The modular PSU bandwagon is the one to be cruising on if you're an enthusiast company at the moment. We've already seen models from Hiper, Ultra, OCZ and Antec. Well now, Tagan have stepped up with their own take on the matter.
Tagan are well-known for producing some of the most technically reliable PSUs on the market, with their voltages and rail stability being amongst the best in the business. It was only a matter of time before they reacted to market demand with a version of their rock-solid supply that catered for those that are looking to cut down on the case clutter.
Immediate impressions are that it feels expensive, but it undoubtedly lacks the 'bling' factor of the Hiper supply. This PSU is more of a Range Rover to the Hiper's modded boy racer.
This unit is rated at 530W (with variants coming in at 430, 480 and 580W), which should be plenty for even the most demanding of rigs. It also sports a fairly unique feature, which is a switch to combine or split the 12V rail. Intel's next-generation specifications for PSUs specify a split 12V line, but enthusiasts using AMD will sometimes find that a combined 12V line gives better stability. Proving that they know how to cater to their market, the switch allows Tagan to have the best of both worlds - although in use, we found little difference in stability on our test rig. It also has a near-silent 120mm fan on the bottom for airflow, which we found entirley adequate.
The connectors themselves are pretty solid, and are well braided - top marks for quality. There are 4 SATA cables available, and the PSU connector is of the 20+4 modular variety, which is useful for upgradeability.
However, we do have this issue with the PCI-Express graphics connectors - they don't fit every board! We found that the plastic shroud on the connector was preventing the pins from fully connecting on this 6800GT reference board. It still worked, but the connection wasn't exactly secure.
Loading it up
We tested the voltages across the rails with a multimeter at both idle and loaded. We let our test rig (and FX-55 with 6800T, 1GB of RAM and a number of hard drives and optical drives) idle in Windows, and the 3V, 5V and 12V rails came in at 3.3V, 5.15V and 12.03V - all absolutely fine. When we loaded up the PSU by copying files from drive to drive to drive, whilst decoding WMV HD video and some Sandra benchmarks, we found the PSU dropped the voltage on the 12V line to 11.88 and the 5V line spiked to 5.19. These results are well within tolerances, and we found that the unit was easily capable of powering our machine without a hitch.
This supply is around £76 which is just a little more expensive than other competing supplies. However, you are getting Tagan's rock-solid build quality for that extra cost, and we have to say that we think it's worth it.
Name: Tagan TG530 U15 Easycon Buy it at:Vadim Cost:£76 Verdict: It might not be flash, but if you're looking for a modular unit, this is a good choice.