Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming 1200 W PSU Review

Gigabytes re-enters the high-end PSU market with its Xtreme Gaming 1200 W PSU. Besides high capacity, it also features Platinum-rated efficiency, modular cables, and interesting looks. This unit is built to meet the demands of enthusiasts, to be sure.

Gigabyte recently revealed its Xtreme Gaming line of PSUs, which currently includes one 1.2 kW model. Obviously, that capacity point only addresses high-end enthusiasts with multiple graphics cards installed. Given the improved efficiency of 14/16 nm GPUs, though, unless you plan to use three- or four-way SLI/CrossFire, you shouldn't need more than a 1 kW PSU. Then again, ultra-aggressive overclocking will definitely affect the power requirements of less elaborate configurations. You see, at stock clock rates, modern GPUs can be power-friendly. But under extreme overclocking, all bets are off. If you're a hardcore tuner, a capable PSU like Gigabyte's XP1200M makes more sense.

The XP1200M is built by Enhance Electronics. It actually employs the same platform as Rosewill's Quark power supply, and given our experience with the Quark 1000, we don't expect the XP1200M to offer ground-breaking performance. It'll probably have a hard time competing against the other models in this crowded category. Though Enhance is known for its solid implementations, the company isn't particularly innovative, so its benchmark results typically don't stand up to the high-end designs from Super Flower, CWT, Flextronics, and Seasonic.

Any high-end PSU should be fully modular, and that's indeed the case for Gigabyte's XP1200M. In addition, this unit sports a single +12V rail and appealing aesthetics (thanks to an orange-colored fan and a nicely-finished chassis). Gigabyte says it uses Japanese caps. The company also claims its double ball-bearing fan has a lifetime of at least 50,000 hours. Unfortunately, there is no semi-passive mode, which could have greatly reduced the XP1200M's noise output under light and moderate loads. Then again, if the fan spins up slowly and its start-up voltage is low, the absence of a semi-passive mode may not be noticed.

Specifications

The most important feature is 80 PLUS Platinum-rated efficiency, though we're immediately put off by a 40 °C temperature rating. Enhance usually uses this low specification, so no surprise there. In our experience, most of the company's platforms have no problem delivering full power for prolonged periods at much higher ambient temperatures. The only problem is a fan profile tuned with the 40 °C ceiling in mind. Above that threshold, the fan goes crazy and noise output increases.

The PSU features fully modular cabling, as we already mentioned, along with a full suite of protection capabilities that includes over-temperature protection. This is probably the most important protection for a PSU; it can really save the day in the event of a fan failure. Gigabyte does use that dual ball-bearing fan, which it says should last longer than other designs. But it also makes more noise than FDB fans.

Gigabyte's five-year warranty is long enough to keep us satisfied. Still, the competition in this price class offers anywhere from seven- to 10-year coverage, leaving Gigabyte in the dust.

Power Specifications

Rail3.3V5V12V5VSB-12V
Max. PowerAmps25221002.50.3
Watts120120012.53.6
Total Max. Power (W)1200

The minor rails are strong enough to support any contemporary system, while the +12V rail is powerful, offering 100 A maximum current output. On the other hand, we'd like the 5VSB rail to provide more juice. A rating of 2.5 A looks anemic for a 1.2 kW PSU.

Cables And Connectors

Modular Cables
DescriptionCable CountConnector Count (Total)
ATX connector 20+4 pin (700 mm)11
4+4 pin EPS12V (800 mm)11
4+4 pin EPS12V (650 mm)11
6+2 pin PCIe (650 mm)22
6+2 pin PCIe (650 mm + 100 mm)24
SATA (550 mm + 150 mm + 150 mm + 150 mm)312
Four-pin Molex (550 mm + 150 mm + 150 mm + 150 mm)28
FDD Adapter (100 mm)22

All cables are extremely long, and the distance between the SATA and peripheral connectors is ample at 15 cm. The only downside we anticipate for some enthusiasts is too-few PCIe connectors (you get six). Some similar-capacity PSUs offer eight or more. Gigabyte is conservative in this regard, particularly on a PSU in a family called Xtreme Gaming.

At least there are enough SATA and peripheral connectors. And instead of the usual single FDD adapter, you get two. More than likely you won't even need one, but Gigabyte still threw a couple in its bundle to cover your bases, just in case.

The ATX, EPS, and PCIe connectors use 16-gauge wires for lower voltage drops at higher loads, while everything else uses the typical 18-gauge wires.

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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  • turkey3_scratch
    Yawn. It's loud. Might not be too loud in most people's cases where the unit is sucking cool air from underneath the computer, and where they overestimate their power requirements, but it's still way too loud. If they're going to make the fan that aggressive, they should give it a longer warranty. Give it an ol' 11 year warranty to beat the competition at least.

    The only way Gigabyte is going to sell this at whatever price is if they do some marketing. "Nvidia Gigabyte GPUs work best with Gigabyte PSU" and people will buy it.
  • powernod
    Enhance continoues its mediocre performance!!
    The only series i can remember, in which Enhance showed some very good results were the Thermaltake's GRAND Platinum line.
    Besides that,..... just mediocre !!
  • Vorador2
    When i saw that it used the word "xtreme" (ugh) and "gaming" together in the name of the product i knew it was going to be either overpriced or underperforming. Or both.
  • DotNetMaster777
    Built by enhance electronics but only five years warranty !
  • Sam Hain
    In the 1.2kw range... The EVGA SuperNOVA 1200 P2 is a great buy @$230 (or so), awesome specs and performance across-the-board and some of the highest customer ratings to back it's build quality.