At a glance, the BFG EX-1200 could easily be seen to be a perfect PSU. Not only does it look the part with its glossy black painted finish, embossed BFG logo's and modular connectors, but with reasonably tight regulation on all of the rails the EX-1200 certainly seems to play the part too.
Efficiency was also much higher than stated by BFG too with a minimum of 83% efficiency at low load, increasing to 85% at medium/high load. Furthermore, this great performance was also replicated in our heat chamber tests where the PSU was completely unfazed by the sweltering 50c ambient temperature.
However (and yes its very rare that a product is reviewed on Overclock3D without a 'however') there are certain issues that BFG seriously need to address before the EX-1200 can walk away with any trophies worthy of their cabinet.
Firstly the exhaust temperature on the unit when running at full load was hotter than the blazes of hell. Granted that these readings were taken from the hottest area of the exhaust with the PSU running at full load and a 50°C ambient temperature, but seriously 78°C is worryingly hot to the point where it'd melt a wax models face off! One might argue that the chances of an average users PC meeting these kind of conditions are very slim. But when you consider that it is possible to cram two GTX295's into a midi-tower case, the potential realism of the situation hits home.
Secondly, the glossy paint job on the unit may look good..but unfortunately you'll be lucky if it lasts 5 minutes. While most PSU manufacturers seem to have turned to textured powder coat finishes to ensure their PSU's remain looking good even after multiple installs, the EX-1200 appears to use a standard spray paint (or possibly poor powder coat). This picks up scratches and chips so easily that even after installing the unit in our hotbox, it looked like it had been dragged down the road by a couple 'just married'.
And lastly, although something that the casual user certainly wouldn't notice, the ripple picked up by our oscilloscope on the +12v rails was easily the highest I've ever seen at 92mV. This is of course still within the ATX guidelines of 120mV, but for a PSU that is aimed at the high-end market, this is something I'd like to see addressed.
The EX-1200 is not currently available in the UK but can be found over at Newegg.com
for a very competitive price of $259.99 (10/06/09).
- Good voltage stability, especially on the +12v rails.
- Efficiency higher than expected.
- Silent operation even at heavy loads.
- Too many hard-wired connectors. Would have been better with a couple more modular connectors.
- Paint used on PSU chips/scratches far too easily.
- Lifetime warranty only valid in the USA.
- Ripple results left a lot to be desired for a high-end PSU.
- Certain areas of the PSU exhaust got close to 80°C during hotbox testing.