Page 2 - Physical Look - Outside
The XPG Core Reactor II 1200W is the latest power supply from the company's Core Reactor series. I reviewed the 750W version of the original Core Reactor back in May 2020. Like the original Core Reactor, the Core Reactor II is conservative and understated in appearance. The matte black surface with feature lines on both side panels keep the PSU subtle but not generic. From our view above, XPG's logo is located on one edge of the slit fan grille, which itself is located a little bit offset on this side of the enclosure. The panel with the same design is implemented on both the left and right side, where you can spot the XPG Core Reactor II branding. To make sure you will see the text right side up at all times, the orientation of it is different on both sides, so whatever side facing the user after installation will always be correct. The XPG Core Reactor II 1200W uses standard SECC construction.
Meanwhile, the XPG Core Reactor II 1200W has a depth of only 16.0cm, which is short for a kilowatt-plus unit and is among the shortest power supplies we have reviewed here in APH Networks. 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 Core Reactor II is fully modular.
The metal construction comes with a fixed grille guarding the primary and only cooling fan installed. 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 large secondary honeycomb mesh opening. Meanwhile, nine screws secure the power supply case together. One screw has a warranty seal over it, so you cannot open the XPG Core Reactor II 1200W without voiding its 10-year warranty.
Starting from the back part of the power supply, we have the honeycomb pattern grille design as aforementioned. What you will find here is a horizontally aligned male connector for power input on the western edge along with an on/off switch next to it. There is no switch to disable the zero RPM fan mode. However, I do not see a reason why you will disable the zero RPM fan mode, as it keeps the fan off until it exceeds about 40% of the load threshold. Disabling the zero RPM fan mode ensures the fan stays on at all times, but the XPG Core Reactor II 1200W is intelligently designed to keep it from overheating regardless of what the active setting is.
The honeycomb 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 Core Reactor II 1200W incorporates only one 135mm fan at the bottom. It is implemented in an efficient manner, as the power input block takes up only the minimum necessary amount of room physically required. As with all active PFC power supplies, the XPG Core Reactor II 1200W has an automatic full range 100V to 240V AC line voltage selection, so the user does not have to worry about manually selecting input voltage.
Like many power supplies we cover here at APH Networks, the Core Reactor II 1200W 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. XPG has made the labels right side up in standard orientation. Similar connectors are grouped together and are laid out in a very logical manner. To ensure you know what is going on, they are all grouped and clearly labeled for minimal ambiguity. Starting from the top left, we have two motherboard 24-pin split into two blocks next to each other, one 16-pin 600W 12VHPWR PCIe 5.0 header, five ATX/EPS 4+4 pin or PCI Express connectors, and three peripheral outputs for Molex and SATA devices. Incompatible outputs will not physically fit into each other, so XPG has done a great job in this regard. This is a reasonable array of outputs in correspondence number of connectors on each modular cable, which should be sufficient for casual users and power enthusiasts alike.
The external build quality of XPG's Core Reactor II 1200W 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 on the top panel of the Core Reactor II 1200W. There are two main virtual rails. Up to 22A can be delivered via the +3.3V rail for a total of 72.6W, while the 22A on the +5V rail brings the output to 120W in this area. The total combined output for the +3.3V and +5V rail is 120W. 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 100A -- 1200W -- to maximize power delivery flexibility compared to multiple rails. Overall, the combined power output for the whole XPG Core Reactor II 1200W is 1200W, as its name suggests. 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. The power outputs in the +3.3V and 5V rails are within the norm, as most PSUs in this wattage range released in the last five years usually have them between 20A and 22A. This is because modern systems do not have a lot of need in this area.
The XPG Core Reactor II 1200W is 80 Plus Gold and Cybenetics ETA Gold certified. The 80 Plus Gold certification means that it is at least 87%, 90%, 87% efficient at 20%, 50%, and 100% load, respectively. Cybenetics ETA Gold means at 115V input, it is certified to be between 87% and 89% overall efficiency, power factor above 0.970, greater than 75% 5VSB efficiency, and less than 0.19W vampire power. Higher certifications available for power supplies of this type include 80 Plus/Cybenetics ETA Platinum, 80 Plus/Cybenetics ETA Titanium, and Cybenetics ETA Diamond at press time.
A total of eleven modular cables are included out of the box. Half the modular cables are braided and hand of them are flat and easy to bend, but they are all extremely easy to work with. The flat cables include the SATA/Molex and 12VHPWR PCIe 12+4 pin to PCIe 6+2 pin. The wires are not labeled, but from a visual inspection, it looks like the high current PCI Express and ATX connectors are 16 AWG with the rest 18 AWG. Manufacturers often will fatten high current cables to 16 AWG, so this is common practice.
The following modular cables are included out of the box:
- 1x ATX 20+4 pin, 65.0cm
- 2x ATX 4+4 pin, 65.0cm
- 1x 12VHPWR PCIe 12+4 pin, 65.0cm
- 1x 12VHPWR PCIe 12+4 pin to PCIe 6+2 pin, 2 connectors, Y-split, 55.0cm
- 3x PCIe 6+2 pin, 2 connectors each, 65.0cm to first connector, 15.0cm spacing thereafter
- 3x SATA/Molex, 4 connectors each, 50.0cm to first connector, 15.0cm spacing thereafter
These figures are provided by the manufacturer. Most users should have no problems with XPG's Core Reactor II 1200W in modern cases. 50cm is the general standard, and the included cables met or exceeded this recommendation on all measurements. However, peripheral cables with a shorter length to the first connector may be advantageous for cable routing and management.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Minor Tests and Conclusion