Load testing the PSU
How do you test a PSU? In theory it's not that difficult, in real-life situations ... very difficult with such a highly rated PSU. But the fact is that we do not have the gear in house to be able to stress this PSU even a little. We can connect everything we want, add more devices and overclock, but even then we'd peak at 500-600 Watts. But hey, let's try that out and see what happens.
So here's what we did. We took an eVGA Force 680i SLI mainboard and equipped it with Conroe dual-core E6800 Extreme Processor, 2x GeForce 8800 GTX cards setup in SLI. After the installation we loaded the latest drivers, and enabled a seriously funky gaming experience and power hungry system. Pretty spiffy setup, don't you think ?
We'll let's not stop here. We overclocked the CPU towards 3.6 GHz, had the DDR2 memory running at 1147 MHz and the two GeForce 8800 GTX cards toward 625 MHz on the core and 2100 MHz for its memory.
We now enabled a seriously funky gaming experience at a monitor resolution of 1920x1200 (a good balance between hefty GPU usage whilst using the CPU at maximum as well). Now for the test we used X3: the reunion as it's proved to be a little more requiring than 3DMark. It's a total bitch on graphics cards; it makes them sweat! We set the resolution at 1920x1200 and enabled 8xAA and 16xAF to make sure the graphics cards were working hard! The balance of these settings also ensures me that that the CPU is utilized as much as can be.
Now at this point I realized that we're not stressing the PSU even slightly. So I added a couple of more HD's, fan's, some extra cold cathode lighting, water-cooling. Really your wiring worst nightmare, but everything I could find to boost power consumption.
Sorry for the huge wire mess, but this review isn't about the aesthetics for once.
So during the test we did a couple of things. We monitored peak PC power consumption with a wattage meter. And we tapped the voltage lines with a multimeter to see if we could detect any fluctuations.