This PSU is 80 Plus Bronze certified, features a semi-modular cabling design, and is Haswell ready, supporting those new sleep states Intel introduced with Haswell. The maximum operating temperature is restricted to 40°C, but we will test the Cougar CMX850 at an ambient of up to 45°C. Its protection features include all but the crucial OTP (Over Temperature Protection), which would have proven useful in a PSU that doesn't follow the ATX recommendation of operating at a maximum operating temperature of 50°C. The unit's dimensions are also quite large because it is 18 cm long, and its warranty is pretty short since the competition tends to provide five years.
|Cougar CMX850 Features & Specs|
|Max. DC Output||850W|
|Efficiency||80 PLUS Bronze|
|Intel Haswell Ready||Yes|
|Operating temperature||0°C - 40°C|
|Protections||Over Voltage Protection|
Under Voltage Protection
Over Power Protection
Over Current Protection
Short Circuit Protection
|Cooling||135 mm Double Ball-Bearing Fan (DFB132512H)|
|Dimensions||150 mm (W) x 86 mm (H) x 180 mm (D)|
|Compliance||ATX12V v2.31, EPS 2.92|
|Price at time of review (exc. VAT)||$129.99|
The number of +12V rails is restricted to two, which, as you will see below, makes power distribution a challenging task. The minor rails are also too strong for a modern system—the 5VSB rail is quite strong and delivers 1.5 A more current than the typical 2.5 A of most typical PSUs nowadays.
|Cougar CMX850 Power Specs|
|Total Max. Power||850W|
Cables & Connectors, Power Distribution
The number of available EPS, PCIe, and SATA connectors is satisfactory given the category of this PSU, but there are only a few peripheral connectors—a couple more would be very welcome. All cables are long enough not to cause any problems in even large cases.
|ATX connector (550mm)||20+4 pin|
|8 pin EPS12V (630mm) / 4+4 pin EPS12V (+300mm)||1 / 1|
|6+2 pin PCIe (550mm+110mm)||2|
|6+2 pin PCIe (500mm)||2|
|4 pin Molex (450mm+120mm+120mm)||3|
The distance among all connectors is good, but the peripheral connectors should ideally be separated by at least 15 cm since the components fed by these connectors are normally not close to one another (e.g. case fans). Finally, all connectors use standard-sized 18AWG wires.
Power distribution can't be described as optimal since the EPS connectors are fed by the same rail feeding the right modular PCIe sockets. You should probably connect at least one of the modular connectors to the red socket on the left of the modular panel if you want to use all four PCIe connectors, since there are only two modular and two native PCIe cables.
|12V1||ATX, Peripheral, Native PCIe connectors (2x), Left modular PCIe sockets|
|12V2||EPS, Right modular PCIe sockets|
There are only two +12V rails, which is why the ATX, EPS, and peripheral connectors should be put on the first rail for optimal power distribution, with all the PCIe ones on the other. The EPS and PCIe connectors would then be fed by dedicated rails.