I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised with the design and quality of construction of the Mad Dog power supply (PS). As an electro-mechanical designer with over 20 years of experience, I must say that this is one of the best bipolar (non-MOSFET) power supply on the market. Perhaps that's why Mad Dog provides the longest warranty in the business...5 yr. The PS is also shipped with a 120V AC power cord!
This appears to be a scaled-down version of Enermax's EG451P-VE. The case and internal layouts are virtually identical. The back of the PS is well-vented, to allow linear laminar airflow across the two long well-finned aluminum heat sinks. In addition to the 80mm main cooling fan, there is another 92mm fan directly above the heat sinks, to provide more cooling during heavy load. The clear four-pole fans have double ball bearing construction for longer life.
There is one fuse soldered to the main board to protect the PS. The quality of the electronics is good. Hotter devices are located directly under the 92mm fan. Heavy gauge wires are used throughout the input stage.
The output leads are only 18" long. This can be an issue if you have a very large case. The main power and VGA/HDD connectors come wrapped in black nylon mesh. This provides a nice looking internal layout and better air flow. The VGA/HDD connector may be EMI shielded. There are (1) VGA/HHD connector, (1) SATA power connector, (1) AT-type power connector, (6) Molex connectors, (1) +12V 4-pin motherboard power connector, and (2) floppy connectors. All connectors are gold plated to ensure good electrical contact.
The PS is equipped with a variable fan-speed controller button. The user can change to one of three modes...quiet, automatic, or maximum. There are 3 LEDs to indicate the selected mode. The AUTO mode increases the fan speed at higher temperature. The PS is very quiet during normal operation. Tweakers may want to remove the circular fan grilles for greater air flow. There is no need to retain the 92mm fan grille since it is located INSIDE the PC. The absence of the grilles should also further reduce noise level at higher PC load.
I'm too lazy to setup my resistors to perform a maximum power load test, so we will have to rely on the manufacturer's specifications. The PS has a minimum efficiency rating of 70%. The engineers at Mad Dog/Enermax put greater emphasis on the +12V DC power rail to address the electrical loads seen in modern PCs. High-end PCs tend to draw less power from the +3.3V and +5V circuits, and more from the +12V power rail. Therefore, the +12V DC 240W max rating is achievable with most PC configurations.
+3.3V DC at 22A max (note that +3.3V DC and +5V DC cannot exceed 175W)
+5V DC at 33 A max (note that +3.3V DC and +5V DC cannot exceed 175W)
+12V DC at 20A max (note that +12V DC cannot exceed 240W)
COMBINED +3.3V DC, +5V DC, and +12V DC not to exceed 330W
-12V DC at 0.8A
-5V DC at 0.5A
+5V DC SB @ 2A
COMBINED -12V DC, -5V DC, and +5V DC SB not to exceed 22W
The Mad Dog MD-350WPS is a VERY quiet and robust PS with almost all the latest connectors for various peripherals. This re-affirms Mad Dog's commitment to excellence in all of its product lines. This is not, however, a perfect 10! I would like to see 3 ft output cables and the use of MOSFET switching to increase the efficiency factor to 0.8. A centrally mounted 120mm fan to provide better cooling and lower noise. And finally, BTX support. To be fair, this is already an excellent value PS @ $50. And you're getting a 5 year warranty for free.
NOTE: this item is on sale at COMPUSA under SKU 315200. It's free after rebate!