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Akasa PowerPlus-IQ 650W

I asked Akasa to send me its latest power supply for testing, so I was really surprised when this 650W power supply turned up, as upon initial inspection it seemed identical to a model reviewed in our last group test.

Upon closer inspection however, we see a subtle difference. This is an FH model rather than an FF, which also carries the “IQ” moniker. The difference isn’t initially very obvious until you put the two units next to each other, where it sticks out at you – literally. Akasa has had the great idea of bolting an extra 80mm fan on to the outside of the PSU. As previously discovered, this was already a noisy and over-sized unit, so adding another 80mm seems like a bad idea. If Akasa had bothered to redesign it, they would have replaced the antiquated 80mm fan with a low RPM 120mm fan, which would cool just as well while bringing noise levels down. Instead they’ve taken the quick fix approach and stuck another fan on and a new sticker. The end result? Increased size, more noise.

The PSU is touted as SLI and dual CPU ready, which seems perfect for any high-end workstation or gaming machine. The power supply is a quad rail design, with 13,18,16 and eight amperes on each rail respectively. The second rail is the largest and quite rightly so as this is used to power the PCI-E connectors and the four pin connector for the CPU. I would have sooner seen the PCI-E connectors on 12V3 instead, as 18A is not a lot to power two graphics cards and part of a CPU.

The cables are nicely braided and nine molex connectors are useful, especially as they provide two molex to three pin fan adapters. The four S-ATA connectors run off their own rail, so adding more hard drives should be a painless affair.

During testing all the voltages were within specification and stayed pretty consistent across each load. Efficiency was a little on the low side at just under 80 per cent, but at least it stuck to what it says on the box. When pushing 12V2, it failed at anything over 18A. The nature of analogue signals is that there should be a certain amount of tolerance to take fluctuation in to account. I think Akasa have made the cut-off a bit too fine. I imagine if you were running a fairly loaded system that occasional trip-outs might be noticed. This could be irritating, or you could lose hours of work.

At £83.97 this is a fairly reasonable asking price for a 650W power supply that delivers the goods. However, it is very noisy and I’d certainly struggle to use it day to day. The almost digital-like cut-off above 18A was nice and safe, but I think it could cause problems on a powerful system. The noise and the overloaded second rail prevents this from earning an award.

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