As computer enthusiasts, we all love to see PC components get more and more powerful. Unfortunately, with this increasing power often comes an increase in power demands. This is especially true of video cards. In fact, it can be reasonably argued that if it weren't for the high-end video card market, power supplies probably wouldn't be anywhere near the 600W or more that we see in typical enthusiast-level PSUs these days.
When you begin to crave high-end dual or quad GPU configurations, you must realize that a high quality and high capacity power supply is probably in your future. Fortunately, both NVIDIA and ATI make your search for an acceptable PSU a little easier as both companies have certification programs to verify if a PSU is suitable for multiple video cards.
Today, we have two beefy PSUs on the test bench, both of which have been deemed NVIDIA SLI Ready and ATI CrossFire Certified. The two PSUs are the 700W OCZ 700W GameXStream and the 620W Enermax Liberty. The Liberty is a modular PSU while the GameXStream has a standard output cable configuration. Rather than just simply run tests on each PSU, we installed and left each PSU in one of our test systems for around 20 days. The test system was used mostly for benchmarking and gaming. First up to the plate was the 700W GameXStream from OCZ.
OCZ packs the GameXStream PSU in a long box that features a design that inspires thoughts of electricity (go figure) and power. We'd like to see a little more protection around the unit itself since the delivery guys and gals don't always like to play nice with packages. The PSU comes with the regular accouterments, including a small booklet, four screws and a power cord.
The 700W GameXStream is a high efficiency PSU that features active PFC and a quiet 120mm fan. According to OCZ, this PSU will perform maintain least 80% efficiency. The back of the unit is a honeycomb grill that should allow hot air to exit your system freely and easily.
As we mentioned above, the GameXStream is not a modular PSU. You can see all of this PSU's cables in the pictures above. In addition to the power connectors, you get two PCI Express connectors, six 4-pin (Molex-style) peripheral connectors, two floppy connectors and six SATA connectors. The Molex connectors are the nice, easy disconnect type, which is definitely a nice choice.