Cooler Master is one of those trusted brands that’s earned the respect of pundits around the world. They do more than just dip their toes into the market segments in which they play – when Cooler Master decides to create something, they go all in. Case in point: the B700 ver.2, a PSU that’s a little more budget-friendly, aimed at those of us whose surnames aren’t Gupta or Zuma.
As the name suggests, the B700 ver.2 is the second iteration of this PSU. It boasts a decent maximum power output of 700W, which is enough to power a Ryzen 7 1700 system with a GTX 1070, with lots of overhead to spare. The B700 ver.2 uses a single-rail design, which makes it capable of handling any future upgrades to GPUs with Vega in their name. A single-rail design is ideal for more power-hungry GPUs, because they have access to all the available power.
In this case, the B700 can deliver 648W to the +12V rail. To put that in perspective, the new AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 8GB card demands over 450W when running power-hungry games. Most people buying the new Vega will likely opt for more powerful, fancier PSUs, but it’s good to know that the B700 ver.2 could handle AMD’s new GPUs if your rich uncle happens to drop one in your lap. On a more realistic note, should you wish to drop in a second GTX 1070 you’d be able to handle the estimated 330W demand of the SLI setup. Sadly, a GTX 1070 SLI setup, while possible, would run into problems due to a lack of connectors.
The B700 ver.2 has the chops to deal with power-hungry hardware, but it suffers in one key area: it’s non-modular. All the cables are fixed to the PSU, and only the 24-pin motherboard cable and 4+4-pin 12V ATX cable are sleeved. In essence, this PSU harks back to the days when these blocks of Tesla’s dreams were as unloved as a red-headed stepchild. To make matters worse, there are only two 6+2-pin PCI-e connectors, thus any attempt at SLI or CrossFire (not Vega of course) will be thwarted if each card requires more than 8-pin PCI-e.
Those who hate any form of colour or lighting will be pleased to know that the B700 ver.2 is completely black, including the fan grill and the fan itself. Furthermore, there’s no LED lighting. That black fan is a 120mm model that Cooler Master claims is silent. To test that, I fired up PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds to see how silent the fan is when the PSU is under load. The results were conclusive: I suck at PUBG, but more importantly the B700 ver.2 is as quiet as any person could possibly want a PSU in this price range to be.
Now, let’s talk price. A few retailers are selling the Cooler Master B700 ver.2 with prices ranging from R1,180 to R1,250. There aren’t many other options in the R1,200 price range, but the B700 ver.2’s biggest competitors are only R500 more expensive. For the extra cash, you’d get a fully modular PSU and for some that’s a very alluring offer. But in this day and age, R500 is a fair bit of cash, especially when you’re trying to put together a decent gaming rig on a tight budget.
Some people would argue that they’d rather spend that extra R500 on a better motherboard or processor. In that case, the B700 ver.2 is serious value for money. While it might lack some of the nice (or luxurious) features of slightly more expensive PSUs, it reliably delivers 700W at only a few decibels louder than a whisper.