The Rosewill Photon 1050W Reviewby E. Fylladitakis on March 24, 2015 8:00 AM EST
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Rosewill is a company that started as a subsidiary and house brand of Newegg, focusing on simple components and hardware at very competitive prices. In time, the company fledged into a stand-alone company and expanded their product ranks to include a myriad of products from simple cables and adapters to advanced computer hardware, home appliances and office products. The sheer number of products Rosewill markets today is bordering on ridiculous. Nevertheless the company is strongly localized, with their products readily available only in the North American markets. Rosewill is making moves to enter other regions and some, but not all, of their products can also be found in Southeast Asia, Japan, China and Australia.
Today we will be having a look at the Rosewill Photon 1050W. This is the second model of the Photon PSU series which is aimed to advanced users and gamers. All the units of the Photon series are 80Plus Gold certified, have a single 12V rail and are fully modular without any hardwired cables. It is a large series, with units ranging from 550W up to 1200W - it is therefore extremely likely that not all of the units are based on the same platform, or even that they come from the same OEM. Therefore the results of this review should not be extended to reflect the performance of other units of the series.
The unit retails for $140 including shipping and the 1050W version of the Photon is significantly cheaper than most competitive products. The 1050W unit that we will review today boasts good features and warranty for its price range, yet there is a catch: it is rated for 1050W output at 40°C. This is not in any way illegal, as this is the normal rating for the operating temperature of consumer PSUs, but most of the competition rates their high performance units at 50°C. We do perform out hot testing with >45°C ambient temperature and as such we will soon see where the Photon 1050W truly stacks against the competition.
|Power specifications ( Rated @ 40 °C )|
|AC INPUT||100 - 240 VAC, 50 - 60 Hz|
Packaging and Bundle
Rosewill supplies the Photon 1050 in a fairly sturdy cardboard box, with a simple and very dark artwork theme. The artwork is focused on a picture of the unit itself, surrounded by abstract imagery. Very basic information about the PSU and its features can be found around the sides of the box.
The bundled items are few, limited to some very short cable ties, four normal screws, an AC power cable and a very basic manual. The manual is so plain that the user would have to seek detailed information elsewhere, such as Rosewill's website. With the exception of the typical sleeved ATX 24-pin cable, the rest of the cables are "flat", ribbon-like, with black wires. There also is a very basic Molex to Floppy adapter, for those that still own legacy devices and want to power them with a $140 PSU.
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romrunning - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - linkHey, I knew someone would give me the actual % difference. :)
Not to be overly pedantic, I was just thinking a different word would be better - like "significant". What if you had another test that showed a 10% variance? What word would be appropriate then - "ginormous"? Words that describe the scale of difference begin to lose impact when they start out with a descriptive word that is a little too large in scale itself.
romrunning - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - linkAnyway, just having a little fun here. E.Fyll, you did a nice job with the review!
I also agree with the opinions given here that we need more 500-600W reviews. That is what I think most buy when they are building their own PCs with a single GPU, and that's where we need the expert guidance/reviews to make the most informed purchase.
E.Fyll - Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - linkEach word is appropriate for a specific purpose. In this case, an energy conversion efficiency drop from 2% to 3.7% just from the increase of the ambient temperature is massive. If there was a 10% drop in that test, something would be horribly wrong.
As you mentioned, the scale itself is important. However, the scale is not 0-100%. Even the entirety of the ECE scale itself is 60-100% (you cannot really have 0.1% efficiency with such a PSU). In this specific test, the maximum of the scale that is being described is perhaps a 0% to 5.5-6% drop (you cannot have a 90% drop either), meaning that going from 2% to 3.7% is a move a whole 1/3 down the scale. The large drop at maximum power output is also a sign of overloading - units rated at 50°C do not (should not) behave like that, the efficiency decline due to the higher temperature is even across the entire load range.
You just gave me an idea for a new graph. Thank you.
You see, everything is relative. An efficiency loss of 1.7% does not initially sound much, I agree. However, when you consider that the losses nearly double and that a good PSU should not even reach 1% during that test, let alone 3.7%, the huge difference becomes obvious.
Dr.Neale - Thursday, March 26, 2015 - linkActually, a 3.7% decrease in efficiency REALLY IS MASSIVE.
For example, a 3.7% DECREASE IN EFFICIENCY from 90.0% to 86.3% means that the waste heat produced by the PSU increases from 10.0% to 13.7%, or a 37% INCREASE IN HEAT OUTPUT.
I would call 37% a MASSIVE INCREASE in anything!
The amplification factor, call it A, is obviously given by:
A = 100% / (100% - Efficiency)
In my example, A = 10. In an 80+ Platinum rated PSU operating at 93.3% Efficiency, A = 15. Even in a plain vanilla 80+ PSU operating at only 80% Efficiency, A = 5.
So the % increase in HEAT is roughly 10X the % decreased in EFFICIENCY. It would behoove you to be mindful of this.
Dr.Neale - Thursday, March 26, 2015 - linkSorry for the typos at the end.
But the drive for HIGH EFFICIENCY is mainly motivated by the desire for LOWER HEAT PRODUCTION, hence LOWER COOLING REQUIREMENTS, hence LOWER NOISE.
The savings on your electricity costs are merely a fringe benefit.
One other thing... Seeing as how a name-brand high-efficiency PSU with a 7-YEAR WARRANTY will likely last 10-20 years before failure, and moreover that the QUALITY OF THE POWER DELIVERY (voltage accuracy and ripple) strongly influence the MTBF of the other components in your computer build, WHY CHEAP OUT ON YOUR PSU ???
My father once bragged to me about how much money he saved by only buying a cheap $20 watch EVERY YEAR. I responded by showing him my $200 Citizen solar-powered watch, with the titanium bracelet and sapphire crystal, which was 10X as accurate, looked way nicer, and over 10 years would cost the same, and over 20 years half as much as he would spend on cheap, cheap-looking, and minimally accurate watches.
Better to buy a GOOD one once, than to buy a CHEAP one over and over again.
That's my philosophy for any (so-called) durable goods.
The_Assimilator - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - linkConsidering its price and features, I feel that this PSU deserved at least a Bronze award.
E. Fylladitakis, please can you add a cable/connector table to your future reviews, similar to e.g. JonnyGURU? It's a bit of a pain to have to find the manufacturer's page, and available connectors play a big part in the selection criteria for a PSU. For example this model has 8x 6+2-pin PCIe and 15 SATA connectors, which is quite generous for a 1050W unit.
E.Fyll - Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - linkI simply do not do awards. Not at all, ever. Every specific product has its own advantages, disadvantages and market potential. For user X, a "bronze" product might be much better than a "gold" product, even if they are similar, just because the former suits the needs of the user better. Everything is relative.
I'll consider the tables. It is not difficult, I just thought that it is something too redundant.
seerak - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - linkWhile we're suggesting things to review (like midrange and lower end units), there's something I'm not seeing in reviews that really should be in there: UPS compatibility testing.
Active power factor correction (PFC) doesn't seem to be a feature on this unit, but it's becoming increasingly common, and many of those units don't seem to like the modified sinewave output of cheaper UPS units. Seeing as this is the sort of incompatibility that could be very bad to learn about the hard way, that would be a good quick test to add into PSU reviews.
E.Fyll - Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - linkAll modern switching PSU include (or should) APFC. It is actually illegal to sell a PSU without APFC in Europe nowadays, for example.
Unfortunately, that is an issue of having a bad UPS, not a bad PSU. A cheap UPS will certainly output a modified sine wave. If the output is that bad that would cause overvoltage within the APFC circuit and blow the capacitors, it is not because the PSU is bad but because the output of the UPS is awful. A waveform that would increase the voltage at the APFC capacitors from the expected maximum of 340V to >450V does not even remotely pass as a "modified sine wave".
The only PSU that I have ever seen being too "sensitive" about modified sine wave signals was an Enermax design nearly a decade ago. Even then, Enermax enhanced the tolerance of the unit on its second revision. Still, it was not the PSU's fault that some UPS had terrible outputs. That's where the major difference between a $50 600VA Chinese off-brand UPS and a Schneider $200 600VA UPS usually lies...
Generally speaking, the voltage rating of the input capacitors usually hints the tolerance of the PSU when handling such signals. The higher, the better.
kaborka - Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - linkI heartily agree it should be tested whether a PSU will work with an old non-sine UPS. Why should we have to dump a working UPS and buy a $150+ new sinewave one when we get a new PSU? I'm all in favor of PFC, but I would have to return any one that wouldn't work with my existing inventory of older UPS.