OCZ Fatal1ty 700w ATX PSU Page: 1

Fatal1tyLet's be honest, the Fatal1ty brand has been around the block a few times over the past few years. From XFX to ABIT, to Creative to Zalman and probably a few more I've forgotten in between, it's always been quite easy to build near on an entire PC system just from Johnathan Wendel endorsed parts. Back in July '08, OCZ jumped on the bandwagon too, introducing several DDR2 and DDR3 memory kits developed by "working closely" with the e-sports player and putting in to place yet another piece of the fully Fatal1ty system.

But OCZ were far from finished with the 12-time world champion gamer, and several months later announced the release of their Fatal1ty-branded power supplies developed in conjunction with PCP&C and Mr. Wendel himself. Obviously there's a certain irony here in that the only part of a PC system with the potential to cause serious injury or death is being labeled by OCZ as their 'Fatal1ty' series, but based on our previous experience with OCZ PSU's I wont be fearing for my life just yet! Instead, let's take a look at the specifications for the 700w model I've been sent over to put through hell on our load testing equipment:

Pros don't just play games...Pros win games!™
The OCZ Fatal1ty Champion series offers gamers stable and efficient power for their mainstream or high-end rigs. OCZ is dedicated to delivering premium power solutions, and the Fatal1ty series options are the first step to creating an exceptional system for the unique power and cabling requirements of today’s gamer.

SLI and 80-plus certified to provide rock solid power and efficiency for your high end gaming system, the 700W Fatal1ty PSU features a single +12V rail. These high-performance power supplies were co-developed by Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel, 12-time World champion, to meet the specific needs of fellow gamers. OCZ Fatal1ty Champion Series PSUs feature incredible performance to power the latest graphics and hard drives, and contribute to the success of professionals and everyday gamers.

Backed by an industry-leading 5-year warranty, OCZ strives to continue offering the best product support in the industry.

- NVIDIA® SLI™-Ready Certified
- 700W Configurations
- OCZ PowerWhisper Technology
- 80+ Certified
- Internal 120mm fan w/ red LEDs
- 5 year warranty backed by OCZ's exclusive PowerSwap Warranty replacement program. No more endless return-for-repair loops!

Technical specifications

- 5.9in x 3.4in x 6.3in (W x H x D)
- ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V
- Overvoltage/Overcurrent/Short-Circuit protection
- Active PFC
- MTBF:100,000 hours

700W Connectors
- 1 X 20/24-pin ATX
- 1 X 8-pin (4+4-pin) CPU
- 2 X 6+2-pin (8-pin) PCI-E
- 8 X Peripheral
- 1 X Floppy


Sifting our way through the marketing spiel and having a little chuckle at how OCZ believe a PSU can "contribute to the success of professionals and everyday gamers" the Fatal1ty 700w at first glance appears to be a fairly standard unit. Cooling is provided in the form of a 120mm fan, efficiency is listed rather vaguely as "80+" and the only thing that really stands out is OCZ's "PowerSwap" 5yr warranty.

That is, until we come to the rail layout chart. As we can see from above, OCZ have seen fit to furnish the Fatal1ty with a single +12v rail rated at 56A. However, while I'd normally be telling you how good a single rail is for powering a high-end SLI/Crossfire graphics card configurations at this point, the Fatal1ty is equipped with only two PCI-E connectors, thus restricting its use to only one high-end graphics card! Hardly what I'd expected from a PSU marketed at gamers.

OCZ Fatal1ty 700w ATX PSU Page: 2
Packaging & Appearance

As we've come to expect from OCZ products, the Fatal1ty 700w is presented in a cardboard box printed edge-to-edge with information. The front of the box outlines some of the general specifications such as Active PFC, Ultra Efficiency and Superior Cooling, while the back and sides break down the specifications into much greater detail. Several images of the PSU in action are also printed on all sides of the box.

OCZ Fatal1ty Box Front OCZ Fatal1ty Box Side

OCZ Fatal1ty Box Back OCZ Fatal1ty Box Side

Opening up the box, we are presented with the Fatal1ty unit sandwiched between two cardboard-backed styrofoam inserts that keep the PSU centred in the box while also protecting it on the top and bottom (but not sides) from courier damage. The unit has also been placed inside a plastic bag to help avoid any scuffs or scratches.

Included in the box are only the bare essentials to get you up and running: case screws, mains lead, manual and a couple of cable ties. The manual itself is quite basic and doesn't get much more technical than how to install the PSU, but it does seem to cover a wide range of languages.

OCZ Fatal1ty 700w Box Open OCZ Fatal1ty Box Contents

Although not quite as spectacular as the gunmetal finish found on some of OCZ's other PSU's, the Fatal1ty just about manages to separate itself from the slew of plain black box PSU's on the market with a slightly metallic black/grey finish. Granted, you'll probably not notice the difference once the Fatal1ty is installed inside your PC case, but it gives me something to write a couple of paragraphs about never less.

At the rear of the unit is the familiar mesh grill seen on almost all modern PSU's that use 120mm+ fans for cooling, along with the usual kettle lead-style mains connector, a small power switch and an LED status light that glows red when the PSU is off (or there is a problem) and green when it is on...just in case you had no other way of telling.

OCZ Fatal1ty 700w Top OCZ Fatal1ty 700w Front

The underside of the Fatal1ty houses the aforementioned 120mm fan, which as we've already seen from the product images on the packaging, glows red. At the side of the unit, OCZ have attempted to spruce things up a bit by laser cutting the Fatal1ty logo into the casing and securing an LED-lit sheet of red plexiglas behind. I have to admit this does look rather tasty in a darkened room.

OCZ Fatal1ty PSU Bottom OCZ Fatal1ty 700w Side

OCZ Fatal1ty Logo OCZ Fatal1ty 700w Logo
Before you even say anything...No I didn't test the PSU with the fan facing downwards onto the table like this. I just knew someone would moan if the logo was upside down. 

Now let's check out the internals...

OCZ Fatal1ty 700w ATX PSU Page: 3
Cables & Looking Inside

Starting with the cables, the most obvious feature of the Fatal1ty is the red sleeving designed to fit in with the overall theme of the unit. While OCZ's efforts are certainly appreciated, it would have been better if they'd chosen some sleeving that doesn't share the level of transparency of fishnet stockings, allowing all the gory bits beneath to be fully on show.

OCZ Fatal1ty 700w Cables OCZ Fatal1ty 700w Cable Mesh

Much like stockings, the sleeving also falls short of going the entire length of the cables, instead stopping once it reaches the first connector. Although this has probably been done to give a better bend radius for when you're trying to stretch out the cables between your hard disks and DVD drive, it doesn't do much for aesthetics.
OCZ Fatal1ty 700w Cable Bundle OCZ Fatal1ty 700w Plugs

Both the ATX 24-Pin and EPS 8-Pin connectors are capable of downgrading themselves to older 20-Pin and 4-Pin standards by means of a removable 4-Pin connector; likewise, the PCI-E connectors can also be changed between 6-Pin and 8-Pin standards to suit the graphics card.

OCZ Fatal1ty 700w ATX OCZ Fatal1ty 700w PCI-E

The insides of the Fatal1ty are fairly cramped, with most components sitting underneath the two black aluminium heatsinks that span the length of the unit. The layout is quite different to most of the other OCZ PSU's we've seen in the past such as the GameXStream and ModXStream and therefore it's quite possible that OCZ has picked a new OEM this time around.

OCZ Fatal1ty 700w Internals OCZ Fatal1ty 700w PSU Inside
Do my eyes deceive me...Is that three adjustable pots sitting around looking sexy on that daughterboard there? Yes, yes it is. I'm not 100% sure if these are for fine tuning rail voltages, or just for making adjustment to the fan speed - as the board does actually double-up as the fan controller, but if you're into poking around inside PSU's with a screwdriver only milimetres away from the mains EMI filter, why not let me know!

OCZ Fatal1ty 700w PSU Inside OCZ Fatal1ty 700w Pots

Rather than putting all their eggs in one basket and going for a single huge capacitor, OCZ have spread the workload over three smaller caps from the Nippon-Chemicon KMR range. These caps are rated at 105c / 430v / 180uF, which to an extent indicates that they are pretty high quality.

A single large transformer deals with all the main rails with the exception of the 5VSB rail that needs its own smaller transformer for providing stand-by voltages. Interestingly, it does look like the PCB is kitted out ready for a higher output model - as sitting next to the main transformer is the solder points for another transformer of a similar size. 1kw Fatal1ty anyone?
OCZ Fatal1ty Capacitors OCZ Fatal1ty 700w Transformers

Ello, ello, ello what do we have here? It would appear that the PCB is marked up as an OCZ Technology EliteXstream. Looking back to our review of that very unit last year we can indeed see that, with the exception of a missing transformer and a change in the capacitors, we are indeed looking at a lower wattage version of the EliteXStream blinged out with some red lighting. Could it be that Mr. Wendel only picked the colour of the lights he wanted inside this PSU?

OCZ Fatal1ty..i mean EliteXStream! OCZ Fatal1ty 700w Heatsink
Last but not least (as the PSU would probably go POP without it) we arrive at the 120mm fan. This particular model is manufactured by Power Logic and carries a model number of PLA12025S12H-4. A quick search on Google and Power Logic's website didn't turn up any specs for this model, but a very similar model (PLA12025B12H-4) is rated at 32dbA / 107CFM.

OCZ Fatal1ty 700w PSU Fan OCZ Fatal1ty 700w PSU Fan
Now let's put this thing back together and move on to the testing where I'm hoping I wont end up as the next fatality ;)

OCZ Fatal1ty 700w ATX PSU Page: 4
Simulated Load Testing

To provide our readers with the most accurate results, Overclock3D uses a professional grade SunMoon SM-268+ ATE load tester capable of placing a sustained load of 1690w across a total of six rails (including +5vsb and -12v) on the PSU. Unlike our previous resistor-based load tester, the SM-268+ gives us the ability to adjust amperage loads in increments as small as 0.01A while also measuring voltages and wattage readings on-screen.

During today's tests, we will be placing the Fatal1ty under 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% load levels at both room temperature and inside a hot box regulated to a temperature of around 50°C. Additional cross load tests will also be performed under these conditions to simulate how the PSU would perform with a heavily uneven distribution of load.

OCZ Fatal1ty 700w SM-268+ Results @ Room Temp
  +3.3v +5.0v +12v1 +12v2 +5vSB -12v AC Watts /
 DC Watts
 Efficiency Intake /
 Δ Temp
Test 1
 3.75A 3.75A 12.00A - 0.75A 0.20A 228w /
 80.26% 21.7°C /
 3.36v 5.06v 12.10v - 4.97v -12.03v
Test 2
 7.50A 7.50A 24.00A - 1.5A 0.40A 428w /
 84.81% 22.4°C /
 3.34v 5.03v 12.02v - 4.93v -12.06v
Test 3
 11.25A 11.25A 36.00A - 2.25A 0.60A 633w /
 85.30% 22.5°C /
 3.31v 5.00v 11.94v - 4.88v -12.08v
Test 4
 15.00A 15.00A 48.00A - 3.00A 0.80A 850w /
 84.70% 22.4°C /
3.27v4.98v11.88v - 4.84v -12.10v
Test 5
20.00A20.00A1.00A -0.75A0.20A 256w /
72.65%22.8°C /
 3.33v 5.02v12.14v - 4.92v-12.07v
Test 6
 3.00A 5.00A 56.00A - 0.75A 0.20A 841w /
 85.13% 23.4°C /
 3.31v 5.01v 11.90v - 4.92v -12.11v

You'll have to excuse me for jumping right to the end of the results, but as we can see from Test 5, the OCZ Fatal1ty DOES NOT like being heavily cross loaded on the +3.3v and +5v rails. Even though the voltage results remain quite reasonable, the efficiency levels drop to a rather nasty 72.65%. Of course, unless you're running some archaic PC like a 386SX it's highly unlikely you'll ever see results like this in real life.

The rest of the results are above average, but nothing really stands out as "woweee" great. Voltage outputs start quite high in Test 1 and drop by around 2-3% by the time we reach Test 4. With the exception of Test 5, efficiency sits at around 85% and only drops as low as 80% when very little load is exerted. Throughout the testing the unit remained extremely cool and didn't get noticeably noisy at any time.

OCZ Fatal1ty 700w SM-268+ Results @ 50°c
  +3.3v +5.0v +12v1 +12v2 +5vSB -12v AC Watts /
 DC Watts
 Efficiency Intake /
 Δ Temp
Test 1
 3.75A 3.75A 12.00A - 0.75A 0.20A 231w /
 79.22% 51.3°C /
 3.36v 5.06v 12.10v - 4.97v -12.04v
Test 2
 7.50A 7.50A 24.00A - 1.5A 0.40A 429w /
 84.84% 51.4°C /
 3.34v 5.03v 12.02v - 4.92v -12.07v
Test 3
 11.25A 11.25A 36.00A - 2.25A 0.60A 642w /
 84.42% 50.9°C /
 3.31v 5.00v 11.94v - 4.88v -12.07v
Test 4
 15.00A 15.00A 48.00A - 3.00A 0.80A 850w /
 84.70% 52.0°C /
3.27v4.97v11.88v - 4.83v -12.12v
Test 5
20.00A20.00A1.00A -0.75A0.20A 259w /
71.42%51.5°C /
 3.33v 5.02v12.14v - 4.92v-12.06v
Test 6
 3.00A 5.00A 56.00A - 0.75A 0.20A 841w /
 85.13% 51.1°C /
 3.31v 5.00v 11.90v - 4.92v -12.11v

Popping the Fatal1ty inside what has been affectionately labeled as the "Pie Oven" by members of the OC3D Forums, we get the chance to see how the unit performs at a baking hot 50°C. Interestingly, very little changes across the board, with the voltage outputs remaining almost identical to the room temperature results and the only visible differences being noticed in the efficiency levels that drop by around 1%. 

Testament to the cool running of the unit as seen in the room temperature tests, the Fatal1ty adds very little additional heat to the intake temperatures....in fact, in most cases the exhaust temps are actually LOWER than intake!

OCZ Fatal1ty 700w Scope Results @ 50c
  +3.3v +5.0v +12v1 +12v2
Test 1
Test 2
t2_3.3vt2_5vt2_12v - -
Test 3
t3_3.3vt3_5vt3_12v - -
Test 4
t4_3vt4_5vt4_12v - -
Test 5
t5_3.3vt5_5vt5_12v - -
Test 6
t6_3.3vt6_5vt6_12v - -

Finishing up with some shots from the scope during the 50°C tests, I think it's fair to say that the Fatal1ty did pretty well. Ripple and noise on the +12v rails stays at 40mV or less in all tests including crossload ones, and the +3.3v and +5.0v rails manage to stay under 15mV in everything but Test 5 where the +3.3v hits 17mV.

Now let's move on to the conclusion where I attempt to condense the previous 4 pages into a few paragraphs.

OCZ Fatal1ty 700w ATX PSU Page: 5

Starting with what matters the most, performance, the OCZ Fatal1ty 700w scores some pretty good marks. In the room temperature tests, efficiency levels at medium/high loads sat at around 85% and only waivered from this under low load levels or when a heavy crossload was applied to the +3.3v and +5v rails. Voltage regulation was also reasonable, with no rails falling outside of spec no matter what kind of wonky crossload we threw at the unit.

Hot box testing at 50°C also failed to faze the Fatal1ty (try saying that fast!), and the unit continued to deliver results almost identical to the room temperature tests. This, combined with the ripple and noise results that stayed under 40mV on the +12v rail and around 15mV on the +3.3v/5.0v rails, indicates that the Fatal1ty isn't all show and no go like most other blinged out PSU's we've had the misfortune of testing.

Moving on to the subjective matter of physical appearance, it's obvious that not everyone will appreciate the Fatal1ty logo being projected on to a nearby wall through the windowed side panel of their PC case. However, if your PC is based around a red theme or maybe you're a member of the Sir Johnathan Wendel fan club, then the Fatal1ty will obviously go a long way to ticking all the right boxes.

The only real beef I've got with the unit is probably the lack of PCI-E connectors - 700w should be more than enough to warrant OCZ including 4 of them for SLI/Crossfire configurations, but unfortunately we only got 2. As a sideline remark, the mesh sleeving is also rather poor and does nothing to hide the cables beneath. If the sleeving had been a darker red and more densely weaved, it would have improved the look of the unit significantly.

As many members of the OC3D forums will know (and some even share), the Fatal1ty franchise is actually a pet hate of mine. But in the case of the OCZ Fatal1ty 700w, at least I'm going to swallow my pride and accept that this is one solid unit. Anyone looking to purchase a PSU that combines a little 'bling' with some good performance should definitely add it to their short list.

The Good
- Around 85% efficiency at most load levels
- Stable voltages. Around 2-3% droop from light to heavy loads.
- Low noise and ripple results.
- Red lights and Fatal1ty logo (if you dig, baby?)

The Mediocre
- Poor quality sleeving.
- Massive drop in efficiency in +3.3/5.0v crossload tests.

The Bad
- Only two PCI-E connectors. A single +12v rail 700w PSU should easily be able to power Crossfire/SLI.

OC3D Recommended Award

Thanks to OCZ for providing the Fatal1ty 700w for review. Discuss this review in our forums.