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Tagan PipeRock TG800-BZ

Quite remarkably, considering the wealth of modular power supplies currently available, and certainly considering their popularity, this is the only modular one we managed to get our hands on. Thankfully it's a superb example. Tagan has long had a reputation for making reliable high-quality power supplies and with its PurePipe range it has combined this expertise with all the extras that have become so popular with competitors' products.

As soon as you open the box you know it's something high-end. Not content with just wrapping the supply itself in bubblewrap, Tagan has also gone to the trouble of enrobing the TG800-BZ in a drawstring bag. Of course, once you're actually using the supply all the packaging is completely useless but it doesn't half make a nice initial impression.

We also like the black zip-up bag that stores all the spares and accessories. Again, you can argue it will have limited use once you've setup and installed your power supply but having everything kept together in a compact and tidy manner does make later changes or upgrades more convenient. Also, as well as the modular cables and mains power cable, the bag contains a few basic but welcome extras.

First, there's a rubber sleeve that fits over the end of the supply, in-between the supply and the case, and helps to dampen vibrations from the supply's fan, thus keeping noise down. It's unlikely to make a noticeable difference to the overall noise of your PC but, as ever with PC modification, when you do enough little tweaks like this, the affect does add up.

A pair of very slippery polyester gloves are also included, presumably to help keep fingerprints to a minimum when installing your power supply, which would make sense if the power supply was actually shiny. It's actually eggshell black, though, so fingerprints don't really show up.

A nicer touch is the inclusion of a little Philips-head screwdriver. The head is the right size to fit most screws you'll encounter while taking apart a PC and it's small enough to be easily stowed yet big enough to get a decent grip on the handle for those tough screws.

One major potential problem with this supply is the modular cable connection system. The layout is fine and the connections are very easy to use but there's been a major oversight - the spare connections are completely uncovered. If you happen to be poking around in your PC when it's turned on and your finger strays onto one of the exposed connectors, you could get a nasty shock.

Now, you're unlikely to do yourself too much harm and we hope most of you would be sensible enough to turn your computer off at the mains before poking around. However, if you're a regular tinkerer or somehow you fear there may be a chance a child could get near this, we'd have to recommend you steer clear.

It's a shame really because everything else about the modular system is good. The cables are neatly colour-coded and there's plenty of them as well. Likewise the performance of the unit was spot on with voltage levels never wavering out of safe range. Efficiency wasn't the best with a low of 80.6 per cent but it's perfectly acceptable.

Verdict

On the surface, the Tagan TG-800BZ looks like a nice package with a competitive price and solid performance. However, the extras are largely frivolous and the potentially unsafe modular cable system will be of concern to many. Close but not close enough.


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