Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review Page: 1

Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review  


Introduction

SilverPower have been quietly producing PSU's for a few years now, from our experience talking to forum members its not a name that normally springs to mind unless dropping an ape, monkey or King Kong reference into the conversation! The whole range is based around the Ronseal code of ethics. I can hear many of you wondering what the hell we're on about, well it does exactly what is says on the tin! Nothing more nothing less. Well so we thought, because as you will see through this review the SP-S850M want to give you more, much more than what you may be paying for.

 

Specifications & Features


• Super high efficiency for energy savings, up to 85% efficiency, 80 Plus Bronze approval
• 3% line regulation for 3.3V/5V/+12V rail for maximum stability, security and performance
• Dynamic Load on +12V to ensure maximum compatibility with mainboards and perhperials
• High reliability Aluminum Electrolytic capacitors for increased product life and reliability
• Active Power Factor Correctin [99% PF] for reduced line noise and power distortion
• Advanced Dual Forward Converter circuit design for added reliability and efficiency
• Smart and Silent Fan Control [S2FC], one of the best performance noise controller available on the
market
• 12cm double ball, ball bearing fan for increased airflow and lifetime and reduced noise levels
• 12cm ball bearing fan mounted on soft rubber cushions to reduce fan vibration and rotation noises
• Ultra ventilation [Honey Comb Structure] for increased airflow and reduced noise levels
• 4x PCI-Express connectors to support high end graphics cards
• All in One DC Cabling to support PC, IPC, workstations, servers and dual CPU systems
• Patented Easy Swap peripheral connectors for easy plug and unplug connection
• Total Protection with Over Voltage, Over Power and Short Circuit Protection
• Universal AC Input for plug and run anywhere around the world
• >100,000 hours MTBF, excluding fan
• RoHS compliant
• PFC Harmonics compliant, EN61000-3-2: 2000
• Safety approvals: TUV, Semko, CB & CE
• Meets Erp requirement
• Modular cables


Cable configuration

Model Fixed cable SP-S850M 850 Watt
• M/B (20 + 4P) 1 550 mm
• ATX12V (4+4P) 1 550 mm
• PCI-E (6+2P) 2 550 + 100 mm

Modular cable

• EPS12V (8P) 1x 550 mm
• PCI-E (6+2P) 2x 550 + 100 mm
• 3SATA (5P) 2x 550 + 150 + 150 mm
• 3SATA (5P) 2x 550 + 150 + 150 mm
• 2SATA (5P) 1x 350 + 150 mm
• 3Molex (4P) 1x 550 + 150 + 150 mm
• 2Molex (4P) 2x 350 + 150 mm
• 2x Y adapter for FDD 1 140 + 140 mm


This box is basic but it does its job, everything arrived well packed and undamaged. The extra cables come in a nice cloth bag to help you keep the spare together so when hunting underneath your bed for an extra molex cable you at least have something of a decent size to be looking for!

Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review  Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review  


As you can see here the satin black PSU case is very OEM looking, nothing flashy or bling for us to descibe here. We think if they had changed the wire grill to black though they could have easily passed this off for a stealthy looking unit. The design team really hadnt had enough coffee the day they were working on this! 

Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review  Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review 


That bloody monkey is everywhere! If you have you PSU grill facing down then you will be graced with this every time you look through your window or open you side panel. best excuse ever to switch to the dark side and face your PSU fan up like all the cool kids because on that side there is no sticker! The main power cable that feeds the unit with its 240v of juice is a bit of a blast from the past, because we are all pretty sure its the same cable they used to send with oder Enermax PSU's. It will never happen but we would love to see a whole PSU braided in this stuff.

Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review   Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review


As mentioned before the cable come in a nice cloth bag which will help you keep them all together and easier to find, there are plenty of extra cables, and the PCI-E cables are dual feed meaning one connection into the PSU but it has 2 connectors on the end. This can actually make things ~much~ easier to keep your rig looking super clean and tidy. 

Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review  Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review   


The quality of the braid is neither good or bad, its generically acceptable, we would hazzard a guess if you have bought this PSU that aesthetics have not been on the top of your list of buying points anyways.

Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review  Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review      



Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review Page: 2

Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review

Simulated Load Results (Graphs)

Because I understand that not everyone enjoys getting a headache from trying to read the tabulated results over on page 3, this page is dedicated to some pretty looking graphs that sum up the majority of the results in an easily digestible format. 

When viewing the graphs you need to bear in mind that the highest and lowest values on the Y-axis (voltage) represent the maximum and minimum voltages allowed by ATX specifications. If the results should fall outside the graph at any time, then that's an instant FAIL. However, merely staying inside these boundaries does not necessarily indicate a good PSU. In order to display truly great voltage regulation, a PSU must stick as closely as possible to the thick white horizontal line (ideal voltage) as possible.

You will also notice that the graph is split into three sections as depicted by the Green, Amber and Red backgrounds. These indicate normal usage (green), heavily uneven load distribution (amber) and overloading of the PSU (red). For the most part all we need to worry about is how it performs in the green section, but good performance in the other sections will undoubtedly earn the PSU extra brownie points.


Both the +3.3v and +5v rails trace a very similar downward slope from test 1 through to test 4 with the +3.3v rail only appearing to be slightly steeper due to the different voltage scale of the graph. It's also worth noting that both rails start off extremely close to their 'ideal' voltages in test1 with the 5.00v rail at 5.01v and the 3.33v rail at 3.35v. This is important as it shows that Silver Power have made no attempts to 'cheat' the load voltages by artificially increasing the idle ones. 

 
The +12v rail sticks much closer to the 'ideal' white line dipping to only 11.93v at full load in test 4. Considering that the rail also follows quite closely to 12.00v at idle this shows some impressive voltage stability from the Silver Power. Furthermore, across both of the cross-load tests and the max-load test the rail seems to hold its own, demonstrating that the unit is well suited to multi-gpu systems where a sudden increase in draw on the +12v rail is not unusual.

As far as efficiency is concerned, its quite hard to believe that we're looking at an 80Plus Bronze unit here. Not only does it completely exceed the required 82%-85%-82% efficiency set out for the standard, but it also kicks the Silver standard in the teeth too and sits bang on the required results for an 80Plus Gold certification.



Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review Page: 3

Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review

Simulated Load Results (Tables)

If you've seen the simplified graphs over on the previous page you will undoubtedly already have a good idea of how the Silver Power performs. However, certain results from the test can be too difficult to incorporate into the existing graphs, and for this reason all of the result data is also provided in the table format below. 

All testing is conducting using OC3D's trusty SunMoon SM-268+ DC load tester. This equipment is capable of placing a user specified load on all of the PSU's rails (+3.3v, +5v, +12v, -12v, +5vSB) up to a maximum load of 1680w. To make the testing even more grueling, the PSU is also locked inside a 50°C (±5%) 'hot-box' with all results being recorded using a Fluke digital Multimeter and Thermostat.

Silver Power SP-850M 850W @ 50c
  +3.3v +5.0v +12v +5vSB -12v AC Watts /
 DC Watts
 Efficiency Intake /
 Exhaust
Δ Temp
Test1
(25%)
4.50A4.50A14.25A0.75A 0.12A245w /
214w
87.34%49.6°C /
49.9°C
0.3°C
3.35v5.01v12.06v5.07v -11.86v
Test2
(50%)
9.00A9.00A28.50A1.50A 0.25A

475w /
428w

90.10% 50.2°C /
54.3°C
4.1°C
3.32v4.98v12.02v5.03v -11.87v
Test3
(75%)
12.50A12.50A42.75A2.25A 0.37A700w /
630w
 90.00%51.5C /
57.3°C
5.8°C
3.28v4.94v11.98v4.99v-11.88v
Test4
(100%)
18.00A18.00A57.00A3.00A0.50A977w /
847w
86.69% 50.4°C /
60.0°C
8.5°C
3.25v4.90v11.93v4.95v-11.88v
TestX1
(x-load)
18.00A18.00A1.00A0.75A0.12A203w /
165w
81.28%50.7°C /
50.7°C
0.0°C
3.31v4.95v12.06v5.05v-11.87v
TestX2
(x-load)
 1.00A 1.00A 57.00A 3.00A 0.50A790w /
710w
89.87%51.6°C /
58.2°C
6.6°C
3.32v4.98v11.96v4.99v-11.84v
TMax1
(Max)
 22.00A22.00A66.00A3.00A0.50A1137w /
983w
86.45%50.1°C /
58.8°C
 8.7°C
3.22v4.86v11.90v4.93v-11.91v


To reiterate what has already been said over on the previous page, the SP-850M has above average levels of voltage stability across the board with a fluctuation of 0.10v from idle to full load on the +3.3v rail, 0.11v on the +5v rail and 0.13v on the +12v rail. Efficiency is well above what is expected of a 'Bronze' unit with a peak of ~90% during tests 2 and 3 where quite frankly most buyers of this PSU will probably be running it at the majority of the time.

There is also room to run the SP-850M a little higher than indicated too, with our TMax1 result showing that the PSU was more than happy to pump out 983w continuously with only a small dent in the efficiency and voltage stability results.

Silver Power SP-850M 850W Scope Results @ 50c
  +3.3v +5.0v +12v
Test1
(25%)
Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU ReviewSilver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU ReviewSilver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review
Test2
(50%)
Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU ReviewSilver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU ReviewSilver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review
Test3
(75%)
Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU ReviewSilver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU ReviewSilver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review
Test4
(100%)
Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU ReviewSilver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU ReviewSilver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review
TestX1
(x-load)
Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU ReviewSilver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU ReviewSilver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review
TestX2
(x-load)
Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU ReviewSilver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU ReviewSilver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review
TMax1
(MAX)
Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU ReviewSilver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU ReviewSilver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review


WOW! Can we get a defibrillator in here, because it would appear that the SP-850M just flat-lined and is in need of some resuscitation! In case you are wondering, this is an extremely good result as the ripple results above refer to the small fluctuations in voltage that occur in all PSU's on a millisecond scale. Large quantities of ripple on a PSU can damage or kill components in your PC over time and therefore for a PSU to output such insignificant levels of ripple across most of the testing is simply amazing. So amazing in fact that I had to triple test the unit and even plug in a different PSU just to make sure that my scope hadn't gone wonky.

Well done Silver Power! Now let's move on to the conclusion...



Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review Page: 4

Silver Power SP-850M 850W Modular PSU Review

Conclusion

I have to admit that I came into this review expecting the Silver Power SP-850M to be just another one of those 'meh' PSU's. From its plain design, to its no frills packaging, to its 80Plus Bronze certification. It really didn't rouse my interest, not even one tiny bit. However, looking back over the testing on the last two pages, what we've got here is one of those occasions where the 'value' baked beans taste so much nicer than the name brand!

Take for example the ripple results....quite possibly the lowest I've ever seen. Or the efficiency levels.....80Plus Bronze certified with 80Plus GOLD results. Then there's the voltage stability that sticks extremely close to the ideals on the +12v rail and isn't half bad on the +3.3v and +5v rails either. Finally there's the fact that the unit will happily run at 983w all day long should you end up using it as a stop-gap PSU while upgrading your PC.

But should you be looking for a project PSU to spend your time customising this could be right up your street, the coloured cables will make things much easier for all you beginners to braid, although the dual PCI-E cables might take you a few tries! Swap out that silver fans grill with a black one to make things stealthy and maybe get some custom project based graphics made up for the side of the PSU and you could end up with a great looking addition to your latest build. 

Really the only bad thing that I can think to say about the unit is the noisy fan (that could be heard over the PSU tester) when running at 850w.  That, and the annoying Gorilla used on the packaging. Don't ask me why, it just grates me.




So all in all it's 

The Good
- Awesome ripple suppressions.
- Gold level efficiency from a Bronze rated unit.
- Good voltage stability on +12v rail.
- Can run at 983w all day long if needed!
- Not phased by our cross-load testing.

The Mediocre
- Average voltage stability on +3,3v and +5v rails

The Ugly
- The damn Gorilla on the packaging
- The noise from the fan when running full tilt.


     

Thank you to Silverpower for the SP-S850M on test here today, you can discuss your thoughts in the OC3D Forums.