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HEXUS gets it wrong - a sincere apology

by Bob Crabtree on 23 January 2007, 16:59

Tags: HX620W, OCZ (NASDAQ:OCZ), Corsair

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Tarinder Sandhu, reviews editor

HEXUS conducted a seven-way 600-700W power-supply round-up and published its results and thoughts on August 18, 2006. At the time, the clear winner in terms of efficiency seemed to be the OCZ GameXStream 700W, offering almost 87 per cent efficiency at a ~700W output.

That efficiency result was somewhat surprising, especially with the knowledge that this particular OCZ power supply is based on the FSP Epsilon 700W, which we reported as offering 79.8 per cent input/output efficiency.

That did not set the alarm bells ringing loudly but did leave us wondering why there was a large deviation between two PSUs that are, for all intents and purposes, the same inside.

Our overall award decision was based, in part, on the OCZ's excellent, but rather surprising, efficiency figures. So, to try to find out more, we took the OCZ sample back for re-testing to see if we could repeat the results.

It's often said that the vast majority of problems and errors reside between the display and desk, and, after re-testing, we discovered this had been the case here.

Take another look at first table on the linked page and note the OCZ's input power is said to be 807W. A rather odd figure, you might think. Well, it turns out that this should have been 870W, bringing efficiency down from an unrealistic ~87 per cent to a more likely 80.62 per cent (701.36/870). You'll note the corrected numbers in parenthesis.

The mistake isn't OCZ's - it's ours, pure and simple.

The OCZ is still a very decent PSU and the fine aesthetics, 80+ per cent efficiency (corrected) and sub-£90 price point are enough positive attributes for it to still deserve recognition in the 600-700W round-up.

Bottom line - the efficiency isn't quite as impressive as we first thought but the OCZ GameXStream 700W is still a fine buy for a high-end system.

HEXUS.afterburner :: Paul Dutton

I fully understand why a judgement awarding our top honours to the OCZ GameXStream 700W was made and published back in August. The award was based upon what we believed we had recorded as the correct test results of all of the many PSUs we looked at.

However, from a personal standpoint, even before realising our error, the only product in our group test that would have had made me part with my hard-earned was the Corsair HX620W.

When I make a technology acquisition, I choose the most usefully feature-rich, well-thought-out and efficient product my wallet will stretch to.

The £10 premium commanded by the Corsair HX620W would not in any way have put me off buying that PSU. The Corsair boasts uniquely specified modular connectors and its maker is clearly focused on maintaining efficiency in real-world conditions. This, it claims, guarantees that the HX620W will deliver its rated power output at 50ºC. And, thoughtfully - and useful in the real world - the Corsair even comes with a nice little branded bag to tidily retain any unused cables.

Putting all that into a context, I need to say that, since late August, I’ve been using the Corsair HX620W in the day-to-day workstation upon which I’m writing now. Its design contributed to a very easy and exceptionally tidy system integration and, from day-one, it’s never missed a beat.

I’ve built a considerable number of high-performance systems through the years and been directly responsible for the deployment of many thousands more. My own hands-on experience of Corsair products, especially its memory modules, has generally been rather more than positive. Simply put, I’ve come to trust the Corsair brand.

Upon reflection, I realise that we’ve done Corsair - and you, our readers - a real disservice. We not only got things wrong initially but also compounded that failure by not being able to get this correction published much sooner.

Of course, none of this should have happened - but it did, and I can but sincerely apologise.

That apology goes, of course, to all our many loyal readers but has to be extended to Corsair as well and also to OCZ.

We will try our best to make sure there is no similar cock-up again but we are only human. There's no way we are always going to get everything right every time. But, as with the PSU roundup, when we don't get things absolutely right, we’ll be ready to put up our hands and let you know - though, hopefully, in a rather more timely fashion!

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