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 three 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 1600 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.
Remember earlier when I noted that the 80 Plus Bronze certification was not really a cause for celebration? Well, that is especially true here as unfortunately this particular PSU did not achieve it under any of our tests. In fact, the only time it got close was under our most stressful test. This is Test 3, which represents the most strenuous power loads of a triple SLI or quad SLI/Crossfire system, and then we only saw 67% efficiency. These results are far from the best we have seen in recent months.
It's a shame that I cannot recommend this PSU for those looking to "go green" by using less power, but with the box boasting 1600 Watts in giant silver characters, I doubt anyone was really expecting eco-friendliness.
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