Ultra X4 600w Modular ATX PSU

Cables, Connectors and Internals

Ultra X4 600w

One of the most unique features of the X4 (and indeed its predecessors) is that the unit is totally modular. Now I can hear you all say "why on earth would you want that". After all, in order to power a PC you've got to have an ATX and P4-12v cable as a bare minimum, right? Right! The only possible scenario I can can come up with where this would be beneficial, is if for example if you wanted to swap the provided ATX connector with an extra long or extra short one that would better suit the cable management of your PC. It's a pretty lame argument I know, but its the best I've got.

 Ultra X4 600w modular   Ultra X4 600w plugged

The connector count (once you've deducted the ATX/EPS/P4-12v necessities) weighs in at 9 which is pretty impressive for a 600w unit. This breaks down into a total of 4 molex headers, 3 SATA headers and 2 PCI-E headers, each of which has its own unique style of plug.

My only concern here is that Ultra have decided to use molex style plugs for the molex headers. While it may sound like a logical choice, this style of plug is notorious for providing poor connections and can easily work its way loose due to a lack of any locking mechanism. A better idea would have been to use the flat 5-pin locking style plugs already being used for the SATA headers.

  Ultra X4 600w cables   Ultra X4 600w cables  

 Ultra X4 600w cables   Ultra X4 600w cables

As you'll hopefully be able to see from the chart below and the images above, the X4 is provided with plenty of modular cables. Unfortunately Ultra have decided against using the flat ribbon style cables that they did for the X3 (see Corsair HX units for an example of what I'm chatting about), but in their defence the quality of the sleeved cabling is easily the best I've ever seen with the meshing almost completely masking any signs of the cables beneath. Another nice touch is that each cable is neatly wrapped in an Ultra branded velcro cable tie that can be reused to to tidy up the rats nest of cables inside your PC once you've finished fitting the new PSU.

Ultra X4 600w Connectors
 ATX Connector Modular 1x 24 Pin
 EPS-12v / P4-12v Connector(s) Modular 1x 4 Pin, 1x 8 Pin
 Molex Connectors Modular 9x
 Floppy Disk Connectors Modular 2x
 SATA Connectors Modular 9x
 PCI-E Connectors Modular 1x 6+2 Pin, 1x 6 Pin

 Ultra X4 600w atx
   Ultra X4 600w pcie

The main ATX motherboard connector comes in 24-Pin format with no way to reduce it down to the older 20-Pin standard. For the most part this certainly won't be an issue as almost all new motherboards are made in this format. However, if you intend on purchasing the X4 for an older PC system it may certainly be worth checking your motherboard documentation first for compatibility.  The 'CPU' power connectors on the other hand are provided in both 4-Pin (P4-12v) and 8-Pin (EPS-12v) formats.

On the PCI-E connector front support for the latest graphics cards is ensured by two connectors in 6-Pin and 6+2Pin formats respectively.

 Ultra X4 600w insides   Ultra X4 600w insides

Ultra X4 600w insides   Ultra X4 600w insides

Moving on to guts of the X4, my initial impressions are that Ultra haven't made best use of the available space inside the casing. A good two inch gap can be seen at the rear of the unit, yet for some reason Ultra seem to have crammed all of the X4's components on the smallest PCB they could find. Spreading the components out a little more and extending the heatsinks could help to keep the unit cooler and improve its performance, but whether this is necessary or not is something that will be revealed in the testing on the next page. 

 Ultra X4 600w insides Ultra X4 600w insides

The logical place to start the close-up analysis is at the is at the input filtering stage. Here we can see that Ultra have used a collection of capacitors along with a ferrite coil to filter out any transients coming in from the mains power line. This also serves as barrier for any noise produced by the transistors inside the PSU from returning back out to mains supply where it may cause interference on other electronic devices.

 Ultra X4 600w transformer   Ultra X4 600w modular

Two transformers sit in the middle of the PSU with the largest being responsible for stepping down the mains voltage to just a little bit above +12v  and +5v. These voltages are then passed through a series of Schottky rectifiers and capacitors that regulate and smooth the voltages down to their ideal outputs. This is also the way in which the 3.3v rail is created from the +5v output.

The smaller of the two transformers is solely responsible for the +5vSB rail. This rail remains powered even when the PC is switched off (but plugged into the mains). Its purpose is primarily to provide stand-by power to the PC's motherboard, enabling it to perform functions such as resuming from suspend mode on LAN or keyboard activity. More recently people have even used it for charging things such as mobile phones via the PC's USB ports when the PC is switched off.

 Ultra X4 600w caps   Ultra X4 600w caps

Over on the primary (high voltage) side of the unit we can see that Ultra have used a Taiwanese manufactured Teapo capacitor with ratings of 420v / 390uF and a max temperature of 85°C. Although not quite the best that money can buy, Teapo are fairly well respected in the Capacitor industry.

Similarly over on the secondary side another collection of Teapo capacitors can be found mixed in with a handful of other caps that I couldn't quite identify. However, all caps here are rated at 105c (other specs varying), so with any luck Ultra haven't cut any corners and the capacitor brigade will be reasonably happy.

 Ultra X4 600w fan   Ultra X4 600w fan

For some reason Ultra have seen it necessary to replace the fan manufacturers label with one of their own. Normally the original label can be found hidden underneath, but in this case Ultra have affixed their label directly to the fan hub. Only by means of a magnifying glass are we able to see the model number of the fan printed at the very bottom of the label.

The model DFB132512H refers to a high speed Young Lin Tech fan with specifications: 1700RPM / 91.16CFM / 31.28dBA at 12v. This particular fan has been used in countless numbers of other PSU's, but it's noise output and performance have always been entirely down to the configuration of the fan controller.

So with all of that out the way, let's move on to the testing...

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Most Recent Comments

03-02-2010, 00:42:40

looks like a good psu not 100% on the modual interface system thoQuote

03-02-2010, 08:59:38

Think its about time they had Real decent connectors on all Modular PSU's esp when you Spending so much. it wouldnt harm them at all.Quote

06-02-2010, 13:03:02

I've got an Ultra X2 550W that was given to me after my old PSU blew up. So far, it seems fine, aside from the fact that the fan spins up loudly without any real load. It's good to see that they are in fact improving with the modular cables - on my unit the SATA power leads are connected to the PSU with SATA connectors, and those things are a bugger for staying in. It seems every time I open the case one of them comes loose and I lose either a hard drive or the DVD drive.

Not sure I'll be eyeing up Ultra though when I upgrade in a couple months. Corsair have my eye, especially given recent events and the fact that they guarantee it won't blow up

Btw what is the cross load test? I know it might not be indicative of real-world, but it is worrying about that -12V rail being 11.4% out.Quote

13-02-2010, 15:38:36

I usd o love the old hiper power supplies. Only for their presentation skills. They really should try to break the mounld in power spply designs imo. I think it would make a nice/different change.

Looks like a good psu though, except the price tag. we giving half points now? or hav we always givn them and I've only just noticed? ;-)Quote

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