Testing a power supply these days is always a bit of a challenge at hand. I mean without professional load testers it's pretty hard to stress a power supply of this class and actually measure its behavior.
Our first check is with a simple cheapo power supply tester, we monitor voltages quickly and check if all rails are working. A good score. The photo is a little overexposed I'm afraid. Voltages are good, yet slightly on the high side, we noticed that on the 1500W model at the time as well.
The test setup
So for our load test here's what we did. We emulate real world usage. We take an Energy hungry Intel P55 based Quad SLI compatible motherboard, armed it with GeForce GTX 590 cards (each card has two GPUs).
We combined the P55 motherboard with a Core i7 870 processor overclocked to 3.8 GHz. The system... well have a look:
These are the components used:
eVGA P55 Classified SLI motherboard (has high power consumption and an NF200 chip)
Core i7 870 (overclocked to 3800 GHz) 20x190 BLCK at 1.4 Volts
1x GeForce GTX 590 primary (2 GPUs)
4 GB Memory DDR3 @ 1520 MHz
OCZ Vertex 2 SDD x1
Now, with a setup like this, many years ago we'd have reached 500~550 Watts power consumption as maximum. But with power supplies getting so much more efficient these days, even that proves to be a very hard task to accomplish. So above, our graphics card setup. Now on the software side of things it is time to give the PC a decent beating. Remember our focus remains on PSU efficiency.
We now take some other power supplies and start testing with one GeForce GTX 590 first:
Looking at efficiency is actually a simple thing to do, we apply the same load on several power supplies, from old to new. We look at the powered off status, Windows IDLE status, productivity mode (we stress the CPUs) and during gaming. The lower the Wattage, the more efficient. The IDLE power consumption is average to normal.
The best indicator for good efficient power consumption is by looking at the game test.
As you can see the EVGA PSU consumes power according to the gold norm. Powered off most PSUs consumes 1 Watt, which makes us think it's not ERP compatible. But 1 watt... is that that noticable?
When we focus solely on CPU productivity mode load for a second we see that the PSU draws 275W from the wall socket. As you can see, the efficiency is in the upper segment of efficiency. For a Gold certified PSU, that's pretty spot on.
Let's increase load a little though. When we focus solely on gaming load, we see that the PSU draws 465W from the wall socket. Again, these are your average results. At ~325W power draw this 750 Watt PSU should be the the most efficient -- as at 50% load a PSU is usually the most efficient.The efficiency values even slightly below 50% load actually remain at Gold level efficiency. But let's take it up a notch. next page please.
EVGA SuperNOVA NEX1500 Classified PSU review We review the EVGA NEX1500 Classified PSU. The monster of a 1500 Watt PSU is massive in performance and featrues. It's the most versitie and feature rich power supply we have ever put our hands on.