We also measured the voltage on the PCI-E slot, as the current graphics cards also have an insatiable appetite as far as power is concerned. After the initial measurements in idle and full mode, we were able to see exactly how big the Vdrop is. It is very hard to “burden” PSUs as tough as these, but changes are certainly noticeable even at half their capacity. The strongest model has definitely got the largest packaging, and it is also slightly longer than its weaker brethren.
All three units are modular, with the 700 and 850 W models supporting the ATX 2.2 V specification, and the kilowatt one supporting the 2.9 V spec. To make the story even more interesting, each model has its own “epic” name: the 700 W being a.k.a. HYPERION, 850 W – ARKANGEL and 1000 W – LEGION X. LC Power didn't state the protections these PSUs possess, but did state the efficiency: 85% for the best model and 80% for the other two.
Before the testing itself, we would also mention the test configuration itself: a Core2Quad Q6600 CPU overclocked at 2.7 GHz with a voltage of 1.45 V (bigger consumption), an XFX i680LT SLI motherboard, an AMD HD 3850 graphics card and 2x1 GB DDR2-833 memory. “Idle” means the general idle Windows state, whereas “full load” was achieved by running MultiCore Prime and the 3DMark GPU test.
Upon opening the box, we checked out the non-modular cables first. These are the 24-pin connector and the 6-pin PCI-E GPU power cable (instead of the second ATX 12 V cable). This is pretty much out of the ordinary, but logical nevertheless, as all modern graphics cards require at least one of these cables. Inside the box you will find all other cables you can simply plug in if necessary, together with the second ATX cable with 4-pin and 8-pin connectors.
The next ones were a couple of PCI-E cables, which makes a total of three, which is rather strange, as you will most likely need either two or four, at least until three-way graphics card systems come alive. Further on, we found a couple of FDD cables, four SATA and seven standard molex connectors. As you can see in the charts, the PSU proved to be quite good. It should suffice if we point out that the voltage drop on the GPU rail is only 0.01 V, and more than satisfactory 0.03 V on the CPU rail. Also, the PSU is fairly quiet due to the 140 mm fan it possesses.
Just like the packaging, the “chassis” of this model is the same as the previous one's, as is the “modular” policy, so this model also has a 24-pin ATX and a single PCI-E connector, with the difference lying in the fact that the PCI-E connector is an 8-pin one, with two of the pins separable, so it provides support for the newest standard while maintaining compatibility with the old one (this goes for the additional cables as well). The other cables are present in just the same quantity.
This PSU impressed us by keeping the voltage on the GPU perfectly stable both in idle and full load (no Vdrop at all), with the voltage on the CPU inevitably dropping by 0.04 V, which is not a bad result either. All that this PSU would need to reach perfection is a fourth PCI-E rail.
This model, naturally, comes packaged in a larger and more carefully designed box. Immediately after opening the box, we noticed how different this model was. Its cooler is of the same radius, but the unit itself is slightly longer and looks more powerful. The first glance at the number of connectors and cables left us speechless – this PSU has probably got every single conceivable cable available. One 24-pin ATX connector followed by two EPS 12 V rails (which means that you will be able to supply server motherboards with power as well), with one of the 8-pin connectors split in two if necessary, so that you get a couple of additional 4-pin ones.
Others include two FDD, six SATA and eight molex cables. There are four PCI-E cables, each having an 8-pin/6-pin configuration, as described in the ARKANGEL review. As far as Vdrop is concerned, the voltage on the PCI-E rail jumped (!) by 0.01 V, while the CPU voltage dropped by 0.03 V. What some may find problematic is that the 12 V rail voltages were constantly above 12.2 V, and we don't really appreciate when these values are higher than 12.1 V. This is hardly alarming, but worth noticing nevertheless.
All of the tested PSUs have made a very positive impression, in terms of quality, silence and voltage stability alike. We were taken by surprise with the quantity of connectors of the “legionnaire” as well as the perfect voltages provided by the 850 W model. All in all, you cannot go wrong with LC Power this time, as long as they fulfill your needs.