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Reviewed by: Trevor Flynn [10.23.06]
Manufactured by: Antec, Thermaltake, NZXT, Silverstone, Coolermaster

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Coolermaster Real Power 550W

The Real Power is the first of two units from Coolermaster that we will be looking at today. Rated at the ATX 2.01 spec it is the older of the two units, but it is far from obsolete carrying most features seen on newer ATX 2.2 units.

The real power comes in a nice black matte finish and features three 12V rails at 18A, 20A and 10A. The first rail powers the motherboard, PCI-E, Molex and Floppy connectors. The second rail powers the CPU and the third powers the SATA connectors along wtih an additional 6-pin workstation connector.

The Real Power uses a single 120mm fan (blue LED, naturally) for exahust purposes and a honeycomb shaped rear grill. The unit is equipped with Active PFC and also features Universal Input. The Real Power claims greater than 75% efficiency.

Cable management on the unit is nothing to get excited about with only the 24-pin motherboard connector sheathed.

All connector ends are black however with the exception of the connectors that plug directly into the motherboard. The Real Power features both a 4-pin CPU connector as well as an 8-pin one, something that is almost never seen on 2.01 spec'd units. It also features an additional 6-pin connector, which looks like a PCI-E connection but is for special workstation motherboards. The unit is not SLI ready (There is an SLI version available) in that it only features a single PCI-E connection. however as seen later on, it is more than capable or running an SLI setup using an SLI power adapter.

The Coolermaster Real Power includes the following connections:

  • 24-pin ATX connector
  • 4-pin CPU power connector
  • 8-pin CPU power connector
  • 6-pin Workstation onnector
  • 1 x 6-pin PCI-E connector
  • 6 x standard 4-pin molex connectors
  • 3 x SATA connectors

Though the unit includes only a 24-pin ATX connector a 24 to 20-pin adapter is included in the box. Also note that there are only three SATA connectors instead of the typical four and no floppy connectors.

An extra special feature found on the Real Power unit is its 3.5 front bay power usage display. The display plugs into a small connector off the motherboard and is lit by a rear blue LED (naturally). In theory this feature is very cool and would allow users to monitor how much power their rig is sipping at any given moment. In practice however it fails almost completely.

The meter used in the display device is analog and and very difficult to see.  You basically have to have your face right in front of the unit to be able to read it.  The measurement units are also very small with little distance in between them. The difference between 100W and 200W is almost indeterminable. On the plus side it comes with interchangeable black and aluminum colored faceplates.

In actual practice the Real Power WATT display makes for an extra bit of bling for your case but nothing more. I'm a big fan of the idea though, and if they could make the display digital perhaps instead of analog it would be a lot more usefull.

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