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Hiper Interview with Alexander Mast


by Stuart Davidson - 24th Feb 2009
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Alexander Mast - Global Marketing

DriverHeaven: Hi Alex, thanks for taking the time to talk to us today. Can you explain to our readers your job within the company and what a daily work day for you involves?

Alex: Hi Allan, first of all thank you very much for the invitation. At Hiper I am in charge of global marketing. We have a strong focus on public relations which means talking to editors and discussing product reviews. This is the most honest way to present a product and to prove our quality to the users. Everything related to advertising, sales support, packaging design and fairs is also part of my job as well as supervising our corporate identity. Moreover I take care of the relationships with companies like Intel, AMD, Nvidia etc.

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DriverHeaven: When was Hiper founded, by whom, and do they still have involvement with the present day company?

Alex: Hiper was originally founded by Farsh Fallah and William Wong. They are both still here. They were both senior executives and shareholders in Cooler Master. They have been in this industry a long time.

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DriverHeaven: What is the main mission statement for Hiper?

Alex: Always dedicated to the best quality, design, technology and price, every HIPER development meets our rules:

Only products that claim leadership.
Only products that can be afforded by all.


Affordable by all means affordable with the salary a student can make on a job within a week. Let’s limit this to the Western hemisphere.

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DriverHeaven: Which product range gives you most sales (PSU’s, Cases, Peripherals) ?

Alex: Definitely PSUs. They are our bread and butter.

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DriverHeaven: The Osris was an evolution of the Anubis, did this result in more sales for the newer model or did they both sell well?

Alex: It wasn’t so much an evolution, as Osiris was fairly along in its development. We did delay the launch a bit to incorporate some of the views that we had heard and were feasible. And that showed in the sales numbers with Osiris. Even in our PSU production we do take into account any reviews we get to improve the product in its next generation.

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DriverHeaven: Hiper PSU’s have some unique features such as USB hubs and the ability to charge devices when the system is powered down. Where did that idea originate from and we will continue to see it supported on future products?

Alex: Yes we will continue. We believed and continue to believe a PSU is capable of doing more than just be an expensive power converter. Just looking at the back of the PC you see it is occupying valuable real estate, we think this should be put to better use. The USBs came about from a usual complain around us not having enough USBs to plug things in and out that we use so much today. Just the reality is there is so many devices we all carry now that rely on them. Moreover our patented USB concept gives you 500mA on each port, as per definition of USB 2.0. Usually a motherboard cannot provide that much power, so when you are using too many power consuming USB devices, you may encounter problems like blue screens. The USB ports on our PSUs are powered directly from the PSU, data only come from the mainboard. Also there is a USB style charger port providing 1A, but no data. It’s really great for charging iPods, phones, cameras…

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DriverHeaven: The Media Center Chassis that Hiper sell is very impressive but some people might find it a little restrictive. Are there any plans for a slightly taller version which would take, for example, a full size SATA Blu-Ray drive?

Alex: Over the years we have talked and even designed a few prototypes that were taller. So far we haven’t launched any. The original thought behind the original design was to be something small, elegant, and discrete to have in your living room. We figured there is enough people offering big beastly designs for this segment already. This was really meant to be a family system that everyone is familiar with and can use. With the built in Wifi a huge collection of files can be stored elsewhere and used on this system. Having said that we are seeing very attractive prices on Slimline BluRay drives currently and have developed a new tiny 300watt 80 plus PSU to go along with our case to allow for future upgrades.

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DriverHeaven: We recently met with one of your competitors who offer a 5-year warranty on their PSUs. They informed us that their failure rate was well below 3%. Do you have any plans to extend your warranty to 5 years (on all products) and how does your RMA rate compare?

Alex: This is a hotly debated issue in our offices. We were the first PSU company to offer a three year warranty. At that time most PSU companies only offered one year which we felt was insufficient, as in reality average user changes a psu every 24 months due to upgrades and other reasons. Now a lot of people are out with 5 and 7 year warranties. In our view all this is doing is adding to the price of a PSU unnecessarily. Even though we now are offering 5 year on our 1KW, we know this is purely a marketing strategy but we are forced to follow too. A lot of companies do this based on knowing that PSU will not be used that many years later anyway, and they add a bit to the price as a hedge. This shows in the market with many PSUs now costing more than the advanced graphic cards they are bought to run. I mean in the world the way it is today how people spend $300 on a PSU is baffling. And there are technical reasons too. If you had an 800 watt from 5 years ago, even though it has enough total wattage, you couldn’t run a system that we would consider advanced today. The power distribution has changed, connectors are different, not to mention efficiency, layout and so many other factors that have changed since then. And will continue to change as that is the nature of this industry. Our RMA rates have never been that high. As it is with any product that has moving parts we have had our share of troubled batches. Most of what you see out there is with our 3rd generation 580 modulars, but please keep in mind how many of them sold and to so many countries. It is natural you see more RMA with a product that widely used.

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DriverHeaven: In recent times power supply ratings have increased quite dramatically and now we see 1500w+ models on the market. Do you think that the increases will continue at the same rate or will things start to level out?

Alex: To be honest we have just released our 1 KW as we really don’t see a big need for it. We have had 1.2 and 1.5 ready for some time but really other than a marketing benefit the product will not be a long lasting item. As by the time we actually will need 1KW and more the way the connectors will feed the system would have changed. To give you an example you may not know, the connectors that connect the PSU cables to the board and various devices are made to carry 75 watts, any more they melt. That is except the PCI-E connector (they had to change them as they needed more power for the GPU) can carry 150 before they start melting. So as you can see when the devices like GPU or boards come that need more power either we have to have loads of the existing connectors, or we will be asked to change like we were with advent of SLI to the new higher rated material.

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DriverHeaven: With many power supplies reaching 85% efficiency, is 90% possible across the board in the near future?

Alex: Not only its possible, we have prototypes that reach above it already. However cost constraints make it not feasible as a product. However like all things one day a couple of years from now they will be normal.

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DriverHeaven: Any plans for a compact/m-atx version of the Anubis or Osiris?

Alex: Yes it is in preproduction right now.

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DriverHeaven: With a number of keyboards already in your lineup, are there any plans for expanding your accessories line and branching out into other product types?

Alex: We had a need for alloy keyboards to match our cases, and all other accessories we have tie in to our existing lines. We have our options open on that.

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DriverHeaven: Are there any new products which will be released in the near future which you would like to tell our readership about?

Alex: Recently we have launched the S625 of our new S series. There will be more models to come at lower wattage. They all will be at least 80PLUS Bronze certified and at an extremely competitive price. If you are looking for really good performance and efficiency at low price, you would have to consider them. Also in our other product ranges there are very interesting things coming up.

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DriverHeaven: Thanks for taking the time to speak to us today Alex, anything else you would like to say before we sign off?

Alex: Thank you for the opportunity to tell your readers something about Hiper.

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