Hiper has done a very good job promoting its latest power supply, the Type R â€“ and no, itâ€™s not marketed in co-operation with Honda. Itâ€™s possibly the coolest looking PSU on test â€“ that is if a PSU can be called cool. The HPU-4K580 is Hipers first modular PSU and it takes a very different approach to that seen on the other modular units on test.
The most noticeable difference is the way you attach the modular cables. Hiper has gone for a screw in type of connector and claims that it is using aviation type enamel connectors. They definitely look the business, but weâ€™ll explain later on why this implementation isnâ€™t as good as it looks.
The EPS style power connector is not removable, something we prefer as you canâ€™t use an ATX power supply without it. Four of the 24 pins can be disconnected so that the Type R can be used with older motherboards. The +12V connector is removable and this is where things are starting to look slightly odd. On a normal PSU the +12V connector is wired up with two 12V and two ground wires. On the Type R, the connector to the PSU only has two holes, which means that you only get one 12V and one ground connection.
This is a cheap approach and Hiper has followed it up on the PCI Express graphics card power connector as well, although this time things are far worse. Even though the physical connector has three holes, only two of them are used. This means that three 12V wires and three ground wires are connected to one connector each. This could bode trouble for high-end PCI Express graphics cards as some of them will not function properly unless you have two separately wired 12V connectors.
The Molex connectors are wired up correctly, so no complaints there. However, each of the four Molex cables only has one connector. Hiper calls this the Omnigrid system, as to each of the four Molex connectors a T-junction can be connected. In theory this is not a bad idea, but there are some complications. First of all, it wouldâ€™ve been handy if Hiper mentioned that there is a limit to how many of these connectors you can attach to each of the four main plugs. You could connect all of them to one Molex connector, but this is not a good idea.
In total, you get four Molex connectors, one floppy connector and two cables with two SATA power connectors on each. You can of course use both ends of the last attachment, but it can be quirky to get the T-junction connection to fit in certain drives. Also, the cover panel that is used on the T connectors are not that securely fitted and a one of them fell off during our testing. It is also important to notice that as there are no native SATA cables, 3.3V SATA devices are not supported.
The packaging is rather different, as the Type R ships in a plastic container that you can use as a toolbox, tackle box or even lunch box once youâ€™ve taken the PSU out of it.
The PSU itself is finished in shiny chrome black paint and looks quite stylish. Weâ€™re not quite sure however, why Hiper has fitted a rear fan to the Type R as it already has a bottom mounted 120mm fan. The problem is that the rear 80mm fan has one third covered by the 120mm fan, which reduces its efficiency. Both fans are chromed, again not a clever decision, as if the paint layer is uneven the fans will lose their balance and start to vibrate, generating noise.
Rather unusually three of the sides, but not the rear, are constructed out of a metal mesh, which we couldnâ€™t quite see the reason for. The idea is to reduce the forced air cooling effect and allow for better heat dissipation, but this way you would get the hot air blown back inside the case, which isnâ€™t desirable.
But these are really minor issues and the Type R performed quite respectably in our load tests with no major upsides or downsides. The efficiency could have been better and the PFC noise was quite loud at high loads. However, 20 minutes into the 75 per cent load stress test the Type R started to behave rather oddly. What happened could only be descried as a minor disaster and we almost had to cancel the whole test. Although the Type R passed the stress test, it switched itself off a couple of minutes. Far worse though, it had managed to damage the test equipment we where using! Luckily the engineers managed to repair it after a couple of hours, but it was one problem we hadnâ€™t expected to come across.
At this stage we thought it was the test equipment that had failed, but plugging the Type R back in after the equipment had been fixed showed up a grounding fault in the PSU.
It is very hard to recommend a product that fails during testing and the Hiper Type R just doesnâ€™t cut it. Although it has a few minor flaws, it seems to be a poor PSU, as it was the only one that failed after the stress test. More worryingly this was only at 436W, not even close to the rated 580W. To kick it while itâ€™s down, the Type R didnâ€™t pass the Hi-POT tests either, even though it is rated for it. You can get a much better PSU for Â£63.44 so weâ€™d steer clear of this one.
The Hiper Type R looks great, but sadly it is troubled by poor wiring and proved unreliable.