A few weeks ago an email popped into our inbox from Cooler Master's European HQ at Venlo in the Netherlands asking if we would like to go and have a look around their facility, and also offering us the use of their very extensively (and expensively!) equipped PSU Test Lab. It was suggested that whilst there we might also like to take a look at their brand new range of PSU's – the Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold Series which were officially announced only a few days ago on the 1st June!
Power Supplies are difficult things to test. We at Vortez Hardware have done several reviews of PSU's and have a certain amount of equipment available to us for this very purpose, but to really fully test a PSU needs literally thousands of pounds worth of bench testing equipment – basically a permanent lab set-up dedicated to this one task, and that is something that few review sites can boast. So this opportunity to go and get acquainted with some of the best testing equipment currently available today was heaven sent!
Needless to say we accepted Cooler Master's offer and I was soon on my way armed with a range of 850W PSU's from Corsair, Antec and Enermax to pit against the new 800W offering from Cooler Master.
The units we were fortunate enough to be given to test should be pretty familiar to anyone with at least a passing knowledge of performance PC's...
1 - Antec CP-850W
2 - Corsair HX850W
3 - Enermax Revolution 85+ 850W
4 - Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 800W
80 PLUS Certification
All of the above units have passed the '80 PLUS' certification which is a measure of their efficiency at 20%, 50% and 100% of their rated loads. There are four different levels of 80 PLUS certification available – Standard, Bronze, Silver, and Gold.
In basic terms to achieve an 80 PLUS certificate a PSU must show an efficiency of greater than a given amount when tested with an input voltage of 115V 60Hz, and the efficiency must be measured at loads of 20, 50 and 100%.
The following table gives the minimum percentages the efficiencies must reach for each level of certification:
For more detailed information on the 80 PLUS program and the different levels of certification please visit their website www.80plus.org where you can find listings of all PSU's which have achieved certification along with a wealth of other information regarding power-efficient computing.