Soyo Raptor SY-PS400 Adjustable PSU Review
Not Your Father's PSU

By: Jeff Bouton
January 6th, 2004

HotHardware Test Systems
AthlonXP All The Way


Soyo Raptor 400W PSU

DFI LAN PARTY KT400A Motherboard

ATi All-In-Wonder Radeon 9600 Pro 128MB

AthlonXP "Barton" 2500+

512MB Kingston HyperX PC3500 DDR-RAM

Maxtor 250GB SATA-150 7200RPM Hard Drive

2-IBM 80GB 7200RPM Hard Drives

Western Digital 20GB 5400RPM Hard Drive

Plexor PlexCombo CD-RW

Teac WD-50D DVDR

Windows XP Pro SP-1

DirectX 9.0b

Detonator 52.16

VIA 4-in-1 v4.5
 

Basic Functionality and Testing
Voltage Variations Under Load

Typically, a power supply does its job and there is little reason to "benchmark" it.  However, we thought it would be a good idea to load the test system and see if we could cause the unit to fluctuate its output.  To do this, we simultaneously defragmented each hard drive of the test system while burning a CD and DVD.  We also performed a full system scan with Norton AntiVirus as well as playing an MP3.  We felt that loading the CPU as well as having each of the physical drives performing intensive tasks would expose any possible voltage fluctuations.  Before we ran any tests we took a screen shot of WinBond Hardware Doctor and displayed the voltage gauge, then we loaded the system with the above sequence of tasks and took another screenshot.

No Load
Load

You'll notice that under load there were minor drops in voltage with +12V and DIMM voltages, all other areas remained unchanged.  Even with the slight drop in DIMM voltage, the system still ran excess if the 2.6V we had set in the BIOS.  The +12V dropped ever-so-slightly too, hovering around 11.5V, however, even at idle this ran under 12V and is a result of the main board's BIOS setting rather than a fault of the Raptor.

The Soyo Raptor SY-PS400 brings a whole new approach to the power supply unit, adding unique features not found with typical PSUs.  The idea of making an adjustable unit that can raise the voltage as needed is simply is not a pioneering effort, as there are other solutions in the market as well, but it is a solid effort in its approach to the enthusiast market that wants more control.  This added flexibility lets the user have greater control over system voltages which can have a positive effect on system stability, in certain cases.  We also liked the larger fan, thermal speed control and the external control unit, which acts as a control center and voltage indicator.  Soyo even took the time to offer two types of face plates to help match up the control unit to your case.  Our only real complaint with the entire package was the short USB cabling provided and an inadequate User's Manual.  Aside from that, the unit performed flawlessly under load and offers extra horsepower if and when it is needed.  One of the best things about the Soyo Raptor SY-PS400 is that it is priced competitively ($75 or so at NewEgg) against standard 400W PSUs, making it an attractive package combination.  If you are looking to build a new dream rig, don't forget to add a high-quality PSU to your list of parts and the SY-PS400 from Soyo would be a great choice.
 

We give the Soyo Raptor SY-PS400 a Hothardware Heat Meter Rating of a 9


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