Our load tests utilize a couple of FAST ATE active load testers and a variety of other equipment such as an oscilloscope, power conditioner, temperature probe and a power consumption meter. You can read more about our standard testing approach here.
The tests performed are based around six conceivable setups that are out there and progressively load down the PSU up to the power supply's limits or 1000W, whichever comes first. Since our test equipment's limits are higher than that of the InWin Commander III 800W power supply, we can test it to the maximum.
The above tests represent typical loads that we have measured from various systems and are meant to give a rough idea of where your computer might fall in line with our tests. Please keep in mind that each system is different and actual loads can vary greatly even with similar hardware.
Let's start by taking a look at the voltages to see how well this unit did during testing. Starting with the 12V1 rail, we see 2% regulation from start to finish with a total drop of .28V. 12V2 showed regulation within 3% and a total voltage drop of .26V. 12V3 faired the best out of all the rails, stayed with 2% and showing a total voltage drop of .21V. Rounding out the 12V rails, 12V4 was within 2% and showed a total voltage drop of .26V. The 5V rail managed to stay within 2% of specification as well with a total drop of .10V from start to finish. Moving towards the 3.3V rail, we see that regulation was within 4% of specification with a total voltage drop of .13V.
DC Output quality for the InWin Commander III 800W power supply was within specification, but far from what we like to see. During Test 1, we saw 31mV of noise on our scope. When we increased the loads in Test 3, the ripple climbed to 50mV at a little overhalf load. During Test 5 under a load of 800W, the oscilloscope showed a maximum of 70mv on noise on the 12V rail.
The InWin Commander III 800W is rated for 80 PLUS Gold efficiency. This means that the power supply must perform at 87%/90%/87% efficiency at 20%/50%/100% loads respectively. As you can see, the Commander III 800W passed on our bench and wasn't close to failing at any point.
Taking a look at the InWin Commander III 800W power supply on paper, it sounds like a very solid power supply all the way around. It is cheap, efficient, and offers up plenty of power for just about anything that has less than three video cards installed. Things didn't prove to be as promising as we had hope once we cracked open the power supply and found a bunch of Teapo capacitors on the inside.
Once we started testing, our voltages plummeted just like the guy falling off the end of the mountain on the Cliffhanger game from The Price Is Right. While everything was within specification, these results are the worst that we have seen in quite a while. The voltage regulation, while a bit rough, isn't nearly as scary as the DC output quality that spiked up to 70mV on the final test. This just goes to show that using Chinese and Taiwanese manufactured capacitors almost never pays off. At least the efficiency numbers are right where they should have been.
One must also consider that the power supply isn't intended for enthusiasts who demand the most out of their power supplies, but the person who needs a bit more power at a reasonable price. This is reflected in the $139 MSRP backed by the five year warranty. This puts it in a position that makes it priced around a 750W power supply, but cheaper than most 850W power supplies. If a 750W power supply just won't cut it for you, the InWin Commander III 800W power supply might very well fit the bill if you're short on funds. Otherwise, you might be better off spending a little bit more for something in the 850W range.
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