Athena Atlas 800 Power Supply Review

This is not our normal PSU review, in fact it is likely to get much more attention from IT professionals than computer hardware enthusiasts. Two 800 watt power supplies all in the space of one PS2-sized desktop PSU. Is there any way that Athena can be supplying a high quality power output from such a small space?



The first thing we are going to look at with the Athena Atlas 800 is its packaging, accessories, and documentation. While normally none of these items is a make or break item for a power supply the packaging quite often contains a lot of information about the product we are purchasing. The inclusion of an owner’s manual that provides actual information about our product is also of great help in many situations. Accessories are almost unnecessary with a power supply as the unit is self contained, unless it is modular, but there cases where a manufacturer can include useful accessories to make installation, routing and use more efficient.

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The exterior of the large packaging of the Athena Atlas 800 is rather bare. This is likely the because this unit is generally meant for OEMs and not desktop consumers. However, we do find a few items of interest here including an 80Plus Bronze seal. A quick check of the 80lus website does find this unit listed as 80Plus Bronze certified under its 230v section. This is different from what we are used to seeing around here as, to date, we have never reviewed a 230v 80Plus certified unit. Something we don’t find on the packaging, or manual (as explained below), is the warranty on this unit. After a bit of digging, we find that the Atlas 800 is only backed by a one year warranty. For an enthusiast product this is lousy, but this is not really an enthusiast product and we are just an incidental market. However, we can always hope that since Athena is selling these at retail, as well as to OEMs, that Athena will consider revising this policy and extending a longer warranty period to products purchased at retail.

(UPDATE - 9/13/2011: Since our reviewed published, Atlas has informed us that is has upped it warranty to 3 years for retail desktop sales.)

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The power label for the Athena Atlas 800 is a bit different from what we have become used to seeing from enthusiast power supplies. In order to actually pull 800 watts from this unit, the unit has to have its 12v rail, which has a capacity of 55.5A or just 83% of the unit's total capacity, maxed out and then it has to have the minor rails, +5vsb, and -12v maxed out as well. Most of the time when we see things such as this with consumer or enthusiast units, this is due to these units being old, or of poor quality, and attempting to hide that fact. With the Atlas 800, however, this is likely not the case. Rather, as we see from the connector count and later the connector configuration, this product is simply very specifically targeted to a particular market whose power needs are much better quantified, and predictable, than enthusiast users' power needs typically are. Now when we look at the connectors, we see that the unit has a pair of PCI-Express connectors (one 6-pin and one 8-pin), so certain SLI and CrossFire configurations are possible, which may seem limited on an 800W. Again, however, this configuration is due to the unit's intended application in servers, in which you typically aren’t running SLI configurations. The SATA appointment, however, includes 10 connectors and the Molex appointment includes 3 connectors for disk arrays and peripherals. The Molex connectors really may seem to be a short changing, but when was the last time most people had 4 Molex connectors in use in their system?

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When we purchase the Athena Atlas 800, and open the packaging, all we find included are the power supply, power cords, and mounting rails as this product is meant for OEMs. Don’t expect any cool extras or manuals with this unit!