Built-in USB hub
As we have already mentioned, the PSU is equipped with a built-in 8-port USB hub that is connected to a motherboard with 2 standard solid 5-pin connectors, thus utilizing 2 motherboard USB ports.
The ninth USB port is an outlet for powering and recharging USB devices. Its rated maximum current strength is 1A; at 5V voltage, the power is 5W.
If the PSU is not connected to a motherboard, only the ninth USB port (the outlet) is powered in the Stand by mode. So, it can be used even if the PC is not working.
Having turned on the testbed, we measured voltages of USB ports on the PSU and the motherboard:
|PSU USB hub
|PSU USB outlet
Judging by the facts, we can see that, unlike the USB outlet, the USB hub is powered from the motherboard, not from a standalone PSU converter. E.g. it's passive splitter. Meanwhile, the hub is based on two NEC uPD720114 chips that can be powered from both the host and a standalone external source. All willing can read the following PDF datasheet (286 KB).
Now let's proceed to USB hub performance. We used a 2.5" external HDD from Verbatim in two standard storage device tests:
- Buffered reading
- Buffered writing
As you can see, the performance difference between the motherboard port and the PSU port is minimal, in favor of a direct connection to the motherboard.
Besides, we conducted a large file copy test.
The results are generally the same: the total difference is within 1% of the data transfer speed.
The reviewed solution is rather original, but has a number of drawbacks. First of all, the USB hub is motherboard-powered. That reduces the maximum output capacity of every USB port it has and also doesn't make the hub fully standalone. There is one standalone port, but it's an outlet for recharging USB devices.
Besides, the amount and connection of USB hub ports is hardly optimal, because nowadays every motherboard has 4 to 8 USB ports plus at least 2 ports on a PC enclosure. In all, it's 6 to 10 fully-fledged USB ports. It would be more reasonable to place 4 standalone ports in the hub and go without an additional outlet. Or install 2 or 3 USB outlets and go without the hub, which is more logical for a power supply unit.
As of operation, there are no complaints: both the hub and outlet perform well.
Despite all our criticism, the power supply receives our Original Design award.
The PSU matches its positioning quite fully. If you use it in a gaming rig, you won't be disappointed.
Also, the original and very convenient package deserves the Excellent Package award.
- High output voltage stability
- High efficiency of more than 80%
- A lot of connectors
- A complete retail bundle
- Unstable at loads less than 50W
- Ineffective cooling system
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