Everyone loves a bargain, especially these days. You know; a nice affordable power supply that simply does the job, looks decent and has some good power ratings. If you have been looking for a value power supply, then you will likely be no stranger to Rosewill. The company was founded on the premise of combining quality with affordable prices on a wide variety of products, from cables to PC accessories to LCD TVs.
Today, we are looking at the newest member of Rosewill Performance series, the RP650-2 650 Watt power supply. This power supply is aimed squarely at the value conscious buyer looking to get enough power for that shiny new graphics card. At a suggested list price of $129 US, it certainly won't break the bank, but at that price it is hardly cheap. Where is the bargain? - Well, you will be happy to know that street prices look to be significantly less with several e-tailers showing a listing for it at well below $100 USD. This bodes well for the Rosewill unit, especially if it can compete, feature-for-feature, against some very big names like Corsair, Silverstone and PC Power and Cooling in the list price range.
Let's take a peek at what Rosewill has to offer and see how it stacks up against what I would consider some very steep competition. Can this value minded power supply keep up? - Let's see how The Rosewill RP650-2 fared.
Looking at the label on the PSU, the power rating is competitive with other power supplies from 550 to 650 watts. You can draw up to a claimed 50 amps from the 12V rails for a total of 600 watts. This only leaves 31.5 watts for the 3.3 and 5 volt rails, but most entry level enthusiast systems would only require about 50 to 60 watts. This leaves us with about 47 amps available for around 564 Watts.
We also can see that the unit is rated to provide a little extra power, about 80 watts, above the maximum power rating for 60 seconds. It will be interesting to see if the RP650-2 can deliver on this specification. On the downside, there is one item noted in the manual that is of some concern. The power rating assumes operating temperatures of 30C or less. After that, power output drops to 80% of specified limits at 50C (about 500 watts). We will certainly look out for this limitation in our hotbox tests.
The most significant feature to note is the Active PFC. Most other power supplies at the Rosewill street price range ($50 to $60 US) will not have this capability. Active PFC makes for a much more stable, efficient power supply since it automatically adjusts to voltage changes. You will notice there is no voltage selector on the PSU. This is a big plus.
Even so, it is not 80 Plus certified, but that does not mean it will not deliver 80 plus efficiency. The manufacturer may have simply opted not to pay for the certification. It will be interesting to see if it makes the grade in spite of no certification.
The other item worthy of noting is the power rating at 50C. The Rosewill specifications were defined at 30C which may or may not be a reasonable operating temperature to expect in many system cases. Our testing will see how important this rating can be.
The power supply comes in a simple black box with a big silver "P" on the box top denoting Performance. There is no other information on the box that hints at what is contained within, other than a simple label on the side reporting a serial number and the part number. If this product had to compete on the retail shelf, you would certainly have more questions than answers.
The back of the box is as informative as the front with a big silver "P" for Performance.
Other than a part number here, there is no real information.
Well, according to the information on the side, this must be a Rosewill Power Supply. Over all, a very non-descript box.
In the Box
Opening the box, we find the unit wrapped in a protective layer of thin bubble wrap. This is relatively normal for a value oriented power supply. Still, I prefer the power supply that is packed in a protective layer of foam to help prevent any type of handling or shipping damage to the unit. Rosewill does use better packaging for their Extreme line. In spite of the minimal packaging, the PSU, upon inspection, arrived un-marred and with no dings or dents inflicted on the nicely polished black chrome finish.
The thin bubblewrap protects the PSU from some basic rubs and scratches. I would personally not want to ship it in the retail box without some additional protection, but this is relatively standard packaging in this price range.
The manual is nicely done, easy to read and actually contains useful information. This is where we find the note about the performance and operating temperatures. Good information.
The unit comes with the standard 18 gauge power cable and some mounting screws. Again, what you would expect in this price category. No extras like Velcro straps, nylon ties or a branded label for your case.
Let's now take a closer look at the Rosewill RP650-2 itself.
The Power Supply
First impressions are positive. The finish is nice with a large 120 mm LED fan and the cables are sleeved in black nylon mesh with matching black connectors that look to be generous in length. It is a nice compact design with good finishing touches. So far, so good, but we don't buy a power supply because it looks pretty (well, I hope we don't).
Here is a view of the fan side of the power supply. This is what you would see in many of the newer BTX cases. The power supply is definitely finished nicely to be shown off in a windowed case.
The back side of the PSU is relatively standard with hexagon mesh. You also get a toggle switch and a nice black chromed finish to complement your case.
Here is a look at the cable side of the power supply. The cables are sleeved all the way into the PSU which makes for a nice clean look.
All of the cables are of good length, nicely sleeved and provide flexible connectivity. The 8-pin and 6-pin PCI-E runs will help power the very latest graphics cards. The ATX CPU connector is the flexible 4+4 variant that is also EPS compliant.
The manual claims that the unit is both SLI and Crossfire ready, but this will obviously be limited to a graphics card model that uses a single 6-pin PCI-E connector. Once again, the Rosewill is looking to be very good for this class of power supply.
The 20+4 main connector can be seen here. It is sleeved, but not as far down as I would have liked to see.
Here are the two PCI-E power runs. Included is one 6+2 pin and the other a 6-pin.
And finally, we take a look at the standard molex and SATA cabling. These are also of generous length and will offer flexibility in almost any sized system case enclosure.
A Look Inside
Next, we open up the power supply to take a quick look at how well things are built where it really counts. Please keep in mind that opening a PSU will void your warranty and can be dangerous.
The main board looks organized with good, clean soldering on the bottom side. There is some glue and plastic film to ensure no shorts occur. The heatsinks are made of a light aluminum and look decently sufficient to cool a power supply of this capacity. The UL code indicates the power supply is either a Magnell or ABS Computer Technologies unit, a division of NewEgg. Now, it appears this unit is based on the ATNG APL series power supplies. A quick review of the power supplies show that this is actually a 630W unit, not 650. It might explain the full load test results, but more on that later.
Here is a gander at the main capacitor in the PSU. It is Teapo branded and is common in value power supplies. Again, all standard items for this power supply category. Now, there is one interesting aspect on this power supply. All of the part numbers are rubbed off. I'm not sure why they would need to do that, unless they wanted to hide something! - I have seen other reviews note the very same thing, however, so I suspect that all retail versions of the PSU will be the same. Still, it makes you wonder.
Here is another look at the transformers. The large one at the top is the 12V source.
While I am inside the power supply, I like to trace back the rail mappings to see where things are sourced. Like many power supplies, it looks like we have four virtual rails shunted off the main 12V source. The power distribution is, as follows.
Now that we have a feel for the power supply, it is high time to run it through all the tests to see how it fairs. I am most interested in the hotbox test, especially considering the unit is rated at 30C and loses about 10% for every 10 degrees above that. Off to the torture rack we go.
Our load tests leverage a couple of FAST ATE active load testers and a variety of other equipment such as a hotbox, oscilloscope, power conditioner, temperature probe, and a power consumption meter. You can read more about our standard testing approach here.
Our first five tests represent incrementing classes of modern gaming systems with the last test catered to the full spec of the power supply at up to about 1 kW. We measure voltage output at each load, ripple and efficiency. Now, for the Rosewill RP650-2 results:
The Rosewill RP650-2 performed decently during load tests that it will likely encounter as a value oriented product. The 3.3V output did drop off a little too much on test 5 and fell below the minimum ATX specification of 3.14V. Test 5 was well within defined load capacity and should not have posed an issue for the power supply, so the result was disappointing.
The biggest failure, however, was Test 6 at full load during both the ambient and hotbox tests. The power supply was fully loaded up to the claimed specification on the label and it failed on both accounts. It did not power up in the hotbox at all and ran for only a few minutes at ambient temperature. This makes me suspect that the marketing department simply wanted this to be a 650 Watt power supply and stretched the power ratings a little.
The power supply may have run perfectly at the 611.5 Watts the reference power supply was designed to handle instead of the claimed 631.5 Watts from Rosewill, but we will never know. We run all of our test samples at the manufacturer claimed specification and if the power supply fails because the numbers were exaggerated, then we simply note the failure.
In the end, it appears there is a difference between the Rosewill and the likes of Corsair, Silverstone and PC Power and Cooling, after all. Premium brands are traditionally conservative in their power delivery ratings which help them deliver better load results than their value oriented compatriots. Pushing the claimed power specification beyond what the unit was designed for in order to get the rating up to a nice round number may have failed this power supply. Sometimes, wanting a bigger number on the box is just not a good idea.
So, what about efficiency? - Well, the Rosewill RP650-2 is not 80 Plus certified, but the reference power supply the Rosewill is based on is certified. I am not sure why Rosewill chose to stretch the claimed power output to 650 Watts and forego the 80 Plus claim. Efficiency results in all completed load tests do indicate that the power supply is more than capable in this area.
Rosewill has definitely delivered a nice balance between quality and price. The RP650-2 power supply will service a standard enthusiast system without issue. If you have a couple of entry level enthusiast graphics cards with a single power connector like the 9800GT or a single high-end card with two connectors like the GTX 285, the two dedicated rails for the PCI-E connections will ensure you have adequate power of up to about 36 amps. Just make sure you keep your case cool and the power supply well within the true maximum load of 630 Watts. The promised 650 Watt rating, as we discovered, was simply not deliverable.
So, how do we rate a PSU that does not deliver its promised ratings? - We certainly have to frown upon it for not running at reported maximum loads and falling out of ATX spec during Test 5. Sure, the general features are better than average with good cable lengths, nice sleeving, convertible cabling, a PCI-E 8-pin run and a nice polished finish, but you buy a power supply to supply power and, in this regard, it comes up short (literally). If this unit had a stronger 3.3V result and did not push the wattage claim over available power, it may have fared a whole lot better.
I would, however, cautiously recommend this power supply if you can pick it up for a good bit less than the RRP of $129 USD. At this price, I would look at something else. Is it a bad power supply? - No, but it is difficult to get excited about below average performance and an overrated output capacity. I guess you do get what you pay for and in spite of initial positive impressions, the Rosewill was apparently too good to be true.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk
Australia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca
Deutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de