For the past several months I have spent most of my time using power supplies 800 watts and over. I have pretty much always believed in overkill in the power supply department, I like the headroom of keeping a power supply well below the point of working hard to ensure steady voltage and clean power for my overclocked rigs.
But with today’s higher efficiency power supplies, that extra headroom isn’t as necessary, a PSU running at 85% efficiency is doing the job of a lesser efficient power supply, running at say, 70% efficiency, that is rated at much more wattage. In other words, you might do just as well with an 80Plus 650 watt PSU as you would with a 750-800 watter rated at 70%. And you are likely saving some energy to boot. No, you’re not going to power that SLI or CrossFire rig running a pair of upper-midrange video cards with a 650 Watt PSU, but most single-VGA rigs should do fine with one that is 80+. I’d prefer something a little larger with an upper-end or dual GPU card, though.
Today I will be looking at an 80Plus 650 watter by bgears, the b-Tarantula. Sporting a 135mm fan, a pair of +12v rails at 20A, and a different style of modular construction called “SmartFlex Cable Management”, this power supply has up to 86% efficiency. Will the Tarantula do the trick? Read on to see!
bgears has been around since early 2005, originally under the name Bluegears. Due to some confusion with several other technology companies with the name “Bluegear”, they decided to change their name to bgears in 2007. Besides power supplies, bgears has a wide variety of products, including sound cards, cases, coolers, peripherals, fans, and fan controllers. They also distribute products of their European partners under the names Revoltec and be-Quiet.
Specifications / Features
Maximum Power: 650W
Fans: 1 x 135mm fan
Main Connector: 20+4Pin
+12V Rails: 2
PCI-E Connectors: 1 x 6Pin, 1 x 6+2Pin
Efficiency: up to 86%
Input Voltage: 115/230V
Input Frequency Range: 50/60Hz
Input Current: 8A
Output: +3.3V@28A, +5V@30A, +12V1@20A, +12V2@20A, -12V@0.5A, +5VSB@2.5A
Approvals: CB, RoHS, CE, cUL, FCC, TUV
Power Supply box graphics are usually pretty utilitarian, but bgears has packaged the b-Tarantula in a box with some of the nicest graphics I’ve seen. The rear of the box explains the modular cables and cooling system.
Inside, the PSU is protected by bubble wrap and its own cables.