Page 2 - Physical Look - Outside
It has been quite a few years since I have last reviewed a Cooler Master power supply, with the last one being the V750 in 2016. However, my colleagues Aaron Lai and Jadon Lee did look at the V850 SFX Gold and V650 Gold V2 White Edition, respectively, last year. The XG850 Plus Platinum is a rather different product compared to your average PSU with its built-in information display, but more on this later.
The latest power supply in the Cooler Master lineup has a depth of only 16.0cm, making it a very reasonably short modular unit. Most modular power supplies are longer than non-modular units by a centimeter or two, as the extra length is needed to accommodate its connector board at the back. We will take a look inside the PSU on the next page. For most ATX or eATX chassis, length should not be much of a problem, if at all. However, if you have a mATX or mITX case that takes standard power supplies, the shorter length will definitely serve as an advantage, especially considering the fact the XG850 is fully modular.
From our view above, you can see the full branding is implemented on one side, where the texture of the design is embossed into the enclosure. The other side is the information display, which we will examine in just a moment. To make sure you will always see the text right side up, the orientation of it is different on both sides, so whatever side facing the user after installation will always be correct. The rest of the XG850 is standard SECC construction.
At the top, a removable fan grille guards the primary and only cooling fan installed. The fan grille has a zigzag pattern with reasonable spacing between the bars, making it its air resistance quite acceptable. The 135mm fan generates airflow by drawing air from the bottom of the power supply over its internal components to keep the temperatures in check. Exhaust heat is allowed to leave at the back of the power supply through the secondary zigzag mesh opening. Meanwhile, four screws secure the power supply case together. A warranty seal extends over one of the screws, so you cannot open the XG850 Plus Platinum without voiding its 10-year warranty.
Starting from the back part of the power supply, we have the zigzag mesh design as aforementioned; what you will find here is a horizontally aligned male connector for power input on the western edge, followed by an on/off switch and Cooler Master's logo on its right. The low resistance mesh design is implemented to maximize airflow and minimize air resistance. This is done as heat needs to leave the power supply as easily and efficiently as possible, because the XG850 Plus Platinum 850W incorporates only one 135mm fan at the bottom. The connector could be implemented in a more efficient manner in my opinion, as the Cooler Master logo took up some extra room at the back. The Cooler Master XG850 Plus Platinum 850W has automatic full range 100V to 240V AC line voltage selection as with all active PFC power supplies, so the user does not have to worry about manually selecting input voltage.
Like many power supplies we cover here at APH Networks, the XG850 Plus Platinum 850W is a fully modular power supply. This means all cables are completely detachable from the main unit. While it is somewhat questionable with regards to why this is necessary, since cables such as the ATX 24-pin and ATX 4-pin/EPS 8-pin have practically an 100% chance of being connected at all times, it may prove to be beneficial to an extent when building your computer initially.
The rear cable connection panel is done nicely. Similar connectors are grouped together and are laid out in a very logical manner. Cooler Master has also made the labels right side up in standard orientation. To ensure you know what is going on, they are all grouped and clearly labeled for minimal ambiguity. From the left to right and top to bottom based on standard orientation, we have the first part of the motherboard 24-pin, five ATX/EPS 4+4 pin or PCI Express, USB protocol for software control, second part of the motherboard 24-pin, and four Molex/SATA headers. Incompatible outputs will not physically fit into each other, so I think Cooler Master has done a great job in this regard. This is a reasonable array of outputs in correspondence to the number of connectors on each modular cable, which should be sufficient for casual users and power enthusiasts alike.
If you install the Cooler Master XG850 Plus Platinum 850W in standard orientation in a typical tempered glass case, the built-in information display can be seen by the user. It is a rather simple display behind a glossy plastic finish, which means it is susceptible to fingerprints and scratches if you are not careful during installation. Thankfully, PSUs are placed inside your chassis, so just wipe it down if there are fingerprint marks accumulated during installation. The display features the model name, Cooler Master's logo, a four-digit seven-segment display, and three icons corresponding to the type of real-world performance data being shown. All of them are ARGB LED backlit, and can show real-time performance data including fan speed, temperature, and power load. Unfortunately, there is no physical button to cycle through different effects, settings, or turn the ARGB LEDs off -- it has to be done in software. Thankfully, the settings are saved onto the PSU itself. I will go into more detail, along with the software configuration features, on Page 4.
The external build quality of Cooler Master's XG850 Plus Platinum 850W power supply is excellent as always; a good indication the company is serious about the product they are selling. We will take it apart in just a moment. Fit is done well with minimal panel gaps and all edges are nicely finished off. The level of refinement with regards to the external build quality is right up there with all the other high-quality PSUs I have used in the past. As aforementioned, we will crack open the power supply to see what components are inside in the following section.
The voltage specification label is located at the top of the Cooler Master XG850 Plus Platinum 850W. There are two main virtual rails. Up to 20A can be delivered via the +3.3V rail for a total of 66W, while the 20A on the +5V rail brings the output to 100W in this area. The total combined output for the +3.3V and +5V rail is 100W. In other words, your power allocation combination must fall within the limits of the listed specifications. Meanwhile, a single powerful +12V rail delivers up to 70.8A -- 850W -- to maximize power delivery flexibility compared to multiple rails. Overall, the combined power output for the whole Cooler Master XG850 Plus Platinum 850W is... well, 850W haha. It does sound a bit confusing to understand how this works at first, but generally speaking, this configuration allows sufficiently flexible power demands and should be sufficient to accommodate most users. I have seen higher power outputs in the +3.3V and 5V rails for lower output rated units, but the overall distribution is still reasonable for an 850W power supply.
The Cooler Master XG850 Plus Platinum 850W, as its name suggests, is 80 Plus Platinum certified, which means that it is certified to be at least 90%, 92%, 89% efficient at 20%, 50%, and 100% load, respectively. The only higher certification available for power supplies of this type is 80 Plus Titanium at press time.
A total of ten modular power cables are included out of the box. In addition to the modular cables, there is a USB protocol cable that connects to your motherboard's USB 2.0 internal header for software control. All modular cables are flat and easy to bend, making them extremely easy to work with. 16 AWG wires are found on the PCIe 6+2 pin cables. Everything else is 18 AWG, which is common and expected with modern power supply units.
The following modular cables are included out of the box:
- 1x ATX 20+4 pin, 65.0cm
- 1x ATX 4+4 pin, 65.0cm
- 1x EPS 8-pin, 65.0cm
- 3x PCIe 6+2 pin, 2 connectors each, 55.0cm to first connector, 12.0cm spacing thereafter
- 3x SATA, 4 connectors each, 50.0cm to first connector, 12.0cm spacing thereafter
- 1x Molex, 4 connectors, 50.0cm to first connector, 12.0cm spacing thereafter
These are specified measurements from the manufacturer. Most users should have no problems with Cooler Master's XG850 Plus Platinum 850W in modern cases. 50cm to the first connector is the general standard, and this power supply met or exceeded this recommendation in all counts.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Minor Tests, Software, Conclusion