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EVGA BQ Series 850W PSU Review

One of EVGA's most affordable power supply families, the BQ, includes five unique models. The higher-capacity ones are made by HEC and the rest come from Andyson. Today we're testing the flagship 850 BQ.

Our Verdict

The 850 BQ scores a nice performance per buck ratio however with a few more bucks you can acquire a much more efficient, and more silent, Gold unit, so better pass the 80 PLUS Bronze category altogether. Bronze units are worth considering only in the lower capacity categories, according to our humble opinion, where the thermal loads are easier controlled so noise output can be kept at reasonable levels.

For

  • Price
  • Full power at 46°C
  • +12V transient response
  • Turn-on transient response
  • Hold-up time
  • Accurate power ok signal
  • 6x PCIe & 2x EPS connectors
  • Nano-Bearing fan
  • Warranty

Against

  • Efficiency
  • Load regulation
  • Inrush current
  • Ripple suppression on the minor rails
  • 3.3V transient response
  • Power Ok hold-up time
  • Noisy
  • Could have less fixed cables
  • Lacks over temperature protection (OTP)

EVGA 850 BQ Power Supply

EVGA has a huge portfolio of PSUs and, along with Corsair, is considered one of the most popular companies in this market. We usually review EVGA's mid-range and high-end products, so it's high time we evaluate one of the company's mainstream offerings.

The BQ line initially started with 650W, 750W, and 850W members. They were all made by HEC and featured semi-modular cabling, along with 80 PLUS Bronze efficiency. Recently, 500W and 600W capacities were added to the family. They're manufactured by Andyson instead, though. We can safely assume that these new BQ PSUs use DC-DC converters since they're able to deliver full power on the +12V rail if needed.

Today's review focuses on EVGA's 850 BQ, which is the family's flagship. In order to control costs, EVGA doesn't implement fully modular cabling on any BQ PSU. It instead employs a semi-modular design, which is fine with us so long as the fixed cables are those you'd need no matter what (the ones with the ATX and EPS connectors). Unfortunately, that's not the case here: in addition to the aforementioned cables, you also get one with a couple of PCIe connectors.

The 850 BQ's cooling fan uses a Teflon nano-steel bearing that appears to be better than the plain sleeve bearings found in most mainstream PSUs. EVGA promises quiet operation under tough conditions. It also boasts of high performance and reliability since the PSU uses quality Japanese capacitors in the APFC converter. Indeed, a photograph in EVGA's press kit shows two Chemi-Con KMR bulk caps. However, there is no photo of the unit's secondary side where the most important caps reside. This is why we dismantle our review samples. After all, a Taiwanese or Chinese capacitor might perform well at first, but over time it'll age faster than a good Japanese cap.

Specifications

Because there are so many affordable Gold-rated PSUs, the Bronze efficiency category isn't as popular nowadays. If you're on a really tight budget, though, and need lots of capacity, 80 PLUS Bronze may be as much as you can hope for. The only problem is that there aren't many new or innovative products to talk about, so your choices are limited. Currently, the most popular Bronze-rated PSUs belong to Corsair's CX and CX-M lines. The BQ and B2 families represent EVGA's response.

The maximum operating temperature is limited to 40°C, though we really weren't anticipating a 50°C rating in this price range anyway. As far as protection features go, we find everything except for over-temperature protection, which we consider essential.

Again, EVGA's fan uses a sealed bearing, with Teflon surfaces and air pressure rather than oil to minimize friction. This technology promises low noise output and an increased lifetime compared to sleeve bearings. We're happy to see a higher-quality fan in a budget-oriented PSU. It's also worth noting that the same fans are found in EVGA's GS series. Unfortunately, there is no semi-passive mode here, so don't expect complete silence under light loads.

The PSU's dimensions are pretty compact given its capacity, and the five-year warranty wisely matches what you get with Corsair's CX-M power supplies. This proves that the BQ units target their main competition. Of course, we're not surprised. Both companies are the key players in today's PSU market.

Power Specifications

Rail3.3V5V12V5VSB-12V
Max. PowerAmps24207030.3
Watts160840153.6
Total Max. Power (W)850 @ 40°C

The single +12V rail can provide enough juice to support a potent system, while the minor rails are stronger than they need to be, delivering up to a combined 160W. Finally, the 5VSB rail offers 3A of maximum current output. That's definitely enough for this category.

Cables And Connectors

Native Cables
DescriptionCable CountConnector Count (Total)Gauge
ATX connector 20+4 pin (530mm)1116AWG
4+4 pin EPS12V (590mm)1118AWG
6+2 pin PCIe (550mm) / 6 pin PCIe (+150mm)11 / 118AWG
Modular Cables
DescriptionCable CountConnector Count (Total)Gauge
4+4 pin EPS12V (600mm)1118AWG
6+2 pin PCIe (550mm) / 6 pin PCIe (+150mm)22 / 218AWG
SATA (500mm+150mm+150mm)3918AWG
Four-pin Molex (550mm+150mm)1218AWG
Four-pin Molex (550mm+150mm+150mm) / FDD (+150mm)13 / 118AWG

The native cables could be pared back by making the PCIe ones modular. Although a PCIe cable is going to be used in most systems anyway, the installation process would be more straightforward with only two fixed cables.

Overall, you get plenty of provided connectors and the cable length is satisfactory, even if the main ATX cable could be a little longer. There's enough distance between connectors and, as you can see in the table above, the 24-pin ATX cable mostly uses 16-gauge wires. Only the sense wires are thinner (20AWG).

Power Distribution

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

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