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Cable reach
Connector counts are only one part of a power supply's cabling complement. Cable reach matters, too, particularly for those with full tower enclosures that separate system components across vast stretches of case real estate. Extra reach is also useful if you want to route cables carefully out of sight, lest a tangled mess of wires distract those peering through a case window from appreciating the painstakingly detailed guts of your system.

With the help of our trusty measuring tape, we've measured the maximum cable reach for each PSU. The reach measurements shown for SATA and four-pin peripheral connectors refer to the reach of the last connector on the longest cable.

OCZ's EliteXStream easily offers the longest primary power connector, making it the best choice for upside-down enclosures that move the power supply far away from motherboard connectors. Most of the pack is bunched between 22.5 and 20 inches, which is still plenty of reach for most systems. Thermaltake and BFG pull up the shortest here with primary power connectors at 19 and 18.5 inches, respectively.

Auxiliary 12V reach is also an important consideration for the upside-down case crowd, and again, the EliteXStream offers the greatest cable length. ePower's Thunder pulls up two-and-a-half inches short of the OCZ, followed closely by Enermax's PRO80+. Again, the BFG ES-800 gets the short end of the stick, although this time its cable reach is within half an inch of three other units.

OCZ keeps rolling out cable as we switch to PCI Express power connectors, which stretch a full 25 inches from the EliteXStream. The PCIe leads on the Silencer and Thunder are nearly as long, and they run at least a couple of inches longer than the rest of the pack.

The EliteXStream has by far the longest reach on its 4-pin and SATA plugs, as well. With its closest rival a good seven inches behind, OCZ easily wraps this one up.

Looking at the rest of the field, the units from PC Power & Cooling and Mushkin seem to have the best balance of 4-pin and SATA connector reach. Thermaltake's Purepower RX has an impressive 37-inch reach for its SATA plugs but only 26 inches for 4-pin connectors. ePower's Thunder has a similar bias, but in reverse; its SATA plugs only reach up to 30 inches but 4-pin peripherals can be up to 35 inches away.