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EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G3 PSU Review

EVGA refreshed its popular G2 PSU family with the G3 one using Super Flower's Leadex II platform. The 850 G3 is the second strongest member in this line-up, offering high performance and a depth of just 15cm.

Efficiency, Temperature, And Noise

Efficiency

Our efficiency testing procedure is detailed here.

Using results from the previous page, we plotted a chart showing the 850 G3's efficiency at low loads, and loads from 10 to 110 percent of its maximum-rated capacity.

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This is one of the most efficient PSUs in the Gold-rated 850W category. Super Flower built a top-notch successor to the original Leadex Gold platform.

Efficiency At Low Loads

In the following tests, we measure the 850 G3's efficiency at loads significantly lower than 10 percent of its maximum capacity (the lowest load the 80 PLUS standard measures). The loads we dialed were 20, 40, 60, and 80W. This is important for representing when a PC is idle, with power-saving features turned on.

Test #12V5V3.3V5VSBDC/AC (Watts)EfficiencyFan SpeedFan NoisePF/AC Volts
11.210A0.501A0.478A0.197A19.6974.106%0 RPM0 dB(A)0.743
12.065V4.989V3.315V5.095V26.57115.07V
22.445A1.000A0.996A0.390A39.7978.830%1645 RPM44.4 dB(A)0.875
12.070V4.989V3.315V5.092V50.47115.07V
33.678A1.496A1.507A5.086A59.8683.104%1555 RPM43.2 dB(A)0.924
12.077V4.991V3.316V5.086V72.03115.07V
44.901A2.004A1.990A0.786A79.7785.165%1565 RPM43.5 dB(A)0.947
12.074V4.991V3.316V5.080V93.66115.08V

Under light loads, the 850 G3 achieves good efficiency. However, its passive mode is really brief, after which the fan spins at high speeds. During the second test, the fan spins more quickly than in the other two tests to quickly exhaust heat from the PSU's internals.

5VSB Efficiency

The ATX specification states that 5VSB standby supply efficiency should be as high as possible, recommending 50 percent or higher with 100mA of load, 60 percent or higher with 250mA of load, and 70 percent or higher with 1A or more of load.

We take four measurements: one each at 100, 250, and 1000mA, and one with the full load the 5VSB rail can handle. 

Test #5VSBDC/AC (Watts)EfficiencyPF/AC Volts
10.101A0.51566.796%0.057
5.098V0.771115.11V
20.251A1.27974.145%0.120
5.094V1.725115.11V
31.002A5.08778.322%0.308
5.077V6.495115.11V
43.002A15.07376.876%0.442
5.021V19.607115.10V
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The 5VSB regulation circuit needs a redesign to enable higher efficiency. It is a shame to see the 850 G3's 5VSB rail demonstrate mediocre performance when the PSU fares so well in the other disciplines we've looked at so far.

Power Consumption In Idle And Standby

In the table below, you'll find the power consumption and voltage values of all rails (except -12V) when the PSU is idle (powered on, but without any load on its rails), and the power consumption when the PSU is in standby mode (without any load, at 5VSB).

Mode12V5V3.3V5VSBWattsPF/AC Volts
Idle12.063V4.989V3.316V5.103V8.3460.432
115.1V
Standby0.1420.011
115.1V
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Standby power consumption is high with both voltage inputs.

Using230V input and registering close to 0.25W vampire power, the PSU was unable to achieve higher than 45% efficiency at 5VSB with 0.225W load,  which is required by the ATX spec.

Fan RPM, Delta Temperature, And Output Noise

Our mixed noise testing is described in detail here.

The first chart below illustrates the cooling fan's speed (in RPM), and the delta between input and output temperature. The results were obtained at 36°C (96.8°F) to 47°C (116.6°F) ambient temperature.   

The next chart shows the cooling fan's speed (again, in RPM) and output noise. We measured acoustics from one meter away, inside a small, custom-made anechoic chamber with internals completely covered in sound-proofing material (be quiet! Noise Absorber kit). Background noise inside the chamber was below 18 dB(A) during testing, and the results were obtained with the PSU operating at 36°C (96.8°F) to 47°C (116.6°F) ambient temperature. 

The following graph illustrates the fan's output noise over the PSU's operating range. The same conditions of the above graph apply to our measurements, though the ambient temperature was between at 30°C (86°F) to 32°C (89.6°F).  

As we've mentioned, EVGA's passive mode doesn't last for long. The fan profile is aggressive in general, and given the PSU's high efficiency, it could definitely be much more relaxed. Obviously EVGA wanted to stay on the safe side given its 10-year warranty.

  • envy14tpe
    Made by Super Flower? Love the quality SF produces. Can't wait to buy my new Leadex II.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    Ahh, SuperFlower. I don't know why people buy anything else.
    Reply
  • powernod
    For those looking for an "80+ Gold efficient PSU", probably they won't have to look elsewhere. LeadexII seems amazing platform!!
    Reply
  • BugariaM
    Based on the information from EVGA site
    Such an aggressive fan curve is only made on 1000W and 850W units of the G3 series
    550W, 650W and 750W - have a much smoother relaxed curve

    I'm curious, what is the fan curve for the 850W unit when the ECO mode is off? It is possible that in this mode it will be much quieter at normal load...
    Reply
  • damric
    That ripple... yum :D
    Reply
  • waylo
    Dangit. Just bought this yesterday, focusing on a quiet PSU, deciding on this over the G2 or P2 version. I know the quality will be there, but disappointed in the noise levels.
    Reply
  • WhyAreYou
    Very nice :O
    Reply
  • laviniuc
    great review!
    Reply
  • Virtual_Singularity
    Excellent, impressively thorough and professional review, as usual. Much appreciated.
    Reply
  • Stone Cold
    19439055 said:
    Ahh, SuperFlower. I don't know why people buy anything else.
    So you are saying this PSU is miles better than the Seasonic prime?!
    Reply