JCAT has released a unique, 100 percent linear PC power supply in the form of the Optimo S ATX, perfect for ‘the audio PC’.
When using a PC as basis for audio streaming, and possibly even having the D/A conversion handled by it, the standard PC power supply is far from ideal. It’s always a switching power supply, not optimized for audio at all. In short: it delivers a much ‘dirtier’ output than a linear power supply. Now linear power supplies do have a disadvantage too. The size of it is proportionately larger than its switching sibbling, at equal wattage. This is partly due to the much larger transformers that are needed to realize the various required voltages. Also the large capacitor banks take up space. In short: linear is very nice, but for daily use far from practical, also because of the higher cost.
Audiophiles, however, are not “everyday” users, and for them any source of possible noise and interference is an abomination. Hence JCAT has released the world’s first 100% truly linear PC power supply. The Optimo S ATX delivers 450 Watts of power, more than enough for the average audio PC. A bit on the small side for a heavy gaming PC though, so use this power supply mainly for that ‘musical computer’ that usually doesn’t have a heavy and energy consuming high-end video card on board. JCAT tells us that the Optimo S ATX is specifically designed around audio as the main application. The power supply is ATX 2.2 compatible and therefore suitable for use with the vast majority of modern ATX motherboards. However, the Optimo S ATX is significantly larger than the standard dimensions of the standard pc switching power supply (43x13x50cm). In other words: You have to place this power supply outside the PC case.
The price for the JCAT Optimo S ATX, which built around several robust toroidal transformers, is €4500. And it has to be said: the interior is a pleasure to see!