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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [08.09.04]
Manufactured by: Ultra Products

 

Every Once in a While

If you look back, you will see many instances where the modding community has contributed to every day PC products. Cases with windows, fans with lights, even water cooling! For those who aren't brave enough to tinker with (and sometimes destroy) their own hardware, they have to wait for a manufacturer to pick up on it. Usually improvements are made, and in the end it is often worth the wait to have a fully warranted product you know is going to be stable.

This is one of those times.

The X-Connect from Ultra Products has actually be causing a stir in our forums for quite some time. In fact, we were one of the first sites to receive a pre-production unit for review, over two months ago. However, while I was able to familiarize myself with the PSU and the way it worked, there is no way I could base a review on a pre-production unit. Especially when hardcore stability is the #1 factor for a power supply purchase.

As you can see from the box, this power supply is unlike any you've seen before. Yes, people have been modding their PSU's to have modular 4 pin lines, and there are even stores out there who sell units modded by themselves. But nobody has a modular power supply that is as clean and well designed as the X-Connect.

The secret of the X-Connect is this panel on the back. It allows for direct connection of all the cables into the power supply itself. Most self-mods and store-mods simply cut the cables, and add female connectors to them. This essentially makes for more mess than there way before, although there is always the ability to use less cables (which is exactly what makes modular power supplies so great).

On the X-Connect are five 4-pin molex plugs, a 2x2 "P4" connector, a 6 pin "Aux" connector that nobody uses anymore, and a 2x10 ATX power connector. All the current-generation connectors you need are here. The most simple system might use the 2x10 ATX connector, and one of the molex ports. Where else can you buy such a good PSU with so few cables?

The cables plug into the power supply just like they would plug into a motherboard or other device. The 2x2 and 2x10 connectors feature the clips that are set by ATX specification. However, the 4 pin molex plugs do not have these clips. Although they do fit snugly, and I haven't had any occurrences of cables coming out in the 2 months with this unit, I would be a little concerned that they might fall out during transportation.

In the above pic, you can make out the covers over each unused port. They had trouble staying installed on both our preproduction unit and final retail unit, leaving exposed pins. So while this conneciton panel is much better than a store-modded hack job, it does have its minor flaws.

All the cables included feature some very high quality plugs; easily the best I have seen on a non-modified power supply. They connect easily, and stay on.

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