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.

We encountered the first EVGA SuperNOVA G2 power supply almost four years ago, and although much time has passed, we still remember its top-notch performance. Even today, the PSU family remains highly competitive. Progress marches on, though, and now EVGA is ready with its G3 line-up.

The SuperNOVA G3 units are based on a fresh Leadex II platform, and their most obvious upgrade over the G2 series is more compact dimensions. Packing higher capacity into smaller enclosures affects what we refer to as power density. Increasingly, PSU vendors are trying to do battle based on this concept of power density. Not long ago, SilverStone was the only company that really put an effort into shrinking its power supplies. Now the list is a lot longer.

EVGA's new SuperNOVA G3 family include five members with capacities ranging from 550W to 1kW. They're all 80 PLUS Gold-certified (like the G2s). And in addition to their smaller dimensions, they also feature a 130mm fan with a hydro dynamic bearing. The G2 models use a larger 140mm double-ball bearing fan, so it will be interesting to see how the new fan affects noise output. The exterior is a little different as well; we like the re-designed fan grille.

Today we're reviewing the 850W version, which falls second in EVGA's hierarchy. The 850 G3 is strong enough to power a high-end gaming PC or workstation, and its limited depth ensure compatibility with every ATX chassis. Naturally, the SuperNOVA 850 G3 is fully modular. And of course EVGA backs it with the same 10-year warranty that protected the G2 line-up (and compelled competing brands to increase their coverage as well).

Specifications

Again, the 80 PLUS Gold certification carries over to the G3s, likely leaving room for upcoming P3 and T3 lines. All necessary protection features are included, thankfully. And this is the first time we've encountered a 130mm fan in a PSU. The hydraulic bearing should prolong the fan's lifetime, which is one of the PSU's most important components. A semi-passive mode is enabled by default, minimizing noise. But if you'd prefer the fan to spin constantly, this feature can be disabled.

All of the G3s measure just 15cm deep, demonstrating how interested EVGA is in upping the power density of its offerings. Finally, the 10-year warranty is as long as we could ask for. Though we can't be sure how aggressive warranties affect the brands that include them over time, someone has to be extra confident in a product's reliability to make such a commitment.

Power Specifications

Rail3.3V5V12V5VSB-12V
Max. PowerAmps242470.830.5
Watts120849.6156
Total Max. Power (W)850

The minor rails are pretty strong with 120W maximum combined power, while the +12V rail can deliver more than 70A of current. Lastly, the 5VSB rail is capable enough for today's needs.

Cables And Connectors

Modular Cables
DescriptionCable CountConnector Count (Total)Gauge
ATX connector 20+4 pin (600mm)1118AWG
4+4 pin EPS12V (700mm)2218AWG
6+2 pin PCIe (700mm)2218AWG
6+2 pin PCIe (700mm+150mm)2418AWG
SATA (550mm+100mm+100mm)3918AWG
Four-pin Molex (550mm+100mm+100mm+100mm)1418AWG
FDD Adapter (+100mm)1118AWG
AC Power (1500m)1--

All connectors use 18-gauge wires and are long enough to avoid compatibility issues, even in full-tower enclosures. The only downside looks to be the very short distance between four-pin Molex connectors, which we'd like to be 13-15cm. Some folks might need more space between SATA connectors as well, especially if they have a case with SSD bays mounted on the sides.

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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  • envy14tpe
    Made by Super Flower? Love the quality SF produces. Can't wait to buy my new Leadex II.
  • dstarr3
    Ahh, SuperFlower. I don't know why people buy anything else.
  • powernod
    For those looking for an "80+ Gold efficient PSU", probably they won't have to look elsewhere. LeadexII seems amazing platform!!
  • 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...
  • damric
    That ripple... yum :D
  • 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.
  • WhyAreYou
    Very nice :O
  • laviniuc
    great review!
  • Virtual_Singularity
    Excellent, impressively thorough and professional review, as usual. Much appreciated.
  • Stone Cold
    Anonymous 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?!
  • powernod
    The reviewed PRIME series belong to a different category.
    They are "Titanium effiency" while this one is "Gold". Seasonic will release Gold units as well, but they haven't been reviewed so far, so we have to wait and see first before we can start comparing.
  • waylo
    Anonymous said:
    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...


    That's an interesting thought. I just received it yesterday. On ECO mode, it was silent up to a point, and then due to temperature probably (I was not stress testing anything) the fan revved up very dramatically. It easily became the loudest thing in my computer as it was a REALLY significant increase from baseline.

    I'll be working on it for the next several days to decide if it's worth keeping. The tested efficiency in this review is great, but noise is a huge issue. I have it in a Fractal Design R5 specifically to keep that down!
  • waylo
    Just as a follow-up, the loud 'catchup' fan noise came on while draw was @ 150W, which was essentially an idle situation. (This PSU is overpowered for what I need, as with the one game I tried my draw was only 350W).

    Definitely wondering @crmaris if noise testing could be done with ECO settings turned on and off, for this and future reviews?
  • PureBlackFire
    the fan profile on this is absolutely abysmal for a unit like this. why change to an FDB fan then have an even more aggressive fan profile, making the unit louder than the last generation products under load? this is just stupid. otherwise it's fine, but not sounding like a blower gpu under load is actually a competitive selling point on a psu these days.
  • PureBlackFire
    why is the fan profile so aggressive on this unit? what's the point of them moving to an FDB fan if the unit is going to be louder than the last generation model? the performance otherwise is great of course, but not sounding like a blower gpu cooler is actually become a competitive selling point on power supplies lately. this fan profile on this unit is literally stupid and a failure on EVGA's part.
  • Virtual_Singularity
    Meh... I agree with you, but Evga and superflower have to remain profitable while maintaining decent specs for this gold rated, low priced for the quality, compact sized psu. Aris is likely making a good point in re to requiring its aggressive fan profile to last throughout its 10 year warranty, also. For the overall performance, price & warranty, many will see this as a real bargain despite the noise and other listed cons.