Spire may not be a greatly known company, but they have been upping the ranks in the power supply and cooling markets for a while now. They recently sent us the Spire Rocketeer III 500W PSU. So how did it perform?
“Founded in 1991, Spire is a leading premier brand for computer thermal solutions, power supplies and pc cases. In order to meet the needs and demands of the global market, we have established our production facilities in China and corporate office located in the USA. Our overseas branches are located in The Netherlands, The U.K, Germany, France, Taiwan, Japan and Brazil. All locations are located strategically to better work with the customers we serve.”
- Application: ATX 12V Power Supply
- Voltage: 100~120 Vac / 200~240 Vac (Select Switch)
- Frequency: 47Hz ~ 63Hz
- Current: 10.7 / 6.2 Amps
- Hold-up Time: 16 ms
- Nom. Power: 500W
- Max. Power: 520W
- P.G. Signal: 100 ~ 500 ms
- Voltage Protection: – 7.0V | +3.3V trip point 3.76V – 4.3V
- Cooling: One (1) 120mm crystal blue silent LED fan
- Noise Level: 21.0 dBA Max.
- Dimensions: 163mm (L) x 150mm (W) x 85mm (H)
- Connectors: 20+24pin ATX (Motherboard) x1 | 4-pin 12V (Motherboard) x1 | Multi-use x6 | SATA x4
- Cables: ATX adapter x 1 | 4-pin (3IDE) / (1 Floppy) x 2 | 4-pin (HDD/VGA) x1 | 4-pin (3 IDE Multi-use) x1 | 15-pin (2 SATA) x2
- MTBF: 300.000 hours
- Warranty: 3 Year Limited Warranty
- Safety Approvals: UL, FCC, CE, CSA, TUV
- Intel ATX 2.01 Specification Compliant
- Supports Intel Pentium 4, AMD Athlon XP and Athlon 64
- 3 Speed Variable Fan Speed Auto-Control
- I/O Short Circuit & Overload Protection
- Redundant Cooling System
- SATA Power Connector
- 3 Year Warranty
Here is the PSU taken out of the box. As you can see, it’s a nice silver colour and you have the on/off switch at the back along with the power cable connection.
After popping everything out of the box we can get a good look at what Spire has given us. First obviously we have the PSU itself and the required leads, but there are also a few handy bits to help with managing cables cable management.
As you can see in the picture above, included with the PSU and main leads are some plastic cable ties, and some cool Velcro cable ties which you can actually undo! They hold cables pretty tightly and do not undo without effort – some nice additions there from Spire to be honest.
As with most of the Rocketeer range the Rocketeer III has a nice silver surface and to the top sits a large 120mm blue LED fan to assist cooling.
The fan grill is gold in colour and has a small Spire logo in the centre under it. We thought it was quite a good looking PSU, not something we see often.
The back is has rectangular grills to again aid with cooling. This particular PSU only has the one 120mm fan; however this is sufficient due to its size and not to mention it’s a lot quieter than 2 fans.
The cabling that comes with the PSU is partially sleeved. The ATX power cable and the clip-on extra 4 pins are sleeved, but the rest aren’t. It would have been nicer if the rest had been sleeved as it just looks so much cleaner and organised.
Sadly, only one PCI Express cable is included so that means…yup, you guessed it – no nVidia SLI or ATI Crossfire. There are also only 2 SATA power cables and no extra splitters so people with multiple hard drives will not be happy with this.
Testing & Performance
We tested the PSU on the following PC:
AMD Athlon 64 3000+ @ 2.3GHZ
1GB DDR PC-3200 Kingston RAM
Gigabyte 256MB GeForce 7600GS
80GB Seagate 7200RPM HDD
250GB Maxtor S-ATA HDD
To test this PSU I took readings of the 3.3v, 5v and 12v rails after 30 mins at idle and 30 minutes of load. To take the readings I used Speedfan and a PSU Voltage tester
Power Supply Tester
As you can see the rails are pretty stable, with almost no variation between the idle and load readings. However, you may have no noticed that there is a little difference between the readings of the tester and the readings from Speedfan. So, which one do we go with? The PSU tester is specifically designed to test PSU voltages and therefore should be more accurate. However, the voltages are tested through a Molex cable and not firectly from the motherboard like Speedfan does. Either way, the PSU tester readings are probably more accurate but taking a mean average will have to be our way of showing results.
The Spire Rocketeer III is nearly inaudible, almost silent when there are no other fans running. It was a good choice by Spire to not add a second fan as we all like our components noise free.
The Rocketeer III retails for around $65, although you may be able to find it for less now. This is very impressive for such a quiet and stable PSU, not to mention good looks. This PSU is definitely value for money it must be said.
Let’s see – very stable rails, good cooling and quiet operation. Also, nice gold grille and great big blue LED fan. What also impressed us was its price compared to similar competitors. The one thing that lets this PSU down is the cabling. There is no sleeving for any cables other than the main ATX power cable. There is also only one PCI-e power connector and only 2 SATA connectors. We felt that these were quite important factors when buying a PSU so it would be something that could change a person’s mind when purchasing one. That being said, this is a superb PSU, and I would strongly recommend it to anyone looking for a PSU in the mid-range market.
- Stable rails
- Good price
- Should be more connections (more SATA and another PCI-E connector)
- Not all cables are sleeved