Spire SP-600W Rocketeer IV Gaming Power Supply
Author: Frank Stroupe
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 06-23-2006
Provided by: Spire

While mowing the lawn the other day, I was thinking about how far enthusiast marketed hardware has come in the two years that I have been a reviewer for OCIA.net. Two years ago, the nVidia nForce2 boards were the standard, and though most boards would overclock, there were basically only two with really overclock friendly bios, Abit's NF7-S, and DFI's Ultimate LANParty. AMD's Socket A CPUs had reached the 3500+ XP, but buying a 2500-M and overclocking it out of site was the hottest thing going. The ATI Radeon 9800XT was the premium video card, and the 9800 Pro and 9600 Pro were the big sellers. PC-3500 memory was new and very expensive, and a gig kit of PC-3200 2-3-3-6 still cost over 250 bucks. There was only one brand of heat pipe CPU cooler on the market, water cooling involved piecing together a system, and often involved buying an aquarium pump and a Chevy Chevette heater core. Power supplies hadn't yet hit the 500 watt mark, and involved a single +12v rail with less than 25A. Usually much less than 25A.

Today, most nForce4 boards are fairly overclocker friendly, 64-bit processors are the norm, and dual-core processors are within the reach of most builders. AGP 8X is nearly a thing of the past, and PCI-Express is now the standard. Both ATI and nVidia have gone through a few generations of graphics chipsets in the past two years, and the present generation of cards make the 9800 Pro's performance laughable. And if one video card isn't enough, nVidia's SLI and ATI's Crossfire gives you the option of multiple video cards. Memory is up to PC-4800, and you can get a 2-gig kit of low latency PC-3500 for under $250. Most cooler manufacturers make heat pipe coolers, and AMD includes one with their upper end CPUs. There are many brands of complete water cooling kits, and most are very affordable.

Point being, all of these advancements require lots of power. Multiple +12v rails with at least 18A on each rail have become the standard. The premium power supplies of two years ago are nominal today, and may not even boot up an SLI rig. PSUs have reached the 1kw mark, and most quality power supplies are at least 550 watts.

Spire, around since 1991, is better known for fans and coolers, but they have branched out into building fine looking cases and power supplies.

The SP-600W Rocketeer IV is being marketed as a "modular cable, SLI-ready, gaming PSU". As of this writing, if you look at the Rocketeer IV at Spire's site, it is advertised as being "darkgrey titanium colored" (this one is definitely black), and the advertised specs are somewhat different (lower) than the ones on this PSU.

The Rocketeer box is massive. It is fully twice as large as most of the other PSU boxes I have had.

It is full, too. The white box contains the PSU's cables.

The Rocketeer IV comes well protected in a bubble wrap sleeve.

A slab of foam in the bottom of the box further protects the Rocketeer IV.

The SP-600W is black and very shiny. It has a 120mm intake fan...

and an 80mm exhaust fan. Both fans are clear, with blue LEDs.

And both fan grills sport this attractive logo.

As I mentioned, the Rocketeer IV is a modular PSU. You use only the cables you need, helping keep the interior of your rig nice and neat.

Let's take a look at the specs, and the other items included in the box.

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