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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [03.19.04]
Manufactured by: CleverPower 

Prices found on
300W: $36
400W: $47
500W: $53

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Not your everyday PSU

I'll be honest with you - we are somewhat reluctant to review power supplies here at HCW. It's not that it isn't an important part of a PC, it's just that there isn't a lot we can tell you about them. There isn't much that differentiates one PSU from another, besides some added features, and maybe noise levels if they are intended to be silent PSU's. What it really comes down to is reliability - how long will a particular PSU last? Well we can't tell you that without stress testing for years.

Sure, we could throw an oscilliscope at them, but you'll find that the noise levels in most power supplies are about the same.

But once in a while, we get a power supply that has a neat feature that is just too good to pass up.

The CleverPower SPS-500 is most definitely not your everyday PSU! That's because it has a powerbar built in! CleverPower expanded on Vantec's idea of having an auxiliary power outlet, and designed a PSU with four of them. The reason Vantec couldn't do that is probably due to space issues, something CleverPower dealt with beautifully - now we know how they got their name!

You'll probably notice that the fan port above the outlets is incredibly small. How can a 500W power supply have such a small fan? Things aren't always as they seem; let's take off the cover and see what it looks like under there:

CleverPower uses a 15 cm blower fan to draw the air off the heatsinks and out of the case. Brilliant!

The 15cm blower fan is a "Just Cooler" model # M1202512L. It is a variable speed fan, controlled by temperature. At regular operation, it is rated at a whisper-quiet 18 dBA. At full speed, it is still extremely quiet, at 25 dBA. Unless you have no other fans in your PC, chances are you will never hear this fan.

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