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Ultra Products X-Connect 500watt Power Supply


Product
PC Power Supply
Date
20th December 2004
Manufacured By
Supplied By
Price
Author

 

A Closer Look:::...

Considering the X-connect was shipped in the actual box with no outer box over it, it arrived in surprisingly good condition.

The box design looks more "commercial and eye-catching" than "professional and high-end", and I'd probably opt for the "professional and high-end" option myself, but it looks good all the same.

The Box

 

Inside the main box is another, smaller box along with the power supply and user manual. At this point I could so easily have had my impressions of Ultra dashed for good when I tried to open the manual and found the pages had been slipped into the cover the wrong way around with the opening edges stapled shut and only the folds to flick through. Yes it's a minor point but mistakes like that don't exactly fill you with faith that the expensive kit you've just bought wasn't assembled by 10-year-olds earning a few Euros a month in some remote sweatshop somewhere. You don't win a reputation as a prestige manufacturer by screwing up simple things like your user manuals!

In The Box

 

One of the unique features of the X-connect is its modular design, which means rather than having the usual mass of wires with a full compliment of connector pre-wied on them whether you need them or not, the X-connect lets you plug in only the connectors you actually need to use. This of course means no more tying up all the unused cables and trying to tuck them somewhere in your case where they can't be seen. It also means neater cable routing, better airflow, and simpler power distribution.

Cable Kit Contents

 

Set your drool glands to stun. Shiny, high gloss power supplies are far more common than they once were, and they always tend to look glorious, but with no bundle of spaghetti spewing from the rear and that slightly domed and very distinctive fan grill, the Connect-X is simply a cut above. Dig out the cotton gloves for handling this one, in fact go for the full hair cap and paper suite if you have them available, you don't want hair or dead skin cells spoiling the look.

The Power Supply

 

A honeycomb style grill sits behind the slightly obstructive logo, but I'll gladly swap a little airflow for a little bling when it looks this good. It probably didn't cost a fortune to create this fan grill, and it certainly isn't an essential requirement, but it's a great demonstration of how a little care, vision and design flair can turn a fairly mundane object into a thing of beauty.

Logo/Fan Grill

 

I'm assuming that the 230V sticker is an indication that this isn't a full range input unit. The box however states that Ultra have now implemented active power factor correction which should please some.

Neither of the two fans is LED lit. Many of Ultras PSUs do feature LED fans however so this was obviously a design decision not a cost-cutting or technology issue.

The master power switch is oversized compared to most power supplies, though other than making it slightly easier to find by reaching round the back I don't know if that makes it any more robust than usual.

I'm not quite sure where it would go but I think a 4-pin Molex connector on this side of the PSU would really be a great addition, ideal for powering external 12V peripherals.

The Power Supply - Rear View

 

The impression of elegance even extends to the slightly retro looking silver on black trim around the cable connectors. All the connectors come fitted with rubber dust caps to keep out the airborne nasties. By luck or by design it all hangs together terrifically well cosmetically.

The Power Supply - Front View

The only thing I'd be tempted to change at the back here would be to put little rubber hinges on the rubber dust covers like you get on most digital camera lately. This means they could fold out of the way to plug in a cable but would stay connected, stopping them getting lost every time one gets removed or knocked off when working inside your case.

 

 
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