OCZ's decision to exit the DRAM market means it can spend more time and resources on the rest of its product portfolio, and if the new ZX power supply series is any indication, OCZ made the right move. On paper, the ZX series is the most ambitious PSU line OCZ has yet released, and that's saying something for a company that owns PC Power & Cooling.
Geared towards enthusiasts, the lowest wattage ZX unit is a beefy 850W. If that's not enough, there's also a 1,000W model and a 1,250W unit to choose from. Despite all that power, all three remarkably received the coveted 80+ Gold Certification and offer 92 percent efficiency on a typical load and 89 percent at full bore.
Other features include a 140mm ball-bearing fan, a single +12V rail, and a fully-modular design which is a first for OCZ. No world on price or availability.
The eXtreme Power Supply Calculator is our online go-to source for better than quick-and-dirty estimates of how much power our proposed builds are going to pull, and the latest update adds a handful of new hardware.
Now included is support for AMD's new Radeon HD 6970 and 6950 videocards, as well as Nvidia's GeForce GTX 570 and GT 430 GPUs. On the CPU side, the PSU calculator now recognizes a bunch of new AMD Phenom II X6 processors, including the 1065T and 1100T, as well as a handful of other AMD chips.
The Lite version is still free to use, while the Pro version runs $1.99 and provides a few more details, such as +12V, +5V, and +3.3V rail breakdowns, recommended UPS ratings, and expanded multi-videocard support.
Long time readers of Maximum PC magazine already know what we think of PC Power & Cooling (now owned by OCZ). More than a couple of PCP&P power supplies have ended up in our annual Dream Machine builds, and for good reason -- the company typically puts out rock solid PSUs.
The latest entry to PCP&P's PSU line is the Silencer 760, hitting the sweet spot in the Silencer series that ranges from 500W to 910W. The 760W also "further raises the bar with an 80 PLUS Silver efficiency" rating, running at 88 percent efficiency on a typical load.
As with all PCP&P PSUs, the Silencer 760 pumps all of its +12V amps through a single rail (74A in this case) rather than split them up through two, three, or even four +12V rails, as some PSU makers are prone to do. Other features include 835W peak power (the 760W rating is continuous power), dual 6-pin PCI-E connectors, dual 6/8-pin PCI-E connectors, eight SATA connectors, seven peripheral connectors, and one mini connector.
Now in version 2.5, the latest eXtreme Power Supply Calculator update adds support for a bevy of new videocards, including the Nvidia GeForce GTX 580, AMD Radeon HD 6870, and HD 5850.
For you workstation gurus, the latest version now recognizes a whole bunch of professional videocards, including 20 new Nvidia Quadro cards and 19 new AMD FireGL, FirePro, and FireStream GPUs.
Other additions include an option for a mini-ITX motherboard and Intel Pentium D 935 and 945 Presler chips. The Lite version is free to use and lets you estimate what your system power requirements will look like, while the Pro version (prices range from $1.99/3 days to $9.99/lifetime) goes into a bit more detail with info on individual rails (+3.3V, +5V, and +12V), recommended UPS rating, and more.
Quick, what's the most important piece of the PC building puzzle? That depends on what you're trying to accomplish, of course, but some will contend that no matter what the task, the power supply stands as the one area you never want to skimp in. And they're right -- we've seen generic units pop, fizzle, and even smoke.
Antec, for the most part, has a long history of putting out reliable units (some of which were built by Seasonic), and the company hopes to have another winner on its hands with its new High Current Gamer series.
"The High Current Gamer series is designed to optimize high-output current delivery while reducing wiring loss, resulting in unsurpassable value and reliability in a package that provides affordability and accessibility to gamers and power users working within varying budgets," Antec says.
Available in 400W, 520W, 620W, 750W, and 900W configurations, Antec says each one features over-current protected +12V rails with High Current functionality. Each one also comes stamped with the 80 PLUS Bronze certification.
Without any fanfare or ballyhooing, XFX this week expanded its power supply lineup with its new Pro Series with "EasyRail Technology." What exactly is EasyRail Technology, you ask?
From what we gather, it's XFX's fancy way of saying the Pro Series utilizes a single, beefy +12V rail rather than spreading the available amperage out across multiple +12V rails.
The Pro Series is available in 650W, 750W, and 850W models, each of which is 80 PLUS Bronze certified, which means they run at 85 percent efficiency with a 50 percent load. They also look to be CrossFire and SLI certified with support for up to 3-way multi-GPU configurations, depending on the videocard, and sport fixed cables.
We've only spotted these in the UK for around $106 (650W), $115 (750W) and $130 (850W). No word on when these will ship Stateside.
If you've never used the eXtreme PSU Calculator before, give it a whirl the next time you're in the market for a power supply. The free version includes a ton of configuration options to give you a better than ballpark estimate on what size power supply your build will likely require.
Protip: Under system type, choose the number of physical CPUs you have, and not the number of cores. So if you're running a Phenom II X4 processor, you'll choose "1 physical CPU."
Powercolor, an old stalwart in the videocard business, appears to have picked up some inspiration from its peers and is branching off into new territory. Specifically, Powercolor just entered the power supply market with the introduction of its Extreme and Gaming series.
The Gaming models are available in 500W and 600W units, while the Extreme series is reserved for the 850W and 1000W models. All four are 80 Plus certified, with the Extreme series boasting 80 Plus Bronze certification. In addition, the Extreme series sport modular cables and a bigger 140mm fan, while the Gaming models use fixed cables and a 120mm fan.
Otherwise, Powercolor is touting mostly similar features across the board, including high quality Japanese made capacitors, CrossFire and SLI support, Active PFC, and multiple +12V rails rather than a single large +12V rail.
Corsair this week outed its new Gaming Series power supplies, leaving little doubt as to who these PSUs are targeted towards. So what exactly makes a power supply fit for gamers?
From Corsair's perspective, it's glitz and power. Available in 600W, 700W, and 800W models, each units boasts a single almighty +12V rail with up to 65A pumping through. Each one is also 80 Plus Certified. On the aesthetic front, the PSUs come with a tri-color fan to illuminate the blades blue, red, or white, or nothing at all with the press of a button.
"The matte black finish and illuminated fans make the Gaming Series PSUs the ideal complement for your gaming rig," stated Ruben Mookerjee, VP and General Manager of Components at Corsair. "Whether you choose the 600, 700, or 800 watt model, you'll have the clean, efficient power to create the best gaming PC -- yours."
The GS600, GS700, and GS800 will be available soon for around $100, $110, and $120, respectively.
Corsair today announced the general retail availability of its Professional Series Gold line of power supplies, including the AX1200, AX850, and AX750.
"The response of early users and reviewers to the Professional Series Gold PSUs has been phenomenal," sated Ruben Mookerjee, VP and General Manager of Components at Corsair. "We have been working overtime to meet the demand for this ultra-efficient, fully modular PSU, and are thrilled to announce that these highly anticipated products are now widely available from Corsair's retailers."
In addition to being modular, all three units feature 80 PLUS Gold certification, which means they should deliver over 90 percent efficiency at 50 percent load. Corsair claims this was made possible by "utilizing server-grade power train architectures designed for mission-critical levels of voltage stability and reliability."
Other features include a single +12V rail rated at up to 100.4A (AX1200), individual DC-DC regulation for 3.3V, 5V, and 12V rails, and a whole bunch of other technologies that makes us wish we took an electrical engineering class. Get all the geeky details here.
A quick glance at Newegg shows street pricing hovering at $300 (AX1200), $190 (AX850), and $170 (AX750).