Installation & Testing
AMD Phenom 9950 X4
ASRock A780GXE/128M AMD 780G Motherboard
Crucial Ballistix Red Tracer DDR2-800 4 gig kit
Palit Radeon HD 4850 Sonic
Apollo Radeon HD 3850 (for testing)
Hitachi Deskstar 250 gig SATA HDD
Hitachi Deskstar 160 gig SATA HDD
M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Recording Sound Card
Plus Deck 2c PC Cassette Deck
LiteOn SATA DVD Burner
Thermaltake V9 Midtower
Windows XP Professional SP3
Yeah, there are some weird items in this rig, this is my “music rig” that I use for digital recording and transferring recorded material from analog cassette tape to digital for editing. I normally use the motherboard’s integrated graphics, but I added the video cards for this review.
Prior to installation you need to determine what cables you will need, it is easier connecting them before putting the PSU into the case, though it’s no big deal if you change your mind. I needed all of the cables for my particular setup.
I spent some time cleaning up the cables, the Thermaltake V9 is very conducive to cable management. The b-Tarantula’s cables were long enough to do a pretty good job. Yeah, I know, the ribbon cable for the cassette deck should be placed under the motherboard. Maybe sometime.
First I pulled out my ol’ trusty multimeter to check out the voltages. The +12v was 12.02v, and the +5v was 5.01v.
Normally during PSU testing I use a CPU benchmark called OCCT. The cool thing about OCCT is it charts your rigs vitals while stressing the CPU, including the voltage activity. For some reason, OCCT won’t recognize the proper voltage with ASRock motherboards, I think because it is looking for a different model of Winbond sensor than ASRock uses. So, I continue my testing with the multimeter.
I first launched Sandra’s Burn-In, using Processor Arithmetic, which is about the only thing I’ve found that will max out a quad-core CPU. The +12v did not drop at all while stressing the CPU, it remained at 12.02v.
Next, I launched Ozone3D’s FurMark, an OpenGL benchmark that maxes the GPU with a video of a revolving furry doughnut. Maxing the GPU did not affect the voltage, which still held a steady 12.02v.
Then, after launching FurMark, I launched Sandra’s Burn-In. Maxing the CPU and GPU at the same time did little to the b-Tarantula, the +12v dropped momentarily to 12.01v a couple of times, but held the same 12.02v for nearly all of the testing time.
Finally, to make the testing a little more interesting, I added a Radeon HD 3850 in CrossFire to the system, and repeated the last test, running both FurMark and Sandra Burn-In. The +12v momentarily dropped to 12.0v, then sat at 12.01v for a second or so, then went back to 12.02v. Very impressive.