PC Power & Cooling
Turbo-Cool 510-PFC Power Supply
Power supplies are often the most overlooked
component in any computer system. I'm always amazed to see people spend
thousands of dollars on a computer yet equip it with a generic 300W
Computers these days require not just more
power, they're now also much more picky on the type of power it receives.
Unfortunately a bad power supply can masquerade itself as an entirely different
problems so trouble shooting a bad PSU or inadequate power source can be very
The more experienced/hardcore overclocker out there
knows well how important a good PSU is when it comes to overclocking and pushing
the hardware to its absolute limits. Enter PC Power & Cooling...
While PC Power & Cooling is not as well known
to the average PC user as say Enermax or Antec, they have been producing some of
the highest quality computer power supplies since 1985.
going to be checking out the "mac daddy" of all desktop power supplies in the PC
Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 510-PFC. With a retail price of $255 CDN ($189
US) the power supply is easily one of the most expensive on the market, but high
quality parts have always demanded a high price. Judging by their Reseller
it's safe to assume that their customers are happy.
While the Turbo-Cool 510-PFC is nothing special
to look at on the outside, the innards of the PSU is quite impressive but
we'll get to that a bit later. You probably noticed that there is no power switch
on the back of the PSU, while that may be a bit of an annoyance PC P &
C said that they'll be adding an external power switch very soon. Thanks to the
active PFC (Power Factor Correction) the PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool
510-PFC does not have the usual 115V/220V switch on the back. The Turbo-Cool
PSU will just automatically detect what type of power you're using and
As you can see PC Power & Cooling
relies on honeycomb air vents to help keep the power supply cool. The honeycomb
design is much more efficient in letting the air travel (less turbulence) then
the regular slit type vents.
The Turbo-Cool 510-PFC has a total of
eight molex connectors, two floppy as well as the main ATX, ATX12V and Aux power
lines. We would have liked to see the main ATX power connector wrapped in some
wire loom which protects the wires from potential damage. We were very surprised to see
how flexible and moldable the cables were. While the wires are much softer
then we're use with other power supplies, they're also quite tough and difficult
Officially rated at 510W, PC Power &
Cooling is not like most other manufacturers when they quote wattage, voltages
or amperages. Instead of using peak values which makes the
PSU look better, PC P & C lists their sustained values
instead and they're still mighty impressive!
According to PC P & C the Turbo-Cool
510 PFC is able to provide 510W of power (at 40 degrees Celsius while most other
manufacturers get their maximum wattage readings at 25 degrees Celsius) and the
3.3V can deliver 30 Amps, 5V line 40 Amps and most importantly 12V line can pump
out 34 sustained Amps (38 Amps during peak loads). FormFactors.org dictates
that voltages during peak loads can only
vary 5% which is what most manufacturer's adhere to but PC Power & Cooling
does one better, their Turbo-Cool 510-PFC PSU will only vary 1% while under
The Importance of the 12V
While the computer industry has made
great strides in the past few years, unfortunately most generic power supply
manufacturers have not kept up. What I mean by that is modern processors
(AthlonXP, Pentium 4's) draw their power from the 12V
line, however most PSU's on the
market are still built around the 5V rail where the Pentium
2-3 processors got their power.
According to Intel a Pentium 4 3.06 GHz processor draws 9.7 amps off the 12V rail itself, if you're using a
generic 300-400W PSU that leaves very little room for anything else. You can guess what
happens when the processor does not get enough current, mainly hard locks and
spontaneous reboots when under heavy load.