Reviews - XFX Pro Series 1000W Black Edition
Sample Provided by: XFX (By OklahomaWolf on Tue, Dec-13-2011)

Page 1 - First Look

Welcome, welcome, welcome all to a land of mythical creatures and magic. Today, we are reviewing a Xiffix, a rare creature that I assume is found only in certain rare parts of the world where all the magic and mystery has gone to escape technology. I wonder what it will look like, this Xiffix. Perhaps they are little dragon like creatures with pink wings and purple horns. Maybe they're huge animals, rivals to dragons themselves. Maybe... these creatures are in fact responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Hang on a second... I just saw the above picture. I guess we're reviewing a power supply again. Sorry about that. But it's an 80 Plus Platinum unit, so maybe we'll still get some magic happening. Yes, today we are reviewing the XFX Pro 1000W.

As always, the retail box is crammed full of marketing goodness. And then, some more was shoehorned in for good measure. Let's see what we've got:

"Good enough is never good enough. From the beginning we wanted to challenge the conventions of computer component design. The result is a power supply that is not only distinctive, but actually supplies better power."
-
Cézanne Gilbèrt, Lead Industrial Designer

I like this guy. He has his head on straight when it comes to this power supply stuff. We want a guy who is motivated to be the best at everything, because then maybe the end product will reflect that ideology.

SolidLink™ Technology + EasyRail™ Technology
SolidLink Technology gives each modular port on your PSU a direct pin connection to the power sources which reduces heat that causes wattage loss. The result is a highly efficient high power PSU. Less Wires, Less Heat

Now, what this blurb here says is... hold on a minute, let me read it again. Ok, what I think they're going for here is... wait, what? Hang on, people. Come on brain. Don't crash your marketing processor again. You can do this... you can do this. Are they talking about the VRM we see in the picture? They are, aren't they? Ok, yeah, that makes sense. Having the VRM right there on the modular PCB does help efficiency a little. Not that this blurb makes the idea very clear, mind you.

No, wait a minute... the little insets at the bottom of the picture explain that SolidLink tech is when the modular connectors are soldered directly to the PCB without wires. Am I on the right track now? Hate to tell you this, XFX, but those pins are the same thing as wires. They're just a lot shorter and less flexible with no insulation.

There's also a list of four bullet points to talk about:

  1. SolidLink™ Technology replaces traditional wired connections with direct pin to port connections. This reduces heat generated by wires which in turn reduces lost wattage giving you clean, consistent high quality voltage.
    -Hmm, maybe I should have done these bullet points first. Ok, here's the deal. Heat generation is only a problem if you're using improper gauge wiring over too great a distance. The inside of a computer power supply usually does not constitute a great distance. And lost wattage? Please. Any good power supply has some overhead built into it to offset this. Basically, this is a non issue being turned into a marketing bullet point. It's actually quite brilliant, if you think about it. I want XFX's marketing director with me the next time I sell something. This guy could sell eggs to a chicken, from what I've seen so far.
  2. A Full-Modular design gives you complete flexibility to add on any component you want without the unnecessary clutter of unused cables.
    -Yes, it does.
  3. Hybrid Fan Mode when activated, allows your fan to stay off when your computer is idle but turns on automatically when the PSU needs it.
  4. Six (6) PCI-E 6+2 Pin Connectors allows you to have as many as three (3) Graphics cards powered simultaneously. (3-way SLI or Crossfire)

Don't look now, but there's more marketing on this box. First we see again XFX railing against things having wired connections inside the unit. Come on, XFX... wires aren't made of concentrated Satan. Can we maybe ease up a little bit? I've already commented on this issue, so let's just move on to the next one.

Quieter, saves power, says the next one. What the... how in tarnation does being quieter save power? Yeah, the fan doesn't need power when it's turned off, but it isn't the silence saving the power. And really, the power savings of one less fan running is miniscule.

The EasyRail bit on the right is the same as the last time I saw it, namely in the fact that it's still hinting that multirail units will crash your computer. Sigh. Forget selling eggs to a chicken, this guy could have probably sold air to Einstein. Multirail units do not crash your computer as long as you do your homework and pick a unit big enough to power all you need to power with it. A 500 watt unit will not power a three way video card orgy on your motherboard whether it has a single 12V rail or not. End of story. It has nothing to do with the number of 12V rails as long as the engineers knew what they were doing, and by December of 2011 they all do. No, that 500 watter will fall on its face because it doesn't have enough capacity in general. Again, a non issue being turned into marketing.

Mr. Einstein, that air you and I are breathing right now is contaminated with a dangerously unstable mix of carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen. Our new EasyAir™ technology insures that this mix will be brought into balance throughout your entire home, giving you the perfect mix of elements and allowing you to always be at your best.

And... the marketing doesn't stop no matter how you spin the box around. That said, this side provides the least marketing and most useful details about the unit. The loading table is found here, as well as a list of connectors.

Ok... I can get through this. I know I can. Let's start off with the second paragraph down, the efficiency one. The claim here is that we will see 92% efficiency. Really, we should. This thing is Platinum certified, which requires 92% at half load. We'll see about that on the coming pages.

Next, we have a statement that 25 degree wattage ratings are unrealistic and that 50 degrees is above standard operating conditions. Bzzt. Uh-uh. This is planet Earth, XFX. The climate tends to vary when it comes to the planet. Right now it is winter in Saskatchewan and I am typing this in a basement room that doesn't see higher than 20 degrees unless the load testing gear is online. Not only is 25 degrees realistic for me, it's actually rather high compared to what my fanless Kingwin Platinum unit is seeing right now. Conversely, some people live in the Arizona desert without air conditioning, or park their computers next to heating vents. 50 degrees in these cases isn't "above standard" anything. If it's 45 degrees in the room, the computer is a fair bit warmer than that. And that's not even talking about the crazy cat lady who just brought her computer to you to have you fix it, and you find enough cat hair in there to give hair extensions to a tiger.

Safer, cleaner power. Safer than what? Cleaner than what? Guys, we have the UL and CSA for a reason. These people make sure our products are safe. Basically, you're asking for trouble selling a PSU in North America without these certifications, so not many companies at all try to do it. And on the output side, we have the Intel ATX specifications. These too are there to make sure the power supply rises to a certain level of standards. What am I saying? Just this: if a power supply is UL approved and meets Intel's guidelines, there is no problem. And on that note, I'd like you to have a close look at all my pictures of this box. Do you see a UL or CSA logo? I don't. Now, don't worry - I know who makes this and other units for XFX, and I know beyond all doubt they are all UL certified. This is really a non issue. Still, this is a curious omission when we find the marketing department calling attention to safety.

I'm going to stop there and move on. We'll find out momentarily if this unit meets ATX specifications. Cleaner than what? That's what we're here for today.

Oh, don't even get me started on this one. It will suffice to say that this paragraph has cranked up the marketing and ripped the knob off. I've already gone over this, so let's go to the next picture. This will go a lot smoother once I have no more marketing to nitpick.

Oh. Well, this is a nice surprise. The last time I got an XFX product, it wasn't well packed. Too much dead air and unnecessary cardboard. It appears that XFX listened to me, and gave the packaging a serious overhaul. I am impressed. Let's take the top layer off and get a good look.

Hmm... well, there's way less dead space and no wasteful packaging, but I would like to see a little more foam around the unit itself. And some overtop, too. This is a huge step in the right direction for XFX. Nice work, guys.

Time to see what's in the box. A power supply, power cord, modular cables, user guide, and the obligatory bag o' screws.

The user guide is above average for this unit. It does profile three models, but there's more useful information in here than I've found in some recent manuals.

And here's the power supply up close. Once again, XFX has gotten creative with the styling, and I do like the way it looks.

Another angle. Say, does that sticker on the modular panel look familiar to you? If so, it's for good reason. It's built on the same platform as the Seasonic that came along and nearly got a perfect score a couple weeks back. Ok, I was pretty peeved over all the marketing I had to endure, but just remembering what that unit was like has gotten me excited again. I hope this unit is as good.

Love that heavy duty power switch.

One side of the unit.

And the other side of the unit. The sticker is upside down on one side to allow you to mount the unit any way you like and still have this sticker facing right side up in your case.

Fancy schmancy fanny wanny grilly willy.

And here's the label, making me wonder why I'm bothering to replicate it in this here table:

XFX Pro 1000W

+3.3V +5V +12V -12V +5VSB
25A 25A 83A 0.5A 3A
Max Power @ 50 °C
125W 996W 6W 15W
1000W

Yep, same load specs as the Seasonic version.

The modular panel. Yes, you can set the fan to either semi-fanless mode, or fan-on-all-the-time mode.

The modular cable complement is exactly the same as the Seasonic version.

Type of connector: XFX Pro 1000W
Modular Cables
ATX connector (590mm) 20+4 pin
4+4 pin EPS12V/ATX12V connector (650mm) 1
8 pin EPS12V connector (650mm) 1
6+2 pin PCIe (600mm) 6
5.25" Drive (550mm+150mm+150mm) 6
5.25" Drive (350mm+150mm) 2
5.25" - Dual 3.5" Drive (140mm) 1
SATA (530mm+150mm+150mm) 9
SATA (350mm+150mm) 2
Unit Dimensions (L x W x H)
190mm x 150mm x 86mm

 

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