Seasonic PRIME Ultra 850W Power Supply Review

Seasonic's PRIME ULTRA TITANIUM is at the very tip top of its PSU product stack, and its product stack is likely the deepest in the industry when it comes to quality computer power supplies for gamers and enthusiast users that truly push their PCs on a normal basis. Is this 850 watt PSU worthy of your hard earned PSU dollars?

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Overview

The first thing we are going to look at with the PRIME Ultra 850W 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. Accessories are almost unnecessary with a power supply as the unit is self contained, unless it is modular, but there are cases where a manufacturer can include useful accessories to make installation, routing, and use more efficient.

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The PRIME Ultra 850W packaging is similar to what we saw from the PRIME Ultra 750W and PRIME Ultra 1000W which probably comes as no surprise. Once more, the front of the packaging lacks pictures and features a huge shiny swath of silver on a patterned background with only two points of interest instead. The first point of interest today is the 80 Plus Titanium seal and the second is the listing for a 12 year warranty. A quick check of the 80 Plus website does indeed find this unit certified for 80 Plus Titanium levels of efficiency (we will see how this unit does in that respect a little later on). Next up, the warranty is also interesting again today as 12 years is one of the longest warranties offered that we have seen. Now, when we flip to the rear of the packaging, we find a bunch of advertising about the unit along with a picture of the power supply. One of the interesting notes here, much like was the case with the PRIME Ultra 750W and PRIME Ultra 1000W, is that the product does not say "Made in Taiwan" like the original PRIME series units. Perhaps that is because it is expected at this point or, perhaps, because this unit is made in China (aka People’s Republic of China) not Republic of China (at Seasonic’s factory there) like the vast vast vast majority of power supplies that you see reviewed here (and in general use in the consumer realm). Moving on to the sides of the packaging, we find the power label (reproduced below) and the connector counts (reproduced below).

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The PRIME Ultra 850W is advertised as being a single 12v rail power supply similar to what we saw from the previous 850W units in the PRIME lineup. The similarities don't end there though as today's PRIME Ultra 850W's 12v rail has a capacity of up to 70A (or ~99% of the unit's capacity) if necessary. The minor rails (5v and 3.3v) each have a capacity of 20A and the combined capacity of those two rails is 100W once more. Combined with these outputs, we find that this unit has 6 PCIe connectors, 10 SATA connectors, and 5 Molex connectors. From a connectivity standpoint, this unit is identical to the other 850W PRIME units we have seen and it certainly is on par with what we would expect from a modern 850W unit, so we have no complaints here.

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Once we open the PRIME Ultra 850W packaging, we are left looking at the PRIME Ultra 850W itself, a power cord, some screws, the modular cables in a pouch, some zip-ties, some Velcro straps, the power supply "tester" (it is essentially just a power-on jumper), an installation guide, and a pair of user manuals. As before, the user manuals are 20 pages long in 9 languages for one and 40 pages long in 10 languages for the other. The user manuals include installation instructions that are found in the separate installation guide as well for some reason, warranty information, troubleshooting steps, and cabling specifications for the entire line of PRIME units. The electrical specifications of the unit are again sparse so that aspect is not great. Overall though, things look like what we saw with the previous PRIME Ultra entrants so let's move on to look at the unit itself now.