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).
Later today, NZXT will officially announce its HALE90 power supply line, which the company says it built from the ground up specifically for gamers and enthusiasts.
"HALE90 offers the unparalleled combination of efficiency, ease of use, premium components, and silent operation," said Johnny Hou, Founder and Product Manager at NZXT. "Gamers and enthusiasts can rely on this lineup to deliver the most efficient power on the market through premium components that will ensure system longevity."
More than just hyped up marketing speak, NZXT seems intent on backing up its claims, at least from a paper spec perspective. Sporting a modular design, the HALE90 series is 80+ Gold certified, it comes equipped with high-quality, 100 percent Japanese capacitors, and utilizes a single +12V rail, a stable of the venerable PC Power & Cooling line.
The HALE90 series is available now in a variety of wattages, including 550W ($120), 650W ($140), 750W ($160), 850W ($180), and 1000W ($210).
Things are looking pretty bleak over at BFG. In mid-May, the enthusiast company announced it was bowing out of the graphics card business, a sector it admitted was "no longer profitable" for them, and vowed to "continue to provide our award-winning power supplies and gaming systems," as well as work on a few new products.
The situation might be more dire than BFG let on. While we haven't heard anything official, HardOCP says its been hearing that BFG went and nixed its power supply division.
"We are being told this morning by sources inside BFG Tech that its 'PSU department' has been let go," HardOCP writes. "I would suggest that if you have a BFG card that needs to be RMA'd, you need to get that done ASAFP. We do not see the company being 'in business' much longer as it is reported that all its remaining inventory has been moved."
Again we should stress that BFG hasn't released any official statements, but if true, this will rank as a dark day for power users who were/are fans of the BFG brand. Made up of enthusiasts themselves, BFG was one of the few companies which guaranteed their videocards with lifetime warranties, a backing which also applied to some of its PSUs.
Some would argue that the power supply is the most important component in your build, and if you've ever had a cheap, generic PSU blow up on you, then it's easy to see why. But learning to steer clear of no-name brands is only part of the equation, the other consideration is what size unit do you need?
That's where OuterVision's "eXtreme Power Supply Calculator" comes in, a handy online utility designed to give you an idea what size PSU you should be looking at. The way it works is you select your system configuration from a series of pull-down menus and checkboxes. There are over 1,100 CPUs included, and you can even calculate how much extra juice you're pulling by overclocking to a specific frequency.
It's been a couple of months since the last update, and the June refresh adds some new components to the list. The PSU calculator now recognizes Nvidia GeForce GTX 465 videocards, and a handful of AMD processors have been added, including the AMD Phenom II X6 1055T at 1.3V and 1.1V, and the 1090T clocked at 3200MHz.
If you plan to use the utility, be advised that the 'System Type' pull-down menu is asking for how many physical CPUs you have your in systems, not the amount of cores. A quad-core chip, for example, would still count as "1 physical CPU."
OCZ this week unveiled the StealthXStream 2 power supply series, the follow-up act to the original StealthXStream aimed at the entry-level and mid-level markets.
"Three years ago we launched the original StealthXStream PSU line with the goal of delivering a power supply with the right balance of performance, features, and value," said Alex Mei, CMO at the OCZ Technology Group. "The new StealthXStream 2 is the natural evolution of this popular line and features an updated core, a sleeker more compact form factor making it easy to integrate into any chassis and plenty of stable power for dual GPU platforms, and with a complete range of models to choose customers can select the perfect wattage for their unique system configuration."
Available in 400W, 500W, 600W, and 700W flavors, all four new models are 80PLUS certified. The 400W and 500W units feature a single 20+4-pin ATX connector, one 4-pin CPU, one 6-pin PCI-E, four peripheral, one floppy, and three SATA plugs. The 600W model ups the ante with a 4+4-pin CPU connector, 6+2-pin PCI-E, and 5 peripheral plugs, while the 700W boasts six peripheral connectors, two floppy connectors, and six SATA plugs.
No word yet on price, through for a point of reference, the original 500W, 600W, and 700W StealthXStreams street for $55, $70, and $75 on Newegg, respectively.
Corsair, a company best known for its range of memory products, has also built a reputation for high quality power supplies, namely the TX and HX series released a couple of years ago. On paper, Corsair's newly introduced Professional Series Gold units are even better.
The new line features a fully modular low-profile cable set and come rated at 750W (AX750), 850W (AX850), and 1200W (AX1200W). As the naming scheme suggests, these are all 80 Plus Gold certified, meaning they deliver over 90 percent efficiency at 50 percent load.
No easy task, Corsair said it incorporated a number of "sophisticated server-level technologies" to reach 80 Plus Gold status, including Zero Voltage Switching and Zero Current Switching tecnology to eliminate switching losses and reduce EMI, as well as individual DC-to-DC voltage regulation for the 3.3V, 5V, and 12V rails. In addition, Corsair claims its secondary-side synchronous rectification and 4-layer PCB design results in low levels of ripple and noise.
All three power supplies come with a single 20/24-pin ATX connector, two 8-pin CPU connectors, and a single floppy connector. The AX750 adds two 6+2-pin PCI-E, 12 SATA, and eight 4-pin connectors, while the AX850 ups the ante to four 6+2 pin connectors. The flagship AX1200 features six 6+2-pin, 16 SATA, and 12 4-pin connectors.
Each PSU also boasts a single +12V rail with 62A (744W), 70A (840W), and 100.4A (1204.8W) available on the AX750, AX850, and AX1200, respectively.
We never bought into the whole Fatal1ty hype ourselves, and judging by the reader comments that inevitably accompany these types of posts, neither did most of you. Nevertheless, arguably the world's most infamous gamer, Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel, will have his gamertag slapped on another power supply product from OCZ, a 750W modular unit.
"Working with Fatal1ty to build the ultimate PSU for a high-performance gaming environment was a great experience," commented Ryan Edwards, Director of Product Management at OCZ Technology. "Jonathan and OCZ share a common commitment to performance and reliability aimed at supporting the user in even the most intense competitive gaming and enthusiast environments. With the new Fatal1ty 750, gamers and power users alike can be confident their system is fueled by a top-notch PSU with the latest in technology and design."
Underneath the Fatal1ty logo sits an 80+ Bronze Certified power supply capable of 750W continuous at 45C. Modular cables consist of four 6+2-pin PCI-E, six peripheral, two floppy, and six SATA connectors, while permanent connections consist of one 20/24-pin ATX, one 8-pin CPU, and one 4+4-pin CPU.
If the latest report from Taiwanese news site DigiTimes proves correct, you may want to consider upgrading that aging power supply sooner rather than later. The reason? Taiwan-based PSU companies have either already hiked prices, or are planning to do so, DigiTimes says.
It's important to note here that most PSUs, regardless of branding, are manufactured overseas, so this could potentially affect PSUs in the U.S. According to DigiTimes, Taiwan produces about 80 percent of the worldwide power supplies used in notebooks, 50 percent of those used in PCs and LCD TVs, and nearly 50 percent of the PSUs in servers.
So is there reason to panic? Not likely. DigiTimes says prices are poised to rise by 10 percent, and this appears to be mostly related to system companies rather than the DIY community. Even still, it's worth keeping an eye on, especially if you're getting ready to upgrade your PSU or put together a new system.
Long time readers of Maximum PC magazine know we've been impressed in the past with PC Power & Cooling power supplies, which have powered a number of Dream Machine configurations over the years. While things have been pretty quiet over at the PCP&P camp as of the late, OCZ on Wednesday made some noise when it unveiled the Silencer Mk II PSU.
"I am thrilled see the new Silencer Mk II brought to market and provide the premier power management solution to power users of all kinds, from enthusiasts to industrial OEMs," commented Ryan Edwards, Director of Product Management at OCZ Technology. "The Mk II is a perfect blend of proven, long-term technology and the newest cutting-edge design. With 25 years of high-performance power supply experience, PC Power & Cooling has always been at the forefront of the computing industry, and the Silencer Mk II represents an exciting new chapter in a long history of providing uncompromising quality and lasting value to its customers."
The new Mk II series comes in a variety of power configurations, including 500W, 650W, 750W, and 950W. With the exception of the 80+ Bronze 500W model, all the rest are 80+ Silver certified (88 percent efficiency). True to PCP&P's design philosophy, all Mk II models sport a single +12V rail, as well as a thermally controlled 135mm double-ball bearing fan.