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.

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 / 1
18AWG
Modular Cables
DescriptionCable CountConnector Count (Total)Gauge
4+4 pin EPS12V (600mm)1118AWG
6+2 pin PCIe (550mm) / 6 pin PCIe (+150mm)22 / 2
18AWG
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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  • joz
    At $85 I can get a G2 650W; or even a G2750W on sale.
  • Metteec
    Thanks for the review. Looks like I will be avoiding this one.
  • Metteec
    Also, for $20 more, you can pick up an equivalent gold rated PSU or maybe even a platinum one on sale and after rebates. It is the halcyon days for competition in quality PSUs.
  • _TheD0ct0r_
    1547864 said:
    Thanks for the review. Looks like I will be avoiding this one.


    Why is that?
  • Metteec
    @_THEDICTOR_, for $85, there are so many other better options. EVGA could have been more competitive model if they made quieter version. Instead, you get a PSU with fixed cables, low efficiency, high power variances, and noise like a mini-vacuum. While the higher quality capacitors and warranty are nice, the lack of utility does not make this a good value. 3-years ago, this would have been a great PSU, but times have changed. It is a great day to buy a PSU, just not this one.
  • MasterMace
    appears to be another terrible unit. I'll have to read back and see if it's an Andyson or a HEC
  • SR-71 Blackbird
    Considering the OEM is HEC , not surprised by this review.
  • Nuckles_56
    I would have thought that EVGA could have pushed HEC a bit harder and got a much better unit out of them than this
  • lunyone
    I would personally like to see more 450-550w PSU reviews, not the cherry picked and delivered 750w+ ones that seem to make the rounds. It is just that most people are only going to need 450-550w PSU's for their 1 dGPU based systems.
  • Aris_Mp
    This is not a cherry-picked sample. It comes directly from a store shelf and not from EVGA.

    As for more 450-550W PSU reviews, I am currently working on a 500W unit (which however isn't affordable).
  • logainofhades
    Given the fact that a B2 850 is selling for a couple dollars less, there is no reason to even think about this BQ.
  • lunyone
    1903369 said:
    This is not a cherry-picked sample. It comes directly from a store shelf and not from EVGA. As for more 450-550W PSU reviews, I am currently working on a 500W unit (which however isn't affordable).


    So is all of your reviews come from a retail purchase, or are there some delivered from whichever vendor? Just curious, because I remember reading not too long ago that pretty much all of the products had been items that were submitted from whichever vendor. So I'm guessing that 90-95% of reviews come from vendor delivered samples or am I wrong in that assumption? I'm just curious and not trying to be a troll or anything like that. I think it would be beneficial if the viewer knew whether or not the sample was purchased or offered/delivered from said vendor.
  • SR-71 Blackbird
    The samples come direct from the Manufacturer.
  • lunyone
    276663 said:
    The samples come direct from the Manufacturer.


    Yes I understand that. Aris_MP stated that it came from the Store shelf, so I was trying to get an idea on how many items have been purchased from a Store shelf compared to the ones that the Manufacturer delivers to the reviewer.
  • SR-71 Blackbird
    Most of the time , with most reviews they aren't off the shelf , this is rare , they are sampled direct.
  • Aris_Mp
    Like in almost all product reviews, PSU samples come directly from the manufacturer, which also provides support in case the product breaks down (something that is very easy to happen in a PSU review). Besides a huge budget buying the products from a store would also mean no support in case the PSU dies, since its warranty is voided the moment I set it on my test bench.
  • lunyone
    1903369 said:
    Like in almost all product reviews, PSU samples come directly from the manufacturer, which also provides support in case the product breaks down (something that is very easy to happen in a PSU review). Besides a huge budget buying the products from a store would also mean no support in case the PSU dies, since its warranty is voided the moment I set it on my test bench.


    So the units that you get from the Manufacturer could be cherry picked, even though they still cover any/all issues during the review, which is the point that I was trying to make about getting units that aren't always indicative of what a consumer would experience from buying the product. Not saying this is bad, just pointing it out.
  • Aris_Mp
    yes they could. But this doesn't mean that every manufacturer does that. Even if you buy samples there is always the possibility for changes in the manufacturing line and the next batch to be worse (or better). So you never know.

    Personally I rely on my experience, knowledge and connections to find out not-proper (AKA Golden) samples. There are times that even my readers provide useful tips. E.g. when they do notice a different part in their PSU and report it. This is why I fully break apart every PSU (and all the rest samples in the sites I work for) during a review, a procedure that takes many hours and can be quite hard some times (for instance when you have to fight with Enhance Electronics' huge heatsinks).
  • lunyone
    Oh I understand your troubles that you have to go through. I think it would be more fair, if the manufacturer would allow you to purchase their product from a retail store of your choice and offer the same support throughout your review period. Of coarse re-reimburse you for the cost of the purchase price. This would show the viewer/reader what kind of experience/product that one would expect if they went out and bought said product. I know it isn't going to happen that way, but I feel that would be the best of both worlds. You (the reviewer) would get the support you need from the manufacturer and the viewer/reader would know that the reviewer had purchased the product locally (if possible) and this would reflect a more realistic review of a retail sample.
  • madmatt30
    I don't get it at all.
    While not an inherently bad unit it just seems completely pointless really.
    The fsp made gq850 is just better & its the same price.
    I can understand evga using hec for the budget orientated b1 series but not 850w modular units that are aimed at higher end users.