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BFG ES Series 800W PSU

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mrb_no1 16th July 2008, 09:50 Quote
PSU's are such a pain to shop for, as you have to read more reviews than for other hardware as you need to find and weigh each their technical prowess, saying that the bfg unit doesnt look cool for those with windows in their pc's, however...

I wouldnt buy this psu but atleast it features in my mind as something I could by, rather than dismissing bfg psu's altogether as i would have with their previous models so well done to bfg for coming along so far in r and d.

Nice article bindi, peace
deltaworld 16th July 2008, 12:56 Quote
The latest issue of Custom PC issue 59 reviewed a series of PSU's and they were all tested on a Chroma 664
Bindibadgi 16th July 2008, 14:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by deltaworld
The latest issue of Custom PC issue 59 reviewed a series of PSU's and they were all tested on a Chroma 664

They use exactly the same machine we do, even if we do different tests.
jonnyGURU 16th July 2008, 15:50 Quote
I'm curious that if you have a power supply that boasts such incredible efficiency numbers at low loads, even as low as 10%, and great efficiency at standby due to the completely separate standby PSU within the unit, why you would still only test the unit at 50% and up? That's rather a kin to Motor Trend checking out a Ferrari, only driving it through the city at no more than 40MPH and then saying "it's ok."

On another note: I can understand why one would feel "uncomfortable" with the unorthodox layout of the components in the ES-800. Sometimes it's hard to break away from a norm in PSU layout that's been used ever since the ATX form factor was put forth on us almost a decade ago, but the complaint that it's not the best suit for airflow is somewhat unwarranted. In fact, the reason behind the layout is because it provides better air-flow to components that need it most. It actually uses the same principle of cooling than keeps PC Power & Cooling from migrating away from 80MM fans (a principle that they adhere to for very good reason actually). Instead of blowing down on components and essentially only cooling the tops of caps, sinks, etc. you're pushing air down and across the components. By locating the +5VSB PSU PCB upside-down towards the rear, you're actually having it serve the purpose of the commonly used fan baffle by forcing air to concentrate towards the front of the unit and then move between it and the main PCB.

FYI: "Globe Fan" (aka Zaward that's their retail brand) is the same company that makes Enermax's fans.
jonnyGURU 16th July 2008, 16:08 Quote
"We do get the fact that the dangling connectors mean that you don't have to wire down a whole new cable, so SLI or high end graphics cards can be supplied by a single cable - that's a good idea in principle, but without being detachable it's messy and additionally stresses the three yellow 12V wires running down the single cable.

The 12V EPS connector is an even worse decision - you'll only ever need an 8-pin or 4-pin on a normal consumer motherboard, so you'll always be left with one dangling about. However if you did want to use the ES-800 for a server or workstation board which requires both connectors, you can't simply because there's not enough cable between them to reach."

The way I did the cables was a conscious decision. Alternatives: Modular? Problem: Get sued. A separate cable? Problem: Now there's another cable to hide away. So the compromise was to increase the wire gage and add the second connector +150MM from the first. If you don't use the connector, we actually supplied zip ties (in addition to the Velcro straps) so you can fold back and zip up the extra wire and connector and it looks almost (just almost) as clean as if the second connector wasn't there at all.

As for being able to use both 4-pin ATX12V and 8-pin EPS12V connectors on an EPS12V 2.9 and up motherboard, I haven't seen many boards that have the two CPU power connectors too far apart to require more than 150MM between the two. Perhaps you have and it's too bad I did not take those boards into consideration. On a side note: The dual proc Skulltrail has two 8-pin connectors adjacent to each other and using the 4-pin in the second 8-pin instead of a second 8-pin connector works great.
Bindibadgi 16th July 2008, 16:38 Quote
Firstly, Welcome Back, Jonny! :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyGURU
I'm curious that if you have a power supply that boasts such incredible efficiency numbers at low loads, even as low as 10%, and great efficiency at standby due to the completely separate standby PSU within the unit, why you would still only test the unit at 50% and up? That's rather a kin to Motor Trend checking out a Ferrari, only driving it through the city at no more than 40MPH and then saying "it's ok."

Not exactly. It's akin to only testing the Ferrari at high speeds, like it was designed to do. Why buy an 800W unit when you're not going to do at least 400W?
Quote:

On another note: I can understand why one would feel "uncomfortable" with the unorthodox layout of the components in the ES-800. Sometimes it's hard to break away from a norm in PSU layout that's been used ever since the ATX form factor was put forth on us almost a decade ago, but the complaint that it's not the best suit for airflow is somewhat unwarranted. In fact, the reason behind the layout is because it provides better air-flow to components that need it most. It actually uses the same principle of cooling than keeps PC Power & Cooling from migrating away from 80MM fans (a principle that they adhere to for very good reason actually). Instead of blowing down on components and essentially only cooling the tops of caps, sinks, etc. you're pushing air down and across the components. By locating the +5VSB PSU PCB upside-down towards the rear, you're actually having it serve the purpose of the commonly used fan baffle by forcing air to concentrate towards the front of the unit and then move between it and the main PCB.

FYI: "Globe Fan" (aka Zaward that's their retail brand) is the same company that makes Enermax's fans.

As far as I know Enermax used to use Globe Fan but they now use their own company (My contact with Eneramx is checking if it was globe). I did state that it was indeed smooth operating. :)

OK, so PCPC don't move away from 80mm fans because having a straight through flow provides more precise cooling like you explain. It's also less stressful on the fans because it doesn't put weight in the axel like bottom mounted 120mm do. They accept this is nosier, but would rather quality (like never doing a modular design) over a customer's whims. The thing is they force air front to back and pass it straight out, but a top down passes it into the fins and down towards the PCB. However I did acknowledge that the unit did not feel that hot even under extended load - it wasn't a criticism it was an observation. I do understand what you've done with the capacitors but they're also very flexible now compared to every other PSU I've seen. Why do you need 105C caps when you're passing more air over them, and a top down cooled cap is 85C?
Quote:
The way I did the cables was a conscious decision. Alternatives: Modular? Problem: Get sued. A separate cable? Problem: Now there's another cable to hide away. So the compromise was to increase the wire gage and add the second connector +150MM from the first. If you don't use the connector, we actually supplied zip ties (in addition to the Velcro straps) so you can fold back and zip up the extra wire and connector and it looks almost (just almost) as clean as if the second connector wasn't there at all.

You can sell modular in the UK and EU, that's not a problem, Ultra are only suing only within the US but I do accept BFG is a international company and separate products for separate regions is very difficult. Also, we review on the basis of modular or non-modular - there's a enough choice in the market to buy what you like. If you have another cable - it's *another* cable to a dozen, does that matter when you're already hiding several?

The 6-pin PCI-Express cables, fair enough, but an 800W unit exists in workstation territory, so not having a separate EPS 12V to use means I can't use this on my Asus Z7S WS Xeon board because one plug is at the top and one down the bottom. Niche - perhaps, but it's meant to be a leading edge product.

You can't win every heart and from a modding site if you zip tied it back it would still look quite ugly I'm afraid, but add it on a modular plug and you have the problem of there being a potential voltage drop. It's a very difficult call and we personally don't like dangly cables. If you buy non-modular, you have tons of cables - that's the deal.
ParaHelix.org 16th July 2008, 17:45 Quote
Personally I have ALWAYS used modular Tagan PSU's and they have always worked perfectly, the latest one which I purchased in the UK is the 900W Tagan TG900-BZ "Quad Rail" Gold Plated PipeRock Modular Cable Management, +80% Efficiency. Perfect for every need of my very expensive gaming rig, and modular so no unnecessary wires, those wires which are there can but neatly tucked down the back of the motherboard tray so no big deal.
zim2411 17th July 2008, 21:34 Quote
I'm on my 3rd BFG 1000 watt PSU. First one exploded, second one just died for no apparent reason. Luckily their RMA department is fast/nice.
jonnyGURU 18th July 2008, 14:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Firstly, Welcome Back, Jonny! :)

I really do respect you.. you know that, right? I think there's some rumor floating around that we hate each other or something. :D I'm just a sucker for good banter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Not exactly. It's akin to only testing the Ferrari at high speeds, like it was designed to do. Why buy an 800W unit when you're not going to do at least 400W?

Yes and no. My analogy was bad because Ferrari = Fast and not playing a game on the PC = Slow. ;)

I'm using my gaming rig right now... but I'm only pulling 150W from the wall. It's easy to tax an 800W when I'm running a pair of GTX-280's on a Quad FX board, but if I'm only surfing the net, I'm well below even 20% load. Once we start seeing Hybrid Power on a number of boards (this is where the board actually shuts off all power to the PCIe card and relies completely on an integrated GPU for day to day tasks, for those who don't know) then power consumption while surfing the web, doing a spreadsheet, etc. is even less. So if I had a gaming PC that was only used for gaming, sure.. the only time I'd be at a low load is when I'm at the desktop ready to click on the COD4 icon. But even if that were the case, when I turn the PC off I'm still in standby and that's consuming power too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi

As far as I know Enermax used to use Globe Fan but they now use their own company (My contact with Eneramx is checking if it was globe). I did state that it was indeed smooth operating. :)

I know. I'm just saying... a lot of times people don't realize that some of these companies have been around for a while. Every Enermax fan in every PSU from the Infiniti back were Globe Fans marked as "Silence". I'm not sure who they're using now with the new PSU's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi

OK, so PCPC don't move away from 80mm fans because having a straight through flow provides more precise cooling like you explain. It's also less stressful on the fans because it doesn't put weight in the axel like bottom mounted 120mm do. They accept this is nosier, but would rather quality (like never doing a modular design) over a customer's whims. The thing is they force air front to back and pass it straight out, but a top down passes it into the fins and down towards the PCB. However I did acknowledge that the unit did not feel that hot even under extended load - it wasn't a criticism it was an observation. I do understand what you've done with the capacitors but they're also very flexible now compared to every other PSU I've seen. Why do you need 105C caps when you're passing more air over them, and a top down cooled cap is 85C?

I know it was just an observation. But to answer the question about using the 105°C caps: It's all about a longer MTBF really... and I'm telling you, capacitor MTBF is VERY short if the cap is actually used at it's rated temperature. Other than the fan, the capacitors in a PSU have the shortest MTBF than any other part. But when your temps are WAY under the cap's operating threshold, you're actually increasing the life of the cap exponentially. So even if temps are well under 85°C as opposed to right at 85°C, I may double the caps MTBF if I use 85°C caps. But if I use 105°C caps, I quadruple my MTBF.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi

You can sell modular in the UK and EU, that's not a problem, Ultra are only suing only within the US but I do accept BFG is a international company and separate products for separate regions is very difficult.

Well, that's why BFG offers the MX in EU, but not the US. On a high end unit like the ES, we could have done the same thing but then you have to look at how much it costs to build each unit when you only build 1000 versus building 3000. If you think the unit is expensive now, just imagine how much more it would have cost if we could only buy enough materials to build enough units to suit the EU. :(
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi

Also, we review on the basis of modular or non-modular - there's a enough choice in the market to buy what you like. If you have another cable - it's *another* cable to a dozen, does that matter when you're already hiding several?

I guess I've just grown tired of tying and untying a bundle of cable tucked up over my PSU whenever I make a change in my PC. It's a personal preference thing I guess. I'd rather just zip up an extra length of cable than pull back an entire length of cable to hide it away.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi

The 6-pin PCI-Express cables, fair enough, but an 800W unit exists in workstation territory, so not having a separate EPS 12V to use means I can't use this on my Asus Z7S WS Xeon board because one plug is at the top and one down the bottom. Niche - perhaps, but it's meant to be a leading edge product.

Well, there you go. I had seen +150MM used on a number of PSU's and thought that if you can't, or don't want to, provide multiple cables for the 4-pin and 8-pin then it was an acceptable alternative. I wasn't aware of the power connector issues with that Asus board. Now I know and will take that into consideration next time around. ;)

Thanks for the heads up. ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by zim2411
I'm on my 3rd BFG 1000 watt PSU. First one exploded, second one just died for no apparent reason. Luckily their RMA department is fast/nice.

LOL... well... that's rather off topic since we're not talking about the BFG 1000W and this ES-800 isn't even made by the same OEM But it's good to hear the RMA dept. is taking care of you. ;)
Bindibadgi 18th July 2008, 16:21 Quote
:D We really appreciate the feedback, Jonny! ;)
[USRF]Obiwan 21st July 2008, 09:33 Quote
yeah! me like the chit chat between 'procucer' and 'reviewer' ;)

One question: What about the picture of the exposed coper wire bundle almost touching the heatsink. Isn't this dangerous?
jonnyGURU 25th July 2008, 00:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [USRF]Obiwan
yeah! me like the chit chat between 'procucer' and 'reviewer' ;)

One question: What about the picture of the exposed coper wire bundle almost touching the heatsink. Isn't this dangerous?

I actually completely missed this paragraph in the review while I was skimming through it:
Quote:

In addition, the large live cable connecting the main central transformer touches the heatsink adjacent to it as well - we can't imagine this is the best scenario or a design intention. Unfortunately we couldn't get underneath to have a look at the PCB soldering, because we it was thoroughly wedged in.

Rich was actually incorrect in his assumption that this this cable is live. This cable is actually a ground and the opposite end of it is actually soldered to the very same spot on the PCB that part of that heatsink is soldered to. So it wouldn't matter if this wire touched the heatsink, didn't touch it or was permanently fastened to it even. ;)
TheGreatSatan 25th July 2008, 02:27 Quote
I'll stick with Antec, OCZ, etc
Amon 25th July 2008, 03:13 Quote
As tested, it seems okay. I can't take your word for it, but, through its tests, it's fared well. I'm also just in the market for a replacement power supply for my dead PC.
Bindibadgi 25th July 2008, 09:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyGURU
Rich was actually incorrect in his assumption that this this cable is live.

Nope, I just suggested it's not necessarily a good thing because I've never seen it anywhere else before :) You use a slightly different transformer then. EDIT: Tell a lie - they've always been sleeved before.
Quote:
This cable is actually a ground and the opposite end of it is actually soldered to the very same spot on the PCB that part of that heatsink is soldered to. So it wouldn't matter if this wire touched the heatsink, didn't touch it or was permanently fastened to it even. ;)

Fair enough.
jonnyGURU 25th July 2008, 14:20 Quote
The transformer is different, sure. The whole PSU is different if you think about it. ;) There are no other PSU's on the market made the way this one was made. That's why I feel comparing it to cheaper, conventional units is unfair. But that's water under the bridge as far as I'm concerned.

Yes, they are typically sleeved. If you had the chance to pull the PCB though, you would see where it says GND right where that cable solders down with the heatsink. :D I don't blame you for not taking it apart though. Only about 50% of the time when I do that do they work when I put them back together. Even my buddy Jeremy (Oklahoma Wolf) only gets about 75% working again. ;) We have one ES-800 that was disassembled/reassembled where all the parts test good individually, it's assembled correctly, but the darn thing just doesn't turn on anymore. :(
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