Performance (40% of the final score) - and now it comes down to the scoring. Performance wise, this unit did very well indeed. Ripple was very well in spec, regulation was very good, and it met 80 Plus Gold handily enough. It's not as good here as the old SG-850 was, but pretty close. But the soldering issues on the modular PCB... I'm going to have to take issue with that. Half point comes off for not being quite as good for performance as the best I've ever seen, and another half point off for the soldered in standoffs. That gives me a 9 here, if I did my math right.
Functionality (20% of the final score) - I like the cabling on this unit. You can plug the peripheral cables into any connector on the back and have them work. And you can plug the extra EPS12V cable into any red connector. But I have a problem here too - poor documentation. It's one thing to save the trees by not including the user manual in the box. It's quite another to cause confusion and frustration because some helpful information is missing. One point comes off for that. 9.
Value (30% of the final score) - as of this morning, you can pick one of these up from Superbiiz for $195.30. That's actually not terrible, there. The Seasonic X850 is only a few pennies more, and the Coolermaster Silent Pro Gold is about the same price too. On the other hand, the Corsair AX850 is about ten smackers cheaper at other vendors. All things considered, I'd say this unit is a very good value, stopping just short of excellent. 8.5.
Aesthetics (10% of the final score) - normally, I'm a matte black kind of guy. But, the yellow/gold/dark blue color scheme of this one really speaks to me. It says, "different can look good." 9.5.
Antec has a very nice 80 Plus Gold certified power supply here. It's not quite the second coming of the Signature series I was hoping to see, but you could do a lot worse than grabbing one of these units. I'd like to see ripple suppression made even better, the documentation improved, and that modular PCB standoff issue addressed. These are all relatively minor issues, however, and shouldn't stop you from buying one. It wouldn't stop me.
very stable regulation
keeps ripple well in check
80 Plus Gold
keeps its cool in hot weather
modular PCB standoffs need to be bolted on, not soldered
poor documentation of the modular connectors
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