in this range include the $99.99 Corsair VX 550W Power Supply and the $89.99 OCZ Technology ModXStream Pro 600W Power Supply. As you can see the Fusion 550RF is slightly lower than some of the big name power supplies, but remember it is internally identical to the Corsair CMPSU-450VX, which runs just $69.99 plus shipping. Flip a coin between the two as they have the same guts and only differ by the cooling fan and the enclosure. Rating the Fusion 550RF as a 550W power supply will likely confuse a number of consumers, but that is why we are here!
Legit Bottom Line: The Arctic Cooling Fusion 550RF Power Supply is 80 Plus certified and easy on the wallet, but should really be rated in the 450W-500W range.