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Five Highly Efficient Power Supplies: 1200 W and Up

Conclusion and Purchase Recommendation

1200 W or more combined with high efficiency – features like these turn a common PSU into a high-end PSU. The five power supplies create an impressive test field: 6700 W total power, the most we ever had in a round-up test. But raw power alone isn’t everything when we talk about PSUs priced above $250. Other criteria, like efficiency, electrical quality, and feature set are similarly important. All five test candidates turned out to be strong, highly efficient power supplies, but we did manage to find a few minor flaws. Let’s look at the PSUs one by one:

If it wasn’t for the tiny 80 Plus Platinum logo, we’d shower the Antec HCP-1300with accolades. But if you talk the talk, you’d better walk the walk, and if you put an80 Plus Platinum logo on your product, you’d better meet its requirements. And the Antec PSU simply doesn’t comply with the 80 Plus Platinum standard, if only at full load – it comes in 1.5% shy of the requirements. Apart from that, the HCP-1300 is a solid performer and its electrical quality is outstanding, although it sports fewer connectors than its competitors. On the other hand, the Antec PSU has a unique feature: You can link two of them together for a total of 2600 W. The fan operates quietly in all load conditions.

The Cooler Master V1200 managed to convince us two months ago when we first tested it, and our opinion hasn’t changed since then. Of course, like the strikingly similar Seasonic Platinum-1200 and the slightly more powerful Antec HCP-1300, it offers less power than both 1500 W supplies. But if 1200 W is sufficient for you, you can’t go wrong with the Cooler Master PSU: Excellent workmanship, a rich feature set, and impeccable electrical quality. The hybrid fan control ensures silent operation at low wattages, but even when the fan operates, it never becomes annoying.

The Corsair AX1500i is not just a high-end PSU – think of it as the high end of the high end. Not only does it offer the extremely high power of 1500 W, it manages to do that with a single 125 A rail. Its depth and weight also exceed anything we’ve previously seen. The Corsair PSU is the first PSU in our lab which bears the coveted 80 Plus Titanium logo, and rightfully so. While its cable lengths are more than sufficient, and there is a large number of connectors, a few other high-end PSUs offer even more connectors. However, its ripple and noise numbers are in a class of its own, and the fan is very quiet when it turns on – at low loads it doesn’t, due to the hybrid fan control feature.

The Enermax Platimax 1500 is an oddball among the test candidates: Right now, only a 230 V version is available, and its warranty period is a mere 5 years. Technically, a 230 V supply cannot carry the 80 Plus Platinum logo. But even at 230 V input voltage, this power supply fails to comply with the 80 Plus Platinum logo requirements at full load. But don’t get us wrong – this is still an extremely powerful, highly efficient PSU with excellent electrical quality. The only thing we didn’t like is the fairly noisy fan.

The Seasonic Platinum-1200 is strikingly similar to theCooler Master V1200. There are but a few differences: The Seasonic PSU sports a longer hold-up time, but its fan is noticeably louder and its price is slightly higher.