Chill Innovation CP-700M: Quiet EU Power

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TEST RESULTS

Ambient conditions during testing were 20°C and 10 dBA. AC input was 121V, 60Hz. One important thing to keep in mind is that since this power supply is sold exclusively in the EU where 220~240VAC is the rule, the efficiency numbers will be 2~4% higher than our results for most users. A quick check on efficiency at 240VAC input is done on section 7 below.

OUTPUT & EFFICIENCY: Chill Innovation Value
DC Output Voltage (V) + Current (A)
Total DC Output
AC Input
Calculated Efficiency
+12V1
+12V2
+5V
+3.3V
-12V
+5VSB
12.33
0.99
12.33
-
5.00
0.96
3.36
0.94
0.1
0.1
21.9
36
60.7%
12.20
0.97
12.20
1.75
5.00
0.96
3.36
0.94
0.1
0.1
43.2
64
67.5%
12.18
1.90
12.18
1.74
5.02
1.94
3.35
1.79
0.2
0.3
64.4
88
73.2%
12.18
1.87
12.18
3.33
5.00
2.85
3.31
1.83
0.3
0.4
89.9
121
74.3%
12.17
3.77
12.17
5.00
5.08
4.48
3.30
4.58
0.3
0.5
151.3
189
74.3%
12.13
4.69
12.13
6.65
5.01
6.21
3.28
6.00
0.4
1.2
200.2
239
80.1%
12.12
6.65
12.12
7.69
4.98
7.91
3.27
8.46
0.4
1.2
252.6
304
83.8%
12.09
7.98
12.09
8.68
4.92
11.02
3.27
9.96
0.4
1.2
300.3
363
83.1%
12.08
11.36
12.08
11.10
4.89
13.95
3.24
13.20
0.6
1.7
398.2
492
82.7%
12.08
15.98
12.08
15.63
4.75
18.90
3.20
16.80
0.8
2.5
548.1
703
78.0%
12.08
20.89
12.08
21.33
4.55
21.30
3.18
21.80
0.8
2.5
698.4
913
76.5%
Crossload Test
12.20
21.09
12.20
23.5
5.15
0.97
3.33
0.96
0.1
0.1
553.9
673
82.3%
+12V Ripple: 88mV max @ 700W
+5V Ripple: 64mV max @ 700W
+3.3V Ripple: 27mV max @ 700W
NOTE: The current and voltage for -12V and +5VSB lines is not measured but based on switch settings of the DBS-2100 PS Loader. It is a tiny portion of the total, and potential errors arising from inaccuracies on these lines is <1W. Data in red indicates out of ATX12V spec.

OTHER DATA: Chill Innovation CP-700M
Target Output (W)
20
40
65
90
150
200
250
300
400
550
700
Intake (°C)
21
21
23
27
30
34
34
35
33
36
39
Exhaust (°C)
23
23
27
32
35
37
40
44
45
54
64
Temp Rise (°C)
2
2
4
5
5
4
6
9
12
18
25
Fan (RPM)
650
655
655
655
660
665
680
890
1480
1600
1600
SPL (dBA@1m)
15
15
15
15
15
15
15
17
30
34
34
Power Factor
0.69
0.84
0.88
0.92
0.94
0.96
0.96
0.96
0.96
0.96
0.96
AC Power in Standby: 0.9W
AC Power with no load: 10.3W / 0.38 PF
NOTE: The ambient room temperature during testing can vary a few degrees from review to review. Please take this into account when comparing PSU test data.


ANALYSIS

1. EFFICIENCY This is a measure of AC-to-DC conversion efficiency. The ATX12V v2.2 Power Supply Design Guide recommends 80% efficiency or better at all output power loads. 80% efficiency means that to deliver 80W DC output, a PSU draws 100W AC input, and 20W is lost as heat within the PSU. Higher efficiency is preferred for reduced energy consumption and cooler operation. It allows reduced cooling airflow, which translates to lower noise.

80% efficiency was not reached till 150W load. It is a fairly high load to achieve this nearly standard efficiency marker compared to the best PSUs we've seen in the past year or two. That represents 21% of maximum rated power, which means that this sample would just miss the 80% efficiency at 20% load required for 80 Plus certification. The broad peak of 80~84% was reached at 200~500W, with a maximum of 83.8% at 250W. Efficiency dipped below 80% above 500W, dropping to 76.5% at full load. The operating temperature was quite high, and the internal temperature of the PSU would have been considerably higher yet. More on that later.

2. VOLTAGE REGULATION refers to how stable the output voltages are under various load conditions. The ATX12V Power Supply Design Guide calls for the +12, +5V and +3.3V lines to be maintained within ±5%.

The voltage lines were stable, especially the 12V line, which started a bit high at 12.33V, but dropped only to 12.09V at full load. The 3.3V line also stayed within spec, even at full load. The 5V was not as stable. At 550W load the voltage dropped to 4.75V, the maximum recommended, and at 700W load, it fell to 4.55V, which is a 9% drop from the nominal value, substantially greater than the 5% maximum variation recommended. Keep in mind that the load on the 5V line at this point was 21.3A, for a total power of 106.5W — far higher than you're likely to see on the 5V line in any modern PC. Voltage regulation in the crossload test was very good on all lines.

3. AC RIPPLE refers to unwanted "noise" artifacts in the DC output of a switching power supply. It's usually very high in frequency (in the order of 100s of kHz). The peak-to-peak value is measured. The ATX12V Guide allows up to 120mV (peak-to-peak) of AC ripple on the +12V line and 50mV on the +5V and +3.3V lines.

Ripple was modest through most of the range, but as the load approached maximum, it climbed steadily. The 88mV peak on the 12V line is a bit higher than we've seen recently but still within ATX12V guidelines. The 64mV peak on the 5V lin exceeds the recommended 50mV, however. The importance of this result is questionable, however, because no sensible user will subject this PSU to full load. Every PC should have a PSU with some headroom.

4. POWER FACTOR is ideal when it measures 1.0. In the most practical sense, PF is a measure of how "difficult" it is for the electric utility to deliver the AC power into your power supply. High PF reduces the AC current draw, which reduces stress on the electric wiring in your home (and elsewhere up the line). It also means you can do with a smaller, cheaper UPS backup; they are priced according to their VA (volt-ampere) rating.

PF was relatively low at low loads, and it did not reach the >0.95 typical of Active PFC power supplies until a fairly high 200W load. It never went above 0.96. For practical purposes, unless you're running a very low power system, the difference between this model and higher PF power supplies is immaterial.

5. LOW LOAD PERFORMANCE is significant mainly to minimize energy waste and with system that demand very low power; the latter can cause some PSUs not to start. Standby performance good with just 0.9W draw. The unit powered up with no load, suggesting it will have no trouble with very low power startup/idle systems..

6. CROSSLOAD TEST - Basically the load on the 12V line was maximized while the load on all the other lines was minimized. Voltage regulation on all the lines was very good, and ripple stayed well within limits. There were no other changes.

7. 240 VAC INPUT

SPCR's lab is equipped with a 240VAC line, which was used to compare power supply efficiency at 120VAC and 240VAC input. Since, as mentioned before, this model is sold only in 240VAC areas, this test is actually quite important. Hence the mutiple load points instead of the usual single mid-load test. With the higher AC input, the 80% efficiency is reached somewhere around 100W load. At 150W, it reaches 82%, which better by 2.6% over the 120VAC input efficiency. The efficiency benefit of higher VAC increases as load rises, reaching 3.7% by 550W load, which is probably the upper limit of peaks in systems that this PSU will likely be used to power.

Efficiency w/ 120/240 VAC input at various loads
LOAD
VAC
AC Power
Efficiency
550W
244V
672W
81.8%
118V
704W
78.1%
300W
244V
352W
85.4%
120V
363W
82.6%
150W
244V
183W
82.0%
120V
189W
79.4%

Operation at 240VAC could have consequences on other aspects of performance. Higher efficiency means less heat generated in the PSU, which in turns means lower temperatures. At 550W, the extra heat with 120VAC input amounts to 32W; at 700W, where there was a bit too much AC ripple and +5V voltage drop, it would amount to some 40W. It's very possible that with 220~240 VAC input, running cooler, the CP-700M could exhibit significantly less voltage drop and AC ripple at full power.

It's quite likely that even though the unit is equipped with a full range VAC feature, it is tested and optimized for operation at the high input voltage. It only makes sense; the unit is only sold in 220~240 VAC areas. You could argue that the SPCR test procedure is biased against any PSU optimized for 220~240 VAC operation. On the other hand, all the samples reviewed thus far have been tested at 120VAC, so they have had the same handicap, yet most have stayed within ATX12V guide recommendations.



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