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COOLMAX ZX Series ZX-700 700W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: None

Cons: coolmax ZX-700

Bought three of these for light altcoin mining, expecting to sacrifice long term efficiency for short term savings.

WRONG!!!!!

Because i was mining, I was keenly interested in power consumption. I had a Kill-a-Watt (in the end two in series, as a sanity check) in-line at all times.

It is important to point out these were bottom mounted in a case with a bottom vent. Thus plenty of fresh, cool air of less than 70F was available at all times. This represents IDEAL cooling conditions: heaven help you if you top mount these with warm case air flowing through.

The first one popped in less than one hour at 607W at the wall. Referring to Ecova's best measured efficiency of %86.64 for this particular supply, that's 526W delivered from a supply rated for 672W on the 12V rail alone.

Second build, I was careful to undervolt the video cards.by flashing the BIOS. I ran the supply at 450 WaW for about a week. At that point I started fiddling with clocks and settled on settings that drew 540 WaW, or 468W delivered. The second supply popped within three hours.

Ticked at this point, I fired up the third machine on stock BIOS. At 593WaW/514W delivered the third one popped at 20 minutes.

Loud pop, bright flash, acrid smell from all three. Because I was launching or fiddling with each at the time of failure, I had the pleasure of visually witnessing all three..

I wouldn't operate ANY supply at its max rating, but I ran these with a %21-31+ "safety factor" and they still failed.

I should have taken the fact that they are not UL listed as my first clue, and the fact that Coolmax is universally decried as junk on the 'Net as my second. I can't understand how these survived Ecova's tests long enough to be rated. I suspect Ecova was supplied with a special built unit if not of an entirely different design, at least with different component mfrs.

Other Thoughts: Note I did not buy these at Newegg, I'm just so mad that I'll be posting this review to all the sites I regularly order from.

At this point, I figure I have this to look "forward" to I'll return all three for repair. Upon receipt, I'll install them in a machine purpose-built to draw 600W. They'll fail soon enough I'm sure, and I'll return them again. I expect to have to do this THREE TIMES for each supply, and then demand a complete refund under CA's "Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act", aka lemon law. After 3X shipping, I'll only get about $30 of the $150 I spent back but its better than nothing, and if we all did this Coolmax will go bankrupt as well it should. Then we'll all have one less fountain of fertilizer cluttering the PC parts landscape.

That's what these supplies are worth: nothing. Less than zero.

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BIOSTAR TZ77A LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

4 out of 5 eggs Fine, but no Fan Control or "Boot USB First" 03/02/2014

This review is from: BIOSTAR TZ77A LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

Pros: Layout allows for 2 GPU's with a slot between them for air flow. Has internal header for serial port.

Cons: No fan control. I thought fan control was a standard feature these days. You have to be careful to pick your fans: ~1500 RPM for a quiet PC. Or use a separate fan controller. It does have CPU fan control. Also, there is no "Boot USB First" option, so you can't set a bunch of them up for field deployment and auto-update if an update flash drive is inserted. User intervention in the BIOS is required to change the boot order, then it reverts back to HDD boot when the USB flash is removed. I bought 3 for field deployment, luckily I can use them in house. But I'll be shopping (and reading the owner's manual) for a different board for mass deployment.

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Cooler Master Sleeve Bearing 120mm Silent Fan for Computer Cases, CPU Coolers, and Radiators (Value 4-Pack)
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: They are 120mm fans as far as I can tell.

Cons: Leads are exactly 12 inches long, which is about 3" too short to reach either of my fan headers when front mounted in my case. I have a similar fan of another make with 17" leads.

Other Thoughts: Such a shame when a manufacturer leaves room for such a sour experience by what I would imagine is a large market segment, just to save literally one penny, if that.

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Douglas M.'s Profile

Display Name: Douglas M.

Date Joined: 07/25/04

  • Reviews: 3
  • Helpfulness: 0
  • First Review: 02/15/14
  • Last Review: 05/12/14
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