Techsolo Black Mamba STP-550

Techsolo keeps things simple with their packaging and extras. You get a standard power cable (for Europe), four screws, some cable ties, and a short user manual. The best-case hope for the Techsolo Black Mamba is that we'll get an "ultra silent" snake that can deliver the full rated power. I wouldn't bet on it, but more than one user has been tempted into going the cheap route on a PSU. At worst, the Black Mamba is a noisy blindworm that dies at 50% load, but most likely it will land somewhere in between those extremes.

The red (already mentioned and super-duper) power switch stands in contrast to the black case design. The fan grill and the cable sleeving are black too and the housing of the ATX 2.2-PSU is 14cm long. Considering the cost, the PSU actually looks decent—even cheap cable sleeving is a bump up over unsleeved cables, after all.

Cables and Connectors
Fixed Main 24-pin 40cm
ATX12V/EPS12V 4+4-pin 45cm
PCIe 6-pin 45cm
Peripheral 3x PATA 40-70cm + Floppy 15cm
3x SATA 40-70cm / 3x SATA 40-70cm

The main cables are very short at less than 50cm, and there are only six SATA and three Molex power connectors along with a single PEG connector for graphic cards—the latter seems particularly skimpy. We don't want to be too quick to judge, but this is not a good configuration for a 550W PSU; it looks more like a 400W PSU. We'll get into more details on the next page.

Shenzhen Xin Wang Electronics Co., LTD. makes the fan, one of those nameless (despite the length of their name) Chinese companies. The 140mm fan needs fewer amps than the other fans in this roundup and it has nine fan blades. Will it be silent, and can it keep the PSU cool? We'll find out in a minute.

The Candidates Techsolo Black Mamba Internals
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  • dinkumthinkum - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    I also was stung by an Antec about 5 years ago. I read later that they switched suppliers at some point and quality suffered. I switched to FSP and later Corsair/Seasonic, so far so good.

    I had a small form factor FSP die on me mysteriously but I suspect that was due to the level of chalk dust in the room. I replaced it with a Seasonic, which has been amazingly quiet and reliable.
  • Phaedrus2129 - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    That was the 2005/2006 Fuhjyyu capacitor incident. It affected the TruePower, TruePower II, and Smartpower units. Those PSUs were shipped with Fuhjyyu capacitors on the secondary, which are extremely unreliable. Antec claims their manufacturer (CWT) put them on without permission to save cost; CWT claims Antec specc'd them that way. Either way, Antec and CWT parted company, and now all Antec PSUs use Japanese or mid-range Taiwanese capacitors.

    In other words, they had some bad units in 2005/6, that doesn't make them bad for all time. Their current lineup is excellent, baring the Basiq line.
  • Pessimism - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Saying a power supply exploded at 50% load is not enough. For maximum impact, post photographs of its remains after attempted use.
  • sviola - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Nice Review. I look forward for more reviews like this and, who knows, a PSU round-up in the same way of the gpus and memory round-ups.
  • iamezza - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Loved the review. I liked the humorous writing style and didn't think it was too unprofessional.
  • xi0s - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    PC Power & Cooling

    Nice review, though seeing how simple it is to test PSU's and how many more players there are on the market these days, I would've much preferred a roundup of atleast 5 PSU's instead of a measly 3. Not that you didn't make a point here, but surely you could've done more with it.
  • ClagMaster - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Why get an Antec TP-550 when you can purchase a Seasonic SS-560KM Modular Power supply for a few dollars more and get top-notch performance and reliability ?

    Corsair power supplies (manufactured by Seasonic) are also excellent too. But the Seasonics are the best.
  • softdrinkviking - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    is actually a pretty big fan company in the asian PC market.
    they sell there fans in the big consumer electronics stores that have a DIY PC
    section, and in hobby stores. (here in japan)
    i will say that they are cheaper than most fans, but not the absolute cheapest.
  • JohnMD1022 - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Why bother with a PSU that is not available everywhere?

    Restrict reviews to components that are available worldwide.
  • Beenthere - Saturday, October 30, 2010 - link

    Fanboism doesn't make a good PSU.

    Thankfully a few sites conduct proper load testing of PSUs so intelligent PC enthusiasts can make an informed decision. Without actual test results of specific PSU models a consumer has no means to tell good PSUs from ad hype. An educated consumer doesn't buy hype they buy quality, performance and value.

    One accurate PSU test is of far more value than a baseless fanbois opinion.

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