1000W-1200W Roundup: Five High-End PSUs

Today we're looking at some of the most expensive ATX power supplies on the market. All of these PSUs deliver more than enough power for SLI and CrossFire systems, and the highest wattage units are capable of running tri-SLI with GTX 480. Even so, there are still plenty of differences between the offerings. We'll find out which handle overload situations the best, who has the highest efficiency, and which PSU provides the best voltage regulation. Based on all of the criteria, we'll try to separate the wheat from the tares and pick out the best choice overall; we might end up with a split decision, however, so let's start by meeting the contenders.

Our first candiate comes from OCZ and is one of the oldest 80Plus Gold power supplies on the market. The OCZ Z1000M is the 1000W model from their Z-series; it comes EuP-Ready (which means low power loss during standby mode) and is available for $205 online. In contrast to the Z1000, this model includes modular cables like most high-end power supplies, and you get an SLI-Ready certificate. A powerful single-rail +12V rated at 83A indicates that this PSU uses a DC-to-DC converter (like most other high-end PSUs these days), so the smaller rails are fed by +12V.

The next 1000W PSU comes from AeroCool with a lesser 80Plus Bronze certification. To compensate the "low" efficiency AeroCool catches our eyes with blue 140mm LED-fans, a lighted panel for cable management, and "Carbon Fiber" finishing. The AeroCool V12XT-1000 1000W is not available in the United States, but you can get it for €165 in Germany (about $230).

Cougar is a newcomer and the retail-brand of HEC, who has a long OEM history. Cougar is using HEC's best build options and robust cases for their power supplies. The Cougar GX G1050 1050W can be bought in Europe, with a few models also showing up in the USA. In Europe you've to pay €190 (a rather expensive $265) to get this beautiful PSU. Is it a good high efficiency option, with another 80Plus Gold certificate? We'll find out.

Besides the three 1000W PSUs, we also have two 1200W models for this roundup. The first is the Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 1200W. Yet another 80Plus Gold PSU - notice a trend? - can it meet the specs and live up to its "silent" name? Most PSUs above 1000W need powerful cooling at high load, so any suggestion of silence seems like pie in the sky. Regardless of the noise levels, we'll test this Cooler Master to see how the single +12V rail rated at nearly 100A stands up to the competition. Pricing is only slighly higher than other 1000W PSUs, checking in at $210.

Our final entrant in today's roundup comes from Antec, a familiar name to most computer enthusiasts. Their latests creations is the Antec High Current Pro HCP-1200. Priced at $300 online, it's the most expensive PSU in our list and it once again boasts an 80Plus Gold certification. Unlike most of the other PSUs, the HPC-1200 has eight +12V rails, but it also uses DC-to-DC conversion and Japanese capacitors (almost a requirement to high 80Plus Gold). An unusual features is the 80mm fan for cooling, rather than the typical 120mm or 140mm fans we see elsewhere. Antec has created a new design with two PCBs to increase airflow and allow for optimal use of the 80mm fan. We'll see if this works well, or if it simply result in higher noise levels but similar temperatures and efficiency.

OCZ Z1000M Overview
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  • mattgmann - Thursday, December 9, 2010 - link

    nice roundup though the outcome was predictable. I would have like to see some other heavy hitters other than antec included, i.e. mainly corsair, but also enermax, pc p&c, and maybe silverstone.

    I've been using mostly antec psus in my builds for a while. I like their low end series supplies, and the earthwatts series. I am running the SG850 in my personal rig. For my next personal workstation I plan to go bigger (dual socket). The antec hcp 1200 performs great by all accounts, but I have to say I would prefer a fully modular supply on a high end unit. The only thing I disliked about my SG850 was the cabling; it was also a pain to re-sleeve.
  • Antec_Jessie - Thursday, December 9, 2010 - link

    Am I to understand that you want the fully modular cables for ease of sleeving?

    Thanks for the feedback!
  • mattgmann - Thursday, December 9, 2010 - link

    It would be nice to have a psu I didn't feel like re-sleeving. The sleeving on my sg850 was pretty atrocious. The hcp 1200 is a bit better.

    I'd also like fully modular because it's easier for me to make custom length cables, and not have to deal with hiding extraneous hard wire cables. My sg850 has both 4 pin and 8 pin 12v eps cables. Who needs a 4 pin eps cable on a high end power supply? At least make it a single 4pinx2 connector.

    The other advantage to fully modular cabling could be in balancing load across the rails as I need or want.

    I'd be happy paying a premium for an hcp1200 with fully modular connectors.
  • sirmixmasta - Thursday, December 9, 2010 - link

    The other comments are right, seems like a bunch of bigger names often synonymous with quality are missing from this review. You guys only review what the manufacturers send over for free now or what? I don't think I would buy any of these...
  • racerx_is_alive - Thursday, December 9, 2010 - link

    Thought it was kind of interesting that while the article mentioned the AeroCool's amazing carbon fiber exterior more than once, there were no pictures of that exterior in the whole article. Maybe that was to dissuade us from buying a terrible power supply based on looks? :)

    Also, in the Cooler Master review, it says that the fan has 7 blades, when in the picture it has 11 or something like that.
  • CTMorseJr - Thursday, December 9, 2010 - link

    I took the plunge and bought 3x 27.5" 1920 * 1200 monitors for use in an NVIDIA 2D Surround View setup and it's rejuvenated my love for gaming. I have 2x GTX 470s in SLI and need to add a third to be able to play all the games I want to in full triple monitor 6180 x 1200 resolution (bezel adjusted).

    I need to upgrade my PC Power & Cooling 750W PS to accommodate the extra power for the third card and this review couldn’t have come at a better time for me.

    I’m not a trust fund baby, just a lowly network administrator at an upstate NY community college who decided to invest a few extra $$hundred (okay, maybe a couple “few extra $$hundred) and try the world of Surround View gaming. I can’t recommend it highly enough if you’re a PC gamer.
  • cactusdog - Friday, December 10, 2010 - link

    Did Antec pay for this review? Seems odd to include only bad PSUs for comparison. I.m guessing Antec chose the PSUs to test.
  • Martin Kaffei - Friday, December 10, 2010 - link

    Not true.

    In a payed review you would see a Gold Award. ;)

    I'm sure there are more good PSUs and there will be more roundups in future. Maybe there is a PSU, which is better than Antec. Who knows. But I have to say, Delta is actually a very good manufacturer. So it is more the work of Delta I like, not the ideas from Antec. The cable management needs some improvements.
  • squidyj - Friday, December 10, 2010 - link

    Kind of a dark horse pick I guess but I'd really just like to see some more 'ink' on Powercolor's 1000w design because well, I haven't heard a bad thing about it yet, and the price is right.
  • ypsylon - Friday, December 10, 2010 - link

    Any PSU review without obvious king of the market (Corsair) is completely pointless.

    Who, in the right frame of mind, will buy AeroCool, Cooler Master or OCZ when Corsair cost is exactly the same or much less (at least where I live), Corsair offers superior performance in every price range when compared to any competitor, absolutely astonishing customer care and equally superior quality. It is complete no-brainer!

    In all honestly I would buy Tagan, Thermaltake or Enermax (even if I had some issues with them) over AC, CM or OCZ every single time.

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