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Last year, we reviewed the Cougar CMX 700 W power supply, which failed our tests. Cougar released an updated version of this power supply in order to correct the issues we found. Let’s check it out.
Cougar is a brand that belongs to HEC/Compucase. The CMX V2 series is comprised of 80 Plus Bronze units with a modular cabling system, in 450 W, 550 W, 700 W, 850 W, 1,000 W, and 1,200 W versions. (The previous version of this series didn’t have 450 W and 850 W models.) The 850 W, 1,000 W and 1,200 W versions use a DC-DC design in their secondary, a feature not available in the other models.
The Cougar CMX V2 700 W is 6.3” (160 mm) deep, using a 140 mm fan on its bottom (Power Logic PLA14025S12M). The fan sticker says that it has a hydro-dynamic bearing, however, the part number decodes to a sleeve bearing model. (See the letter “S.” Hydro-dynamic bearing fans would have the letter “H” there.)
This unit has a modular cabling system with six connectors, two red for video card power cables and four black for SATA and peripheral power cables. The unit comes with the main motherboard cable, an ATX12V/EPS12V cable, and a video card power cable permanently attached to it. They use nylon sleeves that come from inside the unit. This power supply comes with the following cables:
- Main motherboard cable with a 20/24-pin connector, 18.9” (48 cm) long, permanently attached to the power supply
- One cable with one EPS12V connector and two ATX12V connectors that together form an EPS12V connector, 23.6” (60 cm) to the first connector, 11.8” (30 cm) between connectors, permanently attached to the power supply
- One cable with one six/eight-pin connector and one six-pin connector for video cards, 19.7” (50 cm) to the first connector, 5.1” (13 cm) between connectors, permanently attached to the power supply
- One cable with one six/eight-pin connector and one six-pin connector for video cards, 19.7” (50 cm) to the first connector, 5.1” (13 cm) between connectors, modular cabling system
- Two cables, each with three SATA power connectors, 19.7” (50 cm) to the first connector, 5.9” (15 cm) between connectors, modular cabling system
- One cable with three SATA power connectors, 15.7” (40 cm) to the first connector, 5.9” (15 cm) between connectors, modular cabling system
- One cable with four standard peripheral power connectors, 15.7” (40 cm) to the first connector, 5.9” (15 cm) between connectors, modular cabling system
The main motherboard cable was upgraded to use thicker, 16 AWG wires, which is great to see. All other wires are 18 AWG, which is the correct gauge to be used.
The V2 series uses “flat” SATA and peripheral cables, whereas on the previous version, these cables had nylon sleeves painted in orange, white, and black. This is a quick way to correctly identify that you are looking at a V2 unit, since there is nothing written on the power supply case identifying it as a “V2” unit.
The cable configuration of the CMX V2 700 W is different from the one used with the CMX 700 W. The original CMX 700 W used four individual cables for the video card power connectors, while on the CMX V2 700 W, each of the two cables has two connectors attached. The number of SATA (eight on the CMX 700 W, nine on the CMX V2 700 W) and peripheral (six on the CMX 700 W, four on the CMX V2 700 W) connectors is different. The CMX 700 W carried an adapter to convert any peripheral power connector into a floppy disk drive power connector, which is not present on the CMX V2 700 W.
Let’s now take an in-depth look inside this power supply.
[nextpage title=”A Look Inside the Cougar CMX V2 700 W”]
We decided to disassemble this power supply to see what it looks like inside, how it is designed, and what components are used. Please read our “Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies” tutorial to understand how a power supply works and to compare this power supply to others.
On this page we will have an overall look, while in the following pages we will discuss in detail the quality and ratings of the components used.
[nextpage title=”Transient Filtering Stage”]
As we have mentioned in other articles and reviews, the first place we look when opening a power supply for a hint about its quality, is its filtering stage. The recommended components for this stage are two ferrite coils, two ceramic capacitors (Y capacitors, usually blue), one metalized polyester capacitor (X capacitor), and one MOV (Metal-Oxide Varistor). Very low-end power supplies use fewer components, usually removing the MOV and the first coil.
In this power supply, this stage is flawless. It has one X capacitor, two Y capacitors, and one ferrite coil more than the minimum required.
On the next page, we will have a more detailed discussion about the components used in the Cougar CMX V2 700 W.[nextpage title=”Primary Analysis”]
On this page, we will take an in-depth look at the primary stage of the Cougar CMX V2 700 W. For a better understanding, please read our “Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies” tutorial.
This power supply uses one GBJ1506 rectifying bridge, attached to the same heatsink as the active PFC transistors. This component supports up to 15 A at 100° C, so in theory, you would be able to pull up to 1,725 W from a 115 V power grid. Assuming 80% efficiency, the bridge would allow this unit to deliver up to 1,380 W without burning itself out. Of course, we are only talking about this particular component. The real limit will depend on all the components combined in this power supply.
The active PFC circuit uses three IPP60R190P MOSFETs, each supporting up to 20.2 A at 25° C or 12.8 A at 100° C in continuous mode (note the difference temperature makes), or 59 A in pulse mode at 25° C. These transistors present a 190 mΩ resistance when turned on, a characteristic called RDS(on). The lower the number the better, meaning that the transistor will waste less power, and the power supply will have a higher efficiency.
The output of the active PFC circuit is filtered by one 470 µF x 400 V Japanese electrolytic capacitor, from Chemi-Con, labeled at 105° C.
In the switching section, another two IPP60R190P MOSFETs are used in the traditional two-transistor forward configuration. The specifications for these transistors were already discussed above.
The primary is controlled by an FAN4800 active PFC/PWM combo controller.
The primary of the CMX V2 700 W is identical to the primary of the CMX 700 W.
Let’s now take a look at the secondary of this power supply.
[nextpage title=”Secondary Analysis”]
The Cougar CMX V2 700 W has eight Schottky rectifiers attached to the secondary heatsink.
The maximum theoretical current each line can deliver is given by the formula I / (1 – D) where D is the duty cycle used and I is the maximum current supported by the rectifying diode. As an exercise, we can assume a duty cycle of 30 percent.
The +12 V output uses four SBR30A60CT Schottky rectifiers (30 A, 15 A per internal diode at 110° C, 0.60 V maximum voltage drop), giving us a maximum theoretical current of 86 A or 1,209 W for this output.
The +5 V output uses two SBR30A40CT Schottky rectifiers (30 A, 15 A per internal diode at 110° C, 0.50 V maximum voltage drop), giving us a maximum theoretical current of 43 A or 214 W for this output.
The +3.3 V output uses another two SBR30A40CT Schottky rectifiers, giving us a maximum theoretical current of 43 A or 141 W for this output.
This power supply uses a PS223 monitoring integrated circuit, which supports over voltage (OVP), under voltage (UVP), over current (OCP), and over temperature (OTP) protections. This chip has four OCP channels, one for +3.3 V, one for +5 V, and two for +12 V, correctly matching the number of +12 V rails advertised by the power supply manufacturer (two).
The electrolytic capacitors available in the secondary are from Teapo, and are labeled at 105° C.
The secondary of the CMX V2 700 W is identical to that of the CMX 700 W.[nextpage title=”The +5VSB Power Supply”]
The +5VSB (a.k.a. standby) power supply is independent of the main power supply, since it is on continuously.
On the Cougar CMX V2 700 W, the +5VSB power supply uses a TNY279PN integrated circuit, which incorporates the PWM controller and the switching transistor in a single chip.
The rectification of the +5VSB output is performed by an SBL1040CT Schottky rectifier, which supports up to 10 A (5 A per internal diode at 95° C, 0.55 V maximum voltage drop).
[nextpage title=”Power Distribution”]
In Figure 21, you can see the power supply label containing all the power specs.
This power supply is sold as having two +12 V rails, which is correct, since this unit has two +12 V over current protection channels. Click here to understand more about this subject.
The two +12 V rails are distributed as follows:
- +12V1 (solid yellow wire): Main motherboard cable, the SATA and peripheral connectors, and one of the red connectors of the modular cabling system
- +12V2 (yellow/blue wires): The ATX12V/EPS12V cable, one of the red connectors of the modular cabling system, and the video card cable that is permanently attached to the power supply
The power supply has a sticker on the modular cabling system saying which red connector is connected to which +12 V rail. This was correct from the original CMX 700 W unit, where this information was present, but internally both connectors were installed on the same +12 V rail.
How much power can this unit really deliver? Let’s check it out.
[nextpage title=”Load Tests”]
We conducted several tests with this power supply, as described in the article, “Hardware Secrets Power Supply Test Methodology.”
First, we tested this power supply with five different load patterns, trying to pull around 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100% of its labeled maximum capacity (actual percentage used listed under “% Max Load”), watching the behavior of the reviewed unit under each load. In the table below, we list the load patterns we used and the results for each load.
If you add all the powers listed for each test, you may find a different value than what is posted under “Total” below. Since each output can have a slight variation (e.g., the +5 V output working at 5.10 V), the actual total amount of power being delivered is slightly different than the calculated value. In the “Total” row, we are using the real amount of power being delivered, as measured by our load tester.
The +12VA and +12VB inputs listed below are the two +12 V independent inputs from our load tester. During this test, the +12VA input was connected to the power supply’s +12V1 rail, while the +12VB input was connected to the power supply’s +12V2 rail.
|Input||Test 1||Test 2||Test 3||Test 4||Test 5|
|+12VA||5 A (60 W)||10.5 A (126 W)||15.5 A (186 W)||20.5 A (246 W)||26.5 A (318 W)|
|+12VB||5 A (60 W)||10.5 A (126 W)||15.5 A (186 W)||20.5 A (246 W)||26.5 A (318 W)|
|+5 V||1 A (5 W)||2 A (10 W)||4 A (20 W)||6 A (30 W)||8 A (40 W)|
|+3.3 V||1 A (3.3 W)||2 A (6.6 W)||4 A (13.2 W)||6 A (19.8 W)||8 A (26.4 W)|
|+5VSB||1 A (5 W)||1.5 A (7.5 W)||2 A (10 W)||2.5 A (12.5 W)||3 A (15 W)|
|-12 V||0.3 A (3.6 W)||0.3 A (3.6 W)||0.3 A (3.6 W)||0.3 A (3.6 W)||0.3 A (3.6 W)|
|Total||136.3 W||276.9 W||412.8 W||545.5 W||698.6 W|
|% Max Load||19.5%||39.6%||59.0%||77.9%||99.8%|
|Room Temp.||44.9° C||44.4° C||45.2° C||47.0° C||49.9° C|
|PSU Temp.||48.2° C||48.3° C||48.7° C||50.0° C||53.0° C|
|Ripple and Noise||Pass||Pass||Pass||Pass||Pass|
|AC Power||159.7 W||319.6 W||481.1 W||649.0 W||857.0 W|
|AC Voltage||117.7 V||116.3 V||114.6 V||112.7 V||110.7 V|
The Cougar CMX V2 700 W passed our tests.
The 80 Plus Bronze certification promises efficiency of at least 82% under light (i.e., 20%) load, 85% under typical (i.e., 50%) load, and 82% under full (i.e., 100%) load. During our tests, the CMX V2 700 W was not able to present 82% efficiency at full load. However, we have to consider that we tested this power supply at almost 50° C, while the 80 Plus certification tests are conducted at 23° C, and efficiency drops as temperature increases. Another explanation for the lower efficiency is because of the AC voltage, which was below 115 V during this particular test. On the other hand, we have excellent efficiency numbers for the other tests, in particular at light load, where we saw 85% efficiency.
Let’s discuss voltage regulation on the next page.
[nextpage title=”Voltage Regulation Tests”]
The ATX12V specification states that positive voltages must be within 5% of their nominal values, and negative voltages must be within 10% of their nominal values. We consider a power supply as “flawless” if it shows voltages within 3% of its nominal values. In the table below, you can see the power supply voltages during our tests and, in the following table, the deviation, in percentage, of their nominal values.
As you can see, the Cougar CMX V2 700 W passed our tests, with the manufacturer fixing the huge voltage regulation problem at +3.3 V output that we’ve seen with the original CMX 700 W.
|Input||Test 1||Test 2||Test 3||Test 4||Test 5|
|+12VA||+11.96 V||+11.90 V||+11.86 V||+11.77 V||+11.67 V|
|+12VB||+11.94 V||+11.85 V||+11.78 V||+11.68 V||+11.54 V|
|+5 V||+5.06 V||+5.04 V||+5.01 V||+4.98 V||+4.96 V|
|+3.3 V||+3.30 V||+3.28 V||+3.26 V||+3.23 V||+3.20 V|
|+5VSB||+4.98 V||+4.95 V||+4.92 V||+4.89 V||+4.85 V|
|-12 V||-11.63 V||-11.76 V||-11.88 V||-11.96 V||-12.05 V|
|Input||Test 1||Test 2||Test 3||Test 4||Test 5|
Let’s discuss the ripple and noise levels on the next page.
[nextpage title=”Ripple and Noise Tests”]
Voltages at the power supply outputs must be as “clean” as possible, with no noise or oscillation (also known as “ripple”). The maximum ripple and noise levels allowed are 120 mV for +12 V and -12 V outputs, and 50 mV for +5 V, +3.3 V and +5VSB outputs. All values are peak-to-peak figures. We consider a power supply as being top-notch if it can produce half or less of the maximum allowed ripple and noise levels.
The Cougar CMX V2 700 W provided low ripple and noise levels, as you can see in the table below.
|Input||Test 1||Test 2||Test 3||Test 4||Test 5|
|+12VA||16.2 mV||18.6 mV||26.6 mV||40.2 mV||55.4 mV|
|+12VB||13.0 mV||15.6 mV||24.6 mV||43.2 mV||63.2 mV|
|+5 V||11.2 mV||13.0 mV||15.2 mV||18.2 mV||21.2 mV|
|+3.3 V||13.8 mV||14.2 mV||15.4 mV||16.4 mV||16.4 mV|
|+5VSB||20.6 mV||19.8 mV||22.2 mV||29.4 mV||36.8 mV|
|-12 V||27.2 mV||29.0 mV||32.8 mV||36.8 mV||42.8 mV|
Below you can see the waveforms of the outputs during test five.
Let’s see if we can pull more than 700 W from this unit.
[nextpage title=”Overload Tests”]
Below you can see the maximum we could pull from this power supply. The objective of this test is to see if the power supply has its protection circuits working properly. The maximum we could pull from this power supply is listed below. During this test, ripple and noise levels were still low, and voltages were still within their allowed range.
|+12VA||29 A (348 W)|
|+12VB||29 A (348 W)|
|+5 V||13 A (65 W)|
|+3.3 V||13 A (42.9 W)|
|+5VSB||3 A (15 W)|
|-12 V||0.3 A (3.6 W)|
|% Max Load||114.1%|
|Room Temp.||48.5° C|
|PSU Temp.||52.4° C|
|AC Power||1,006 W|
|AC Voltage||108.9 V|
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main specifications for the Cougar CMX V2 700 W power supply include:
- Standards: NA
- Nominal labeled power: 700 W
- Measured maximum power: 789.9 W at 48.5° C
- Labeled efficiency: Up to 89%, 80 Plus Bronze certification
- Measured efficiency: Between 81.5% and 86.6%, at 115 V (nominal, see complete results for actual voltage)
- Active PFC: Yes
- Modular Cabling System: Yes
- Motherboard Power Connectors: One 20/24-pin connector, two ATX12V connectors that together form an EPS12V connector, and one EPS12V connector, permanently attached to the power supply
- Video Card Power Connectors: Two six-pin connectors and two six/eight-pin connectors on two cables, one permanently attached to the power supply and one on the modular cabling system
- SATA Power Connectors: Nine on three cables
- Peripheral Power Connectors: Four on one cable
- Floppy Disk Drive Power Connectors: None
- Protections (as listed by the manufacturer): Over voltage (OVP), under voltage (UVP), over power (OPP), and short-circuit (SCP) protections
- Are the above protections really available? Yes. The power supply also has over current protection (OCP).
- Warranty: Three years
- More Information: https://www.cougar-world.com
- Average Price in the US: NA
Cougar really fixed the huge voltage regulation problems we detected with its CMX 700 W with this new “V2” revised version, which passed our tests with flying colors. It is always terrific to see a manufacturer using our reviews to improve their products. Therefore, we recommend the CMX V2 700 W.
Although based on the same platform as its problematic sister, on the CMX V2 700 W, the manufacturer changed its cable configuration, added thicker wires on the main motherboard cable, and changed the configuration of the +12 V rails.
The only “problem” with this power supply is that “V2” is not written anywhere on it. So, you won’t know if you are looking at an older, problematic unit or the new, revised “V2” unit when buying this power supply. However, you can easily identify which version it is by looking at the cables of the modular cabling system. If they use nylon sleeves painted orange, white, and black, you are facing an older, problematic version, which you should not buy. You must buy the model with the flat modular cables. (See Figure 4.)