A thousand watts, a kilowatt. A kilowatt or a thousand watts. We can't decide which term sounds larger when spoken aloud. In any case, when said aloud, both terms are conversation starters when in discussion about PC power supplies. In this day and age where energy efficiency is something which many gravitate toward, anything with such a large number when it comes to power is instantly an attention grabber, in both positive and negative ways.
It's been quite a while since the first enthusiast targeted 1000 watt power supplies hit the market. There were 1000 watt power supplies before, mainly targeted at multi-processor servers and "heavy-iron", but never before had such a high-wattage power supply been targeted at the end user. The first units were from PC Power and Cooling, which were launched at around the same time as Nvidia's GeForce 7950 GX2 graphics cards, the first card capable of running in a Quad SLI configuration for four graphics cores. While these graphics cards certainly didn't require the massive power loads which a 1000W power supply could deliver, the coincidental timing of these two product releases was done in such a way that many buyers actually believed that they needed this kind of power supply. In reality, even power supplies as low as 500W could power a fairly powerful Quad SLI system configuration without issue.
In any case, while the first 1000W power supplies were criticized for being extremely expensive ($500-$700), loud, and largely unnecessary, they did help push the power supply industry forward. As nearly every power supply manufacturer rushed to bring similar 1000W units to market, prices have come down and features have improved. Nowadays, 1000W power supplies are frequently used in high-end enthusiast systems, as their price-tags aren't that much more in comparison to 750 and 800W units, and many users like the flexibility (and bragging rights) of having a 1000W unit under their hood.
From what we've seen, there are two types of people who are interested in 1000W power supplies. One being the person with a completely tricked out overclocked, multi-core, multi-GPU, multi-drive configuration who wants the most expansion capabilities possible. The other being the guy who wants to have a high-wattage PSU but not make full use out of it, hoping that the more efficient power supply will run cleaner and quieter in comparison to a lower-wattage unit working harder.
OCZ has a new power supply of which they're hoping will please both of types of user. Their latest flagship power supply is the ProXStream 1000W. The ProXStream is entering a burgeoning market of 1000W power supplies, although OCZ's unit appears to stand out in several ways, which we'll get to in the following pages. Here's how it looks on store shelves.
Shipping Box - Front
Shipping Box - Back
Features and Specifications
The Multi-GPU Ready ProXStream 1000 Watt power supply is designed specifically for the most demanding computing environments of PC enthusiasts, high-end system builders, and die-hard gamers. With today's top-of-the-line graphics cards consuming large amounts of energy, the ProXStream supplies stable and reliable power to quad-GPU platforms, as well as all your systems vital components.
On paper, the ProXStream shows both positives and negatives upon first glance. First off, the unit has the expected connector set for such a high-wattage power supply, with full support for both single and dual CPU motherboards (24-pin ATX + 4/8-pin secondary ATX), along with four PCI Express 6-pin power connectors, which are needed for the most high-end graphics configurations currently on the market today. OCZ uses four independent +12V rails, each capable of pushing 20A, plenty for any modern configuration.
Not necessarily a negative, but it's interesting to see the unit cooled by a single 80mm cooling fan, whereas other 1000W units typically have opted for 120mm fans (or larger), or dual cooling fans. Seeing a 1000W power supply cooled by a single 80mm fan would typically mean that the power supply is extremely efficient, or that the 80mm fan has to run at high speeds in order to keep the unit cool.
Therein lays one of the negatives of the unit, as OCZ does not list efficiency ratings for their power supplies. Most high-end power supplies will state if they meet 80% efficiency ratings or more, so with OCZ not listing their efficiency ratings, we would immediately think that their rating is lower than this level. In addition, one other negative which should be noted is that this power supply does not support 8-pin PCI Express 2.0 connectors. While there are only a scant few power supplies on the market which support this new connector, for such a high-end power supply which is brand new to market, we would have hoped to see this new connector in order to make the unit somewhat more future proof.
As for amperage ratings on the particular lines, let's compare the ProXStream to other 1000W units available on the market today.
|OCZ ProXStream 1000W||28A||30A||80A (4 x 20A)||0.5A||3A|
|Coolmax CTG-1000 1000W||30A||50A||76A (4 x 19A)||0.5A||3A|
|Enermax Galaxy 1000W||30A||30A||120A (5 x 24A)||0.6A||6A|
|PC Power and Cooling Turbo-Cool 1000W||24A||30A||72A||0.8A||3.5A|
|Silverstone OP1000 1000W||30A||40A||80A||0.8A||4A|