Coolmax CU-400T & 600T Detachable Cable PSUs

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In the bling department, the Taurus is fairly sedate, settling for a dark chrome or titanium finish without any flashy colors or LEDs. The gold-plated fan grill contrasts fairly well with the darker finish of the casing, giving it a polished look that isn't over the top. Two other color options are supposed to be available, but they seemed quite difficult to find.

Note the additional switch to the right of the voltage selection switch. This is for controlling fan speed.

The underside of the unit. The wire fan grill should not restrict airflow much.

Ever wanted advertising inside your case? Impress your LAN-partying friends with the "Super Noise Killer" fan controller!

One thing that marred the appearance a little was the presence of marketing on the external casing. A pair of stickers advertising the "quiet" fan controller are conspicuously placed near the fan vent, while the power sockets are surrounded by text outlining the "Special Features" of the power supply, just in case you need reminding why you bought a power supply with detachable cables. There's also two cautionary notes:

  1. PCI-Express sockets may slightly different one another, if the PCI-Express cable connector cannot fit well at one end, please change to the other end [sic].
  2. You MUST connect the 3-Pin sensor connector cable to avoid any possible voltage drops!

Point 1 should not pose a problem for most users: Although there is a PCI-e socket on the unit itself, even the 600W unit did not ship with the necessary cable to make use of it.

Depending on how the internal circuitry is designed, point 2 may be of minor or crucial importance. Almost all power supplies use a feedback circuit to regulate the +5V line, although most designs keep this circuit within the confines of the unit. The advantage of locating the voltage sensor at the end of the ATX cable is that the feedback circuit does not have to compensate for the voltage drop across the cables. Instead, the voltage is measured as close to the motherboard as possible, hopefully leading to more accurate voltage regulation. The disadvantage, especially in a unit with detachable cables, is that if the feedback sensor in not plugged in, the power supply no longer has any means of regulating the +5V line, which may lead to voltages far enough out of spec to damage the motherboard.

If the power supply has been intelligently designed, a secondary feedback circuit should have been built into the unit that monitors the voltage internally and does not require the user to plug it in. This would mitigate the disadvantage of the first design. However, it is unknown exactly how CoolMax designed this power supply, so make sure you follow CoolMax's instructions and install the sensor cable!

Although there is a PCI-Express socket on the unit itself, no PCIe cable was included with either of our test samples.

The rear grill is stamped in the unrestrictive honeycomb pattern that is typical of 120mm fan power supplies, but the holes are slightly smaller than they could be. A wider-spaced pattern would probably be less restrictive, but the point may be moot: The open vent area is large.

A number of switches — power, voltage, and fan — also occupy the rear of the power supply. These also eat into the airflow path, introducing further impedance.

The fan switch is a non-standard feature of this power supply, and has three settings: H(igh), A(utomatic), and L(ow). High sets the fan to full speed, in this case, 12.4V. This option will be immediately panned by any users interested in managing noise levels, although it may find some use in the heavily overclocked and poorly cooled systems of gaming newbies. According to the manual, Automatic is the default and recommended option, and probably just hands control over to a fan controller similar to the one found in most any power supply.

The Low option is the one that will probably interest most users, although the manual notes that "when temperature increases fast, PSU switches automatically to level A. It also points out that the Low setting should only be used by professionals, by which they probably mean experienced users. (Wouldn't it be nice to get paid for using a power supply?)

The three-speed fan switch takes up a bit of real estate for airflow.
(Ignore the yellow wire at the left — it's a wire hooked up for fan voltage monitoring in our review.)

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