Installation and Testing
Installation of the Astro PT 700W is as straightforward as any. First you place the power supply in your cases power supply mounting location, use the attached screws to secure the unit in place, and then proceed to connect your power supply cables to your components that need power. Do try to route your cables behind the motherboard tray if your case has the facility, as it makes your build look a whole lot more clean.
In terms of cable lengths, the Astro PT both succeeds and falls flat. To start, the non-modular cables are all of a sufficient length to route to your motherboard, CPU header or PCI-E devices easily. I own an 8-Pin cable extender, yet I had no need to use it, as the cable is of sufficient length to reach the header. I used the extender anyway, but that was only for aesthetic purposes. However, the provided modular cables are horrifically short, especially for PCI-E devices. I could opt to not route my cables behind the motherboard tray, but that would make my build look a whole lot messier. The PCI-E connector on the end of the cable will reach, but there is another one in the middle of the cable that has absolutely no chance to reach the device if you’re opting to attempt to manage your cables effectively (and have a full tower case). Perhaps the cables will route effectively and reach the devices on a small case, but ATX power supplies should have universal compatibility. I’ve provided an image to explain just how short the PCI-E cables are.
SATA and MOLEX peripheral power cables are of a sufficient length to reach your components and be routed behind the motherboard tray, however it’s still a tight squeeze and therefore it may be difficult to manage the cables in a neat and organized manner.
The system we used to test the High Power Astro PT 700W is as follows:
Processor: Intel Core i5 3570k @ stock (3.4Ghz normal, 3.8Ghz turbo)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme6
Memory: Samsung MV34GD 8GB (2x4GB) at 1600Mhz
Video Card: Sparkle Calibre GTX x480
Hard Drive: Plextor M3 128GB SSD
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
To test the power supply, we ran OCCT’s PSU test for 30 minutes. Running at a resolution of 1920×1080, the GPU:3D application stresses your GPU whilst Linpack stresses your CPU, therefore requiring the PSU to deliver the maximum voltages to these components.
Here are the results:
The 3.3v rail has a deviation of 0.02v at load, which is a 0.6% deviation, well within the 5% safe zone.
The 5V rail has a 0.05v deviation at load, which is a 1% deviation, also within the safe zone.
The 12V rail has a 0.16v deviation at load, which calculates to a 1.4% deviation, again, within the acceptable safe limits.
The golden number when it comes to voltage deviation is 5%, as when your voltage deviates above these values you can run into issues with the power delivery to your components; noisy, messy power can decrease your components lifespan.
20 minutes through the test, I took a temperature reading of the air being pushed out of the power supply; it was 92.7F, and the ambient temperature in the room was 81F, so the unit doesn’t get overly hot even in hot summer conditions.
Our final test involved putting the test rig to medium-heavy load and checking to see if Eagle Eye (the rear LED bar) functioned correctly, and how it looked under these conditions. Did it work? Yes. How does it look? Pretty cool!