Pros, Cons And Final Verdict
Gigabyte is trying to enter the high-end PSU market with its XP1200M, but the final results isn't that good since its Enhance platform only offers average performance at a steep $280. At that price, you'll find much better products from Corsair, EVGA, Seasonic, XFX, and Thermaltake. Given this unit's benchmark numbers, its price should be closer to $200. Unfortunately, we don't think Gigabyte is willing to cut that deeply.
Load regulation isn't as good as the competition, for starters. And efficiency under light loads is very low. Transient response should be better at +12V, and at 3.3V it's downright bad. Our hold-up time measurement fails to keep in line with the ATX spec's requirements, too. In fact, the only good aspect of this PSU is its ripple suppression, though even that can't match the high-end competition in this price category. One of the most notable drawbacks of this unit is its noisy fan, which is particularly problematic under stressful conditions. Gigabyte/Enhance should use a lower-speed fan and a less aggressive profile to reduce acoustic output. A semi-passive mode would definitely help as well, though the platform's poor efficiency under light loads wouldn't allow for it to work for long.
The XP1200M has nothing new to offer in the 1.2 kW 80 PLUS Platinum category. As a result Gigabyte fails to make an impressive entry into the high-end PSU market. The modular cabling design and high-quality caps simply aren't enough to make this PSU a good choice for enthusiasts who need lots of capacity.
Strangely enough, this unit only includes six PCIe connectors at a time when most 1.2 kW contenders are equipped with at least eight. If you need a high-output power supply to feed three or four graphics cards, the XP1200M falls short there as well. Even if it had the connectivity, the XP1200M would make a ton of noise under gaming conditions, forcing you to use earplugs or headphones to drown out the sound.
In order for the XP1200M to be competitive in this category, its platform needs lots of fixes: offer tighter load regulation, higher efficiency (especially under light loads), and lower deviations with transient loads. Moreover, higher-capacity bulk-caps are needed for increased hold-up time, even if that negatively affects efficiency. A semi-passive mode would help lower this unit's output noise under light loads, provided Enhance could improve efficiency in that range. An FDB fan could also lower noise output, in combination with a proper fan profile.
The short of it is that this PSU needs lots of modifications and a significant price drop in order to take on the formidable competition.
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