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.
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 OCZ PCP&P Mk III Silencer 750W consumes power according in the middle of the spectrum, which is where indeed Gold certified models need to be. Powered off most PSUs consumes like 0.5 Watt, the PSU switches off so it complies with ErP standards. But let's zoom in at load testing.
When we focus solely on CPU productivity mode load for a second we see that the PSU draws 274W from the wall socket. As you can see, the efficiency is amongst gold class models 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 454W from the wall socket. Again, these are your average results. At ~375W 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, closing in at Platinum level efficiency.
Guru3D and OCZ Contest - PC Power 1200W PSU Giveaway Guru3D and OCZ join forces and decided to get you some cool hardware. OCZ released their Silencer Mk III platinum series, these are all about being quiet, being awesome and very efficient and again, the PSU carries a Platinum certification. To try and win a free 1200 Watt model you need to participate, all you need to do is Like our Facebook page (if you haven't already) and leave a comment in the Facebook thread. Good Luck!
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