The ePower Tiger 550: Hot & Quiet

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The Tiger is slightly longer than a conventional power supply — longer than it needs to be if the size of the internal PCB is anything to judge by. Strategically placed open spaces at both ends suggest that the design was adapted from a model with dual 80mm fans. The extra length may cause problems in cases where space is tight, especially considering that the sockets for the detachable cables also take up extra room.

Nice and shiny: Perfect for the easily distracted (or friends of the easily distracted).

The exhaust vent uses an unusual cross-hatched design that looks at least as open as the more popular hex design. In addition, there is also a small vent on the right panel to provide cooling for a large MOSFET and what appears to be a passive PFC circuit.

A small vent on the side provides some airflow for components near the inner edge of the power supply.

The rear grill is w-i-d-e open.

One of the biggest selling points for the Tiger is the detachable cables. Although the extra connection between the power supply and the external devices can sometimes cause voltage drops, detachable cables are quite helpful for cable management. Some thought has gone into making the cables user friendly. The plugs are keyed so that they cannot be plugged into the wrong socket by accident, and the proper connections are clearly marked and the back of the unit. There is one possible avenue for a mistake: Some of the plugs are the same shape and size as a PCI Express connector. Luckily, all of the cables came plugged in to the correct sockets. The cables are also color keyed; the blue plug connects to the power supply, while the black plug goes into the external device.

One question is why make the ATX cable detachable? There's no situation where this cable isn't needed.

An illustrated diagram shows which plugs go where.

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