80 Plus Titanium is still the new kid on the block. In fact, as of this writing, I've only seen a couple units at this new ultra high efficiency level, the Corsair AX1500i and the EVGA T2 1600. And that was a while ago... there have been no new Titanium units to hit the market since.
Until now. Folks, my third ever review of a Titanium unit is going to be from Andyson International, the N700. You may recall Andyson impressing me not too long ago with the Platinum R 1200 watt unit. Well, it seems that Andyson wants to make another splash in the market.
There's not a whole lot on the box to talk about yet, just a few specifications that are not out of the ordinary for a 700 watt model. 5VSB is rated a somewhat lower than normal 2.5A, and given the low combined rating of the 3.3V and 5V rails I wouldn't use this to power any old Pentium III rigs, but when's the last time you had to do something like that anyway?
No, the majority of the unit's power is on the 12V side of things, where all modern computers need it. The only question in my mind is whether or not the unit can do what it says at a reasonable temperature.
A few connectors are listed on the box, and it looks like the numbers are all pretty reasonable for a 700 watt unit. However, I hope to find out that one Berg connector hasn't been stuck to one of the other cables. I hate those things.
Ah! We found the marketing bullet points at last. Universal AC input... that's how you know a unit has active PFC. Well, that and the Titanium certification itself requires it.
The rest of these are nothing new to us. Semi modular? Good. Fully modular would be better, though. Polymer capacitors? Again, nothing new. Most units these days have a few of them, but the technology has not yet gotten to the point we'll only find them inside. There will still be some electrolytics.
High reliability Japanese capacitors? You know, after my long rant from that Corsair review last week, I am starting to think differently about capacitor quality. You could say my eyes have been opened to a stark realization... the bad old days of capacitors dropping dead left and right are mostly over, except for the "off the back of a white van," brands that are as awful as ever. No longer are the Japanese parts the only good parts in the universe, and they're now often made near the Chinese parts we've been bashing left and right since capacitorgate was a thing fifteen years ago.
Think about that number. Seriously. Fifteen years is a boatload of time... longer than the lifespan of most electrolytic capacitors, regardless of whose factory they came out of. The big Chinese names have had time now to iron the wrinkles out, and technology has improved. The whole thing started with a formula that got copied down wrong, and that formula likely hasn't been used in ages by the major Chinese brands. Ltec, Teapo, OST, Capxon... when was the last time any of you saw one of these fail? Wait, let me answer that. The last ones I saw failed were the OSTs on one of my Asrock 939Dual-VSTA motherboards. Those came out in 2005. Ten years ago, when I was just getting into my thirties. Folks, you don't stay in business by not addressing issues like this.
No, I think for at least the past five years I've been unnecessarily harsh on the Chinese capacitors. My scoring on them is going to change starting today. I'll likely start looking at them like I do fans... if what I see is decent, no scoring penalty. If what I see, however, is obviously cheap crap; that's when I score.
The box continues with a look at a fan curve.
You know, before we go on, that fifteen year figure since the great capacitor debacle reminds me that I haven't exactly talked about power supply lifespan too often. As mentioned above, aluminum electrolytic capacitors do have a finite lifespan. It's usually the fans and capacitors to go first due to old age, depending on usage.
Back when Fuhjyyus were failing left and right in CWT's builds, I used to tell people that if those units were one year old, the capacitors had probably reached the end of their life. Replace or re-cap with good parts. That's an extreme example... Fuhjyyu was by far the brand I saw failed the most in power supplies back in the capacitorgate days. Meanwhile, I always went by ten years if it was one of the better Japanese capacitor brands I was dealing with. Ten years is a good lifespan for a power supply. The best units will likely still have some life left in them at that point (likely measured in years), but I personally take them out of service if they're that old regardless of the parts they contain. I'll probably be sticking to that philosophy as long as we use aluminum electrolytic technology.
Sure, you could replace all the old capacitors and drop in a new fan at the ten year mark, but look where we've come with efficiency in the last ten years. You're looking at a non trivial cost to replace those parts just to get a ten year old unit working like new again. Was it really all that special a unit when it was new that it requires freshening up?
I've kind of gone off on a tangent, so let's get back to this review of my 3rd ever Titanium unit and unpack the box.
Thus far, we have a power supply, a bag of cables, and a user guide. I'm hoping we find a few goodies in that modular cable bag as well.
The user guide is brief but pretty decent. We now know that the maximum full power operating temperature of this unit is forty degrees, which is pretty reasonable for a unit like this. Fifty would be better, of course, but not necessary for most consumer level builds. I mean, if you live in Florida without AC, by all means you need the highest rating you can find.
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