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. Since anyone investing in a 1200 Watt power supply would not be using an entry level system, we are starting the loads out with a couple of mid-range graphics cards like the 9800GTX in SLI to represent Test 1 and then increase loads to represent higher end cards and quad configurations for which this PSU was designed. Now, without further adieu, the BFG EX-1200 lab results.
The BFG EX-1200 Watt Power Supply delivered some exceptional results right where it counts on a modern system, the 12V rails. Under all loads, voltage levels proved to be incredibly stable. ATX specifications permit up to 120 mV of ripple on the 12V source and the BFG EX-1200 results were, once again, very solid with measurements barely over 20 mV, even under high loads. That is a better result than some power supplies under light loads. 3.3V regulation was also top notch with results near a constant 3.31V. The only chink in the armor seems to be the 5.0V regulation, but, to be fair, those results were still very good and well within ATX specifications.
BFG claims 80 plus efficiency and again exceeds expectations. In fact, under about 50% load, the BFG EX-1200 was almost 90% efficient. This does drop slightly when one 12V rail is completely unloaded (12V3 in Test 3) to emulate a single dual GPU card like the 4870X2. Efficiency returns once load is placed back on all four 12V rails. If you follow our earlier recommendations on load distribution, you will benefit from higher efficiency. In Test 5, which represents the most strenuous power loads of a triple SLI or quad SLI/Crossfire system, we still saw 87% efficiency. This result is the best we have seen to date. For those looking to go green by using less power with their PC, this power supply will certainly help.
One extra test, 4B, was run to emulate a triple SLI load on the power supply while Test 4 represented a quad SLI load. So, instead of 45 amps on two PCI-E rails, we spread this load on three rails (15 amps on each PCI-E output). We also moved the CPU power to the 4+4 cable on 12V1 instead of the one we used through all of the tests on 12V2. This ensured that all 12V rails had load. As the results show, the BFG EX-1200 operated perfectly. No matter what peripherals you are using, this power supply can handle the load, quietly and efficiently.
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