ABS Tagan BZ1300 Modular Power Supply

As hardware gets faster, it also gets hungrier. If it's power you need, this 1300w monster has it all and then some.
| Nov 13, 2008 at 11:00 pm CST
Rating: 92%Manufacturer: ABS-Tagan

Introduction

ABS - Tagan BZ1300 Modular Power Supply
IntroductionFor many years the name Tagan has been synonymous with quality power. These folks were one of the first companies to come out with a kilowatt of power for the PC. Not only that, Tagan is also an actual power supply manufacturer, so not only does is say Tagan on the outside, but on the inside as well.Today's offering is the BZ1300, and as the name implies it offers a massive 1300 watts of power. It carries logos from both Tagan and ABS, their sister company, and features a modular design that is always nice to see. We have seen the BZ900 recently and it performed well, but this is the monster of the product line.While past accomplishments show a tendency toward excellence, it won't have any real bearing on our tests. Does this new big boy have enough power to handle the load? Let's find out!













In The Box

In The Box
ABS - Tagan BZ1300 Modular Power Supply
When you first open up the box, you are greeted with a very compact package. Everything is well protected in padded nylon. Given the way most U.S. shipping companies handle packages nowadays, this is a good thing. The condition of the manual above bears witness to the condition of the package when I received it, but there were no problems with the power supply or associated accessories. All was in excellent condition mainly in part to the care Tagan takes with their products.
ABS - Tagan BZ1300 Modular Power Supply
Breaking the main unit out shows a pretty basic design. The outer shell is coated with a flat black colored finish that won't set itself off once installed in your box. Though a little bit longer than some power supplies, there should be few problems with installation in all but the smallest enclosures. The depth measures in at about 175mm, or just under 7 inches.As far as power is concerned, the unit is rated at 1300 watts. In keeping with newer motherboard standards, the BZ1300 has a total of six 12v rails, each of which are rated at 20A. The entire 12v rail is capable of a power draw of just over 1100 watts on its own, or 92A of draw. This will be more than enough for anything that you can throw at it. The 5v rail is rated at 30A and the 3.3v rail is set up to allow for a draw of 26A. While created for newer 12v hungry systems, this PSU can still manage older system boards that need a hefty 5v rail.
ABS - Tagan BZ1300 Modular Power Supply
The exterior panel is pretty barren with a toggle switch and a power port. There is also a lot of mesh material to allow for ample airflow. You can also see the small label hiding in the lower right hand corner that says "+12v Auto Turbo Switch". Tagan brought out the concept of allowing users to use a toggle switch to create just a single 12v rail for systems that needed more power from a single rail than was available. With this, their flagship power supply, they have added the same feature but made it an automatic switch. What this means to you is that if your system draws more from a 12v rail than it is capable of providing, the system automatically converts the multiple 12v rail system into a single rail that allows you to draw whatever amount of power you need. This is very nice for those who are running powerful graphics adapters that draw huge amounts of power (or twin cards as we will test with that fall into the same category).
ABS - Tagan BZ1300 Modular Power Supply
To compliment that large mesh area on the back of the enclosure is a large 135mm fan. These larger fans have been becoming very common of late and do a very good job of not only getting a lot of air moving, but also doing so with minimal noise. For those who have lighting effects already in place, this fan is equipped with blue LED lights so will emit a soft blue glow.
ABS - Tagan BZ1300 Modular Power Supply
The interior back panel has an interesting way of utilizing the modular cabling system in that you simply screw in the cabling harness you need and go from there. Everything is color coded to match the cables so you don't have to worry about stressing any given voltage rail. Not only that, but these ports also emit a colored glow that matches the cable color code.
ABS - Tagan BZ1300 Modular Power Supply
As noted earlier, this is a modular power supply but some of the primary cabling is still native to the box. Fully connected ports include a 20+4 pin primary power coupling, both 4-pin and 8-pin supplemental connectors, one PCI-E, one PCI-E6+2 and one Molex. There is also a grounding wire for those looking for a little extra security and peace of mind.
ABS - Tagan BZ1300 Modular Power Supply
For those cables that are not native to the main unit, you will see a large selection of possible configurations that should have no problems at all meeting your specific needs. Included in the modular wiring harnesses are a total of 12 SATA ports, 6 additional Molex, two PCI-E and two PCI-E6+2. Combined with the native cabling, this power supply can satisfy those systems making use of the new triple graphics layouts that is becoming available on some newer motherboards.As far as cable length is concerned on these modular cables, both the Molex and SATA cable sets have a minimum length of about 22". The Molex strands have a maximum cable length of 33" and the SATA strands have a maximum length of 40". The PCI-E strands measure out to 24". This should make it possible to handle even large enclosures without having to resort to extensions.
ABS - Tagan BZ1300 Modular Power Supply
Above is the nylon accessory bag that was shown at the top of this page. While we have already taken a look at the cabling, there is a little more included inside the bag.
ABS - Tagan BZ1300 Modular Power Supply
Besides the cabling harnesses and the main power cord, you also get these little goodies. To start off with, some may have noted the lack of a FDD power connector. Fear not since inside the accessory bag is a dual Molex to 2x FDD splitter. There are also a set of 4 converter plugs that allow you to use four of the SATA power connections as extra Molex. Most systems are not going to make use of a dozen SATA devices, so this gives some added flexibility to those who may want to hook up additional fans of are running alternative cooling devices that need a lot of power at different locations.Also included in the bag are some Velcro zip ties, a small screwdriver, static proof gloves, an ABS badge and a rubber grommet that fits around the end of the power supply to create a no-vibration contact point between the PSU and the system enclosure.Now that we have taken a look at what you get, let's take a look at how well it performs.

Testing

TestingWhen it comes to testing a power supply, there are two courses to travel. One takes you down a path using a device to stress out the PSU and provide data regarding the power levels across all three rails. The second, and the one I make use of, utilizes an actual test system to give a more real-world account of what the power supply is capable of. While both methods have their merits, I prefer to use an actual computer to more closely resemble the manner of use that you, the potential customer, will put the product through.That said, let's take a quick look at the test system. I have continued to beef up the system to put a more realistic strain on the power supply.MSI X48C Platinum motherboard (Supplied by MSI)Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 processor2x 1024MB Corsair XMS2-8500-C5 memory (Supplied by Corsair)2x Sapphire X2900XT graphics boards in CrossfireX configuration (Supplied by Sapphire)2x Western Digital 250GB SATA hard driveWestern Digital 160GB SATA hard drivesSony 52x CD-ROM optical driveSamsung 16x DVD-R optical drive1x 200mm fan4x 120mm fansWhile this isn't a Quad-GPU setup, we are certainly in the realm of having a system that is going to put a significant power drain on any power supply. Each of the X2900XT boards is capable of pulling close to 250 watts of power. Testing will consist of checking the power levels across all three rails at idle and again while the system is under stress. This should give us a good look at the capabilities of the power supply being tested.Results
While we have seen a lot of nice features and goodies that come with the Tagan BZ1300 power supply, the primary concern still comes down to numbers. How much power is delivered to the rails when it is running? How much drop do we see when we stress the system? Are there large amounts of fluctuation in the voltage rails during operation? All of these questions are what make us go out and buy a power supply.After testing was complete, I can say without reservation that if you have a need for massive amounts of power, the BZ1300 is going to be one of your better choices. All voltage levels are solid, the drop between idle and load is minimal (even with a dual graphics setup), and the only fluctuations of power I saw during all phases of testing consisted of a 0.01v flutter on the 12v rail at idle. This monster easily handles a dual X2900XT video array and doesn't even stutter. Granted, not a lot of us really have a need for this much juice, but if you do, it delivers... Period!

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts
ABS - Tagan BZ1300 Modular Power Supply
Well, when I first started this piece I was expecting to see good things and I wasn't disappointed. The Tagan BZ1300 offers one of the most powerful power supplies available in the U.S. and is still more than capable with handling other power sources around the world. It is designed for the hardcore enthusiast who has more system than is really good for anyone. It can take a pair of power hungry video cards and the associated system and laugh at it. But we knew it was going to be strong in this area, so it is good that it was able to deliver what we had hoped for.It does not stop there, however. The BZ1300 also offers a modular design that is extremely easy to use. Add to this the lighting effects it comes with and you will get people's attention when you crank it up at your next LAN party. Cooling is plentiful for the unit and it does so with little noise. Even under load I was not able to get the fan speed moving to the point where I could here it without putting my ear right next to it.The added accessory pack also contains goodies that you just don't find in a standard power supply setup. The gloves are a nice touch since it not only helps prevent static shock, it also keeps you from leaving a bunch of fingerprints on the casing while you install it. These little touches let you know that the folks at Tagan know enthusiasts and care about our needs and desires.While all sounds wonderful so far (and yes, it really is that good a power supply), all this goodness comes at a price. For those interested in the BZ1300, you can expect to shell out in the vicinity of $470US or thereabouts. While this is a rather expensive upgrade, it will provide you with an excellent source of power that should easily last you for years to come. For comparison purposes, this price point hovers between the middle and upper end of the range for quality power supplies between 1200 and 1300 watts. Of course, you are also getting a solidly manufactured PSU from Tagan, a tier 2 manufacturing company.If you have the money and the need for this much power, the Tagan BZ1300 comes very highly recommended.
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Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:27 pm CDT

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