Performance (40% of the final score) - okay. Let's figure this out here. On second thought, what's to figure out? We have an Antec 850W that performs better than a Signature that appears to cost less than a Signature. We have a unit that was promised to do 80 Plus standard, but ended up doing Bronze. No, the unit didn't quite match the Signature in terms of voltage stability, but it came real close. And to be honest, the differences in voltage readings were so small you could put them down to connector resistance. And since the ripple and noise suppression more than made up for the slightly less stable voltages... 10.
Functionality (20% of the final score) - I'm going to have to spoil a bit of next week's review here, because after all, this unit was designed for certain Antec cases. In installing the unit into my Twelve Hundred review sample, I found that the unit's cable lengths fit with that unit like a hand in a glove. But that's no shock, because the company that designed the case also designed the PSU. What I didn't care for, however, were the redundant hardwired cables. My board takes an EPS12V connector, so I had to go hide the ATX12V cable out of sight. And because I have no video card that needs them, I had to go hide the PCI-E cables, too. That was easier said than done, as you will see next week. But for now, I have to give the CP-850 an 8.
Value (30% of the final score) - this unit is listed for... let's see here... doodly dum da dee... ah, here we go. $117.79 at Provantage. Faint. Wha... what happened? Oh yeah, the price on the CP-850. Just under a hundred twenty for a Signature ripple beater. Faint. 10.
Aesthetics (10% of the final score) - I like matte black, yes I do. And you have to admit, matte black on a unit the size of the CP-850 looks intimidating. This is Andre the Giant's power supply, right here. A point comes off for incomplete sleeving, and a fan bolted to the back rather than inside the case where there does look to be room. 9.
Antec has made a bold move in releasing their own power supply form factor standard, and it goes without saying that the battle will be an uphill one for them. After all, how many bajillions of ATX cases are out there that can't take a CPX sized unit? I have to be honest though... if I didn't have a Twelve Hundred I'm reviewing for next week, and had just load tested this unit without said case, I'd probably want to go buy one just to have a case to go with it. If the CPX form factor catches on, the CP-850 will be flat out untouchable. It is completely unmatched by any ATX unit on the market I can think of. You'd have to spend twice as much as this thing costs to find the next best thing, performance wise. I'd like to see some better capacitors in there, but you just can't fault the CP-850's performance here.
I don't know how Antec managed something this awesome for such a low price, but they must really want the CPX form factor taking off if this is the performance we're getting.
I'll see you folks next week, when I take on the Twelve Hundred and use it to build a system around the CP-850.
outperformed my SG-850 for ripple suppression
very quiet, even in the hot box
exceptionally stable voltage regulation
did better efficiency than 80 Plus' sample and cleared Bronze
proprietary to three Antec cases... all others must be modded (if there's room)
it's huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge and tried to run me over
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