EVGA 850 B3 PSU Review

[Update, 10/13/2017: EVGA informed us that as of today all B3 units come from Superflower, not RSY]

We can't say that our experience with EVGA's 450 B3 was a positive one. Although the PSU achieved good overall performance in our review, it blew up spectacularly as we were evaluating its protection features. Of course, it's a shame to see a respected brand's product fail in such a questionable way. Since we didn't have a second sample for re-testing, we decided to try our luck with this family's flagship, the 850 B3.

According to EVGA, its 850 B3 only uses Japanese capacitors for increased reliability. We do find the same cooling fan armed with a sleeve bearing inside (not an ideal choice). But thankfully, the company implements a semi-passive mode that should shoulder some of the fan's burden, even if lower efficiency levels won't allow for extended periods of passive operation.

The 850 B3 is fully modular and equipped with a large number of PCIe connectors, making it attractive to gamers and entry-level cryptocurrency miners. Its dimensions are quite compact, given 850W of capacity. And Super Flower is responsible for the platform. It looks like the same one used on EVGA's 750 B3, since both PSUs sport the same 16cm depth. In comparison, the lower-capacity models are 15cm deep.

Corsair's CX850M is the 850 B3's nearest competitor. Besides the same price, it offers identical efficiency levels and is also fully modular. Unfortunately, that's also the only member of Corsair's CX-M family we haven't tested yet, so we have to compare the 850 B3 to other similar-capacity power supplies.

Specifications

In addition to its 80 PLUS Bronze certification, the 850 B3 also has ETA-A- efficiency and LAMBDA-S++ noise ratings from Cybenetics (the evaluation report is available here). Contrary to the 450W-650W models, the 750 and 850 B3 have 50°C temperature ratings, again pointing to the utilization of a different platform.

EVGA includes a complete set of protection features. But as you'll soon see, they don't always work the way EVGA describes them. Based on our previous experience, you could say we had a spate of bad luck with our B3-series samples. It's unfortunate for EVGA that we decided to buy these PSUs from retail, as the company suspiciously wasn't making review units available, to us at least.

A 130mm sleeve bearing fan handles cooling, and EVGA covers the 850 B3 with a five-year warranty. That's completely satisfactory for a mid-range PSU like this one.

Power Specifications

Rail3.3V5V12V5VSB-12V
Max. PowerAmps242470.830.5
Watts120849.6W156
Total Max. Power (W)849.6W

The minor rails are quite strong, while the +12V rail can provide more than 70A. Capable of 3A maximum current output, the 5VSB rail meets the needs of most PCs.

Cables And Connectors

Modular Cables
DescriptionCable CountConnector Count (Total)Gauge
ATX connector 20+4 pin (600mm) 1118-22AWG
4+4 pin EPS12V (600mm)1118-22AWG
6+2 pin PCIe (550mm+150mm) 3618-22AWG
SATA (500mm+100mm+100mm) 3918-20AWG
Four-pin Molex (500mm+100mm+100mm) 1318AWG
FDD Adapter (+105mm) 1120AWG

We are very pleased to see six PCIe connectors on a budget-oriented 850W power supply. However, we're hugely disappointed about the 850 B3's one EPS connector. High-end motherboards and CPUs automatically out-class this PSU's capabilities, as we do not recommend four-pin Molex to EPS adapters under any circumstance.

EVGA's cable length is satisfactory, though a 65 or 70cm EPS cable wouldn't hurt. The distance between peripheral connectors is too short at 10cm, though. It seems like EVGA has a hard time making proper peripheral cables, even though it sells cases and should know that a majority of components requiring four-pin Molex connectors are usually spaced far apart from each other.

Power Distribution

Since this PSU features a single +12V rail, we do not have anything to say about its power distribution.

MORE: Best Power Supplies

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  • orionfotl
    There's a typo in the Final Analysis: "Although we're glad the 850 B3 didn't blow up like the 450W model, this is our second (so fat) B3-series power supply to die on the bench."
    So fat.

    Shame on the PSU.
    0
  • Aris_Mp
    (so far) Thanks!
    0
  • Realist9
    Part of what I got from this review and the associated charts is that my next psu will likely be a Corsair unit.
    0
  • dstarr3
    It seems like the general wisdom is still "Don't buy a PSU unless it has a 7- to 10-year warranty." The best products from the best OEMs always come with those warranties lately.
    3
  • Aris_Mp
    If you ask me the warranty isn't an indication from the moments it is 5 years long. On the other hand when a company avoids sending some specific PSUs for review, then the whole thing looks suspicious.
    0
  • dstarr3
    Anonymous said:
    If you ask me the warranty isn't an indication from the moments it is 5 years long. On the other hand when a company avoids sending some specific PSUs for review, then the whole thing looks suspicious.


    I don't necessary mean that longer warranty = better product. I just mean that there are some OEMs that are better than the rest, and their best PSUs are the best on the market, and all those best PSUs happen to have 7- to 10-year warranties on them. So if you see that warranty on a PSU right now, you can reasonably assume that it is one of the best models from one of the best OEMs.
    0
  • Olle P
    I don't totally agree with the "Pros" and "Cons":
    * Six 8-pin PCIe-connectors are supposed to be capable of delivering up to 900W. This PSU can't handle that.
    * The efficiency is as advertised. That's neither a "Con" nor a "Pro". (In fact I'm impressed with the efficiency at 20W load. Expected worse.)
    * Sleeve bearing is what makes the fan relatively quiet, so it's not a "Con" per se. Had it been a ball bearing fan you'd written "High noise level" as a "Con" instead.
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  • Aris_Mp
    Efficiency is a con in general. It is low

    If the fan had DBB and an optimal fan profile then it wouldn't be a con. A sleeve bearing fan in a 100 buck PSU doesn't look good and those type of bearings are suited for horizontal installation so they should normally be avoided in PSUs.
    0
  • obsidian86
    Seasonic focus 850 currently for $10 more than this settles it
    0
  • al3xand3r
    Hi Aris, congratulations for the wonderful review and all of your work.
    I've seen all of your reviews, but one thing I do not understand compared to other review sites and that's related to the advanced transient tests. For example, the be quiet! Pure Power 10 600W PSU, in Advanced Transient Test at +12V, 20% - 20ms has a voltage drop of 0.211V. At 50% load 20 ms is a voltage drop of 0.222 volts. Instead, at [H]ardOCP, the same PSU records a 0.520 volt voltage drop at 20% load - 10 ms and 0.540 volts at 50% load – 10ms. And that's a huge difference. And I do not think this difference is because of the reduced time from 20ms to 10ms because at 1ms wich is tougher the drops it's not as high. What is wrong with [H]ardOCP methodology?
    Is it possible that a quality PSU like this to have a voltage drop in load so high (0.52 Volts)? And that's just an example. At all the PSU’s I've seen on both sites are differences like this. Same as when you were doing only 50ms or 200ms. Is there any explanation for these figures that do not coincide?
    Thank you
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  • Aris_Mp
    Hi! It depends on various factors: slew rate (the higher the toughest the transient tests but the ATX spec sets a limit there), the measuring equipment and the loader of course. Personally I use Chroma loads with integrated transient capability so any lab can reproduce my results. Finally, I avoid judging the methodology that other sites follow. Everyone tries to do the best he can given the budget and the equipment that he has.
    1
  • Olle P
    Anonymous said:
    Efficiency is a con in general. It is low.
    No it isn't! It's well above the 80+ Bronze limits, as advertised.
    How many 850+W <$100 PSUs have considerably better efficiency (solid above 90%)?

    Back in the days when the peak efficiency was around 70% you could argue about generally low efficiency. Not anymore!
    0