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XFX XTS 1000W Platinum PSU Review

Additional technical assistance: Peter McFarland and Jeremy Price.

Correctly testing power supplies is a complex procedure and KitGuru have configured a test bench which can deliver up to a 2,000 watt DC load. Due to public requests we have changed our temperature settings – previously we rated with ambient temperatures at 25C, we have increased ambient temperatures by 10c (to 35c) in our environment to greater reflect warmer internal chassis conditions.

We use combinations of the following hardware:
• SunMoon SM-268
• CSI3710A Programmable DC load (+3.3V and +5V outputs)
• CSI3711A Programmable DC load (+12V1, +12V2, +12V3, and +12V4)
• Extech Power Analyzer
• Extech MultiMaster MM570 digital multimeter
• SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa)
• Digital oscilloscope (20M S/s with 12 Bit ADC)
• Variable Autotransformer, 1.4 KVA

DC Output Load Regulation

Combined

DC Load

+3.3V
+5V
+12V
+5VSB
-12V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A V
100W
1.55
3.35
1.78
5.03
6.69
12.03
0.50
5.03
0.20
-12.04
250W
3.42
3.34
4.45
5.02
17.16
12.03
1.00
5.02
0.30
-12.04
500W
7.07
3.34
9.15
5.02
34.67
12.02
2.00
5.02
0.50
-12.05
750W
11.06
3.33
13.74
5.02
52.75
12.01
2.50
5.02
0.60
-12.06
1000W
16.86
3.32
18.96
5.00
71.94
12.00
3.00
5.01
0.80
-12.08

The load regulation of this power supply is probably the best we have seen. Period. The +3.3V output hardly moved at all, even under full load. Fantastic, class leading results.

XFX XTS 1000W Platinum Maximum Load
1155W

We managed to get another 155W from the power supply before the protection circuitry kicked in. The supply was undamaged and it was ready to fire up again when we were a little more sensible with the load.

Next we want to try Cross Loading. This basically means loads which are not balanced. If a PC for instance needs 500W on the +12V outputs but something like 30W via the combined 3.3V and +5V outputs then the voltage regulation can fluctuate badly.

Cross Load Testing +3.3V +5V +12V -12V +5VSB
A V A V A V A V A V
885W 2.0 3.32 2.0 5.03 72.0 11.98 0.2 -12.01 0.50 5.01
240W 20.0 3.31 24.0 5.01 2.0 12.03 0.2 -12.01 0.50 5.02

The XFX power supply handled the cross loading tests very well, hardly fluctuating at all under intensive stress conditions.

We then used an oscilloscope to measure AC ripple and noise present on the DC outputs. We set the oscilloscope time base to check for AC ripple at both high and low ends of the spectrum. ATX12V V2.2 specification for DC output ripple and noise is defined in the ATX 12V power supply design guide.

ATX12V Ver 2.2 Noise/Ripple Tolerance
Output
Ripple (mV p-p)
+3.3V
50
+5V
50
+12V1
120
+12V2
120
-12V
120
+5VSB
50

Obviously when measuring AC noise and ripple on the DC outputs the cleaner (less recorded) means we have a better end result. We measured this AC signal amplitude to see how closely the unit complied with the ATX standard.

AC Ripple (mV p-p)
DC Load +3.3V +5V +12V 5VSB
100W 10 10 20 5
250W 15 10 20 5
500W 15 15 25 5
750W 15 15 30 10
1000W 15 15 35 10

Ripple suppression rates as excellent, with both +3.3V and +5V rails holding at 15mV when under a full load situation. The +12V rail peaks at 35mV when delivering a full 1000 watts – another very strong result.

Efficiency (%)
100W
86.9
250W
93.0
500W
93.9
750W
92.5
1000W
91.9

The efficiency results are excellent, peaking at just under 94% at 500W. This drops to 91.9% efficiency at full load, still a very impressive result.

We take the issue of noise very seriously at KitGuru and this is why we have built a special home brew system as a reference point when we test noise levels of various components. Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on components we are testing. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.

Today to test the Power Supply we have taken it into our acoustics room environment and have set our SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa) one meter away from the unit. We have no other fans running so we can effectively measure just the noise from the unit itself.

As this can be a little confusing for people, here are various dBa ratings in with real world situations to help describe the various levels.

KitGuru noise guide
10dBA – Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refridgerator
50dBA – Normal Conversation
60dBA – Laughter
70dBA – Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA – City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA – Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA – MP3 Player at maximum output
110dBA – Orchestra
120dBA – Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA – Threshold of Pain
140dBA – Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA – Instant Perforation of eardrum

Noise (dBA)
100W
28.0
250W
28.0
500W
33.3
750W
35.9
1000W 37.9

The XFX XTS 1000W Platinum is a fairly quiet unit when 500 watts or less is demanded from it. The fan is however quick to spin up and it generates a fair amount of noise in the last 300-350watts of ultimate power delivery. At full load we measured around 38dBa. The fan profile does seem fairly aggressive overall, but perhaps this is to ensure long term reliability.

Temperature (c)
Intake
Exhaust
100W
35
38
250W
35
41
500W
38
48
750W
43
54
1000W
46
58

The efficiency of the power supply really helps the unit to maintain an aggressive thermal profile.

Maximum load
Efficiency
1155W
90.8

Pushing the PSU above its rated limits generates an efficiency level of around 90.8%. This is not a viable ‘real world’ situation, but its interesting nonetheless.

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