IN WIN Commander 1200W Power Supply Review

paulktreg - 2008-12-06 14:16:54 in Power Supplies
Category: Power Supplies
Reviewed by: paulktreg   
Reviewed on: January 6, 2009
Price: $319.99

Introduction:

If you were lucky enough to get two 4870X2 graphics cards from Santa and you intend running them in crossfire you are likely to need a new power supply. Research tells me a pair of these cards will pull somewhere in the region of 500W, so what size of power supply do you need? First consider the power requirements of a single 4870X2 graphics card. Many manufacturers will quote a 12V rail current or recommend a minimum power supply wattage, a quick look on the Internet and the first branded 4870X2 card I came across recommends a 650W power supply. Run two in crossfire and that's an awful lot of power! Is the quoted power supply wattage realistic? Probably not, but the graphic card manufacturers have to cover all bases. The 650W power supply comes in many forms, from the low end generic models to high end units costing several hundred dollars. The former won't deliver 650W and the latter will do it with ease, and this I feel is one reason graphic card manufacturers tend to recommend on the high side. So how many watts do we need for two 4870X2 in crossfire? Realistically a good quality 680-750W unit will probably do the job but there won't be much room to spare. If anybody asks me for a recommendation then I would say a 1000-1200W unit without hesitation. Why? I am a member of the run cool, quiet and efficiently school of thought and with a 1000 - 1200W power supply under the hood you do all three. Cool, because the power supply isn't stressed, quiet because the fan isn't at full throttle and efficiently because the power supply is running at approximately 50% of its rated output during heavy gaming. Let's also not forget the money invested in these two graphics cards. Do you really want to install a poor quality power supply of inadequate power output? This is my slant on things although I'm sure not everybody will agree. Let's have a look at a high power 1200W unit.

IN-WIN Development Inc., an ISO 9001 manufacturer of professional computer chassis, power supplies and digital storage devices, is the leading provider of enclosure solutions to system integrators worldwide. Founded in 1986, IN-WIN provides high quality chassis that conform to all safety regulations, as well as unsurpassed customer service

This time I will be looking at the IN WIN Commander 1200W power supply. Having recently looked at the 850W variant, which was a little disapointing - let's hope this one performs much better. This could be one of the power supplies I recommend for crossfired 4870X2's, let's have a closer look.....

Closer Look:

Similar to the previous 850W variant the IN WIN Commander 1200W comes in an even bigger ammunition box. The box is again finished in the same camouflage design with an IN WIN logo and power supply wattage in a yellow paint and stencil like design on the top of the box. On the base there is a list of features along with a detailed specification table.

 

 

The two side panels continue the camouflage theme with an IN WIN logo at their centres.

 

 

The camouflage design on the two end panels with small pictorial icons describing some of the main features of the IN WIN Commander 1200W on one panel and model number, barcodes and icons of the organisations for which the power supply has gained approval on the other.

 

 

Open up the box and the accessories are neatly stored above the foam protected power supply. Removal of the top foam cover reveals a neatly bubble wrapped power supply. Tucked in the space at the side there is a plastic sealed bag containing the modular cables, tie wrapped hard wired cables from the power supply and a cardboard box containing the power chord and four power supply mounting screws.

 

 

A bubbled wrapped IN WIN Commander 1200W out of the box and a photograph of the accessories. These include a user manual, black bag for storing the unused modular cables, white draw string bag bearing the In Win logo, for what I don't know, modular cable set and power cord box with mounting screws and three cable ties.

 

 

Overall the packaging offers good transit protection to the IN WIN Commander 1200W power supply and includes an accessory bundle on a par with most other units in its class. The review unit only came with three cable ties so come on IN WIN throw a few more in. The included white draw string bag remains a mystery, perhaps it's to keep the IN WIN Commander 1200W safe and snug if it's not fitted right away?

 

Closer Look:

The matte green paint finish on the IN WIN Commander 1200W is certainly different and looks well. You will probably notice from the photograph that this power supply is a little longer than standard power supply - nearly 8 inches, and this should be taken into account as not all cases will easily accommodate it.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The back panel containing the honeycombed exhaust grill, IEC mains connector and a nice large mains on/off switch. The front panel accommodates the modular cable connectors, complete with dust caps, hard wired cable port and a modular cable connector diagram with colour coded sockets for peripheral power (black), first PCI-E card auxiliary power (blue) and second PCI-E card auxiliary power (red).

 

 

One side panel with a repeat of the stencilled look logo and wattage similar to the box lid and a plain unadorned opposite face.

 

 

A large 140mm fan takes care of the cooling and the opposite face sports the specification label. The label is a little difficult to read as dark grey print on a black background is never a good combination.

 

 

The three hard wired cables that once again looks a little untidy because the sleeving has not been taken all the way into the case. A good selection of modular cables which are all color coded to match the sockets on the power supply.

 

 

The large 140mm cooling fan is a GP D14BH-12 type rated at 12v 0.7A. This Yate Loon manufactured fan is rated at 2800 RPM maximum and will shift 140 CFM of air. The quoted maximum noise level is 48.5dB which is rather noisy, we will see.

 

The photograph below shows the power supply printed circuit board from above and you may notice two main smoothing capacitors. The IN WIN Commander 1200W, like others in its class, would appear to be in effect two switch mode power supplies. Each side providing two of the four 12V rails and either the 3V3 or 5V0 via DC to DC convertors but without dismantling the power supply I can't tell exactly where the -12V and 5VSB rails are derived from but these are of such low power they would have negligible current draw on either side. I should also like to point out that this board looks very similar to the one used in the Corsair HX1000W power supply.

 

Two more internal views from different angles. You can see that the heatsink is highly finned to increase its surface area and maximise heat loss in conjunction with the large 140mm fan.

 

 

The IN WIN Commander 1200W build quality is very high. Heatshrink sleeving as been used to keep all the cables neatly bound which always helps to give a tidy appearance. The main smoothing capacitors carry a 85°C rating which is a little disapointing in a power supply of this class. 105°C rated capacitors seem to be the norm these days and do have a longer life expectancy. The board, which I mentioned earlier, is identical to the one used in the Corsair HX1000W and if it performs the same it should be a winner. It does however, supply another 200W, so it's either over driven or component upgrades have been made to accommodate the extra power. Let's have a look at the specification and then see how it performs.

 

Specification:

 

Ratings Table:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Model No.
IN WIN Commander 1200W (IRP-COM1200)
AC Input

100-240VAC    15A    47Hz/63Hz

DC Output
+3V3
+12V1
+12V4
+12V2
+12V3
+5V0
-12V
+5VSB
Output Current
30A
20A
36A
20A
36A
30A
0.8A
3.5A
Maximum
Combined
Wattage
 
1188W
 
 
 
600W
600W
9.6W
17.5W
1200W

 

System Protection:

 

Over Current Protection
Rail(s)
Trip Point
3V3
33A-50A
5V0
33A-50A
12V1+12V2
22A-35A
12V3+12V4
39A-55A

 

Over Voltage Protection
Rail(s)
Minimum Trip Point
3V3
4.5V
5V0
7.0V
12V
15.6V

 

Under Voltage Protection
Rail(s)
Maximum Trip Point
3V3
2.0V
5V0
3.3V
12V
8.5V

 

Short circuit protection all outputs to ground.

 

Safety & Agency Approvals:

 

CB, CE, FCC, UL, TUV, BSMI, WEEE & RoHS.

 

Power Supply Weight:

 

Power Supply Weight
Manufacturer/Model
Weight
IN WIN Commander 1200W
2.9kg
6.4lbs

 

Power Supply Connectors:

 

IN WIN Commander 850W Connectors
20+4 Pin Motherboard
Hard Wired
1
8 (4+4) Pin ATX/EPS 12V
Hard Wired
1
8 Pin EPS 12V
Hard Wired
1
Molex 4 Pin
Modular
8
SATA Power
Modular
10
FDD 4 Pin Power
Modular
2
PCI-Express 8 (6+2) Pin
Modular
   3
PCI-Express 6 Pin
Modular
3

 

Power Supply Cable Lengths:

 

Type
IN WIN Commander 1200W Cable Lengths
Qty
Hard Wired
PSU > 20” > 20+4 Motherboard
1
Hard Wired
PSU > 20” > 8 (4+4) Pin ATX/EPS 12V
1
Hard Wired
PSU > 20” > 8 Pin EPS 12V
1
Modular

PSU > 20” > Molex > 6” > Molex > 6” > Molex > 6” > Molex > 6” > FDD

2
Modular

PSU > 20” > SATA > 6” > SATA > 6” > SATA > 6” > SATA > 6” > SATA

2
Modular
PSU > 20” > PCI-Express 8 (6+2) Pin
3
Modular
PSU > 20” > PCI-Express 6 Pin
3

 

Features:

 

Exactly as printed on the box.

 

 

Testing:

For more information on how we test our power supplies, please browse our testing methodology.

Electrical Safety:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electrical Safety Test Class 1
Manufacturer/Model
Pass/Fail
IN WIN Commander 1200W
Pass

 

Short Circuit Protection:

I short circuited the 3V3, 5V0 and all four 12V lines in turn. The power supply did shut down, and once the short was removed and the unit switched off for at least one second, resumed normal operation. Although listed here at the beginning of the testing section, I tend to leave this test until the very end, in case it doesn't quite go to plan.

 

DC Output Voltage Load Regulation:

 

Mains Input Voltage 110VAC

 

 

110VAC - Total Load at 214W which is 18% of Rated Maximum Output Power.

PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.34
8.18
27.32
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.07
9.22
46.74
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.07
2.56
30.90
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.10
2.58
31.22
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(3)
12.10
2.56
30.98
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(4)
12.07
2.59
31.26
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
11.90
0.36
4.28
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
4.96
2.18
10.81
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total Power Supply Loading
214W
 

 

110VAC - Total Load at 646W which is 54% of Rated Maximum Output Power.

PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.34
8.10
27.05
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.06
9.05
45.79
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.13
11.47
139.13
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.09
11.56
139.76
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(3)
12.10
11.51
139.27
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(4)
12.13
11.52
139.74
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
12.12
0.37
4.48
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
4.95
2.18
10.79
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total Power Supply Loading
646W
 

 

110VAC - Total Load at 1192W which is 99% of Rated Maximum Output Power.

PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.33
12.73
42.40
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.05
13.75
69.44
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.21
22.07
269.47
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.09
22.32
269.85
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(3)
12.09
21.46
259.45
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(4)
12.21
21.79
266.05
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
12.33
0.38
4.68
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
4.94
2.18
10.77
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total Power Supply Loading
1192W
 

 

Mains Input Voltage 230VAC

 

 

230VAC - Total Load at 213W which is 18% of Rated Maximum Output Power.

PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.33
8.18
27.24
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.06
9.12
46.15
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.07
2.56
30.90
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.10
2.58
31.22
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(3)
12.10
2.55
30.85
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(4)
12.07
2.59
31.26
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
11.90
0.36
4.28
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
4.97
2.18
10.83
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total Power Supply Loading
213W
 

 

230VAC - Total Load at 646W which is 54% of Rated Maximum Output Power.

PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.34
8.12
27.12
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.06
9.10
46.04
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.12
11.43
138.53
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.10
11.57
139.99
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(3)
12.10
11.51
139.27
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(4)
12.11
11.54
139.75
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
12.11
0.37
4.48
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
4.95
2.18
10.79
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total Power Supply Loading
646W
 

 

230VAC - Total Load at 1193W which is 99% of Rated Maximum Output Power.

PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.34
12.73
42.52
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.06
13.77
69.68
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.23
22.02
269.30
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.10
22.29
269.71
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(3)
12.10
21.46
259.67
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(4)
12.23
21.77
266.25
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
12.35
0.38
4.69
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
4.94
2.18
10.77
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total Power Supply Loading
1193W
 

 

The 12V1 and 12V2 rails are rated for 20A maximium so technically speaking they are overloaded. It's not going to prove anything, most power supplies will easily cope with 10% extra, so don't read too much into it. The IN WIN Commander 1200W performed very well in this section and all the DC rails remained at optimum levels even at almost 100% loading.

 

Testing (Continued):

Efficiency and Power Factor:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN WIN Commander 1200W Output & Efficiency at 110VAC

DC Load (W)
AC Load (W)
PF
Efficiency (%)
Pass/Fail
0
10
0.55
N/A
N/A
214
268
0.99
80
Pass
646
769
1.00
84
Pass
1192
1498
1.00
80
Pass

 

IN WIN Commander 1200W Output & Efficiency at 230VAC

DC Load (W)
AC Load (W)
PF
Efficiency (%)
Pass/Fail
0
11
0.26
N/A
N/A
213
261
0.91
82
Pass
646
752
0.97
86
Pass
1193
1429
0.97
83
Pass

 

With efficiency at all times at or above 80% and power factor higher than 0.90 the IN WIN Commander 1200W meets the requirements of the claimed 80 Plus certification. The In Win Commander 1200W performs very well in this section with no real problems to report. Onward....

 

AC Ripple On DC Outputs:

 

The AC ripple/noise levels on the In Win Commander 1200W rails are marginally higher on a mains supply of 230VAC but only by a few millivolts. The oscilloscope photographs and figures given below are all for 230VAC.

 

AC Ripple On 3V3 Rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 10mv/div, Timebase = 10uS/div

 

AC Ripple On 5V0 Rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 10mv/div, Timebase = 10uS/div

 

AC Ripple On 12V1 Rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 20mv/div, Timebase = 10uS/div

 

IN WIN Commander 850W AC Ripple/Noise Measurements

DC Output
+3V3
+5V0
+12V
-12V0
+5VSB
Ripple (mV p-p)
50
50
110
60
40
Pass/Fail
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass

 

The AC noise/ripple levels on all the rails fall within the limits set by the ATX12V V2.2 specification and the IN WIN Commander 1200W therefore gets an overall pass in this section. No problems here so let's move on.....

 

Testing(Continued):

Temperature, Noise Levels and Fan Speeds:

 

 

 

 

 

I am not going to give a pass or fail in this section, as the ATX12V V2.2 does not really have any references on which to base a decision.

Temperatures are purely for information only, as there are too many variables involved when installed in a case, which, by the way, it wasn't. Ambient temperature, processor cooling efficiency and case cooling fans all play their part on the temperature of the air entering the power supply, and consequently the temperature of the air leaving it. No valid conclusions can be made from this test.

 

IN WIN Commander 1200W Temperature & Fan Speeds (230VAC)

DC Loading (W)
Temp In (°C)
Temp Out (°C)
Δ Temp (°C)
Fan Speed (RPM)
213
22.9
23.0
0.1
1047
646
22.2
31.2
9.0
1144
1193
21.2
34.7
13.5
2036

 

The IN WIN Commander 1200W remained cool at all times even with a load of 1193W. The no load fan speed of the IN WIN Commander 1200W is fairly high at just over 1000 RPM but even at this speed the fan noise is bearly audible. The fan speed along with noise does however ramp up and become quite noticeable when the unit is supplying just short of 1200W which is to be expected.

 

Conclusion:

Environmental Factors:

It's heavy which increases the transport costs, alternatives to the foam packaging and bubble wrap are available and is the inclusion of the black modular cable and white draw string bag really necessary? The 80 Plus certification which the IN WIN Commander 1200W proved during testing and RoHS compliance are a couple of plus points in this section.

 

Price Per the Watt:

Power Supply IN WIN Commander 1200W at $319.99 = $0.26/Watt (December 2008)

 

The IN WIN Commander 1200W is the first power supply I have tested that includes 3V3, 5V0 and 12V1 sensing wires in the 24 pin motherboard connector cable. Power supplies I have tested in the past have sensed these voltages as they leave the printed circuit board and adjusted the output accordingly. This does not take into account any voltage drop in the wires and what IN WIN have done is run separate non-current carrying thin gauge wires to monitor the voltage entering the motherboard at the 24 pin socket and adjust accordingly. This will ensure more stable and accurate voltages at the motherboard, it's a minor improvement but an improvement nonetheless and I expect to see this on other power supplies in the future.

The IN WIN Commander 1200W performed very well during testing and I have no problems to report. The DC rail voltages all held up very well even under full load and the AC ripple/noise levels were acceptable but did however get quite close to the ATX12V V2.2 limits. The requirements for 80 Plus certification were met with a maximum efficiency of 86% and although not quite meeting the 88% claimed it is still to be commended.

A minor concern, as was the case with the IN WIN Commander 850W, is the inclusion of a Nvidia SLI ready logo on the box lid. I checked the Nvidia website once more and at the time of writing this review there are no In Win power supplies listed in the certified power supply section. I am in no doubt that the IN WIN Commander 1200W will power any current dual card SLI or CrossfireX set up at the moment, but this question of Nvidia certification is something that needs addressing by IN WIN. Does the use of the Nvidia logo along with "SLI ready" imply the power supply has certification or is IN WIN just telling us, that in their opinion, the power supply is suitable for SLI configurations?

All things said I would not hesitate to recommend the IN WIN Commander 1200W power supply. It is a solid performer and will easily run any high end gaming systems available today with dual graphic card configuration. Its military theme won't suit everybody, but if you are in need of a 1200W power supply then you could make the mistake of choosing a power supply less capable than the IN WIN Commander 1200W.

If users register on our retail website www.inwin-style.com , they will get limited lifetime warranty instead of normal 3 years warranty.

Update: As of this time SLI Certification is ongoing and the complete Commander lineup is represented.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: