The PSU certainly looks anything but standard, and we're pretty sure many will like the design. The fan is painted green, but with such a silent fan, who cares about color. Noise is often one of the key factors that goes into consideration when choosing a PSU, but the same goes for virtually any component bearing a fan. You can view higher res pictures by clicking on photos.
Black 850W is a modular PSU, but it does come with a set of basic cables that can't be removed. These are: two 6/8-pin PCI-E cables 60cm long, ATX cable 53cm long, one 8-pin EPS12V cable 54cm long and a 4+4 pin EPS12V cable also 54cm long.
The rest of the cables you'll need are connected to the green connectors (picture below) and it doesn't matter where you put them as they all go to one 70A line (PCIe cables are an exception to this of course, as they use 8-pin connectors). Additional cables are: two 6/8-pin PCI-E (55cm), which you'll need if you want to install another high-end graphics card, 11x SATA 15-pin, 8x Molex 4-pin and two FDD 4-pin cables. All the cables are woven in some kind of flexible material that helps with better cable management and minimum airflow hindrance.
There are three featured SATA and Molex cable lengths - the longer ones feature three connectors whereas the shorter ones come with two. The reason is that not all the connectors will be used on every cable, so there's no reason for them to gather dust around the case.
The longer SATA cables measure 55cm to the first connector, 15cm to the second and another 15cm to the third one. The shorter one measure 45cm to the first one and 15cm to the second and third each. The shortest cable measures 35cm to the first connector and another 15cm to the second one, and the same goes for Molex cables. Molex cables also get a small addapter for spliting the cable in two 3.5'' floppy drive connectors.
As we've already said, XFX excells in marketing, but sometimes it seems to be too much. For instance, the power supply features XFX's logo on a couple of places, although we're confident one would've sufficed.
A 135mm ball bearing fan takes care of cooling and in order to improve airflow, XFX used a mesh grill for the entire rear side where the power connector is located.
The previous photo shows a table featured on the Black 850W's side, and it confirms the 850W spec.
Unfortunately, we don't have the adequate equipment to put the 80 Plus Silver Certificate to our own test, but we've found some results at www.johnnyguru.com, where you'll find that this unit indeed deserves it. What we did was simply test it in real world scenarios so we've used MSI's P45D3 Platinum, HD 4870X2 and overclocked Intel's Core 2 QX9770 Extreme Edition to 3.6GHz. Coupled with two hard disks, a DVD writer and a caouple of fans within the case, our rig didn't draw more than 500W and XFX's PSU ran cool and quite the entire time. For a high end system such as ours, a quality PSU is a must, and we're currently unaware of a better one than XFX 850W Black Edition - XPS-850W-BES, especially after taking price into consideration.
We've tested XFX's 850W Black Edition - XPS-850W-BES, so let us recap. This PSU has a lot to offer, and while you might not like the looks or the fan color, those are still minor design features that won't matter by the time you mount it in your case. The most important point is the actual muscle this PSU can muster, and 850W with a 80 Plus Silver Certificate speaks for itself. After taking price into consideration, this turns into a no brainer as we'd dare you to find a better PSU for 150 euro.