I'll be honest with you guys. I was going to go all Prospector Pete on you for my first 80 Plus Gold review. I was going to pretend like I was standing in the middle of a mountain valley wearing old coveralls sporting a shovel, several days' worth of whiskers, missing several teeth, with a lot of frizzy hair. But then I realized something - it's not that effective if you look like that all the time.
So, I'm just going to dive right into today's Z series review sample if you don't mind. The Z series units are OCZ's top of the line offerings, so I have high expectations this time out.
If I can be honest with you, today marks two milestones for me. This is not only my first 80 Plus Gold review sample, it is also my first OCZ review sample. Sure, I've looked at a couple of PC Power & Cooling offerings recently like the Silencer 910 and the Pro-Source UPS, but with that company being still pretty independent of its new OCZ owners that hardly counts.
According to the box, I am looking at the 850W model today, the lowest powered unit in the line. Currently, there is but one 1000W model above this one.
All the marketing goodness is found on the back of the box. Let me repeat it here so you don't have to squint:
Delivering 850W of continuous output and utilizing a high-performance architecture, the Z850M provides rock-solid power for the systems of gamers, enthusiasts, and power users. With a peak wattage of 940W and a single +12V rail (68A) design, the Z850M doesn't put limits on your system the way other PSUs do.
High-performance doesn't need to translate into over-the-top energy use. With an ultra-high 90% efficiency rating, the 80 Plus® Gold certified Z850M power supply offers ultimate stability without driving up your energy costs.
The ZM850M is tested and certified at industrial levels (50°C) to provide the ultimate powerhouse for those that require long-lasting, industrial-grade components for their mission-critical system or cutting-edge gaming machine.
Modular Cable Management:
Promoting a cleaner and cooler case environment, the Z850 M edition features a modular cable system to eliminate unnecessary connectors. This optimizes airflow and allows further customization of your power system.
Premium Cooling & Acoustics
Powerful yet cool, the Z850M maintains ideal temperature and superior air flow thanks to a large 135mm double ball bearing fan that adapts to the system's load and thermals while remaining ultra-quiet at high speeds.
Each ZM850M features Active PFC (Power Factor Correction) to regulate input voltage and deliver premium sag and surge protection (.99PFC) allowing for effective distribution of power in a wider range of environments and varying voltages.
Equipped to fuel the demands of gaming systems, the NVIDIA® SLI™ Certified Z850M solution has an array of connectors and the stable output to power dual GPUs - an essential element of top gaming builds.
OCZ 5 Year Warranty:
Premium power supplies deserve the finest warranty available, and OCZ stands behind the Z850M with its 5-year PowerSwap warranty for ultimate peace of mind. No more endless return-for-repair loops!
Just as OCZ Technology is committed to bringing you the best products for your personal computer, we strive to provide the best customer support in the industry. Call our support staff toll-free or visit our online support forums for direct advice from the experts. Please email email@example.com for more information.
You know, I'm surprised that with all the hoopla surrounding the green movement, OCZ missed out on the biggest marketing point of all for active PFC. Indeed, it's the primary function of such a design, and not so much the voltage conversion abilities of the circuit. And that point would be, APFC cleans up the apparent load for the utility.
Finest warranty available, eh? I guess BFG's and Ultra's lifetime affair doesn't count, nor does Corsair's 7 year thing.
Oh, for the love of... I'm not typing all that out too. But I will point out the little load table, which is happy to contradict the marketing bullet points above by claiming the single 12V rail is good for 71A, not 68A. Gotta love them typos.
Looking at this list of goodness, the 71A number is repeated. I can therefore conclude this number is the one to test for, as long as the label agrees.
I'm assuming there's a power supply in there somewhere. Let me just get out the pickaxe and shovel, and I'll see if I can strike gold.
Here we have the box contents: a user guide, a bag of velcro cable ties, a bag of screws, a bag full of modular cables, a drawstringed bag full of power supply, and a power cord.
Interestingly enough, the user guide features diagrams of the connectors, along with quad 12V rail assignments. Looks like this one started out as a quad unit that was later converted to single 12V.
It looks like I finally found the gold in the box. As power supplies go I tend to prefer the matte black look, but this isn't unpleasant to look at.
In this shot, you can see the odd yellow color that differentiates the PCI-E modular cable connectors from the black ones used for peripheral cables.
Here's a better look at the sticker that adorns both sides of the unit.
The exhaust end of the unit is reasonably open to airflow with only the power switch and AC receptacle to block things. Given that this is supposed to be an ultra efficient design, I would expect this unit to not heat up very much. We'll see for sure on page three when I get the hot box cranked up.
It seems that the label agrees with the 71A number, which incidentally is two watts greater than the combined power for the whole unit. Either this unit is rated rather conservatively, or OCZ wants to one-up units like Corsair's HX850 which has a single 70A 12V rail.
OCZ Z Series 850W
Of the hardwired cables, the SATA one is the longest. Beware, those of you still rocking a 20 pin ATX connector on your mainboards, this unit does not have a 20+4 pin ATX connector. It's just a straight 24 pin.
Interestingly enough, of the modular cables, there is only one cable with 5.25" and 3.5" connectors. I guess OCZ is anticipating the day when nobody has devices that use these connectors anymore. I'm not sure that's a bad thing, honestly, for none of my own computers need more than two 5.25" Molex connectors anymore. Certainly, none are using those pesky 3.5" drive connectors.
Type of connector:
OCZ Z Series 850W
ATX connector (550mm)
4+4 pin EPS12V connector (600mm)
8 pin EPS12V connector (600mm)
5.25" Drive (530mm+190mm+190mm)
3.5" Drive (+190mm)
6+2 PCIe (580mm)
Unit Dimensions(L x W x H)
160mm x 150mm x 86mm
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