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This review took nay, prised! an inordinate amount of time and effort. An epic week after beginning the review process, I am left with a frustrating feeling of incompleteness. A second sample as requested of all review sample providers, could have made this a more conclusive review. As it stands, I have no definitive way to gauge whether the characteristics of this sample are typical for this model or not. Perhaps near 50°C temperature at the back of the PSU is simply too high for stable operation. I don't know because there is no clear manual or cautionary notice about the proper way to use this power supply, and no other sample to compare it to.
It could well be that the Coolmax Taurus CF-300 is designed as a drop-in substitute only for system that have conventional forced air cooling i.e., high speed case fans all whirring and whining and blowing at the full 12V voltage. I simply don't know.
The best I can do in terms of a comprehensive summary is a pros and cons list. You can make up your own mind whether I received a bum sample or damaged it during the review process, whether it's a waste of money or a great product that only needs the love and care of an inspired silencing modder.
- No fan; silent operation
- No buzzing noted during in-system trial
- Very high efficiency
- Five-sided venting take advantage of convection
- Actually meets output claims in test rig
- Very good voltage regulation
- No restart a sample-specific glitch?
- If cause of above is overheating or overloading, it's bad news.
- No manual is a bad oversight with this unusual product.
Finally, if the >80% efficiency of this sample is common to Coolmax's fan-cooled PSUs, I would certainly be most interested in reviewing them as well.
Postscript on the Sample's Glitch, June 30, 2004
A few days after my first email anout this problem, Elaine at Coolmax responded saying this was obviously a defect of some kind, one they had not seen before. They would do their best to get a replacement sample to me ASAP and would please I hold off on publishing the review till after I had examined the second sample.
As you can see from the May 26 publish date on this article, that was over a month ago. I won't venture to say why no replacement has yet turned up, but if one does, I will be open to taking another look.
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