Welcome all to the first ever Power Supply review on Go! Gaming Giant.
Today we’ll be taking a good, in-depth look at the Raidmax 850W Gold Plus Power Supply. For starters, let’s start off with the box.. Wait a minute, there is no box. The Raidmax 850W doesn’t come in a box, it comes in a plastic carrying container. This container makes for a great storage space for all of your extra cables, cable ties, and pretty much anything else you want to put in there. From the front you can gather the information that the power supply is “SLI-Ready” and 80 Plus Gold certified. (more on that later)
Moving to the left side of the container, Raidmax gives us a rundown of the assorted cables that are included with the Power Supply, since it is modular. Included are:
- 1x M/B 20+4 Pin Connector
- 1x CPU 8 Pin Connector
- 1x CPU 4+4 Pin Connector
- 2x SATA Cable Chains With 4 Connectors Each
- 2x PCI-E Cable Chains With 2 Connectors Each (All are 6+2 Pin)
- 2x Floppy Connectors On The End Of The Molex Chains
- 2x Molex Cable Chains With 4 Connectors Each
Swinging over to the back, Raidmax includes every single feature that the Power Supply supports. All the included features will be listed below — for a full description of each feature, please click on the image for a larger shot.
- Modular Design
- ATX 12V
- Multiple Video Cards (yes they spelled ‘Video’ wrong)
- 135MM Fan
- High Compatibility
- Protection Circuitry
And now we make our way to the right side where they have included a Specifications Chart. I tell you, this box is extremely well laid out, no searching around to find specific information. Just check each side and the back, and you will have all the information you could ever need on this Power Supply. Now all that is left is to take a look at what’s inside the container, and then how it performs. (my guess is pretty well, but I’ve also seen how this ends)
Inside is a plastic tray resting on top of the Power Supply and cables. Included on this plastic tray are some really handy things; a User Manual, a rubber mount for the front of the Power Supply, ( I did install this, and it really does cut down on the vibration) two different kinds of mounting screws, (plain ones, and black thumb screws, of which of course I installed the latter) two bags of Velcro cable ties, (these may be the single greatest invention for cable management, I absolutely love these, and commend Raidmax for included six of them) as well as an assortment of different modular cables.
Nestled safely underneath the plastic tray is the Power Supply and the rest of our modular cables. I must say that the included power cable is an absolute beast, the thing must be two inches thick. (that’s an exaggeration, but you get my point) It may not have been necessary to change out my power cable, but I felt that with a cable this thick and sturdy, it was probably a good idea to change them anyways.
And there she is in all her glory — the Raidmax 850W Gold Power Supply. Right from the start I could tell that this was an extremely well built Power Supply, it’s heavy and solid, and has a gorgeous matte black finish. (which matches the Raidmax AUGUSTA case perfectly) From this view you can see that Raidmax went with the honeycomb venting for the front and top of the Power Supply, this helps improve air circulation and just overall keep the power supply cool and efficient.
Looking from a top-down perspective, there is a good look at the ginormous 135mm cooling fan that is included. After several days of testing this power supply, I can say that not only does the fan keep the power supply extremely cool, but it is also whisper silent (for the most part, I’ll get to that in a second.)
Here on the rear end is the connectors for all of the different modular cables. They kept it easy to tell them apart by not only labeling them, but also making the PCI-E plugins 8 Pin and the rest of the peripheral plugins 6 Pin.
Last but not least is the standard hard-wired cables. These may not be as ‘sexy’ as the modular cables, but I would sure like to see somebody start their PC without a 24 pin motherboard cable. You can also get a glimpse of both the 8 pin CPU cable and the 4+4 pin CPU cable. You don’t need to install both cables unless your motherboard supports it, if not either plug in the 8 pin, or half of the 4 pin. (which was the case for me)
Installation & First Boot Up
Installing the Power Supply, and running the cables was an absolute breeze. The Power Supply slid right into place with the rubber vibration mount on it — I took the included thumb screws and proceeded to screw the Power Supply in. Afterwards I plugged in all of the necessary modular cables, and ran all of the hard-wired ones to their respective ports on the motherboard. (The 4+4 pin CPU cable was even long enough to be wrapped around the back of the motherboard tray and then ran out above my CPU Cooler, something not possible with my previous Power Supply)
Once everything was ran, and then made nice and neat with the included Velcro Cable Ties — I booted the PC up for the first time. *ggrrrrriiinnndd* was the noise I received from the Power Supply, I instantly turned the computer off and proceeded to check for overtightened fan screws, to no avail… Turned the PC on a second time, *ggrrriiinnndd*…… Turned it off and double checked everything, only this time I decided to loosen up the Thumb Screws on the back of the Power Supply. Booted up a third time — pure silence… Perfect.. I’m not sure what was causing the grinding, but loosening the thumb screws did seem to fix it, and I have rebooted and shutdown/turned on the PC several times since then, and have yet to be able to recreate the problem.
After getting off to a bit of a shaky start since installing the Power Supply, I decided it was time to check out the rails with a Multimeter. How it works is quite simple, the Power Supply has several different rails, with the 5V and 12V being the most used (Video Cards, CPU, Fans, etc…) The tighter the voltage is, the higher the quality is of the Power Supply. For instance, using the 12V as an example, an “acceptable” number for the 12V rail to run at would be anywhere between 11.4V and 12.6V — although if it’s anywhere near those exact two numbers, I would probably have it checked out. For those interested, the acceptable number for the 5V rail is 4.75V to 5.25V.
Testing the Raidmax 850W Gold netted me the Voltage numbers of 12.099V and 5.08V. You really couldn’t ask for tighter numbers on a power supply. With 12.000V and 5.000V respectively, being perfect, the fluctuation by the rails in the Raidmax are negligible at best.
All of the testing was done on my basic testing rig. AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2Ghz, HIS HD 6870 IceQ 1GB Video Card, 4Gb’s Patriot DDR2-1200MHz memory, and eight PC Fans. After several hours of hardcore gaming, the power supply rails haven’t fluctuated more than .01, and the temperature has stayed at a frosty 40 degrees Celsius.. There really is not much more to say.
And now the answer to what exactly the 80 Plus Gold Certification actually means. (courtesy of Wikipedia) 80 PLUS is an initiative to promote energy efficiency in computer power supply units (PSU). It certifies products that have more than 80% energy efficiency at 20%, 50% and 100% of rated load, and a power factor of 0.9 or greater at 100% load. That is, PSUs will waste 20% or less electric energy as heat at the specified load levels, thus reducing electricity use and bills compared to less efficient PSUs. I will include a chart below, for you visual learners.
Overall, there is no doubt in my mind that this is one hell of a Power Supply. I have been using it constantly since it was installed in my PC last week, and have yet to have a single hiccup. (since I loosened the screws) It runs at the correct amperage on the rails, the voltage is near perfect, and the build quality is excellent.
I know this review isn’t very meaty, and hopefully I can expand my testing methods for Power Supplies here soon, but until then this is what I am capable of. The Raidmax 850W Gold is an excellent product. I wish I knew what the grinding was when I initially booted up the PC, but whatever it is, it seems to have gone away.
From the plastic carrying case, to the amount of effort that was put in to making the Raidmax 850W Gold a winner, Raidmax has made a power supply that can do anything the “bigger name” brands can do for a fraction of the cost — that’s right, you can get one of these Raidmax power supplies for a mere $89.99 Before Rebates right now. (prices are subject to change at anytime of course)
A quick explanation of the award system. We have the main award category with three awards; Bronze (Good Overall Product), Silver (Great Overall Product), and Gold (Excellent/Near Perfect Overall Product) as the highest. Then we have two different Sub-Categories, Internal Hardware Awards for performance; Yellow (Low-End Performer), Orange (Mid-Range Performer), and Red (High-End Performer) as the highest. The third and final Sub-Category is for both Internal Hardware and External Peripherals; Black (Enthusiast/Gamer Qualities), Blue (Exceptional Build and Design), Green (Terrific Dollar To Performance Ratio), White (Innovative But Flawed)
- Excellent Design Quality
- Extra Long Cables
- Modular Cable Design Makes For Easy Cable-Management
- Cooling Fan Is Extremely Efficient And Silent
- The Included Bundle Is Very Handy
- The Voltage Rails Are Nice And Tight
- Plenty Of Wattage And Amperage For Any SLI Or Crossfire Rig
- The Price Is Does Not Reflect The Quality (In A Good Way)
- Odd Grinding Noise On First Two Boot-Ups
- Doesn’t Make Me Breakfast
If you would like to purchase this excellent Power Supply for your next build, you can do so here.