Whilst it is usually the 550W and 600W PSUs that get most of the media coverage, many of us do not need such powerful units. Cooler Master has now released a range of PSUs called the iGreen series, and we are testing the modest 430W version today. Efficiency is the new buzz word in the PSU industry, with a number of manufacturers now claiming efficiencies of over 80%. Cooler Master takes this one stage further and claims 85% for this PSU. Another important feature is quietness, and with its 120mm fan rated to just 17dBA by Cooler Master, this should indeed be a near-silent unit if the claims are true.
The box of the iGeen is extremely large for a PSU and is decked out in the now-familiar purple and white colour scheme. The PSU inside is very attractive with a glossy gun metal finish.
Whilst the iGreen may not be a modular design, with 100% braided cables it still looks very neat and tidy. Connectivity is reasonable with a 24 pin main power loom, a 4 pin +12V auxiliary connector, a single PCI-E connector, 4 SATA power connectors, 5 Molex and 1 floppy connector. Whilst this mix isn’t bad, we would have preferred to see an optional 8 pin Auxiliary connector (a few high end AMD and Intel boards now use this), an extra PCI-E connector for SLI/Crossfire support and more than one floppy connector. Some might argue that those seeking SLI will not buy a 430W PSU, but there is little excuse for the lack of the extra 4 Aux pins – 430W is more than enough for almost any PC unless it has very high powered video subsystem.
To test the PSU we loaded up a challenging system, consisting of a Socket AM2 FX62 CPU, X1900XTX video card and 4 hard disks as well as a number of USB devices and two optical drives to really increase the load. The Cooler Master iGreen fired up the system first time without any issues and recorded the following rail performance.
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All rails are impressive with the +12V value particularly so. With 324W of the total 430W dedicated to 12V, Cooler Master has done its homework and knows where the main load is required in a modern system. I have no doubt that the iGreen 430W will be more than adequate to handle all but the most powerful SLI and Crossfire systems. In terms of quietness we could not get the PSU to spin up to a level when it was audible over other fans in the case, even at 100% load. This is a highly impressive feat given the test PC and the modest price of this PSU.
Overall the Cooler Master iGreen PSU is a superb product. It looks like a premium model with its glossy finish and braided cables and has performance to match. Whilst the cable selection may not be perfect it will be more than enough for the vast majority of users and is easy to forgive at the sub £50 ex VAT price level. Users looking to buy the iGreen can do so at www.chillblast.com in the UK for £49.50 plus VAT. We have no hesitation in awarding the Cooler Master iGreen a best buy award.
- Very attractive PSU with nice braided cables
- Heavy - always a good sign
- Very strong 12V RAILs, solid 5V and 3.3V
- Small and compact means 100% ATX compatibility.
- Runs powerful systems with ease, no need to spin up fan beyond barely audible
- Only a single floppy power connection
- No 8 pin Aux cable
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