Power Supply or PSU or SMPS as it is popularly known to us is a very critical component in any type of PC, without PSU a computer cannot function just like a human body won’t function without brain or heart or liver. Specifications, features vary depending on the application but the basic functionality essentially remains the same.
Whether we like it or not, PSU is one of the most neglected components in the entire system, if not always and by everyone, the majority of the time it gets lesser attention than it rightfully deserves. A good PSU is as important as a good engine in a car that is efficient, reliable, and robust. The stability, longevity, performance of your system is ensured by a PSU and therefore, one should always choose the right PSU from a reputed brand with a known track record.
Nowadays there are far more brands as compared to a couple of years ago. What has not changed yet is the fact that the number of OEM manufacturers has more or less remained the same to date. There are a couple of very large and well-known OEMs who cater to almost all major known consumer brands for PSU.
Although brands like Corsair, CoolerMaster, EVGA, Asus, Gigabyte, Antec, XPG, and many more are quite popular and crowd favorites, none of them manufacture PSU on their own. There are a few brands that not only sell under their own brand name but also work as OEMs for a lot of popular brands. Some of them are Seasonic, SuperFlower, FSP, Delta, and so on. One of the largest OEMs is CWT or Channel Well Technologies. These days almost every other gold or bronze rated mainstream PSU is made by CWT.
What we have today with us today is the MSI A850GF 80+ Gold Rated Full Modular PSU Unit. No prizes for guessing that this also is a CWT-made Unit like many others in the market. CWT units are known to be well-built and reliable.
Let us be very clear that we are not going to dissect the PSU to analyze PCB design, components used and solder quality, etc. What we do want to check is how it performs in real-world scenarios. For this MSI was kind enough to send us MSI X299 Prestige Creation Motherboard and MSI Gaming X Trio Geforce RTX 3090 24GB Graphics Card. Without wasting much time, let’s start off by unboxing followed by testing.
Modular Cables Included -
24 Pin ATX : 1
8 Pin CPU EPS : 2
6+2 Pin PCIE VGA : 4 ( 2 x Single 6+2 Pin + 2 x Dual 6+2 Pin )
Molex : 1 (4 x Molex + 1 x FDD)
SATA : 2 (4 SATA Devices per cable)
Power Cord : 1
Closer Look :
The label above can be a bit misleading. As per the label, there are +12VVGA1 and+12VVGA2 each state's current rating of 40A which adds up to roughly 480W which is not possible for ‘each’ rail. I am assuming the 40A current rating is for both combined. Similarly, for CPU, there are 2 x Rails, namely +12VCPU & +12VMBPH. Again I am assuming 25A Rating for both combined which adds up to 300W. Therefore 480W + 300W for VGA and CPU makes up 780W and the remaining for peripherals. This math makes more sense.
Let’s move on to actually testing to figure out what’s what.
Test Setup -
Intel Core i9 9960X (16Core/32Threads)
MSI X299 Prestige Creation
Corsair Dominator RGB 3600MHz 8GB x 4 DDR4
MSI Gaming X Trio Geforce RTX 3090 24GB
Custom Water Cooling for CPU
MSI MAG A850GF 80+ Gold Full Modular PSU
We manually overclocked the CPU to 4.3GHz on all cores to maximize the current draw under full load. GPU was run at Stock speeds and thanks to ~30c ambient temps, was not throttling and running ~ 1900MHz consistently.
To simulate maximum power draw from the system, we ran the AIDA64 CPU Stress Test and GPUPI 32B GPU Benchmark simultaneously. This ensured that the CPU and GPU both were under max load and drew a lot of Current.
From the picture above, it can be seen that the CPU rail is drawing almost 26.3A current and the +12V rail has dropped slightly to 11.94V. If we do the math, the power draw translates to roughly 314W. This is just from the CPU! Now let’s check out what’s happening with GPU at the same time.
Therefore approx. power draw is roughly 372W. Please note that the 30 series cards tend to spike for a fraction of a second as far as the current draw is concerned and therefore even though our load test shows a power draw of around 372W, we would budget for around 400~420W for RTX 3090 to be on the safer side.
Observations and Conclusions :
MSI MAG A850GF 80+ Gold Full Modular PSU is a decent unit made by CWT offering decent build quality, performance, and value.
Although not a deal-breaker, we would have preferred a stronger casing for the unit.
Modular cable quality is decent. Flat cables help a lot in cable management while building systems.
Would have liked it if the +12V rail didn’t drop under load for the CPU EPS +12V Rail.
GPU +12V rail held pretty solid even under full load.
MSI tells us the market price for this unit is Rs.10,000/- Inclusive of GST. Decent price for the overall package.
The warranty is 10 years from MSI for this unit. Excellent!
After considering multiple aspects like build quality, real-world performance, warranty period, pricing, there isn’t much to fault within this unit and therefore earns a well-deserved Silver Award from us.