Cougar units may not be as well known as some of the heavyweight industry leaders, but we’ve seen the company gaining for awareness in the market of late. And the PowerX 550W is a good indication of that, showcasing a good combination of styling and function, and performance. We loved the metallic red finish, which would look excellent in a windowed case with a similarly-accented interior. The durability of the finish, however, is susceptible to scratching so take care when installing the unit.
From a feature standpoint, the unit is 80PLUS Bronze certified, which is at the bottom end of power efficiency these days. The PowerX also isn’t modular, which isn’t surprising in the 550W power range, so for those who need a basic unit for gaming or HTPC use without many frills, this should work fine, with sufficient ability to hide the cables and keep the interior cabling of the case clean and uncluttered.
In terms of performance, the PowerX 550W finished satisfactory, within specification and with some movement on the rails in our voltage regulation testing, while the ripple results were also acceptable. Not the best we’ve seen, but within specification and decent for an entry level unit. The secondary caps are Taiwanese, so Cougar’s claim of Japanese “capacitor” is true strictly by the book, but prospective buys should be aware that all the secondary caps don’t apply to the careful marketing language. That may be nitpicking, and users may not care for a price of only $70 for 550W.
In any event, the Cougar PowerX 550W doesn’t excel in any particular functional category but it gets the job done nicely across the board. The price is a real selling point here, and for $70 it’s a great deal. Iif you’re on a budget and want a power supply that looks sharp and doesn’t compromise on performance, then this unit will do the trick.
Cougar PowerX 550W