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Rosewill Photon-1200 PSU Review

Today, we evaluate Rosewill's Photon-1200, manufactured by Sirfa, featuring fully modular cabling, Gold-rated efficiency and a high watt-per-dollar ratio.

A Look Inside And Component Analysis

Parts Description

Our main tools for disassembling PSUs are a Thermaltronics soldering and rework station and a Hakko 808 desoldering gun.

Primary Side
Transient Filter4x Y caps, 2x X caps, 2x CM chokes, 1x MOV, 1x CM02X
Inrush Protection-
Bridge Rectifier(s)2x GBJ2506 (600V, 25A @ 100 °C)
APFC MOSFETs3x Infineon SPW24N60C3 (650V, 15.4A @ 100°C, 0.16Ohm )
APFC Boost Diode2x CREE C3D08060A (600V, 8A @ 152 °C)
Hold-up Cap(s)2x Rubycon (400V, 470uF each or 940uF combined, 2000h @ 105 °C, MXH)
Main Switchers2x Infineon 60R125CP (650V, 16A @ 100°C, 0.125Ohm)
APFC / Switching ControllerChampion CM6800
TopologyPrimary side: Double Forward Secondary side: Synchronous Rectification & DC-DC converters
OEMSirfa / High Power
Secondary Side
+12V MOSFETs8x Infineon IPP034NE7N3 G (75V, 100A @ 100 °C, 3.4 mohm)
5V & 3.3VDC-DC Converters: 6x Infineon IPD060N03L G (30V, 50A @ 100 °C, 6 mohm) PWM Controller:1x APW7159
Filtering CapacitorsElectrolytics: Nippon Chemi-Con (105 °C, KY, KZE) Polymers: Nippon Chemi-Con
Supervisor ICSITI PS223 (OVP, UVP, OCP, SCP, OTP )
Fan ModelGlobe Fan RL4Z B1352512HH (12V, 0.45A, 129.76 CFM, 1800 RPM, 33.9 dB[A], Double Ball-Bearing)
5VSB Circuit
Rectifier1x PFR 30L45CT
Standby PWM ControllerPower Integrations TOP256EN (86W @ Open Frame)
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The Photon-1200 is made by Sirfa, an OEM that’s mostly experienced in creating budget PSUs. However, Sirfa does have some interesting high-end platforms in its portfolio. The Photon-1200's internals are identical to the High Power Astro GD 1200W, which makes sense since both PSUs are based on Sirfa's HPJ platform. In the primary side, Sirfa doesn't use an LLC resonant converter, so we don't expect this unit to be able to compete in the efficiency section (at least not compared to PSUs featuring LLC resonant converters). In the secondary side, a synchronous design is used where active components rectify all rails, which is typical for this category.

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The first part of the EMI/transient filter is on the AC receptacle and, in this case, consists of one X and two Y caps. On the X cap, we noticed a CM02X IC that blocks current through the cap's discharge resistor when AC voltage is connected to avoid energy losses on the bleeding resistor. The EMI filter continues on the main PCB with one X and two Y caps, along with a pair of CM chokes and an MOV. The latter is partially hidden by the PFC input capacitor.

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Both bridge rectifiers, a pair of GBJ2506s, are bolted on a small, dedicated heat sink. The amount of current that these bridge rectifiers can handle is huge, easily covering the needs of the Photon-1200.

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Three Infineon SPW24N60C3s are used in the APFC converter, along with a pair of CREE C3D08060A boost diodes. In addition, the bulk caps are provided by Rubycon, and their combined capacity is 940uF.

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The main switchers are a pair of Infineon 60R125CP FETs. The combo PFC/PWM controller, a Champion CM6800 IC, is installed on a small daughterboard. It's commonly used in Bronze-rated PSUs and lower. We don't have high expectations when it comes to the efficiency levels that this platform will provide, given the plain design and outdated PFC/PWM controller it uses.

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Two small heat sinks in the secondary side hold all FETs that regulate the +12V rail, which are eight Infineon IPP034NE7N3 G. The DC-DC converters that handle the minor rails are installed directly on the modular board in order to save some losses on power transfer cables. Each of the aforementioned converters uses four Infineon IPD060N03L G, and the common PWM controller is an Anpec APW7159.

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All filtering capacitors in the secondary side, both electrolytic and polymer, are Japanese, provided by Nippon Chemi-Con. Although this is a low-cost Gold unit, Rosewill and Sirfa decided wisely to use high-quality capacitors to increase the PSU's reliability. On the front side of the modular board, several polymer caps by Chemi-Con are used for ripple filtering, while some of them are utilized by the DC-DC converters.

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The standby PWM controller is a Power Integrations TOP256EN, which can provide up to 86W with an open-frame design. The SBR that rectifies the 5VSB rail is a PFR 30L45CT.

Housekeeping is done by a SITI PS223, one of the very few relevant ICs that supports OTP (over-temperature protection) out of the box. In addition, this IC supports OCP (over-current protection) for up to two +12V rails. The Photon-1200, however, has only one.

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Soldering quality isn't among the best we have seen, but it's good overall, especially for a budget, high-capacity unit. On the solder side of the main PCB we also spotted a Unisonic LM393L dual differential comparator.

The cooling fan is provided by Globe Fan (model number RL4Z B1352512HH, 12V, 0.45A, 129.76 CFM, 1800 RPM, 33.9 dB[A]). It uses double ball-bearings, so it will last for quite a long time. This fan is powerful, capable of pushing a significant amount of air. However, its profile is aggressive. Because this supply's efficiency isn't great, thermal loads inside the PSU are increased, causing the fan to spin faster.

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