SkyHawk PowerONE 620w Review **UPDATE 3/26**

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Cabling and Interior

So let’s talk about cabling for a little while. One of the main features
of the PowerONE is its modular cables. On the back of the power supply there
are five black six pin connectors, these connectors are keyed so you can not
plug them in wrong. They are also all the same this means that you can plug
the PCI-Express Graphics cable into any of the black connectors and same goes
for the SATA cable. Now up until this time I have always thought that modular
power supplies are for case modders and not overclockers. I mean why waste the
money on something that just makes your case look good right? Wrong, overclockers
should look harder at modular power supplies because you only use the cables
you need, this clears up unnecessary wires that can impede air flow. From the
second picture you can get an idea of how long the cables are. I will say that
again cost cutting came into play with the cable length. The ATX power cable
seems a little short to me, while I had no problems with length in my case but
people with large cases might want to check to make sure they will reach before
they buy.

While we are on the subject of cables lets talk about connectors. SkyHawk has
done a nice job with the connectors the selected for the PowerONE. All the peripheral
connectors are the new easy type. They are such an improvement over the old
white ones I can not even begin to express how happy I was using these. The
easy connectors were, well, easy to push in and pull out (get your minds out
of the gutter). Also worth noting is the 20+4 pin ATX connector. If you have
an older motherboard but want the latest power supply for future compatibility,
all you have to do is slip the extra 4 pins off and pull the wires to the side
and presto you get a 20 pin connector.


In side you can see the PCB that the modular connectors are soldered to. The
connectors are well attached and the soldering looks to be decent, so not much
chance of you breaking them off unless you’re the Hulk. I am a little
disappointed by the small size of the heat sinks. One of the features that SkyHawk
promotes is the fan control, when the PowerONE is less than 40 degrees C the
fans do not spin, this is nice as it makes the PowerONE silent, but I worry
about the longevity of the electrical components. Larger heat sinks would cost
more money but would also ensure that components never overheat when the fans
are not spinning.

One of the other features that the PowerONE came with is a third 12v rail and
Audio Standby. SkyHawk accomplishes this with a secondary board attached to
the bottom plate next to the 92mm intake fan. The three wires pictured on the
left are the power leads for the secondary PCB. Just for fun I stuck my multimeter
into the connector to see what kind of voltage/signal was powering the secondary
PCB, when I first looked and it was reporting something like 2300v I freaked
out then I switched to VAC and it showed 12v AC. This voltage is then rectified
to 12v DC and 5v DC for the standby peripheral connector.

I think the Audio Standby while an interesting marketing touch is worthless.
I have a few reasons for feeling the PowerONE would be better off without the
Audio Standby. First the provided cable has two audio plugs one for the CD-ROM
drive and one for the motherboard. The cable then runs to a PCI slot cover with
a 1/8 inch mini jack. The reason this is a problem is because the length of
the cable going from the CD-ROM to the motherboard is far too short for most
on board audio solutions and for all PCI audio solutions. My second issue comes
with the control over the Standby device, unless you have an old style CD-ROM

which has play, stop, track buttons then your out of luck, and as luck would
have it my Sony DVD/RW drive only has an eject button. My third issue comes
with the fact that you have to use a stereo set of speakers for the Audio Standby.
I for one do not want to have to switch my 5.1 speakers from the plug they are
in now to a single 2 channel every time I want to listen to music on my computer
while it is off. If I want to listen to music that bad then I will turn the
damn computer on. So if your looking to buy the SkyHawk PowerONE for this feature
DON’T, get it for its dollar to watt ratio and its other features that
work and are worth the money.

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