Modecom Volcano 750 Gold – mainstream unit with high-end features

Conclusion and evaluation

The Modecom Volcano 750 Gold passed the combined and crossload testing in accordance with the ATX specification (well, mostly). So according to my evaluation methodology, it is deserving of its evaluation. Lets start with the good. Being 80 PLUS Gold certified and fully-modular, it is quite cheap. What goes with it is also +12V synchronous platform and DC–DC buck regulators. The +3.3V no-load voltage is quite high, but otherwise both the line and load regulations are nice for a mainstream unit. The ripple suppression is great. It is also reasonably silent as the fan spins quite slow most of the time. The power silicon is dimensioned for at least a kilowatt unit.

Opposite to that is shorter hold-up time, bad capacitors and only basic 2-year warranty. This is not only a marketing thing anymore, with those c(r)apacitors in the unit and especially the poor soldering quality, this is about survival. Investing couple more means you have at least 5-year warranty from most similar units on the market, and while this one is much cheaper, when it dies twice within 5 years, it won’t help ya much, will it? Now I know that most units will likely survive more than five years, but who’s gonna willingly try if he’s going to be in the minority whose unit won’t? So I strongly suggested increasing the warranty to at least three years, but for now the basic 2-year one stands. I think that in this case the warranty is a breaking point whether or not to buy this unit (or the Volcano 650 Gold). Was it 5 years this would be no doubt. Three years is still worth considering. But two years among all the competition is just way too low; while the unit is reasonably good and rather cheap, it is still not that great or cheap to overcome this disadvantage on its own.

The marketing team is slightly falling behind not only here, if it weren’t for our review, you couldn’t tell almost anything important about the unit. Most of the important facts are missing from both Modecom website and also the box or manual itself. Hopefully new Modecom series will address these things. Indeed, many people shop just according to appearance, and it is true, that the Volcano 750 Gold is somewhat extravagant in this matter (especially the unnecessarily big casing and the side armoring), but still there are some certain basic facts many people look for. Like cable lengths, unit size, supported technologies, fan or efficiency curve etc. I find it strange that one has to explain such things to marketing people…

The value of the Modecom Volcano 750 Gold (ZAS-MC90-SM-750-ATX-VOLCANO-GOLD) as a mainstream unit is as follows:

  • component/technology quality: 19 p. (− for missing varistor and bleeder resistor, − for barely providing rated current @+3.3 V, + for working OCP, + for relay thermistor bypass, + for overspec’d primary and secondary side)
  • built quality: −33 p. (− for bad soldering and mess)
  • voltage regulation: 8 p. (− for combined loading, + for crossloading)
  • ripple: 17 p. (+ for combined loading, + for crossloading)
  • efficiency: 15 p. (− for lower efficiency)
  • hold-up time: 6 p. (− for shorter power good signal/voltage hold-up time)
  • others: 11 p. (− for shorter warranty, + for modular cabling, + for extra equipment)

So in mainstream, the unit gets value of 43. Assuming the cost is 2500 CZK, then the price per value ratio would be 100×43/2500 = 1.72. So after four mainstream units (which passed), we can see that the Modecom Volcano 750 Gold is last in value (which makes sense as the soldering is quite poor, and it only has 2-year warranty). But considering the price per value ratio, it is not that bad, especially compared to all those units which failed in meeting the ATX spec thus not being evaluated at all :D

Unit Value (mainstream)
Antec High Current Gamer M 750 W 116.5
SilentiumPC Supremo M1 Gold 550 W 83
Cooler Master G550M 72.5
Modecom Volcano 750 Gold 43
Pros + fully-modular cabling
+ working OCP, possibly OPP and OTP
+ high efficiency
+ great ripple suppression
+ reasonably silent
+ overspec’d silicon
+ long cables
Cons shorter hold-up time
short warranty
too strict OCP @+3.3 V
+3.3 V voltage regulation could be better
Be aware of… /?\ missing bleeder resistor for inlet X cap

Thanks

I thank the Modecom company for lending the Modecom Volcano 750 Gold unit.

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