Pros, Cons, And Final Verdict
The following video footage shows our work behind the scenes, demonstrating what we do to break down the PSU.
The SuperNOVA G3's major changes, aside from slightly better efficiency, are its more compact dimensions (the 850 G3 is 30mm shallower than the 850 G2) and smaller HDB fan (the G2s use double ball bearing fans). The external design underwent a slight revision as well, and we think the new aesthetic is much nicer.
Our test results speak for themselves; there is no doubt that EVGA's 850 G3 is one of the best 850W 80 PLUS Gold-rated PSUs you can buy. We are anxiously waiting for Seasonic's new Focus family, which will go up against the G3s and all other Leadex II-based power supplies. Perhaps an evenly-matched competitor will put a little pressure on the 850 G3's high price.
To be fair, Seasonic will probably have a hard time matching the G3's performance. But the 850 G3's price tag and noise output are two weaknesses other brands should be able to exploit. The days of EVGA's 80 PLUS Gold-rated PSUs competing based on value are long gone, since the company is now one of the most respected in this space. It no longer needs to discount its products to move them.
Officially, the SuperNOVA 850 G3 is listed at $150. Rebates could get you a little lower, if they become available. By the time Seasonic releases the Gold-rated Focus series, we'd like to see this PSU selling for closer to $120.
We expected the 850 G3 to perform amazingly well and it didn't let us down. Every discipline is done right. From load regulation to ripple suppression and transient response, the new Leadex II platform offers great performance. On top of that, Super Flower focused on higher power density, enabling the use of a much smaller enclosure compared to the previous G2 line-up.
There's always room for improvement, though. In this case, the 850 G3's most notable downside is its noise, which gets bothersome under taxing loads. The hydraulic dynamic bearing may help extend the fan's lifetime, but it's controlled by a profile that wasn't optimized for acoustics. Given the platform's high efficiency, we think the control circuit could be relaxed a bit.
Another downside is the 5VSB rail's high power consumption at standby and low efficiency. Considering how well this platform does everywhere else, Super Flower should use a different standby PWM controller to reduce the rail's vampire power. Given the measurements we took with 230V input, we seriously doubt the 850 G3 will pass the recent ATX spec's requirements for less than 0.5W consumption with up to 0.225W load at 5VSB.
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