here are many ways to build a power supply, unfortunately for the consumer cost most often dictates design. For years power supplies were little more then inconsequential grey and black boxes to which very little attention was bestowed. Slowly as power demands changed and loads became slightly more complicated a few pioneers such as PCPower & Cooling
decided it was time to exemplify what was available when engineers cared about design integrity. It may have been SLI which began the final feeding frenzy, nonetheless by the time CPU's such as Intel’s Dual Core aka Cedar Mill and GPU's such as the NV47 (aka G70) began taxing average PSU's blood was in the water. Just when it seemed as if it couldn't get anymore complicated for the consumer, the ATX/EPS12V Power Supply Guides appeared which were both a curse and blessing for PSU manufactures.
In a sense it was a financial windfall for those manufacturers astute at marketing hyperbole, until you consider all these events ran concurrent with the introduction of the infamous EPS12V Power Supply Design Guide
(PDF) and ATX 12V Power Supply Design Guides
(PDF). These Byzantine "requirements" imposed on PSU makers were not only defeatist, they were deleterious to the evolution of the PSU. Ironically the same events which forced some of more talented PSU makers to abandon the best design conducive to rising power demands simultaneously introduced power supply design and theory to the masses. With just about every review which discussed a multiple Rail power supply the author found themselves explaining the reasons behind that design. PC Users learned more about that "black box" then ever before.
Still the fundamental flaw in PSU's following said guidelines were that they limited 12V Rail current limit at 18A (22A Peak) and specific Rails had to originate from independent solder points to meet the 240VA safety limits. Luckily the standard were unofficially dropped not long after they were introduced, however; most PSU makers live by specifications, trade marks, logos, standards etc, and they’re not willing to forfeit that "compliance" sticker on their box. As an R&D leader PCPower & Cooling
has been a detractor of several aspects of the guidelines mentioned and led the way back to the single rail model with the introduction of their 1000W single rail 1KW-SR
While there is gradual momentum toward a new single rail design, for the most part the industry is still building and/or selling multiple 12V Rail power supplies, especially to Gamers whom should run from those designs. And while the events above hamstrung PSU makers, some manufacturers made great strides designing by necessity. As a newcomer Silverstone
wasn't mired down in repetition or complacency and this is evident in their Zeus ST85ZF
which we test today. Silverstone has also released a 1KW single rail model, the Olympia OP 1000
offering 80A (88A Peak) on the 12V Rail. We hope to test this unit soon as well. Specifications from manufacturers websiteP
ackaging can reveal a lot about a product. Does the manufacturer spend too much or too little on packaging, are the graphics phenomenal, yet the components are left to rattle around inside? Of course spending a half page from the moment the package arrives in various stages of "undress" is a waste of bandwidth. Of primary concern should be how the manufacturer "packs" the product so it remains safe during shipping, this only requires one photo.
Silverstone used foam bracing to prevent the product from shifting during its lengthy travels. While bubble wrap is the packaging of choice based on cost (and there's substantial savings in packaging), it's always better to center-brace an object just in case the box is punctured or dropped.
Onto connectors ->