That alien looking vision pictured above is today's review sample. With companies like Corsair, BFG, and OCZ making big splashes in the power supply pool in recent years, it was only inevitable that other companies would want to get in on the action. One such company is XFX, hitherto known as a manufacturer of video cards and motherboards.
This Black Edition 850W unit is the first attempt by XFX to muscle in on a market almost completely dominated these days by only a very few companies. We're going to find out how successful this first effort will be.
The outside of the box is in reality just a cardboard sleeve covering the actual packaging itself. On this side of the sleeve, about all we get to look at is a nice 80 Plus Silver logo.
The back of the sleeve has all the marketing goodness on it, as well as a list of cables and connectors. I'll zoom in a bit and let you read some of that marketing goodness.
Wow, detacable cables! I wonder if those are any different from detachable ones! From the looks of things, XFX means business with this bad boy. 850 watts at fifty degrees. Good capacitors. 70 amperes on one big 12V rail. DC to DC regulation on the minor rails. It's almost like XFX took one look at Corsair's HX850 and Antec's SG-850 and decided to go for the throat.
As promising as XFX's first outing seems to be so far, I have to wonder something: isn't that model number a bit hard to remember? Why not have something memorable people can talk about, like the new XFX PowerSquid 850? You don't like that one? Well, how about the new XFX GreatShark 850? Hmm, I seem to be stuck in the ocean on this one. But you get my point, right? How many people are going to go into the local computer store and say, "Hey, I want the XFX XPS-850W-BES." Just try saying that line out loud... a bit of a mouthful, is it not?
With the sleeve removed, the XFX packaging becomes truly unique. I guess a modular power supply needs modular packaging, what with the main box splitting apart into two boxes. There's the upper part, pictured above in the background, which houses the modular cables; and then there's the larger lower part which has the actual power supply. Let me just unpack, here.
The packaging contains a power supply, bag full of modular cables, power cord, user guide, and a bag of screws. Speaking of the user guide:
You've just seen the whole thing. It's just a little folded piece of cardboard, barely adequate to get the main installation and troubleshooting points across. Despite this, XFX has managed to insert a good dose of marketing in there too.
Once in a while, something completely different than the norm comes through here, and going by the above picture I think this XFX is joining that crowd. I can't even say for sure whether I like the looks of this thing, it's just so different looking. What say you? I'm sorry, you'll have to speak up. I can't hear you over the color of the fan.
The front panel, with all the modular connectors on it, bears a passing resemblance to a Borg cube, if I'm being honest.
Here's the fan from above. No, I didn't say Stan and I are in love, I said this is the fan from... wait a sec, let me throw a cloth over this radioactive green glow. Ok, we should be able to hear to talk now. I have to admit that fan color is different, even if I would have expected a "black edition" power supply to get a "black edition" cooling solution.
Even the exhaust grille gets some XFX branding. That's if you can read it past the blinding green glow from that fan.
The modular cable connectors, as you can plainly see, are done up in that same blinding green color as the fan. I think I better go get my sunglasses so I can finish this review.
Here's the load spec part of the label. As you can see, the box wasn't lying about the 12V capacity - we really are getting 70A worth of power here. That's assuming the guts of this unit can handle it - we'll see on the next page.
This picture shows that the hardwired cable complement is fairly sparse. Two PCI-E cables, the ATX cable, an eight pin EPS12V cable, and a modular 4+4 pin EPS12V cable is all we have to deal with here.
The rest of the cabling is done through this explosion of modular cables, some of which offer similar functionality but have differing lengths. Here, let me show you in a table:
Type of connector:
ATX connector (530mm)
8-pin EPS12V connector (540mm)
4+4 pin EPS12V connector (540mm)
6+2 PCIe (600mm)
5.25" Drive (550mm+150mm+150mm)
5.25" Drive (450mm+150mm+150mm)
5.25" Drive (350mm+150mm)
5.25" - 2x 3.5" Drive adaptor (150mm)
6+2 PCIe (550mm)
Unit Dimensions(L x W x H)
170mm x 150mm x 86mm
You know, the above table reminds me of something I've looked at in the past. But I can't quite put my finger on it. Could it be I've tested this platform before? Since there are no clues to be gathered from the UL file number, I'll have to take the unit apart and see.
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