Cooler Master i700
OverviewHardware: Cases & PSU
WHAT WE LIKED:Simple black styling; Very affordable; Good performance; 80PLUS Bronze
WHAT WE DISLIKED:Not modular; Noisy fan at load; Cable lengths sufficient only for mid-tower case
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The Cooler Master i700 has some worthy things going for it right off the bat. The aesthetics aren’t terribly unique but the simple matte black finish should fit handsomely into any case. There is also ample power available for most mid-range gaming rigs, even those running CrossFire or SLI, assuming they’re not behemoth graphics cards.
From a feature standpoint, the unit is 80PLUS Bronze certified, which is respectable for a unit in the 700W range at this price point. The i700 isn’t modular, though that shouldn’t be a surprise for this affordable segment. The varying cable lengths are sufficiently long for mid-tower cases, but don’t expect an easy time if you have a full tower.
In terms of performance, the i700 finished quite well, with some movement on the rails during voltage regulation testing, and the +12V was a bit overvolted. Nothing problematic though at all. The ripple results were also good; not the best we’ve seen, but well within specification for an affordable unit. The internal components are certainly budget choices, but capable of providing stable power under load.
The only real detraction here is the fan is noisy at load, though it does keep the unit sufficiently cool. It’s fine at lower loads, and your CPU or GPU fan will easily overpower the noise levels here, so it’s fine for a gaming rig but not very well suited as an HTPC power supply unless you have lots of ambient noise in the room. Lack of sleeving on the cables isn’t unexpected or problematic, but if you’re obsessive about aesthetics then consider a cable sleeving kit for a rainy day project.
There’s nothing earth shattering here in terms of innovative technology or otherworldly performance, but the Cooler Master i700 is a very capable value-oriented power supply that nicely gets the job done for anyone that needs an affordable, no-nonsense unit.