Pros, Cons And Final Verdict
At a glance, you might wonder why the Capstone-G1200 is worth considering when the Photon-1200 costs $10 less and features full modular cabling. Although the Photon-1200 achieves tighter load regulation on all rails and higher overall efficiency, it has a major flaw: its ripple suppression is particularly bad, especially at high operating temperatures. For this reason alone the Photon-1200 trails Rosewill's Capstone-G1200 in our performance rating chart. On top of that, the Photon generates more noise than the already-loud Capstone-G1200. If we had to choose between both products, we'd pick the Capstone without a second thought.
However, if we weren't restricted to Rosewill's line-up, the high-capacity Capstone probably wouldn't be on our short list. It's an average performer, mostly because it's based on a topology that cannot match more modern designs in efficiency and ripple suppression. To make things worse, Rosewill implements a restrictive fan grille that doesn't facilitate good airflow inside the chassis. That fact, combined with the platform's increased heat dissipation, leads to high operating temperatures once the PSU is pushed. The only way to remove excess heat is spinning the fan faster, contributing to the noise issue. Of course, you can't expect a 1.2kW PSU to be silent, but with the proper design, noise can at least be minimized.
The platform might not be top-notch in terms of design or performance, but it does survive our toughest benchmarks. And we believe it's reliable enough. Otherwise, Rosewill wouldn't guarantee its longevity for five years. The older Capstone PSUs, which were made by Super Flower, used a better platform though. We're forced to wonder why Rosewill deviated from its winning formula. If Super Flower couldn't provide the same platform, why not choose another of the company's designs? Enhance Electronics might be a good OEM, but its high-capacity offerings don't stand up to Super Flower's Leadex platforms.
We are understandably displeased when we encounter a new product that cannot beat its predecessor, and that's what happens here. The older Capstone lines offered good performance along with affordable prices, and helped Rosewill establish its name in this challenging market. On the other hand, the new Capstones offer lower performance and cost about the same. So what's Rosewill's strategy here? If it wants to keep up with its competition, it needs competitive platforms at affordable prices. Even if the company couldn't keep its relationship with Super Flower going for the new Capstones, it should have found a better-performing alternative rather than an inferior platform unable to match other options out there.