Performance (40% of the final score) - when the Kingwin Lazer Platinum 550W arrived at my house, I figured it would sacrifice performance for extreme efficiency. I figured wrong. Not only is this little guy exceptionally efficient, it's also quite the workhorse. It doesn't mind getting hot, it regulates like a beast, and is among the best units I've tested for ripple and noise suppression. I'm having trouble seeing a downside, here. Is it the best performance of all the units I've ever seen? No. But, it's close enough for me to want to reward Kingwin with a nice shiny 10 today.
Functionality (20% of the final score) - I always like a good modular unit, and this is one such creature. I like that you can take any modular cable and slot it in anywhere on the front panel without worry, even if those connectors are a little cumbersome looking. I like that the modular cables use ribbon cables, even if you don't have a color code to reference as to which voltages are found on which wires. And I really like that the unit is happy to go semi-fanless when it's not getting hot enough to matter. Which, as it turned out, was most of the time. The only drawback I can see is that perhaps the extra PCI-E hardwired cable might get in the way for some people. But that's really a minor nitpick. 9.5.
Value (30% of the final score) - Kingwin tells me they have it worked out so that Newegg will be the first place to get these units, and they are expected to pop up there on... let's see here... Friday. This Friday. The current MSRP is $169.99. I hate to say it, but... ouch. Platinum or not, I'm hoping to see these come down in price quite a bit from that figure. This is a fantastic unit, but performance and efficiency only goes so far on a 550 watter. 7.
Aesthetics (10% of the final score) - looks good, but the light gray fan doesn't do that much for me. I'm going to drop an 8 here.
It's always exciting when something new and awesome crosses my path, and Kingwin's entry into the new 80 Plus Platinum category certainly qualifies under both terms. While the MSRP is currently much too high to compete in the marketplace, the Lazer Platinum 550 watt unit is by no means a poor value. Not too many units out there can match the performance I saw here today, let alone exceed it. There's lots of good here, and very little bad. Nice work, Kingwin.
very low ripple and noise
better than 1% regulation on all main rails
goes fanless at low temps and even some higher temps
I can't think of any dumb platinum blonde jokes
Available at Newegg.com with exclusive 10% promo code for Jonnyguru.com only; please input“KWPLATINUM” at check out.
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