With systems with multiple video cards requiring more power everyday, 1,000 W power supplies are becoming very common. OCZ has released a new 1,000 W product on the market, ProXStream 1000 W, targeted to power-hungry consumers that are willing to put three or four high-end video cards (this unit has four six-pin VGA power connectors) and several hard disk drives inside their systems. What is really different about this power supply compared to other 1,000-watt units around is it uses a small form factor, being at the same size of any standard ATX power supply, due to its interesting internal design using two printed circuit boards stacked. We completely disassembled this new unit from OCZ to see how it looks inside and what design and components were used, plus we put it on our load tester to see whether it can deliver its rate 1,000 W or not.
As we mentioned, the first thing that caught our attention was the physical size of this power supply, using the standard ATX size, i.e., being smaller than other 1,000 W power supplies available on the market. This was accomplished by using two printed circuit boards stacked inside the unit (you can have a quick glimpse of this design in Figure 3).
Because size was apparently one of the main concerns when designing this unit, the manufacturer used a standard 80 mm fan on the rear side of the power supply, just like a traditional ATX power supply (see Figure 2). This was done because there is not enough room for a fan on the bottom side of the product, since there is no available space inside the unit for anything else. Also, since this power supply uses two printed circuit boards, a fan located on the bottom of the unit wouldn’t cool the lower printed circuit board, and a fan located at the rear can cool down both boards.
Because of this very compact design will all circuitry squeezed in a very small form factor using a small fan we wondered if this unit wouldn’t suffer of any thermal issues. This is something we will play close attention during our tests.
On the front side of the unit we have a big mesh allowing air to enter the unit. You can see that there are two printed circuit boards inside the unit looking through this mesh.
This unit features active PFC (Power Factor Correction), which provides a better usage of the power grid and allows this power supply to comply with the European law, making OCZ able to sell it in that continent (you can read more about PFC on our Power Supply Tutorial). In Figure 2, you can see that this power supply doesn’t have an 110V/220V switch, feature available on power supplies with active PFC.
We assume that this power supply has a high efficiency (at least 80%) but what is strange is that precise information about efficiency isn’t available on OCZ’s website, on the product manual or on the product box. During our tests we will measure efficiency and we will see if there is any particular reason that OCZ isn’t talking about efficiency.
High efficiency power supplies consume less power from the power grid – an 80% efficiency means that 80% of the power pulled from the power grid will be converted in power on the power supply outputs and only 20% will be wasted, meaning a lower power bill – compare to below 70% on regular power supplies.
This power supply comes with eight peripheral power cables: four PCI Express auxiliary power cables for feeding up to four video cards, two peripheral power cables containing three standard peripheral power connectors and one floppy disk drive power connector each and two Serial ATA power cables containing three SATA power connectors each.
This power supply also comes with a 20/24-pin motherboard cable, one ATX12V cable and one EPS12V cable.
All wires are 18 AWG and we think OCZ should have used 16 AWG wires, which are a little bit thicker.
The finishing of the cables coming out of the power supply – something we always criticize – is just perfect, with the use of plastic sleeves coming from inside the unit.
Now let’s take a look at how OCZ ProXStream 1000 W looks like inside.