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14-12-2014


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Power supply CHIEFTEC GDP-550C: review and testing

In 2014 the company CHIEFTEC did an active work on the PSU market: there were not only updated the old series, but completely new lineups were announced. One of them is quite interesting because its representatives have a pretty good combination of price and capabilities that promises more popular among users. The series CHIEFTEC A-90 is named as "the people's gold." The term "people" doesn’t require explanation, just look at the cost. A "gold" status appeared due to the compliance with the standard 80 PLUS Gold, but only for the voltage of 230 V. A year or two ago these two words in the context were poorly suited to each other. But as you can see progress takes new steps and now the mass user can obtain much more opportunities.

Series CHIEFTEC A-90 includes only three devices with capacity of 550, 650, and 750 W. They are easy to distinguish from other CHIEFTEC solutions according to prefix «GDP» in the title of the power supply. We offer to start the learning of the new product from the youngest model CHIEFTEC GDP-550C.

CHIEFTEC GDP-550C

The specs:

Model

CHIEFTEC GDP-550C

Type

ATX12V v2.3

Rated capacity, W

550

12V channel capacity, W

540

+3,3V and +5V lines capacity, W

110

Q-ty of +12V lines

1

Outputs, А

+3,3V

20

+5V

20

+12V

45

-12V

0,3

+5VSB (stand-by power line)

2,5

PCIe-sockets

2 (6+2-pin)

Support of technologies NVIDIA SLI / AMD CrossFireX

Yes

Modular

Yes

Efficiency, %

> 90

Certified 80 PLUS

No

Power factor, %

> 90

Method of Power Factor balancing

Active

Input voltage, V

200 - 240

Frequency, Hz

47 - 63

Input current, А

4

Fan dimensions, mm

140 х 140 х 25

Fan speed controller

Yes

Noise level, dB

Up to 29

Support of energy saving states C6/C7 (Intel Haswell Ready )

No

EMI/EMC

 

CB, TUV, CE, ErP, RoHS

Protections

OVP, UVP, OPP, OTP, OCP, SCP

Dimension, mm

160 х 150 х 86

Kitting

Power cord, modular cables, fastening screws, user’s manual

Warranty, years

5

Producer website

CHIEFTEC

Product page

CHIEFTEC GDP-550C 

Package and content

CHIEFTEC GDP-550C

Power unit CHIEFTEC GDP-550C is shipped in a box of cardboard, which provides protection against shock and possible mechanical damages. Traditionally for company CHIEFTEC the packaging is uniform for all solutions of the series, so here are listed only by their common features: the ability to work in electric network only with a supply voltage of 230 V, the efficiency at 90%, as well as support for technologies NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX. Information about the model can be found at one end of the box.

CHIEFTEC GDP-550C

The package includes all the necessary components you may need during building PC and, namely:

  • modular cables;
  • AC power cord;
  • mounting screws;
  • instruction;
  • packet to store a detachable cable.

Design

CHIEFTEC GDP-550C

Model CHIEFTEC GDP-550C is made in steel black case with a coating simulating the surface of granite. Given the availability of modular connectors on the rear panel, its size can be called quite standard - 160 x 150 x 86 mm. While some companies offer similar solutions in a more compact package. Build quality is good: any defects during the test were not found.

CHIEFTEC GDP-550C

The entire upper panel has ventilation grille with the company's golden emblem. The front wall is dotted with perforations for hot air removal. Here is the power outlet and the power button. The remaining panels are solid. In general, everything is standard. Much greater interest is the rear panel.

CHIEFTEC GDP-550C

As already mentioned above, it has modular connectors: four 6-pin (black) are used to connect peripherals, and two 8-pin (red) intended for graphics cards. Wires for supplying the processor and the motherboard are derived directly from the housing, since in any case they have to be used during PC building. This principle of cable arrangement greatly simplifies the connection of components, and also allows to refuse the unnecessary clutter of wires inside the system unit.

CHIEFTEC GDP-550C

Main power connectors are as follows: folding 20+4-pin ATX and 4+4-pin ATX12V. Power is supplied to the graphics card via two 6+2-pin PCIe, and placed on the same cable. Thus the second red connector on the rear panel is inactive. In principle, the logic of the manufacturer is clear: the model CHIEFTEC GDP-550C cannot cope with two powerful graphics cards. Although we talk about the solutions based NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, here are some nuances. For most buyers two 6+2-pin PCIe slots will be enough.

CHIEFTEC GDP-550C

As for the cables for periphery, they are also less than the corresponding connectors on the modular rear housing adapter (three instead of four). However, the connectors are enough to connect all the necessary components in the average PC. We have no complaints to the configuration and length of the cables. For added convenience, PATA and SATA connectors are located on different cables.

Socket type

Q-ty

Cable length to socket (connectors), cm

Cables output directly from the power supply unit

20+4-pin power socket ATX

1

55

4+4-pin power socket ATX12V

1

55

Modular (detachable) cables

two 6+2-pin socket PCIe

1

55-65

three SATA sockets

2

55-70-85

three PATA sockets and one FDD

1

55-65-80-95

CHIEFTEC GDP-550C

Now let's take a closer look at the technical characteristics of the power supply. Its nominal power is 550 W. Channel +12V is formed as a single line with a loading capacity of up to 45 A. In other words, if necessary, it is possible to "lift" nearly 98% of the total capacity, which is quite relevant for modern components. Lines +3.3V and +5V have a maximum total power of 110 W and are designed for a load of 20 A each.

This model has not passed certification for compliance with Directive 80 PLUS, however, for supply networks with voltage of 230V its level of efficiency can reach 90%. At least, this can be seen on the logo with the words "90% Gold 230V only» on the label. Sounds pretty impressive as for the solution with cost about of $90. And in course of testing we will identify the real situation.

From the previous paragraph it is clear that the hero of the review is designed to work only in electric voltage of 230 V. Also the manufacturer promises that small deviations (200 - 240) from this value won’t affect the stability of its operation.

Internal device

CHIEFTEC GDP-550C

The process of dismantling the CHIEFTEC GDP-550C is standard: you just need to unscrew the screws securing the top cover. We draw your attention to the presence of a special sticker with the inscription «Warranty void if removed», the damage which will void the warranty.

CHIEFTEC GDP-550C

To cool internal components is used 140mm 7-blade fan Yate Loon D14SM-12 based on the plain bearing and this is not the best option in terms of reliability. Apparently, the manufacturer wanted to minimize the final cost of the device, as many "golden" power supplies have installed better options of the fans on hydrodynamic (FDB) or ball bearing. As for the other characteristics of the Yate Loon D14SM-12, it is good value for the air flow to noise, so you can rely on efficient cooling of power supply components and its quiet operation under load. Although much depends on the settings of the system fan speed control.

Fan

Yate Loon D14SM-12

Bearing type

Sleeve

Supply voltage, V

12

Current, А

0,70

Capacity, W

8,4

Max rotation speed, rpm

1400

Air flow, CFM

62

Noise level, dB

Up to 29

Dimensions, mm

140 х 140 х 25

To optimize air flow within the housing the fan has attached small transparent plastic plate.

CHIEFTEC GDP-550C

The model CHIEFTEC GDP-550C uses a modern platform of company CWT. Although, according to the UL-code (E206420) it was made in Chinese factories DongGuan Shijie New Energy. Having recently testing PSU Cooler Master G750M we have to make assumptions that these companies have a certain relationship. Now it is possible to assert with 100% certainty. In the case of CHIEFTEC GDP-550C, we are dealing with the card produced in May 2014 (index «NE5000A», revision «B»).

CHIEFTEC GDP-550C

At the entrance is a filter to smooth out the high frequency noise emitted in the power supply network. Also it bears the function thunder protection. This unit is the standard for high-quality devices, so we are more interested in a set of used elements. In this regard, there is no comment, because all the components are in place: two X and four Y-capacitors, two chokes and varistor.

CHIEFTEC GDP-550C

Rectification of the input electrical current is carried out according 6A diode assembly of type GBU 6J. Additional cooling in the form of a radiator is not provided, although it is not required. Near is a small choke of an active power factor corrector (APFC) and its power components. Here is important a separate radiator. It is made in the form of a thick aluminum plate with a typical comb on the top.

Also it has fixed and a pair of power switches SGF280N60W3 of main converter. Its operation as the module APFC controls the PWM controller in a series of CM68xx. Chip is soldered on the back side of the PCB. Chip TNY177PN is responsible for correct functioning of stand-by power supply (+ 5Vsb).

CHIEFTEC GDP-550C

The manufacturer of capacitor (270 uF x 400) of high-voltage circuit is the company AISHI. Despite the Chinese roots, the quality of its products does not have complaints. According to the reviews, it is comparable with the Taiwanese brand Teapo.

CHIEFTEC GDP-550C

The voltage of main line +12V is generated by synchronous rectifier formed on three field-effect transistors.

CHIEFTEC GDP-550C

Other voltages (+3.3V and +5V) are obtained from the line +12V through DC-DC-converters, which are wired on a single printed circuit board. The power part consists of two pairs of transistors M3004D and M3006D. This bunch is located in close proximity to the fan, so the absence of additional radiators is great "crime" by the engineers.

CHIEFTEC GDP-550C

CHIEFTEC GDP-550C

On the reverse side of the board there are elements of the voltage stabilization node +3.3V and +5V. The smoothing of fluctuations is provided electrolytic capacitors from the more famous brand CapXon. Although among them we have several elements with marking AISHI. Note that all capacitors belong to a series of high-temperature (105°C).

CHIEFTEC GDP-550C

According to the technical specifications, the model CHIEFTEC GDP-550C has a whole range of protection (OVP / UVP / OPP / SCP / OCP / OTP), including protection against overload and overheating. The very same node is based on chip-supervisor Sitronix ST9S429-PG14. By the way, it is a remarkable fact. Previously, the entire spectrum of protection was only a lot of expensive power supplies.


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