Introduction

Rosewill is a company that started as a subsidiary and house brand of Newegg, focusing on simple components and hardware at very competitive prices. In time, the company fledged into a stand-alone company and expanded their product ranks to include a myriad of products from simple cables and adapters to advanced computer hardware, home appliances and office products. The sheer number of products Rosewill markets today is bordering on ridiculous. Nevertheless the company is strongly localized, with their products readily available only in the North American markets. Rosewill is making moves to enter other regions and some, but not all, of their products can also be found in Southeast Asia, Japan, China and Australia.

Today we will be having a look at the Rosewill Photon 1050W. This is the second model of the Photon PSU series which is aimed to advanced users and gamers. All the units of the Photon series are 80Plus Gold certified, have a single 12V rail and are fully modular without any hardwired cables. It is a large series, with units ranging from 550W up to 1200W - it is therefore extremely likely that not all of the units are based on the same platform, or even that they come from the same OEM. Therefore the results of this review should not be extended to reflect the performance of other units of the series.

The unit retails for $140 including shipping and the 1050W version of the Photon is significantly cheaper than most competitive products. The 1050W unit that we will review today boasts good features and warranty for its price range, yet there is a catch: it is rated for 1050W output at 40°C. This is not in any way illegal, as this is the normal rating for the operating temperature of consumer PSUs, but most of the competition rates their high performance units at 50°C. We do perform out hot testing with >45°C ambient temperature and as such we will soon see where the Photon 1050W truly stacks against the competition.

Power specifications ( Rated @ 40 °C )
AC INPUT 100 - 240 VAC, 50 - 60 Hz
RAIL +3.3V +5V +12V +5Vsb -12V
MAX OUTPUT 25A 25A 87.5A 4A 0.3A
130W 1050W 20W 3.6W
TOTAL 1050W

Packaging and Bundle

Rosewill supplies the Photon 1050 in a fairly sturdy cardboard box, with a simple and very dark artwork theme. The artwork is focused on a picture of the unit itself, surrounded by abstract imagery. Very basic information about the PSU and its features can be found around the sides of the box.

The bundled items are few, limited to some very short cable ties, four normal screws, an AC power cable and a very basic manual. The manual is so plain that the user would have to seek detailed information elsewhere, such as Rosewill's website. With the exception of the typical sleeved ATX 24-pin cable, the rest of the cables are "flat", ribbon-like, with black wires. There also is a very basic Molex to Floppy adapter, for those that still own legacy devices and want to power them with a $140 PSU.

The Rosewill Photon 1050W PSU
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  • DanNeely - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    Yup. And while I know loaned/donated hardware is the default for most reviews; in a roundup review, spending $30-60 for a single no-name model to show what spending a little more for a brand name model gives should be an acceptable use of editorial dollars. Two cheap models might be worth it as well; one obvious garbage box to be sacrificed on the alter of magic smoke, and a second that while expected to survive is a few steps down on the performance scale (eg bare 80plus). I wonder if you might be able to fiangle the latter out of one of the OEMs: "I want a baseline model to demonstrate why your 80+ gold model is worth the extra $20." Reply
  • chlamchowder - Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - link

    If I may add one more thing, I have never once looked at a 1000W power supply and said "this unit performs well, so this brand's 400-600W units must be good too".

    When I went shopping for a PSU, I went for a $40 500W model with a plain 80+ rating because there were practically no reviews of sub-$100 400-600W units (and I didn't want a $20 no-name model that might have 45% efficiency). But if reviews showed that spending $100 gave a big improvement over lower priced units, I might have decided differently.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    The other half is that high efficiency PSUs only pay for themselves under largish 24/7 loads at typical US power prices. I played around with the numbers recently for my new build:For a 24/7 load (distributed computing), $0.12/kwh for electricity, modular designs only, and wanting ~200W headroom to keep the PSU fan from adding to the system noise; and over 6 years a 91% platinum PSU only broke even over an 88% gold unit if I ran SLI/xFire for about half the time. In a pure single GPU config the gold model barely broke even vs a cheaper silver model. I ended up going with the platinum model because I expect the 5k monitor I'm planning on buying in the next 12-24 months almost certainly will require SLI/xFire for a few years; combined with a housing situation where my landlord is responsible for the heating bill while air conditioning is on me tipping the scale.

    If your PC spends most of its day off/idle a high efficiency PSU isn't going to give much of a return except possibly at very high electricity rates. If an OEM ever makes one, a small 80+ titanium unit might be worthwhile for mainstream users just due to the large boost it requires at a 10% load.
    Reply
  • JeffFlanagan - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    Good point. Power requirements for PCs with massive storage have also come down quite a bit now that 3 2TB drives can be replaced with a single 6TB drive. Reply
  • bigboxes - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    I have 8 hard drives (1 SDD for the OS) in my file server. If they increase the size I'll just get 8 6TB drives. Right now I'm slowly migrating to 4TB models (up from 1.5TB and 2TB models). Hard drives don't consume a lot of energy regardless. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    My home server has 5 hard drives (4x 3TB array plus the OS drive) and i'm using a 450W PSU. The system idles at 60W measured at the wall. It hits about 75W when the array is maxing out the gigabit network connection. The only time you really need to worry about power requirements for "massive storage" is during boot, but if you stagger the spin-up then it's not a problem. Not that I've had to bother with my current system. Reply
  • romrunning - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    "The high ambient temperatures have a significant impact on the electrical performance of the Photon 1050W, reducing its energy conversion efficiency by an average of 2%. The drop is higher as the load increases, reaching a massive 3.7% drop with a load of 1050W."

    C'mon now, an increase from 2% to 3.7% is NOT a "massive" difference.
    Reply
  • SirGCal - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    You wouldn't be saying that if it was the APR % difference in your mortgage for example... If you were at 2% and they raised you to 3.7%, you'd @#$% the bed. Everything is perspective. Reply
  • romrunning - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    C'mon now, don't conflate two items that are completely different. Changes in a mortgage APR don't equally equate into slight changes in a power supply's energy conversion efficiency.

    If two power supplies were being compared and one was 3.7% while the other was 5.0%, would you still describe the 3.7% variance as "massive"? How would you describe the 5.0% variance?

    E.Fyll did a good job with his review; I just thought the word "massive" was a bit hyperbolic in the context used.
    Reply
  • E.Fyll - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - link

    Actually, it is an 85% increase over the average efficiency drop. That, alongside the fact that everything above 1-1.5% for that particular test is very high, is pretty much massive. Reply

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