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InWin Commander III 800W 80 PLUS Gold Power Supply Review

InWin's new Commander III 800W power supply runs through our PSU gauntlet with some good results for the price.
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Published Sun, Dec 23 2012 8:10 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:31 PM CDT
Rating: 87%Manufacturer: InWin

Introduction, Specifications, Availability and Pricing

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Not too long ago, we took a look at the first power supply from InWin we'd ever seen. It was designed as a budget power supply with an incentive that $1 would be donated to the WWF for every unit sold. The unit performed quite well considering the audience that it caters to, but it was certainly lacking for those seeking something of higher quality.

This time around, we have such a power supply; the new InWin Commander III 800W power supply. The Commander III 800W power supply offers a bit more juice than the GreenMe 750W as well as increased efficiency and a few more connectors.

We've got our fingers crossed for a bit more all the way around so let's move on and start taking a look at the specifications for the Commander III 800W power supply.

Specifications, Availability and Pricing

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The Commander III 800W power supply features four 12V rails; each rated for 25A a piece. The four rails combined have a maximum output of 65.83A or 790W. Both the 3.3V and 5V rails are rated for 24A each with a combined maximum output of 120W. Combined maximum output for the Commander III 800W power supply is 800W.

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InWin almost got away with a full list of features on the Commander III 800W power supply, but it is lacking Over Temperature Protection. Everything else is there including SCP, OVP, OCP and OPP. All cables are fully sleeved, both native and modular. The Commander III 800W power supply is rated for 80 PLUS Gold efficiency. While the power supply does not feature over temperature protection, it is rated for 100% continuous output at 50C.

InWin has stated that the Commander III 800W will come to market with an MSRP of $139. It isn't currently for sale, but InWin plans for availability to be around mid-December. When the Commander III 800W power supply is available it will feature a five year warranty.

Packaging

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The Commander III continues the military design theme that InWin has used in previous iterations of the Commander series of power supplies. This time around it is the Desert Fox.

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Turning around to the back, we find many features of the power supply listed as well as connector availability. Out of all the bullet points, the one that sticks out the most is the claim of "105C High-Quality Japanese Bulk Capacitor." Usually when something like this is mentioned, non-Japanese capacitors are utilized on the secondary side of the power supply.

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This side of the box gives a quick graphical representation of some features while the other side has nothing more than UPC information on it.

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The top contains nothing useful and the bottom of the box simply directs you to InWin's website for more information.

Inside the Box

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Opening the box, we find that the power supply is well protected with at least half an inch of foam padding on all sides.

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The top of the power supply houses the I/O specification label and we catch our first glimpse at the tan color of the unit. This color is often utilized in desert camo to help things blend in to the sand.

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This side features the Commander III logo on it while the other side is blank.

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The front features the modular connectors. None of them are labeled as to which rail they draw power from.

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Moving to the back, we find that things are as open as they can be with the honeycomb mesh grill, AC input and on/off rocker switch.

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The bottom of the Commander III 800W houses the 135mm fan that cools the power supply.

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All cables fully sleeved with nylon mesh.

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Also included with the power supply are the user manual, Velcro cable ties, AC power cord and mounting screws.

Cabling Arrangement and A Look Inside

Cabling Arrangement

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Cable selection and connector availability for the Commander III 800W power supply is about average and what you would expect out of such a unit. Aside from the Main connector, there is a single ATX 4+4 connector for the motherboard. Those needing two will have to look elsewhere. Round out the list of natively wired cables is a single cable with two PCI-E connectors. Modular connectors come in the form of two more PCI-E connectors, nine SATA connectors, three Molex connectors and a single FDD connector.

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The InWin Commander III 800W power supply features four 12V rails. 12V1 is dedicated to the 24-pin Main, 12V2 for the ATX 4+4, and 12V3 is for the natively wired PCI-E cable. 12V4 is reserved for all the native cabling including the PCI-E connector. This setup does a decent job of naturally balancing out the loads.

Unfortunately, none of this was documented with the power supply and we had to contact InWin to get the layout of the power supply. After speaking with them on the subject, they have said that they will be adding this with the included user manual sometime in the future.

A Look Inside

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Looking at the unit with the case removed, we can see that the power supply features a clean design and the PCB isn't very densely populated. At the very least, the simplistic design aids in allowing fresh air to circulate around all of the components.

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A pair of Rubycon capacitors sit on the primary side of the Commander III 800W power supply.

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Teapo capacitors are soldered in on the secondary side, just as I suspected earlier when noting the bullet point on the back of the box.

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InWin utilizes the ADDA ADN512LB-ASO fan to actively cool the Commander III 800W power supply.

Test Results and Final Thoughts

Test Results

Our load tests utilize a couple of FAST ATE active load testers and a variety of other equipment such as an oscilloscope, power conditioner, temperature probe and a power consumption meter. You can read more about our standard testing approach here.

The tests performed are based around six conceivable setups that are out there and progressively load down the PSU up to the power supply's limits or 1000W, whichever comes first. Since our test equipment's limits are higher than that of the InWin Commander III 800W power supply, we can test it to the maximum.

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The above tests represent typical loads that we have measured from various systems and are meant to give a rough idea of where your computer might fall in line with our tests. Please keep in mind that each system is different and actual loads can vary greatly even with similar hardware.

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Let's start by taking a look at the voltages to see how well this unit did during testing. Starting with the 12V1 rail, we see 2% regulation from start to finish with a total drop of .28V. 12V2 showed regulation within 3% and a total voltage drop of .26V. 12V3 faired the best out of all the rails, stayed with 2% and showing a total voltage drop of .21V. Rounding out the 12V rails, 12V4 was within 2% and showed a total voltage drop of .26V. The 5V rail managed to stay within 2% of specification as well with a total drop of .10V from start to finish. Moving towards the 3.3V rail, we see that regulation was within 4% of specification with a total voltage drop of .13V.

DC Output quality for the InWin Commander III 800W power supply was within specification, but far from what we like to see. During Test 1, we saw 31mV of noise on our scope. When we increased the loads in Test 3, the ripple climbed to 50mV at a little overhalf load. During Test 5 under a load of 800W, the oscilloscope showed a maximum of 70mv on noise on the 12V rail.

The InWin Commander III 800W is rated for 80 PLUS Gold efficiency. This means that the power supply must perform at 87%/90%/87% efficiency at 20%/50%/100% loads respectively. As you can see, the Commander III 800W passed on our bench and wasn't close to failing at any point.

Final Thoughts

Taking a look at the InWin Commander III 800W power supply on paper, it sounds like a very solid power supply all the way around. It is cheap, efficient, and offers up plenty of power for just about anything that has less than three video cards installed. Things didn't prove to be as promising as we had hope once we cracked open the power supply and found a bunch of Teapo capacitors on the inside.

Once we started testing, our voltages plummeted just like the guy falling off the end of the mountain on the Cliffhanger game from The Price Is Right. While everything was within specification, these results are the worst that we have seen in quite a while. The voltage regulation, while a bit rough, isn't nearly as scary as the DC output quality that spiked up to 70mV on the final test. This just goes to show that using Chinese and Taiwanese manufactured capacitors almost never pays off. At least the efficiency numbers are right where they should have been.

One must also consider that the power supply isn't intended for enthusiasts who demand the most out of their power supplies, but the person who needs a bit more power at a reasonable price. This is reflected in the $139 MSRP backed by the five year warranty. This puts it in a position that makes it priced around a 750W power supply, but cheaper than most 850W power supplies. If a 750W power supply just won't cut it for you, the InWin Commander III 800W power supply might very well fit the bill if you're short on funds. Otherwise, you might be better off spending a little bit more for something in the 850W range.

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Zac provides professional IT support by day, but plays the role of enthusiast by night. He's been building high-end custom computer for the nearly fifteen years and writing PC hardware reviews for the better part of a decade. Aside from computers, he also dabbles in quite a bit of home A/V equipment. Throughout the years, Zac has picked up an extensive knowledge of power circuitry and leverages this to provide the PSU reviews. When not found testing or writing, you can often find him speeding through the winding countryside on his motorcycle.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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