Apexgaming is trying to enter the higher-end PSU space with its new AG family. Of course, we're happy to see another contender. Tougher competition helps encourage innovation and lower prices, after all.
But the PSU market is unforgiving. Several OEMs have a lot of experience making very compelling platforms, and a lot of those sell for similar prices as the AG-850M. Although Solytech is a well-established manufacturer, it doesn't seem to be aware of the priorities that matter to enthusiasts as they shop for their next PSU.
Noise, for example, is immensely important to builders, and power supplies often play a big part in a PC's overall noise output. When it comes to the AG-850M, no attention was paid to optimizing the fan profile. We suspect this wasn't entirely overlooked. Rather, a super-long warranty necessitates aggressive cooling, so perhaps the loud fan is deliberate. You see, it'd be almost impossible for the secondary side's Chinese capacitors to last 10 years under tough conditions. Powerful cooling is the only remedy.
In any case, despite Solytech's cranked-up fan profile, we are not optimistic about that the Su'scon and Elite caps will make it through the AG-850M's warranty period. To make matters worse, the fan itself might not last that long, since it uses a sleeve bearing. In a PSU that costs $110, we'd expect higher-quality components and not Chinese capacitors.
On the other hand, we have to say that the platform employs a nice, clean design with very good soldering quality. Moreover, some of the parts are of high quality, while necessary protection features are present and working.
At its current price, the AG-850M will have a really hard time competing against compelling incumbents. Apexgaming needs to make the AG-850M less expensive, and at the same time push Solytech to fix its fan profile and replace the secondary side's electrolytic caps with higher-quality ones. We're not demanding Japanese capacitors (their prices are much higher these days), but even Teapo caps would be an improvement. Those are some of the best non-Japanese alternatives.
The AG-850M's load regulation is decent at +12V. The ripple suppression of our first sample was good enough on every rail except for 5VSB, and that's where we noticed a problem. This forced us to look at a second sample, which performed much better on the 5VSB rail but was worse on the other rails. To make matters worse, a single EPS connector is not ideal for a 850W PSU. High-end motherboards often require two EPS connectors, and the AG-850M should have been able to play in that space.
At $110, we cannot recommend the AG-850M. If you want a quiet PSU, definitely stay away from it. Hopefully Apexgaming and Solytech consider our findings and decide to improve this platform. We don't want to discourage fresh faces in a category already dominated by a handful of OEMs. However, we expect any newcomer to do its research before stepping onto the scene with a product that doesn't match up. Otherwise, it won't see the sales needed to cover its expenses.
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Disclaimer: Aris Mpitziopoulos is Tom's Hardware's PSU reviewer. He is also the Chief Testing Engineer of Cybenetics, and developed the Cybenetics certification methodologies apart from his role on Tom's Hardware. Neither Tom's Hardware nor its parent company, Purch Media, are financially involved with Cybenetics. Aris does not perform the actual certifications for Cybenetics.