EVGA BQ Series 850W PSU Review — Tom’s Hardware
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One of EVGA’s most affordable power supply families, the BQ, includes five unique models. The higher-capacity ones are made by HEC and the rest come from Andyson. Today we’re testing the flagship 850 BQ.
The 850 BQ scores a nice performance per buck ratio however with a few more bucks you can acquire a much more efficient, and more silent, Gold unit, so better pass the 80 PLUS Bronze category altogether. Bronze units are worth considering only in the lower capacity categories, according to our humble opinion, where the thermal loads are easier controlled so noise output can be kept at reasonable levels.
Full power at 46°C
+12V transient response
Turn-on transient response
Accurate power ok signal
6x PCIe & 2x EPS connectors
Ripple suppression on the minor rails
3. 3V transient response
Power Ok hold-up time
Could have less fixed cables
Lacks over temperature protection (OTP)
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EVGA 850 BQ Power Supply
EVGA has a huge portfolio of PSUs and, along with Corsair, is considered one of the most popular companies in this market. We usually review EVGA’s mid-range and high-end products, so it’s high time we evaluate one of the company’s mainstream offerings.
The BQ line initially started with 650W, 750W, and 850W members. They were all made by HEC and featured semi-modular cabling, along with 80 PLUS Bronze efficiency. Recently, 500W and 600W capacities were added to the family. They’re manufactured by Andyson instead, though. We can safely assume that these new BQ PSUs use DC-DC converters since they’re able to deliver full power on the +12V rail if needed.
Today’s review focuses on EVGA’s 850 BQ, which is the family’s flagship. In order to control costs, EVGA doesn’t implement fully modular cabling on any BQ PSU. It instead employs a semi-modular design, which is fine with us so long as the fixed cables are those you’d need no matter what (the ones with the ATX and EPS connectors). Unfortunately, that’s not the case here: in addition to the aforementioned cables, you also get one with a couple of PCIe connectors.
The 850 BQ’s cooling fan uses a Teflon nano-steel bearing that appears to be better than the plain sleeve bearings found in most mainstream PSUs. EVGA promises quiet operation under tough conditions. It also boasts of high performance and reliability since the PSU uses quality Japanese capacitors in the APFC converter. Indeed, a photograph in EVGA’s press kit shows two Chemi-Con KMR bulk caps. However, there is no photo of the unit’s secondary side where the most important caps reside. This is why we dismantle our review samples. After all, a Taiwanese or Chinese capacitor might perform well at first, but over time it’ll age faster than a good Japanese cap.
Because there are so many affordable Gold-rated PSUs, the Bronze efficiency category isn’t as popular nowadays. If you’re on a really tight budget, though, and need lots of capacity, 80 PLUS Bronze may be as much as you can hope for. The only problem is that there aren’t many new or innovative products to talk about, so your choices are limited. Currently, the most popular Bronze-rated PSUs belong to Corsair’s CX and CX-M lines. The BQ and B2 families represent EVGA’s response.
The maximum operating temperature is limited to 40°C, though we really weren’t anticipating a 50°C rating in this price range anyway. As far as protection features go, we find everything except for over-temperature protection, which we consider essential.
Again, EVGA’s fan uses a sealed bearing, with Teflon surfaces and air pressure rather than oil to minimize friction. This technology promises low noise output and an increased lifetime compared to sleeve bearings. We’re happy to see a higher-quality fan in a budget-oriented PSU. It’s also worth noting that the same fans are found in EVGA’s GS series. Unfortunately, there is no semi-passive mode here, so don’t expect complete silence under light loads.
The PSU’s dimensions are pretty compact given its capacity, and the five-year warranty wisely matches what you get with Corsair’s CX-M power supplies. This proves that the BQ units target their main competition. Of course, we’re not surprised. Both companies are the key players in today’s PSU market.
Swipe to scroll horizontally
|Total Max. Power (W)||850 @ 40°C|
The single +12V rail can provide enough juice to support a potent system, while the minor rails are stronger than they need to be, delivering up to a combined 160W. Finally, the 5VSB rail offers 3A of maximum current output. That’s definitely enough for this category.
Cables And Connectors
Swipe to scroll horizontally
|Description||Cable Count||Connector Count (Total)||Gauge|
|ATX connector 20+4 pin (530mm)||1||1||16AWG|
|4+4 pin EPS12V (590mm)||1||1||18AWG|
|6+2 pin PCIe (550mm) / 6 pin PCIe (+150mm)||1||1 / 1||18AWG|
|Description||Cable Count||Connector Count (Total)||Gauge|
|4+4 pin EPS12V (600mm)||1||1||18AWG|
|6+2 pin PCIe (550mm) / 6 pin PCIe (+150mm)||2||2 / 2||18AWG|
|Four-pin Molex (550mm+150mm)||1||2||18AWG|
|Four-pin Molex (550mm+150mm+150mm) / FDD (+150mm)||1||3 / 1||18AWG|
The native cables could be pared back by making the PCIe ones modular. Although a PCIe cable is going to be used in most systems anyway, the installation process would be more straightforward with only two fixed cables.
Overall, you get plenty of provided connectors and the cable length is satisfactory, even if the main ATX cable could be a little longer. There’s enough distance between connectors and, as you can see in the table above, the 24-pin ATX cable mostly uses 16-gauge wires. Only the sense wires are thinner (20AWG).
Since this PSU features a single +12V rail, we do not have anything to say about its power distribution.
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EVGA 850 BQ Power Supply
Next Page Packaging, Contents, Exterior, And Cabling
Aris Mpitziopoulos is a Contributing Editor at Tom’s Hardware US, covering PSUs.
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EVGA 850 BQ Power Supply (PSU) Review – GND-Tech
Up for review today is the one and only EVGA 850 BQ PSU (BQ-0850-V1) rated at 850W with an 80+ Bronze rating. EVGA offers a wide range of power supplies, especially in the 850W variety. The B(bronze)Q series is on the lower end of the spectrum since Bronze is the lowest rated power supply offered for EVGA’s 850W lineup. In this review we’ll take a look at two main factors: the overall build quality of the unit, and how it performs under stress.
In addition to the 850W BQ, EVGA also offers the PSU in 600W, 650W, and 750W varieties. This means EVGA 850 BQ, which we will be featuring, has the highest load rating out of the rest of the BQ lineup. There are many factors to consider when it comes to purchasing a new power supply such as power requirements, budget, port requirements, just to name a few. In my opinion build quality should be one of the top factors especially considering how vital the PSU is to the system as a whole. A cheap PSU can fail early, and not just fail, cause internal component failure as well if proper protections are not in place.
Fortunately EVGA offers many safety features with each of their BQ series PSUs. At a glance these features include OVP (Over Voltage Protection), UVP (Under Voltage Protection), OCP (Over Current Protection), OPP (Over Power Protection), and SCP (Short Circuit Protection). Hopefully we’ll be seeing some of these features in action further down the review!
Features and Specifications
The EVGA 850 BQ offers a wide range of features considering the fact that it is on the budget end of the spectrum. First, the PSU carries an 80+ Bronze rating. This means that the PSU will be at least 82% efficient under a 20% load and at least 85% efficient under a 50% load. Power supplies are designed with with the fact that there will be a continual load present and are therefore the most efficient under at load of 50%.
Cooling for the unit is done by a single variable speed 140mm fan located on the top of the PSU. According t o EVGA, the fan is near silent and will make virtually no noise when added to the PC case.
The EVGA 850BQ is also configured in a semi-modular design. The only non-modular, permanently attached cables are the 24-pin motherboard cable, a 6+2-pin PCIE cable and a single 4+4-pin CPU power cable.
Here are the power specifications for the 850 BQ:
|100 – 240 VAC, 12A, 50 – 60 Hz|
|850W @ +40C|
Cable connectorsand types:
|3x 8pin (6+2), 3x 6pin|
|0° to 40° C|
|85mm (H) x 150mm (W) x 140mm (L)|
|TUV, CB, CE, FCC, RCM, cTUVus, BSMI, CCC, WEEE, RoHS
Compliance with ErP Lot 6 2013 Requirement
|140mm Teflon Nano-Steel Bearing|
Now that we’ve got a better understanding of what we’re going to be reviewing, let’s crack open the box and take a closer look!
A Closer Look at the EVGA 850 BQ PSU
Here we will take a look at the packaging designs and effectiveness as well as the PSU iteslf.
The EVGA 850 BQ arrived in a cellophane wrapped cardboard box. The outside of the box featured EVGA designs and logos highlighting key aspects in several different languages of the PSU. The overall design was nice, easy to understand and definitely targeted towards the gamer, enthusiast crowd.
Upon opening the box, we can see the 850 BQ wrapped in a custom fitted foam sleeve sitting just underneath the instruction manual and warranty information. A bundle of modular cables sits to the right tied together by a single twisty tie.
So far the overall packaging is pretty lackluster. While this is a budget PSU and we were definitely not expecting any custom-fitted foam, some extra packaging material to fill some of the voids would have been appreciated. Now with the box open, let’s see what else is hiding in there…
A few more items! In addition to the PSU itself, manual, and modular cables, EVGA also included a heafty 14 gauge wall power cable (115V US), a reusable Velcro zip tie, and a PSU power-on plug for bench testing. The power-on plug was definitely a surprise and definitely useful when needing to troubleshoot PSU functionality.
This little plug effectively shorts the green Power On pin to ground (GND) on the motherboard cabe which turns the PSU on without the need for a motherboard.
Here we’ll be looking at two main categories: Internal and External. For the external category we will focus on the overall aesthetics, durability and design of the PSU. The internal quality category will be focused on some of the common areas inside the PSU itself where we like to see above-average components being used.
The overall design of the EVGA 850 BQ power supply is themed towards gamers and system builders. No surprise coming from a company like EVGA who’s target audience is definitely one or the other (or both).
The surface of the PSU is power coated in what feels like a Teflon-based coating. It is textured but very smooth to the touch. It also gives the unit a high quality, premium appearance which is exciting to see on a more entry level PSU. As we mentioned earlier, the efficiency rating for the PSU is 80+ Bronze. Therefore EVGA has given the 850 BQ a kind of gray and bronze color scheme as an overall theme.
On either the left or the right side of the PSU, we find the power specs such as watt and temperature ratings. Nice EVGA to put the sticker on either side of the unit so it will be visible regardless of whether or not the unit is mounted at the top or bottom of the case.
The back of the EVGA 850 BQ is pretty typical. Here we find an external wall power plug, an on/off rocker switch, and the heat exhaust vent.configured in a honeycomb pattern. The PSU is configured to handle both US and EU power requirements automatically as the voltage and frequency ratings appear to accommodate both.
The PSU cables come in two different flavors depending on the type. The permanently attached, non-modular cables are braided and feel overall pretty tough. The modular cables are not braided but rather have a smooth flat finish. The flat style is nice for cable management, especially behind the motherboard tray where space is tight. I do wish EVGA would have picked one style and just stuck with it, however. It is a bit odd having braided and flat cables intermingling together in the same case.
Here is a close up of the braided 24-pin motherboard and PCIE embedded connector:
Here is a closeup of the flat-style PCIE cable:
As you can see the modular versus non-modular cables are quite different. As for overall cable length, the modular cables were very long making cable management easy regardless of case size and configuration. According to EVGA, they measure in at 700mm. Hard drive cables measured in even longer at 800mm! The only draw back to the cable length category was the motherboard cable. Measuring in at only 550mm, it did make routing it in a hidden way in our case (Cooler Master HAF XM) a bit of a challenge.
We mentioned earlier that airflow provided to the EVGA 850 BQ PSU is provided by a single 140mm fan mounted just inside the top of the unit. The fan is shrouded by a custom metal grate sporting the EVGA “e” logo in the center. We will go into detail about the fan later on in the review.
While we’re on the subject of fans, let’s dive into what keeps the EVGA 850 BQ PSU cool! After voiding the warranty and cracking open the chassis, we can see the underside of the 140mm fan. The fan is a Jet Motor RL4Z T1352512HH which according to the sticker is a Teflon Nano Bearing (TNB) fan which supports EVGA’s specs listed on their product page. The added benefit of Teflon Nano bearing fans is that they are much more resistant to dust compared to standard ball bearing fans. The fan is rated at 12V @ 0.45A.
Inside the chassis we see all the parts which get the juices flowing to the right parts. In the center there’s a pretty cool EVGA branded main high frequency transformer used to step up the volgate/frequency to make power conversion more efficient. Probably everybody’s favorite component, the two main filter caps can be found on the left of the picture. Lastly located on three main heat sync rails are the voltage regulators and MOSFETs. Overall the internal construction seems good with no messy solder. Parts are secured using silicone paste to keep them from wiggling around.
The two main filter capacitors who’s purpose is to provide a clean steady stream of power to the outputs appear to be high quality and definitely over spec’d. Both are rated at 560uF at 450V and are high temperature rated at 105C. A very welcomed sight on a budget type power supply.
Here’s a random shot of the inside area behind the main power plug. You can see extra electrical isolation shielding was used here (and in many other places) to isolate high voltage AC components do not interfere with the low voltage output side.
Now that we’ve got a pretty good idea about what we’re working with inside and out, let’s see how this PSU performs under some heavy stress!
A word about efficiency – As we mentioned earlier, the EVGA 850 BQ PSU holds an 80 Plus Bronze efficiency rating. For a PSU on the lower end of the 80+ spectrum, this rating is pretty typical. The 850 BQ is rated at an 82% efficiency under a typical load (20/80%). So what is PSU efficiency and why would anyone care how efficient a power supply is? Without getting into too much detail, efficiency in this sense is basically power in (from the wall) vs power out (to computer components). It is the cost to exchange one form of power to another. For instance, if you had a computer PSU that was rated at 400W, and is pulling 500W from the wall, then that PSU is 80% efficient. This is important for two reasons; one, a more efficient power supply will draw less current, meaning your computer will use less power overall. For the user running his machine at 100% constantly, will likely be shaving a few dollars a month off the power bill. This little amount will definitely add up over time. Second, a power supply with a high efficiency rating is likely built with higher rated components. Higher rated components can cause a power supply to run cooler and sometimes last longer.
The most important thing we look for is the behavior of voltage as the load on the PSU is increased. This is because when you see a voltage drop at mid to high loads, this can cause serious problems to internal computer components if the drop is significant enough. We will test this by incrementing up 50W for 20 minutes at each step. We will run each 50W increment all the way up to 1040W, way above what this PSU is rated. While this PSU is rated at 850W, there is a lot to be said for voltage stability past maximum ratings. Although EVGAclaims a 82% efficiency rating, we will also be performing our own efficiency calculations just to be sure. We will do this by placing a specific load on the power supply and then measuring the wattage going in to the power supply with our handy Killawatt meter.
To provide a decent and accurate load you need more than just a beefy PC with high end components. Accuracy of load is vital to provide accuracy in the rest of the measurable points such as voltage @ x load, as well as efficiency calculations. To perform this test accurately we used our own home brew power supply load tester. More info on this tester can be found on our unofficial build page.
Now, let’s get ready to do some damage!
(not pictured: The Killawatt meter on measuring Amps going into the PSU)
Next, let’s crank it up the heat and see how the EVGA 850 BQ handles a little bit of stress!
To get started, we set the load to maximum. The PSU load tester is capable of accurately providing load to the PSU in 10W increments all the way up to 1040W. While for this test, we don’t need that level of incrementation, we will take our measurements every 50W of load.
Overall, not bad numbers. We are looking for a greater than 82% efficiency at the 20% (170W) and 80% (680W) values. At 200W, we recorded an efficiency of 86.2%, well above the 82% number we were looking for. At 650W, we recorded an efficiency rating of 82.02%, just a hair above the 80+ bronze rating assigned to the 850 BQ. One interesting surprise was the slight jump in efficiency just after the maximum rating of 850W! As we approached 1000 watts of load, we recorded the efficiency to be 80% compared to the 78% efficiency we recorded at the 850W mark.
Next up, let’s take a look at how the 12V output did during the load test. We tested the 12V line as it is the most heavily utilized inside the system. Severe drops in voltage during heavy loads can cause all kinds of issues inside the system so that’s one thing we definitely don’t want to see.
The voltages pretty much stayed the same throughout our entire test ranging from 12.28V at a 50W load, down to 12.22V at a 1040W load. At the 850 BQ’s max rating of 850W, we saw a voltage reading 12.23V. Despite the sharp angle of the graph above (used to show voltage drops more accurately), the 12V stayed pretty much the same during the length of the test. Very good results so far!
Overall, I am quite pleased with how this power supply tested. The efficiency and voltage drop ratings were what we were looking for, and not only that, it runs very cool and quiet making very little noise even when under maximum stress.
EVGA produced an affordable 80+ Bronze rated power supply that offers performance that surpassed our bench test expectations. The efficiency rating stayed above 82% when it was suppose to, and even above maximum load ratings, the voltage hardly dropped at all! We threw everything we could at the EVGA 850 BQ and it kept taking it. As an endurance test we maxed the load to 1040W and let it just sit there for an hour under heavy stress. While heat was produced, it still managed to run repetitively cool and quiet.
The design of the PSU was overall quite good. The Teflon coating gave it a rugged, textured look increasing the premium feel of the unit. The fan and fan shroud were also high quality and made it feel like you were getting more than what you paid for.
Now for the final breakdown:
- Appearance: 20/25 – The 850 BQ overall looked nice, the only draw back was the mismatched cable types between braided and flat style.
- Construction: 23/25 – There was no “cheap” vibe emitting from the PSU. Inside and out, the unit felt solid and well built. We dinged it for the “meh” packaging.
- Performance: 24/25 – The BQ was a performer, no doubt about it. Numbers were strong but we would have liked to have seen a larger efficiency gap between rating requirements and actual results. At 80% load, the 850 BQ was only 0.2% over the minimum rating of 82% needed for the 80+ Bronze rating.
- Value: 25/25 – MSRP for the EVGA 850 BQ is listed at $99 USD, though at the time of writing this article, one can be had for around $70. Absolutely worth the price for an 80+ Bronze rated 850W PSU.
80+ 80+ Bronze 850bq 850w efficiency evga evga 850 bq evga Power Supply evga psu modular power supply psu
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Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK (Rev. 1.2) Descriptions, video review, reviews
- manufacturer Intel
- SOKKET LGA1150
- Number Threading No
- Intel vPro No
- Max. volume 32 GB
- Number of slots 4
- Type DDR3 DIMM
- Show all
Video reviews GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK (rev.
- All 6
- Reviews 1
- Unboxing 2
- Tests 1
Specifications GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK (rev. 1.2)
|The number of sockets|
|Support for multi-core processors||is|
|Max. capacity||32 GB|
|Number of slots||4|
|Maximum||3 100 MHz|
|Minimum||1 333 MHz|
|Slots M. 2||1|
|SATA RAID||0, 1, 5, 10|
|The total number of SATA||6|
|Number of SATA 6Gb/s connectors||6|
|LPT on the rear panel||no|
|d-Sub on the rear panel||is|
|S-Video exit on the rear panel||HDMI||HDMI||HDMI on the rear panel|
|Component video output on the rear panel||8-pin|
|Coaxial output on the rear panel||no|
|The main power connector|
|PS/2 (keyboard) on the rear panel||Yes|
|Number of USB 3. 0 ports||6||Number of USB ports 90 8 95 Number of USB ports 90 8 950057 14|
|DVI on the rear panel||is|
|PS/2 (mouse) on the rear panel||is|
* Check with the seller for exact specifications.
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