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It has been awhile since our last PSU review and today we are glad to introduce you another interesting, high performance PSU. Our hero today is Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R which is a 550W ATX2.2 PSU. Besides green and high efficient, Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R has another unique feature; an ultra quiet 80mm fan. Let us go through further.
ARCTIC COOLING is a privately owned company founded in 2001 with headquarters in Switzerland, offices in Hong Kong and the USA and production facilities in Asia. The ARCTIC COOLING team consists o f international highly educated people with business, technical and communicational skills. The attitude to work is based o n Swiss principles of innovative spirit and high standards of workmanship for which it is recognized internationally. This striving for excellence is integrated in all processes as a matter of course.
ARCTIC COOLING´s core competencies are multifarious including systematic noise reduction,copper and aluminum heatsink development, customization of thermal solutions, as well as designing quiet fans. More recently quiet and cool PC Cases and Power Supplies have been developed.
• Ultra quiet 80mm PWM fan with low noise impeller
• 550W output power, ATX 2.2
• 82-86% efficiency, 99% PFC
• 80mm ARCTIC F8 Pro fan
• Intelligent fan control (700 - 2,000 RPM)
• Controller for case ventilation
• Over-Power, Over-Voltage, Short Circuit protection,
• Over-Current Protection
• SLI and Crossfire compatible
Package & Contents
Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R comes with a sturdy plastic packaging box which is attractive since the whole PSU can be seen through. However for shipping purpose, it is advisable to additional cardboard box to protect it in better way since PSU is a heavy and expensive unit.
Since Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R comes with transparent packaging box, all the features and specifications aren't printed on the box but on a paper. Two important diagrams of Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R are shown to explain its major features; money saving and high quality power. Arctic Cooling provides 3-year warranty support for their Fusion 550R PSU which is long enough to validate its durability.
Basically there is nothing much or special item that come along with Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R except a user's manual, power cord, Arctic Cooling logo sticker and four installation screws. The user's manual is a quite complete and detail manual with four languages. The whole unit of Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R is protected with mylar to avoid scratches especially during shipping.
Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R
Arctic Cooling has a very good reputation for their CPU and VGA coolers with outstanding and excellent performance while maintaining its noise level. Not long ago, Arctic Cooling took a step ahead to extend their product and cooperating with Seasonic to develop a virtually silent and highly efficient PSU; Seasonic is a popular PSU manufacturer which has been producing high quality PSU for OEM market.
There is only one power wattage available for Arctic Cooling Fusion series PSU; 550W but total three models. These three models are Fusion 550 (220V OEM version), Fusion 550RF (100-240V) and Fusion 550R (220V). Our sample is Fusion 550R which is an auto switching PSU from 200V to 240V not from 100V to 240V; need to take note on this. One of the major selling points of Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R is power saving with its 99% PFC, 82-86% efficiency and ECO80 qualification (Arctic Cooling standard).
Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R is a dual 12V rails PSU with maximum 17A to enhance its stability and reliability. However Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R is just an ATX2.2 PSU which is older standard for a ATX PSU as V2.3 is the latest version. The rests of voltage rails are 24A for 3.3V and 24A for +5V. Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R has 100,000 MTBF at 25° and it is protected by Over-Voltage protection, Over-Power protection as well as Short Circuit protection.
At the back of Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R, there are many square air vents for heat dissipation. However we wonder why honey comb structure is not used for these air vents as it is proven to have greater heat dissipation and it is being widely used by many PSU manufacturers including Seasonic. There is one reason we can think so as Arctic Cooling is using horizontal air vent on their Fusion 550R so there will be no hot spot and using square air vent may help to reduce its product cost without impact much on the cooling performance.
We have mentioned previously that Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R has a very unique 80mm fan which is Arctic F8 Pro fan. This is an extreme quiet fan (using fluid dynamic bearing) that balances in between cooling and noise. The way that Arctic Cooling mounts this F8 Pro fan on the PSU is a bit special where it is placed at the front of the PSU panel; same side with cabling. Such fan holder and vibration absorption methods are patented by Arctic Cooling.
Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R is not a modular PSU which is widely being promoted by other PSU manufacturers as it gives greater flexibility to the users so that no unnecessary cables inside the PC case which may impact the ventilation circulation as well as cable management. Not sure whether Arctic Cooling has any plan to release another modular version of their Fusion PSU but we believe most of the Arctic Cooling fans are waiting for it. All the cables of Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R are sleeved with black sleeving which gives additional protection to the cables as well as nicer and better cable management.
Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R is an ATX 2.2 PSU so it will comes with 24-pin main power connector and since it doesn't support EPS12V, there will be only 4-pin secondary connector rather than 8-pin connector. If the motherboard has primary and secondary connectors; only the 4-pin primary secondary connector of the motherboard need to be connected (refer to the board user's manual). Besides that Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R is equipped with two 6-pin and two 8-pin (6+2) PCIe connectors for powering up Crossfire or SLi system.
The rests of the connectors are six SATA power connectors, three Molex connectors and one floppy connector. All these connectors are sufficient for a mid range to performance setup but not really enough for an extreme setup. The is something unique of Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R where two 3-pin case fan connectors are provided for allowing users to control up to two case fans to operate according to the loading so that the noise can be kept at minimal level during idle or low load.
Here are the internal views of Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R. As you can see, there is a big capacitor for the primary side which is produced by a Japanese quality electronics company; Nippon Chemi-Con. For the secondary side, Arctic Cooling chose Ostor capacitors; A Taiwanese company for cost reduction purpose.
Overall it is quite spacious for the internal structure of Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R and there are two pieces of small fishbone heatsinks. In order to direct the air flow to cool down the right components of Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R, a plastic fan shroud is included. The Arctic F8 Pro fan is controlled by intelligent controller where the fan speed range is from 700 to 2000RPM.
Installation, Testing & Performance
Installation is nothing much special for Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R because installation an ATX PSU is standard and doesn't require any specific skill; remove out PSU, mount back the new PSU and fasten it. That is for a PSU installation and it will be much easily for large or tower PC case as it is more spacious. Since the Arctic F8 Pro fan is mounted/located at the cabling panel, user may need to take note as it may block the optical drive for those are having smaller ATX case or older type of optical drive which is deeper. Overall we didn't encounter any installation problem for Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R.
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8300 @ 2.83GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3
Heatsink: Titan Fenrir
Memory: 4GB 800MHz DDR2 Memory
Hard Drive: 250GB 7200RPM 8MB Seagate
Graphic Card: OEM Nvidia GeForce 9800GT 512MB
PSU: Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R
Router: TRENDnet TEW-639GR
Optical Drive: DVD RW HLDS
Monitor: Dell 22" Wide Screen LCD
Speaker: Edifier R501
Operating System: Microsoft XP Pro SP2
Benchmark Software: Prime95
Ambient Temperature: 27 Degree Celsius
For the testing purpose, we have tested Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R by our own method which are same with our previous PSU reviews; most real life and practical testing. We used Prime95 and some gaming applications to stress out Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R and surprisingly it performs quite well with its solid voltage rails and stability. In term of the noise and heat, although Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R is only equipped with a small 80mm low RPM fan but overall this PSU was just warm during our testing and the most important message we would like to highlight is; it is the most silent PSU that we have ever tested. Besides that Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R is proven which able to achieve 82% to 86% efficiency throughout the idle to full load by other online test results. Overall we are satisfied with Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R since it doesn't give any instability problem for us which is the most direct result and best result for a computer user rather than those long-winded data.
Although Fusion 550 series PSU is Arctic Cooling first attempt PSU but it has very solid voltage rails, high efficiency (82-86%), 99% PFC as well as other tempting features. Other great features are Arctic F8 Pro fan, hot spotless, smart fan control, quiet operation, four set of PCIe connectors as well as 3-year warranty. If you are looking for an affordable PSU which at least last you couple of years without upgrading then Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R is one of your great choices here; some support is needed in order to keep them continue develop greater products.
* High efficient with 82 - 86%
* ECO80, 99% PFC
* Great stability
* Extremely quiet & cool
* Non modular system
Thanks to Arctic Cooling for providing this sample for us to review.
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