Starting with the basics, the OCZ Z-Series Z1000M is one very attractive unit. While most manufacturers are still kiting their PSU's out with drab black powdercoated cases, OCZ has pulled out all stops and gone for a gunmetal coloured brushed aluminium. Of course it does remain to be seen how this kind of finish will fit in with the various styles of cases. Black is always a safe bet as many a woman will tell you. But sometimes you've got to be different from the crowd, so it's good to see OCZ making this leap of faith. This also combined with the inset modular cabling system and overall compact size of the unit really does give full marks in the appearance stakes.
Still on the topic of appearance, the packaging of the Z1000M is also worthy of a mention. Once upon a time your new PSU would arrive loosely packaged inside a cardboard box with only a plastic bag to protect it from the elements. However on the Z1000M OCZ have pulled out all the stops, sandwiching the PSU between two chunky styrofoam slabs and placing it in a fabric drawstring bag. You also get a handful of other extras to get you up and running such as a bag of thumbscrews, some velcro cable ties and a nylon bag to store any unused modular cables inside.
Moving on to the performance now, and one of the key features of the Z1000M is obviously its 80PLUS Gold rated efficiency. During the standard load tests (1-4) on the unit it managed to hold at least 90% efficiency at all times, sometimes going as high as 93% showing that this unit is certainly worthy of its title. Unfortunately the voltage stability did leave something to be desired on the +3.3v rail where it dipped by 0.20v from the idle to full load tests. The +5v and +12v rails however held things together much better, and while not having exceptional stability, still manage to produce good voltages at full load.
Cross-load and MAX-load results told a similar story with the +3.3v rail being the weak link in an otherwise fairly strong chain. Particularly impressive was the Z1000M's ability to hold a 1268W load at 50°C continuous. This potentially shows that the Z1000M is more than likely designed to be a 1100-1200W PSU under the surface with a 1000W sticker slapped on the top, making for a good value purchase based on the £177 tag over at Ebuyer
Finally the ripple results from the +5v and +12v rails were also more than acceptable at 1000W load, staying under 60mV and 20mV respectively. The +3.3v ripple was just a tad higher that I would have liked at 40mV, but this is still 10mV below ATX recommended specs, so it's hard to grumble.
- Highest T1-T4 average efficiency of any PSU tested so far.
- Capable of punching well above its weight at 1268W.
- Not fazed by 50°C hot-box testing.
- Good ripple results on +5v and +12v rails.
- Priced below the competition.
- Good looks and compact dimensions.
- Our sample was missing some Molex connectors (OCZ have already fixed this).
- +3.3v rail ripple results fairly average.
- Voltage stability of +3.3v rail pretty low at high loads.