The Bottom Line
- + Platinum rated at greater than 92% efficiency
- + 100% Japanese capacitors and single 12V design
- + In-house platform design
- + Info / aRGB side panel
- + 10-year warranty
- - No individually sleeved cables
- - Not ATX 3.0 compliant
- - Info/aRGB side panel scratches easily
- - High price
Should you buy it?AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy
Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Cooler Master is a company with many different directions with products like cases, AIO coolers, keyboards, mice, and power supplies. Today we are looking at the new XG850 Plus Platinum watt PSU with a digital side informational aRGB display.
Specification-wise, the XG850 Plus Platinum should be able to power just about any mid-range system. Having almost 71 amps on a single 12-volt rail, not to mention the full 850 watts, not having to share with the 3.3 volt and 5v systems means more can be given to those power-hungry components that are being released these days - cough *RTX 4090* cough.
Cooler Master has made the XG Plus Platinum PSU series available in three wattages, 650w, 750w, and being reviewed today is the 850w model. MSRP pricing puts the 650w model at $240, 750w at $250, and the 850w at $260. Right now, the 850w model is $195 on Amazon. However, all three models currently have a mail-in rebate, knocking the price down another $50.
The Cooler Master XG850 Plus Platinum PSU arrived in a colored cardboard box with tons of product information plastered all over.
This side of the packaging shows the specifications along with an image of the XG850 Plus PSU.
This backside of the box shows features such as design, components, cables, dimensions, efficiency, and compatibility with Cooler Master's MasterPlus+ software.
Opening up the box, you will see that the XG850 Plus PSU is enclosed in a Cooler Master branded felt bag for protection while in shipping.
Outside the Cooler Master XG850 Plus Platinum Platinum
Removing the XG850 Plus from the felt bag is the PSU. Different grille patterns here protect the 135mm aRGB fan, and we will find out what model number the fan is later when we crack it open to see the PSU guts. The XG Plus's dimensions are 160mm X 150mm X 86mm (LxWxH).
A side profile of the XG850 Plus Platinum shows a stamped design, which shows Cooler Master was trying to make it unique against PSUs.
The information display is one of the key features of the XG850 Plus over the standard XG series. This display can show PSU info like real-time performance data, fan speed, temperature, and power load, all while having customized aRGB lighting.
The bottom shows the model number along with the specifications.
All the flat ribbon cables would get plugged in here. Along the top section is a split plug in for the motherboard and five CPU or GPU eight-pin connections, presumably two for the CPU and three for the GPU. The bottom section has a USB input for control of the digital display, the other split section of the motherboard 24-pin, and four more connections for HDD or SATA connections.
Lastly, the typical backside you would see in just about any PSU, an IEC-320-C13 power input, a power on/off switch, a subtle Cooler Master logo, as well as plenty of the ventilation pattern that's carried over from the fan grille side.
Cooler Master has packaged the flat black ribbon cables in this nice little pouch to keep things nice and tidy.
Removing the cables from the pouch are the flat ribbon-style cables. Unfortunately, none of the cabling is individually sleeved, which is something at the higher-than-normal price point, and would have been nice to have.
Inside the Cooler Master XG850 Plus Platinum Platinum
Cooler Master's 135mm aRGB fan of choice. The model number is DF135212FDHN.
An overall view, a lot of empty areas in there.
A single large aluminum electrolytic capacitor labeled KMZ with 450v is made by Nippon Chemi-Con.
Test System, Installation, and Finished Product
- Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z690 AORUS PRO (INTEL Z690) - Buy from Amazon
- CPU: Intel Core i5 12600K - Buy from Amazon
- Cooler: be quiet! Pure Loop 280mm - Buy from Amazon
- Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR5 7200 2x16GB
- Graphics Card: NVIDIA RTX 3090 Founders Edition - Buy from Amazon
- Storage: Corsair MP600 PRO XT Gen4 PCIe x4 NVMe M.2 SSD - Buy from Amazon
- Case: Lian Li Lancool 216
- Power Supply: Cooler Master XG850 Plus Platinum - Buy from Amazon
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro 64-bit - Buy from Amazon
- Software: AIDA64 Engineer 6.32.5600, and CPU-z 1.94.0 x64
Testing & Final Thoughts
Let's talk about the elephant in the room here - the side informational display that's aRGB. Lighting up in aRGB is all the rage right now, and it's not going to go away.
With that said, the lighting element does look good. Having the ability to show PSU stats like temperature, wattage, and fan speed, this view only works if it's mounted in a case that showcases the PSU area or, at the very least, has a mesh panel like I have it mounted in the Lian Li Lancool 216.
The side digital display can also interface with Cooler Master's MasterPlus+ software, but in all reality, it is quite limited to what you can control, not to mention change.
RGB is about the only thing that is configurable when the USB cable is plugged in. Firmware updates are also possible via the USB 2.0 header cable inside the MasterPlus+ software.
In testing, I came across some interesting information. I currently use an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition for testing PSUs, and it has a 12-pin connection, which can deliver up to 600 watts of power to the GPU. So naturally, I grabbed the two 8-pin PCIe to 12-pin dongle that came with the RTX 3090 FE to provide power.
Not realizing that by only technically feeding the RTX 3090 FE 150 watts via each of the two 8-pin PCIe cables, along with the 75 watts from the PCIe slot itself, the RTX 3090 FE was power limited to 375 watts that the XG850 Plus could provide. Thus leaving some performance on the table if you had moved the power limit slider to 114% that NVIDIA allows, which is somewhere around 400 watts. But is this a fault of the XG850? Sort of.
While the dongle NVIDIA provided provides the needed TDP of 350w via its connections, it leaves very little overclocking headroom available. NVIDIA could have included a three-headed 8-pin dongle, which would have supplied 450 watts plus the 75 watts from the PCIe slot, but that would be a bit overkill. If a 12VHPWR connector were available on the XG850, it would have been able to feed the GPU more power and be more future-proof.
So, what does this tell us? The story here is that if you need or have a high-end GeForce RTX 30 or 40-series GPU, this PSU is not for you, as it cannot provide enough power to power-hungry GPUs without the high-powered 12VHPWR connection. Can you get around this? Absolutely, but then you will live that dongle life, which not everyone likes.
Steve from Gamers Nexus did a very thorough testing of the 16-pin 12VHPWR dongle and all its "melting" claims to find out that more or less it came to plugging the connection all the way in properly. NVIDIA also recently confirmed what Steve had investigated as well.
So, is the XG850 Plus Platinum worth it? Well, for it's higher than normal price point, it's hard to justify. Sure, having been rated at platinum-level efficiency helps, but what keeps coming to mind is the exclusion of any 12 or 16-pin 12VHPWR cables, thus making it not ATX 3.0 compliant, and releasing a PSU today means that it should be ATX 3.0 compliant in my view.
Would I recommend the XG850 Plus Platinum PSU to anyone? Well, it depends. On the one hand, the side informational display is nice, but it's unnecessary. If it were my money, I would only look at ATX 3.0 PSU currently, with a 16-pin 12VHPWR connector, as that will give the most available options in the future.
Cooler Master's XG850 Plus Platinum power supply could have proven to be a much more compelling option had it been ATX 3.0 compliant.