XFX XTR Series 850W PSU Review

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Pros, Cons And Final Verdict

XFX offers a decent number of PSU products that cover most PC segments. Its XTR series is the company's second-best, and the family's members are based on a slightly modified version of Seasonic's mature KM3 design. The KM3S platform, like its predecessor, offers high performance even under stressful conditions. What we like best about the XTR models is that XFX prices them very aggressively, so the 850W model is remarkably affordable. At the time of this review, you could find it for $120. Corsair's CS850M and EVGA's 850 G2 both cost $10 more. The strongest competitor, though, is Corsair's RM850x, which is priced similarly, offers around the same performance, but generates a lot less noise, especially under tough conditions. Speaking of noise output, the only notable downside of the 850W XTR is its 135mm fan that spins fast to exhaust hot air from inside the PSU. To make matters worse, the fan's minimum speed is 800 RPM, where it generates over 32 dB(A). If you want to build a silent system, then Corsair's RM850x is probably the better alternative. Or, you could spend more money on EVGA's 850 P2. 

Seasonic's KM3(S) platform might be considered mature at this point, but PSU technology doesn't advance as fast as CPUs or GPUs. The KM3(S) design still offers great performance, standing up to newer platforms like the CWT one that Corsair's RMx unit utilizes. Moreover, Gold efficiency isn't as expensive these days since two higher tiers (Platinum and Titanium) exist. As a result, the XTR 850W won't empty your wallet. Actually, at $120, we think this PSU represents a good deal given its specifications and impressive performance in our load regulation, ripple suppression and efficiency benchmarks.

On top of that, Seasonic uses only high-quality components including Japanese capacitors and a Fluid Dynamic Bearing fan that should last for years. We already know that a PSU's capacitors are immensely important. But fan quality matters as well; if it fails, then higher temperatures can cause damage to other components inside the power supply. This is why you need to pay extra attention to a PSU's fan and make sure that its bearing is of high quality, in order to offer a long life and quiet operation.

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Contributing Editor

Aris Mpitziopoulos is a Contributing Editor at Tom's Hardware US, covering PSUs.

  • turkey3_scratch
    How come on the ripple page the 5VSB rail always stays under 15mv (except CL1) but on the crossloads page the 5VSB ripple graph is completely blue, hence greater than 30mv the entire time? Also, you have two "and"s in a row on Page 5. Anyway, what I love about Seasonic is they don't fall short in any category. This PSU excels everywhere, I guess except fan noise, of course.
  • BadActor
    Nice. Any chance you might have a look at the budget XT's?
  • turkey3_scratch
    18155380 said:
    Nice. Any chance you might have a look at the budget XT's?

    ^^ Yes please review one of these. Though he only reviews units that the companies actually send to him, so it could be they don't want the XT units to get reviewed, so it'd probably have to be bought retail.
  • apazeus
    I've had the 550w version since around October. At one point it was powering an FX-8350 and a 290X with no hiccups. (Nowadays it's paired with a 6600K and a GTX 1080, uses was less juice.) Nice PSUs.
  • Aris_Mp
    I cannot explain why ripple at 5VSB during the Crossload tests is higher than the high-temperature tests. This is strange indeed.

    As for the XTs I will try to find one.
  • gofasterstripes
    Lol XTR and XT - Someone call Shimano and tell them their electric groupset is looking a big fat!
  • Shankovich
    Excellent review. Could you guys possibly redo the Corsair HX 750i and up with the new review parameters? Really interested to see how it is in more detail now.
  • damric
    "All XFX PSUs are made by Seasonic"

    Not quite. These are built by Hydance.

  • Aris_Mp
    When I state that a unit is made by Seasonic (or any other OEM) it doesn't necessary mean that it is made in its own factories. It is a common practice OEMs to outsource their products to other factories if they cannot meet demand (or in case they want a more affordable production line). However still the original design and the specs are set by the original designer.

    Many other models of various OEMs are also made in other factories but there is no safe way to know it without having info from the OEM itself.

    Finally, this specific article states about the XFX XT units: "If the available information is correct, XFX XT is designed by Seasonic, but the manufacturing is outsourced to Shenzhen Rui Sheng Yuan just like the Hydance. "

    As you can see there is an "if" at the beginning of the sentence. In any case, Seasonic is also behind the XT line. Given that this is an XTR review though, I thought it would be better to spare all above and just state that all XFX PSUs are made by Seasonic and not dive into such detail mentioning the outsourcing of XT line, for which there is no solid information.

    Given the opportunity I would like to mention the great work that Orion does and also thank him for the tip about the KM3S platform of the XTR-850 unit. I will try to find some details about the actual differences between the KM3 and KM3S platforms.
  • Math Geek
    i got REAL happy for second there thinking this was one of the budget XTFR units. been waiting for someone, anyone out there to review one so we can see how it performs. they are priced awesome and if they perform even average, they will be worth the low cost for mainstream pc's

    either way, nice review :) always solid work