XFX Black Edition 750W Power Supply Review

XFX is back with its "Love it or hate it!" heavy handed green and black industrial motif on a new 750 watt computer power supply. Just perfect for a new power hungry Fermi video card. Is XFX's new PSU up to our testing criteria? Last time around XFX did great, hopefully this one is up to our test.

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Conclusions

The XFX Black Edition 750W is the second power supply branded by XFX that we have seen (and only one of three models released to date). The first XFX power supply, which we reviewed here some time ago, was an excellent product that came from XFX's partnership with Seasonic and did receive a HardOCP Gold Editor's Award. So today, when looking at XFX's second go around we have to wonder how its second outing will go. Certainly, retaining the use of the Seasonic M12D platform should afford XFX a solid platform, but do things go as planned.


HardOCP’s testing methodology is intended to very much push power supplies to their advertised wattage rating in temperatures that will represent some of the hottest computer enthusiast cases. So if a unit passes all our testing it is definitely not something to take lightly. In fact we expect more power supplies to fail our testing than make it through unscathed.

Build Quality

In what will quickly become a pattern today we find the overall build quality of the XFX Black Edition 750W is identical to the XFX Black Edition 850W in almost every way. The exterior of the unit comes trimmed out in the same unique industrial-esque housing and fluorescent color scheme that we saw before. The fact that the fit and finish are still of high quality is not the least bit shocking. But how shocking the look is overall to users is going to be a thing of personal taste, but certainly it is not a boring looking unit by an means.

Once we move to the interior of the unit, we find that the build quality continues to be excellent and identical to the M12D-850 / Black Edition 850W. That means we get another unit that shares the same basic layout of the majority of Seasonic's high powered offerings since the x900 (noticeably different is the X-750) and a DC-DC secondary design. We once more find the fan in the M12D-850 has been replaced by an ADDA fan but the remaining component selection is top notch and all of the capacitors are provided by Nippon Chemi-con. Lastly, the unit is backed by a 5 year warranty, which is good, from a well respected company with a good customer service track record and a decent manual.

Load Testing

The Load Testing results for the XFX Black Edition 750W are very good and almost identical to the results posted by the XFX Black Edition 850W. The voltage regulation was once more very good with the 12v rail dropping 0.13v, which is larger than the 0.10v change we saw with the Black Edition 850W, but not by much. The more lightly loaded minor rails once more showed better voltage regulation than the 12v rail and this is as we would expect to see given the load patterns used. The Black Edition 750W also posted very good efficiency numbers, 84.78% to 87.29% at 120v and 84.05% to 86.10% at 100v, as we would expect given the unit's pedigree. We did see a few small changes with the exhaust temperature as the unit started off considerably warmer than the Black Edition 850W, but it also never quite reached the same peak exhaust temperature that we saw with that unit. All in all, the Black Edition 750W seemed to post just more even exhaust temperatures with less variance than the Black Edition 850W.

Moving on, the Transient Load Testing results for the XFX Black Edition 750W are a pass today and follow the pattern of the Black Edition 850W, there is probably no real surprise there anymore. Once more, we find that the "bounce" after the load switched off of the 5v rail resulted in the unit coming within 0.01v of the ATX12v specification upper limit, but otherwise the unit posted very good results for the 5v test. This close call is something that can happen anytime you find a rail with a set point significantly above nominal such as this and is not specific to this unit, platform, or XFX. On the 12v side of the coin, the ~280mV drop we saw with the 12v rail test is slightly greater than the ~260mV drop we saw with the Black Edition 850W. Likely, this is due to this unit having a lower total capacity, and 12v capacity, than the Black Edition 850W and nothing more. These things all make for a pass, like with the Black Edition 850W and M12D-850 before it, but something that could still use a bit of work.

DC Output Quality

The DC Output Quality of the previous XFX Black Edition 850W was excellent and the Black Edition 750W today was no different. Indeed, for the most part, the 750W model posted the same numbers within reasonable variance. The 12v rail once more had a peak trace amplitude of just ~20mV. The minor rails on this unit were slightly more active than on the Black Edition 850W as the 3.3v rail hit ~15mV and the 5v rail came in at ~10mV. Really though, the only difference we see is that the 3.3v rail posted a miniscule ~5mV increase over the Black Edition 850W. As such, the Black Edition 750W easily passes the DC Output Quality portion of testing and more or less replicates the excellent results we saw previously from XFX.

Noise

The XFX Black Edition 750W is based upon the Seasonic M12D-850 (as is the Black Edition 850W) which was a very quiet unit for its DC output capacity. That unit achieved its quiet noise profile by using a large fan, excellent efficiency, and a good fan controller. Since we have already seen the XFX Black Edition 850W and we knew that that unit was louder than the M12D-850 it was no real surprise that the Black Edition 750W was louder as well. Just like with the 850W model, the Black Edition 750W was audible starting at 75% load and up. This difference in noise for both the Black Edition 750W and 850W almost certainly must be due to the lower quality ADDA fan compared to the Sanyo Denki in the M12D. It is just unfortunate that XFX could not get Sanyo Denki to make a fan the color they wanted in order to get the same performance, in this regard, as that which we saw from the M12D-850. In the end though, while louder than the M12D-850, it is unlikely that users with systems capable of pushing this unit would hear the fan to any large degree as other components would likely have much smaller, faster, and more annoying fans cooling them.

Paul's Thoughts:

With the XFX Black Edition 750W there isn't a whole lot to say that was not said when we reviewed the HardOCP Gold Editor's Award winning Black Edition 850W. Quite simply, this unit is the exact same for all intents and purposes but with 100W less capacity. So, all of the points raised with that unit still stand today. In the general PSU landscape, we find that as a 750W unit this is definitely one that can compete with most high end units on the market and really only trails a few select units, such as the Seasonic X-750, while besting all of the CWT PSH based units and being on almost equal overall footing with the CWT DSG based units on the market. Sadly, by volume, there are few other really modern designs besides the CWT DSG, Seasonic M12D, and Enermax MODU87 in this range floating around that have made it to our test bench so far and all of these units are in general suitable for most users. This makes the big selling points aesthetics, support, and price. The Black Edition 750W certainly has a bold style, good support, and with a price of $125 it makes it is one of the cheaper premium products in this capacity range.

The Bottom Line

By more or less copying the XFX Black Edition 850W power supply, XFX has presented a Black Edition 750W unit that makes an excellent addition to its product stack. The Black Edition 750W maintains all of the key features, and slight drawbacks, of the Black Edition 850W. This includes the excellent voltage regulation, great efficiency, and solid DC Output Quality. The one real downside, when compared to the base model M12D-850 these units are based on, continues to be the fact that they produce slightly more noise than when Seasonic builds them with the superior Sanyo Denki fan, but even then its sound profile is not one that should bother gamers.

The Black Edition 750W is an excellent unit that will, unlike the M12D-850, turn heads while doing an excellent job at everything a power supply is supposed to do at a price point that is very friendly to the wallet.

Given that you can purchase the XFX Black Edition 750 Watt PSU today for $125 with Free Shipping, it is simply and excellent value. If you find yourself needing more power, the 850 watt unit that we have referred to here many times today has come down in price by $35 since we first reviewed it. And while we have not reviewed it yet, the XFX Black Edition 650 Watt PSU is $100 with Free Shipping.

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