In Win Commander 850W Power Supply Review

paulktreg - 2008-12-06 14:15:29 in Power Supplies
Category: Power Supplies
Reviewed by: paulktreg   
Reviewed on: December 23, 2008
Price: $199.99

Introduction:

Physically speaking, one power supply is very much like another these days, and it must be difficult for the manufacturers to make their products stand out from the crowd. Performance should be the deciding factor but it's now getting more and more difficult to separate the quality branded power supplies from each other on that basis alone. If power supply performance alone is not going to be the deciding factor, then manufacturers are now having to make their power supplies stand out in different ways. Does it matter how the power supply looks, because once installed into the average PC enclosure it may not be seen for years? There are cases available, the clear acrylic being a fine example, that enables the PC enthusiast to show off the technological wonders inside their latest build. This time around I am going to look at one of the latest offerings from In Win, the Commander 850W, and its slightly unusual themed apperance.

Closer Look:

Looks like an army ammunition box doesn't it! The military theme is certainly different. The packaging is covered with a camouflage design so be careful were you put it, you may never find it again. The lid shows the In Win logo along with wattage, which is written in what could be described as a packaging crate stencil and paint type font, along with 80 Plus and SLI certified icons. Turn the box over and there is a feature list along with a detailed specification table.

 

 

Side panels contain a small In Win logo and the camouflage design.

 

 

Both end panels once again carry the camouflage design and the In Win logo. There are small pictograms showing some of the power supply features on one panel and barcode and agency approvals on the other.

 

 

Lift the lid and the first thing visible is the black modular cable case, and underneath this a white draw string bag. The power chord and screws are contained in a black cardboard box, modular cables enclosed in a sealed plastic bag and the power supply encased in bubble wrap.

 

 

I'm not sure the bubble wrap is sufficient protection; one good impact on the box side will certainly reach the power supply. A good selection of accessories are included:  a black modular cable storage bag, white draw string bag, instruction manual, four power supply mounting screws, cable ties, and power cord. You will notice there are only three cable ties.  Come on In Win, you can better than that, let's have ten! I must congratulate In Win on being the first manufacturer to supply the correct UK power cord.

 

 

Not sure about the camouflage design, but it's different and I feel certain it will appeal to some people. The box contents are pretty good, but a few more cable ties would be nice. Let's have a closer look at the power supply.

 

Closer Look:

I have to say that this is the first green coloured power supply I have seen but, in line with the military theme, what other colour could it be? The matte dark green paint is slightly textured and I have to say it does look good. Tied up neatly round the back is the only hard wired cable on the Commander 850W, the 20+4-pin motherboard cable. In my opinion the ATX12V/EPS12V cable should be hard wired as this cable is used in the vast majority of installations and there is no need to make it modular.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rear panel displays the exhaust grill, along with IEC main input, a main on/off switch and the modular cable connector panel on the front. This is the first time I've seen dust/protection caps on all the modular cable sockets. The modular cable sockets, although you can't really see it in the photograph, are colour coded.  Red for PCI-E power and black for peripheral power, along with an indication of which 12V rail is utilised.

 

 

On the side of the power supply, in the packing crate font, there is the In Win logo, power supply wattage, mains input specification, and small pictograms depicting some of the power supply features. The other side of the power supply is blank but I feel it should be the same as the other side so that it's visible from both sides, should anyone want to show it off.

 

 

Large 140mm black seven bladed fan is used for the cooling, complete with a matte, black grill. The opposite face contains a black specification label with grey writing.

 

 

Below are some photographs of the hard wired 20+4-pin motherboard connector and the full set of modular cables. The PCI-E power cables, as previously mention, have red plugs to match the red sockets on the power supply.

 

 

The 140mm seven bladed fan is by GP (D14BH-12 12V 0.7A) and comes complete with a clear plastic baffle to direct the air flow were it's needed.

 

When I first saw the board in the In Win Commander 850W I thought I'd seen it somewhere before, and upon investigation it looks very similar to the board used in the Corsair TX750W. It's by the same manufacturer, CWT Co. Ltd, and apart from using a different heatsink design I'm almost sure it is the same board. There may, of course, be some other upgrades, which I will not see without a complete strip down, or possibly the heatsink design change may be enough to enable the higher power output. We will see.

 

The electrolytics with visible markings were of the more acceptable 105°C rating.

 

 

The military theme of the Commander 850W is definitely different, but I feel it needs to perform well if it's going to sell. It's a well built unit with electronics that I have previously found to be an excellent performer in the Corsair TX750W, will the extra 100W make a difference?  Lets find out.

 

Specification:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ratings Table:

 

Model No.
In Win Commander 850W (IRP-COM850)
AC Input

100-240VAC    10A/5A    47Hz/63Hz

DC Output
+5V0
+3V3
+12V1
+12V2
+12V3
+12V4
-12V
+5VSB
Output Current
30A
30A
18A
18A
30A
30A
0.8A
3A
Maximum
Combined
Wattage
180W
744W
N/A*
N/A*
N/A*
N/A*
850W

 

* The included power supply literature gives a combined maximum wattage for the 3V3 + 5V0 rails and 12V combined maximum wattage only.  No other combined wattage figures are given.

 

System Protection:

 

Over Current Protection
Rail(s)
Trip Point
3V3
55A
5V0
55A
12V1+12V2
35A
12V3+12V4
38A

 

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

 

Over power, under voltage and short circuit protection are also built-in. (No specific figures given).

 

Safety & Agency Approvals:

 

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

 

Power Supply Weight:

 

Power Supply Weight
Manufacturer/Model
Weight
In Win Commander 850W
2.2kg
4.8lbs

 

Power Supply Connectors:

 

In Win Commander 850W Connectors
20+4 Pin Motherboard
Hard Wired
1
8 (4+4) Pin ATX/EPS 12V
Modular
1
Molex 4 Pin
Modular
7
SATA Power
Modular
8
FDD 4 Pin Power
Modular
1
PCI-Express 8 (6+2) Pin
Modular
4

 

Power Supply Cable Lengths:

 

Type
In Win Commander 850W Cable Lengths
Qty
Hardwired
PSU > 20” > 20+4 Motherboard
1
Modular
PSU > 20” > 8 (4+4) Pin ATX/EPS 12V
1
Modular

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

1
Modular

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

1
Modular

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

2
Modular
PSU > 20” > PCI-Express 8 (6+2) Pin
4

 

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 850W
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 as planned.

 

DC Output Voltage Load Regulation:

 

Mains Input Voltage 110VAC

 

 

110VAC - Total Load at 172W which is 20% of Rated Maximum Output Power.

PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.37
3.17
10.68
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.12
4.75
24.32
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.05
2.54
30.61
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.02
2.55
30.65
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(3)
12.03
2.50
30.07
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(4)
12.03
2.56
30.80
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
11.94
0.35
4.18
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
5.09
2.14
10.89
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total Power Supply Loading
172W
 

 

110VAC - Total Load at 454W which is 53% of Rated Maximum Output Power.

PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.37
7.98
26.89
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.12
4.72
24.17
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.03
8.00
96.24
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.11
8.02
97.12
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(3)
12.06
8.06
97.20
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(4)
12.07
8.03
96.92
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
12.13
0.36
4.37
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
5.10
2.14
10.91
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total Power Supply Loading
454W
 

 

110VAC - Total Load at 842W 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
3.37
12.41
41.82
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.12
13.55
69.38
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.00
11.35
136.20
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.16
11.27
137.04
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(3)
12.05
18.30
220.51
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(4)
12.08
18.40
222.27
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
12.32
0.37
4.56
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
5.08
2.13
10.82
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total Power Supply Loading
842W
 

 

Mains Input Voltage 230VAC

 

 

230VAC - Total Load at 171W which is 20% of Rated Maximum Output Power.

PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.37
3.16
10.65
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.12
4.73
24.22
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.01
2.53
30.38
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.04
2.53
30.46
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(3)
12.03
2.51
30.19
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(4)
12.03
2.56
30.80
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
11.94
0.35
4.18
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
5.09
2.14
10.89
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total Power Supply Loading
171W
 

 

230VAC - Total Load at 454W which is 53% of Rated Maximum Output Power.

PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.37
8.04
27.09
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.12
4.72
24.17
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.11
7.99
96.76
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.03
8.03
96.60
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(3)
12.06
8.06
97.20
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(4)
12.08
8.01
96.76
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
12.13
0.36
4.37
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
5.09
2.14
10.89
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total Power Supply Loading
454W
 

 

230VAC - Total Load at 842W 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
3.37
12.38
41.72
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.12
13.58
69.52
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.01
11.33
136.07
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.16
11.26
136.92
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(3)
12.06
18.32
220.94
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(4)
12.04
18.38
221.29
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
12.32
0.37
4.56
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
5.09
2.14
10.89
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total Power Supply Loading
842W
 

 

The DC output voltage load regulation of the In Win Commander 850W is excellent. The graphs show the 3V3, 5V0 and 12V rails to be more or less a straight line from zero to full load at 110VAC and 230VAC. No problems here, so let's move on.

 

Testing:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Efficiency and Power Factor:

 

Output & Efficiency at 110VAC
DC Load (W)
AC Load (W)
PF
Efficiency (%)
Pass/Fail
0
10
0.54
N/A
N/A
172
215
0.99
80
Pass
454
547
0.99
83
Pass
842
1088
0.99
77
Pass

 

Output & Efficiency at 230VAC
DC Load (W)
AC Load (W)
PF
Efficiency (%)
Pass/Fail
0
11
0.26
N/A
N/A
172
211
0.91
82
Pass
454
534
0.95
85
Pass
842
1051
0.98
80
Pass

 

The In Win Commander 850W easily meets the ATX12V V2.2 specification and therefore gets a pass in this section. The claimed 80 Plus certification is however, not quite met, with a 77% efficiency on 110VAC at full load. The In Win Commander 850W isn't the first, and won't be the last to trip at this hurdle. Higher than 80% efficiency on 110VAC at full load appears to be quite difficult to attain. Power factor at all times is above 0.9, and as is usually the case, maintained at 0.99 at all times on 110VAC. Overall the results for the In Win Commander 850W in this section are very good.

 

AC Ripple On DC Outputs:

 

I have consistently found the AC ripple levels on the DC rails to be more or less equal with a 110VAC or 230VAC mains supply, and the IN Win Commander 850W is no different. The results given below are for 230VAC only, the values for 110VAC being virtually identical.

 

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 = 100mv/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
250
60
30
Pass/Fail
Pass
Pass
Fail
Pass
Pass

 

Probably one of the worse noise levels I have seen on a 12V rail, and more than twice the 120mV limit stipulated in the ATX12V V2.2 specification.  All other levels are within specification. I will have more to say on this later.

 

Testing:

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.

 

DC Loading
Temp In (°C)
Temp Out (°C)
Δ Temp (°C)
Fan Speed (RPM)
172W
21.4
31.7
10.3
1015
454W
23.1
41.9
18.8
1011
842W
21.8
50.1
28.3
2025

 

These are temperatures a little higher than I have seen before, but it shouldn't prove to be a problem--there won't be too many users pulling 842W! There are no graphs for fan speed against output power so I cannot really tell you at what power and how fast the fan speed ramps up, but the fan noise at 172W and 454W was really quite low.  But, at full load, the fan ramped up to a massive 2025 RPM and became quite noisy.

 

Conclusion:

Environmental Factors:

On the plus side, no foam along with good efficiency and consistently high power factor all help the environment. If, as suggested by In Win, you keep the box to put all your treasure in, then that's one less discarded cardboard box. I've got to say it, this is probably one of the greenest power supplies I have tested!

 

Price Per the Watt:

Power Supply In Win Commander 850W at $199.99 = $0.24/Watt (December 2008)

 

The In Win Commander 850W got off to a great start with excellent DC voltage load regulation and very commendable efficiency, but what really lets it down is the high ripple/noise level present on the 12V rail. In Win have not tried to hide this fact and it states a maximum value of 240mV in the power supply specification, which means the Commander 850W does not meet the ATX12V V2.2 specification of 120mV maximum.

I mentioned earlier that the board used in the In Win Commander 850W is almost identical (upgraded heatsinks being the only obvious change but there could be others) to the board used in the Corsair TX750W, and I can't help but feel that In Win have attempted to drive it a little harder than its design specification. The board is built by CWT and screen printing on the printed circuit board shows the board is used for multiple power supply designs from 350W to 750W, but not 850W. This would go some way toward explaining the excessive noise levels on the 12V rails, and slightly elevated temperatures along with the high RPM of the fan at full load.

The box lid shows an Nvidia SLI ready logo, but the In Win brand is not currently listed, in any section, as an Nvidia certified device at the time of writing this review. I have no doubt it will easily power any existing dual configuration, but it isn't certified.

The results for the In Win Commander 850W are a little dissapointing, especially the high ripple/noise level on the 12V rails. It comes with a good selection of modular cables and accessories and I have no doubt its military themed design will appeal to some people. Noise aside, the power supply does perform quite well, so I have no hesitation in recommending this power supply for use on any system running at stock frequencies for CPU and GPU.  The high noise level will not prove to be a problem in this case. Overclocked systems require solid and stable rails, and for this reason I find it difficult to recommend the In Win Commander 850W for use by the overclocking enthuiast when better performing power supplies are currently available at a similar or better price.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: