Skip to main content

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.

Our Verdict

For $170 you get an older platform, which however is equipped with Japanese capacitors and utilizes a fully modular cabling design. The major drawbacks of the Photon-1200 PSU are ripple suppression at high ambient temperatures and the unit's noisy operation, even at normal ambient temperatures. If you care about noise, then you should spend some more and get a quieter and more efficient 1.2kW unit.

For

  • Compact dimensions • Fully modular • Hold-up time • Japanese caps • Price • Warranty

Against

  • 5VSB spike in turn-on tests • Efficiency • Noise • Ripple • Vampire power

Introduction

Rosewill has a rich power supply portfolio that includes a wide range of families covering every market segment. The company is trying hard to establish a good name in the competitive PSU business, which is a good thing not only for Rosewill but for its customers as well, since competition typically lowers prices. This is especially true in the U.S. market where, currently, two companies dominate the field.

One of Rosewill's newest PSU lines is the Photon series, which consists of six units ranging from 550 to 1200W, covering all of the important categories from low- and mid-wattage to the mega-PSU category. A strong selling point of these models is their affordable prices, resulting mostly from Rosewill's choice of OEM. Sirfa usually manufactures platforms with high price-per-performance ratios. Throughout this review, we will determine if this also applies to the Photon-1200.

All Photon units are fully modular and 80 PLUS Gold-certified. These are two features that, even today, are considered high-end. In addition, the Photon-1200 that we're focusing on is a powerful unit with a single +12V rail, able to feed multiple GPUs without running out of reserves. Admittedly, there aren't many enthusiasts who need a PSU with more than 1kW of output, even for a high-end gaming rig. But if you're trying to use three or four big graphics cards, it may become necessary to buy something bigger than 1000W. This is where 1.2kW PSUs come into play.

Specifications

MORE: How We Test Power SuppliesMORE:
All Power Supply ArticlesMORE:
Power Supplies in the Forums

The Photon-1200 PSU is compatible with the sleep states of Intel's Haswell-based CPUs (C6 and C7), where power consumption on the +12V rail is minimal. According to Rosewill, the maximum temperature at which it can deliver full power continuously is 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), although the ATX spec says 50 °C (122 °F). During our tests, we will go higher than 40 °C inside our hotbox and see how the PSU responds, especially under higher loads. Hopefully it survives, despite the lack of over-temperature protection (OTP), which is particularly essential for PSUs with lower temperature ratings.

A double ball-bearing fan handles the unit's thermal load. And with no semi-passive mode, noise output is noticeable even under light loads. In high-capacity PSUs like this one, passive operation when there's not much going on is a nice feature, especially since most of us don't push our systems constantly. Finally, Rosewill offers a long warranty—five years—on the Photon-1200.

Power Specifications

Rail3.3V5V12V5VSB-12V
Max. PowerAmps252510040.3
Watts1301200203.6
Total Max. Power (W)1200

The single +12V rail can deliver 100A. That's a lot of current, easily able to meet the demands of power-hungry gaming systems. Additionally, the minor rails' maximum combined power is high for a contemporary system that uses them only lightly, while the 5VSB rail is significantly stronger than average.

Cables And Connectors

Modular Cables
DescriptionCable CountConnector Count (Total)
ATX connector 20+4 pin (600mm)11
4+4 pin EPS12V (705mm)22
6+2 pin PCIe (600mm)44
6+2 pin PCIe (600mm + 150mm)24
SATA (460mm+150mm+150mm) / four-pin Molex (+150mm)515 / 5
FDD Adapter (+150mm)11

The number of EPS and PCIe connectors is adequate, and the number of SATA and four-pin Molex connectors is high. With 15 SATA connectors, this PSU will easily power a storage server with numerous HDDs/SSDs, and the five peripheral connectors are sufficient for devices like system fans, coolers and LED lights. The cable lengths are good, and the distance between connectors is adequate (although, in some cases, a smaller distance between the SATA connectors could be better). Finally, the 24-pin ATX connector, along with all of the EPS and PCIe connectors, use thicker 16-gauge wire for lower voltage drops at high loads. The rest of the connectors use standard 18AWG wires.

Power Distribution

Because this PSU features a single +12V rail, we do not have anything to say about its power distribution.