ASUS THOR 850W Platinum ATX Power Supply Review

ASUS THOR 850W Platinum ATX Power Supply Review

We investigate the ASUS THOR 850W, an 80 PLUS platinum ATX power supply. Join us for the ride.

@punx223
Published Tue, Dec 17 2019 11:11 AM CST   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 91%Manufacturer: ASUS (ROG-THOR-850P)

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

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When we think of ASUS, we think of GPU's Motherboards, Laptops, and various other peripherals and systems. One area I did not think I would see the ASUS name is in the PSU arena. Today we have the THOR series 850W PSU.

ASUS has marketed the THOR series as an extreme performance PSU focused on quality and styling. Styling is quite apparent with the addressable RGB design and the OLED display on the side of the unit. However, the quality part is a bit tougher for most people to see, and that's because ASUS has worked with partners to make a platinum PSU with massive heat sinks to ensure that the performance will be there and always be there even under heavy loading.

The key features highlighted by ASUS are as follows:

  • 80+ platinum certification
  • 0dB fan mode
  • IP5X wing blade fans and integrated ROG heat sinks
  • OLED display
  • Aura sync addressable lighting
  • 10 year warranty (Sort of, see below)

The features seem stout and provide some credence to the performance claims and bold appearance of the THOR PSU. However, there are some things I feel need clearing up. The Aura sync lighting connects to an addressable header on a motherboard, so Aura will not identify the device as it does not have a USB interface. The 0dB fan mode is a feature that many PSUs offer. The OLED display functions as a constant power meter, displaying your PC's wattage draw. Last but certainly not least is the warranty. While ten years is excellent and roughly the standard in PC power supplies now, the THOR unit has some omissions. Namely, ASUS' warranty guarantees the performance of the PSU for 10-years but, the RGB LEDs and OLED screen have a limited 3-year warranty.

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The part number of the Thor 850W platinum PSU is ROG-THOR-850P. The PSU measures in at 160mm length, 150mm width, and 86mm height. This is fairly standard and should have no issues fitting in most chassis with only the smallest of chassis potentially being of concern.

The price, as of this writing, we found the unit for right around $220. The buying locations are limited, as many places show out of stock. However, as of the time of this writing, Amazon showed units available along with B&H. The competition for the THOR PSU will be formidable. Units such as the HX850i from Corsair, even some 1000W units, slip into within 10 dollars of the THOR. The THOR, its performance, and styling will have to be on point to be considered a recommendation.

Shannon's Power Supply Test System Specifications

Packaging

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The front of the packaging for the THOR PSU is reminiscent of other ASUS ROG based products such as motherboards we have seen recently. The packaging has foil lettering for the name and a glossy line drawing style along the package surface. The PSU is also glossy, and while it may not seem like much that packaging is expensive (I worked at a manufacturer previously, and I have seen how much this can cost), so let's hope that the packaging is not where all of the money went. We get a reliable PSU out of the deal. One thing worth noting on the front among the myriad of badges is the Lambda A+ rating, which is from Cybernetics and is a rating for noise output by the PSU under load. The A+ rating is just below the top A++ rating. The A+ the THOR earns equates to a noise level of ≥15 dB(A) & <20 dB(A).

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The rear of the package has a more subdued look, omitting the line drawing aesthetic and focusing on the feature set, and each feature has a glossy image associated with it. Many of the same features we listed are here; one which stands out is the addition of sleeved cables, which is a beautiful look and helps create the overall enthusiasts aesthetic most users will be after. There are also several regulatory, certification, and classification logos at the bottom edge.

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The flap opening edge is where the spec table is listed along with other languages of short specification information. This side is also where all of the inventory control labels can be found.

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The sides of the package have the foiled wording, which labels the THOR PSU. Both sides are the same, so we won't bother to show it to you twice.

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Upon opening the package, we find that the internal packaging is two separate inner boxes, one holding the cables and accessories while the other holds the PSU. The line drawing is present here again. Also, note that the flip lid carries the familiar ROG "Welcome to the republic" fold-out flap which angles toward you as you open the clamshell.

Hardware & Documentation

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The accessory box, when opened, reveals semi-opaque bags which hold all of the accessories for the THOR PSU.

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Unpacking the bags we now can see the entire accessory array. Here is everything you get in the bag:

  • Quick start guide
  • 12x zip-ties
  • Cable combs for sleeved cable management
  • 4x Velcro straps
  • 4x PSU screws
  • 1x voucher for Cablemod cables
  • ROG Eye case badge

The THOR PSU comes with several extra accessories, including several zip ties, which I am not used to seeing, especially at a quantity more than four through six. The cable combs will help make any visible cables tidy, but the amount is limited, so you will have to use them wisely.

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Here is the bag for the PSU cables, which were below the opaque accessory bag. IT is a fabric bag with ROG logo and rope drawstring.

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The modular cable array is immense, and here is everything you get:

  • Main 24-pin ATX motherboard cable (Sleeved)
  • AC input cable
  • 2x CPU EPS cable (4+4-pin) (Sleeved)
  • 2x PCIe cable (6+2-pin) (Sleeved)
  • PCIe Pigtail cable (6+2-pin x2)
  • 3x SATA power cables (4 connecters per cable)
  • 2x PATA cables (1x3 connectors, 1x2 connectors)
  • PATA to Floppy adapter
  • 2x RGB sync cables (1x standard pin header, 1x GIGABYTE pin header)

The cable array is pretty substantial and offers connectivity that should cover most any build you would use the THOR PSU with. One area I see where ASUS made an admittedly smart play is the cable allowance for GPUs. ASUS limited the total GPU connections to four 6+2-pin PCIe connectors. This will avoid users installing three GPUs, which could theoretically exceed the capabilities of the THOR PSU.

I would, however, request that ASUS install four sockets and include all sleeved cables for the GPU's as the pigtail cable has standard weave over the cable bundle, which means your GPU cables will not look very good if you opt for a dual GPU rig. ASUS does state that the sleeved cables are for an aesthetic GPU installation while the pigtail cable has internal capacitors to minimize output ripple. I think they should stick to one cable type to avoid your build, looking like a mish-mash of different parts.

THOR 850P Power Supply

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Opening the package holding the PSU and we are greeted by soft Polystyrene style foam, which is firm yet squishy, ensuring the unit stands a good chance of enduring even the roughest shipping.

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The THOR PSU once pulled from the foam, also has a clear plastic wrap to help mitigate abrasion damage, which can occur during shipping with packaging rubbing on the surface.

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Finally, out of its plastic bag, we see the PSU. The fan grille is unique as it is part of the chassis top plate. The grille has the ROG eye in a glossy silkscreen on the grille if you look at it closely. To the bottom right, you will notice a notched edge displaying the THOR name; this illuminates when powered.

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Here we have the plain side of the PSU without the OLED screen or RGB; this side will be visible when looking through the rear panel.

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Here we have the top label of the THOR PSU, and as you can see, ASUS chose unique styling on this as well. Rather than go with a standard rectangular label, ASUS decided a triangle to fit the data; even though most chassis, you will not see this under the PSU shroud.

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Here we have the OLED side of the PSU. As you can see, ASUS chose to have the PSU mount with the fan up, which is a bit odd, since most chassis have air inlets directly under the PSU fan area for fresh air intake. The PSU can be oriented fan down, but it would then omit the OLED shining through the main panel. This is not a deal killer just strange. The diagonal stripe running between the OLED and the ROG eye is ARGB and can sync to your motherboard or RGB controller. If you do not use a cable, it defaults to red. The ROG eye and the THOR name on the chamfered edge are also backlit in the same way.

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Here we have the input side of the PSU, which is where you will insert the AC power cable coming from your surge suppressor. There is a main power toggle along with a 0dB fan mode button to enable the silent mode until the PSU reaches a load in which the fan is needed. The ventilation area is sizeable, and the whole thing is rounded out with a ROG badge adjacent to the input and switches.

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Here we have the output board for the modular cable connections. The CPU EPS and VGA share the same connector, so technically ASUS could have included another connector or even allowed users to opt for a single EPS and four sleeved GPU cables, which I think would have been an ideal solution. However, this would also mean that the cost would potentially rise as including two more GPU leads would add cost to the unit form the manufacturing side. Being that the overwhelming majority of users run a single GPU, I guess ASUS can get a pass on this one.

Real World Test System & Observations

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We started our testing with the standard setup of the AMD Threadripper 2990WX and a TITAN V GPU to round out a substantial real-world load. This is similar to what a single GPU workstation could resemble. As you can see, the AC power input meter reads 444W, while the OLED reading the output shows 454W, that's about a 2% delta. This loading is at a little over 50%. The PSU did not even make a sound or care with this level of stress.

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Dropping in another GPU, a TITAN XP CE this time, and we see power draw jump up to 753W or 762W via ASUS' OLED. The Thor even at this heavy loading did not flinch; although the fan was now spinning, it was not even audible or near the sound of the radiator or GPU fans, which were not obnoxious by any means. This setup ran well for over an hour without a single hiccup.

Now we run into the GPU cable limitation I mentioned earlier. ASUS artificially limited the PSU via its included cables, but that's not a bad thing as you can see, even with a heavy mix of parts you do not exceed the capabilities of what the PSU is spec'd for. I will work on some ways to draw more power on limited scenarios like this. Still, I want to keep it as accurate to real-world as possible to represent scenarios and power draws users will experience.

Final Thoughts

When I first saw an ASUS branded extreme PSU, I was pretty stoked to give it a run. After using it a bit, I like the unit a lot, there are some things as I noted in the review that I would change, but overall it does its job quite well and delivers some substantial power at a non-audible noise level. The design choices in regards to cables and a few other areas could be better as we have already mentioned.

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What did we like about the ASUS THOR 850P? Well, first of all, the OLED is a neat addition, it allows real-time monitoring of your systems power draw which can be helpful pending your chassis has a window in the PSU shroud or no PSU shroud. The inclusion of sleeved cables is always welcome as it can save the cost and hassle of getting a custom set. The ability to sync the RGB is a refreshing addition pending; you are a fan of RGB and again can see your PSU. The PSU operates quietly even under heavy load, which is good.

Some of the above pluses are also minus in their own right. The OLED is only on one side forcing users to mount the PSU fan up, which seems counter-intuitive since cases have adopted a fan down position pulling fresh air in. The case manufacturers even put airflow openings and filters in place to allow the PSU to ingest form the bottom. If you rotate the fan to the bottom of the THOR PSU, the OLED would only be visible from the cable management side. The fan pointing up will be just fine, and the PSU will survive, but it seems like a weird choice.

The other caveat is the RGB and OLED will not be visible in several cases, which will have them covered by the PSU shroud. ASUS makes cases now, and their PSU shroud has a window for this, but that's a minimal market. Another negative with the THOR is that I believe any majorly visible wires such as GPU should be the same. Using two different cable sets means anyone using dual GPU will have a beautiful looking sleeved cable set, alongside a bundle wrapped pigtail style.

The THOR holds its own at its price point when considering the unique features it has and the unique styling and rigidity of the PSU. However, with some significant caveats, as mentioned above, I feel like the THOR is a 90% hit with 10% miss.

ASUS was ambitious with the THOR PSU entry, and the performance was reliable. The aesthetics, however, which made it special, are a double-edged sword and creates limitations that are arbitrary and unnecessary. If you are running a single GPU system and want something like the THOR PSU, it is a reliable option. Adding a GPU and well, I would use the included voucher to get proper cables that are not a mish-mash.

Shannon's Power Supply Test System Specifications

Buy at Amazon

Performance

92%

Quality

90%

Features

95%

Value

85%

Overall

91%

The Bottom Line

ASUS created a unique entry into the PSU field with the THOR PSU series. If you are looking for a solid PSU, and can see your PSU location, the THOR 850P just might be for you.

TweakTown award
91%

ASUS THOR 850W Platinum ATX Power Supply

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* Prices last scanned on 9/18/2020 at 12:40 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Shannon started his PC journey around the age of six in 1989. Now till present day, he has established himself in the overclocking world, spending many years pushing the limits of hardware on LN2. Shannon has worked with design and R&D on various components, including PC systems and chassis, to optimize the layout and performance for enthusiasts.

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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