Mushkin XP-800AP 800W Review

ajmatson - 2008-03-20 21:24:07 in Power Supplies
Category: Power Supplies
Reviewed by: ajmatson   
Reviewed on: April 9, 2008
Price: $185.81 - $219.99


One of the most overlooked components when building a computer is the power supply. More attention is paid to the CPU and other speedy components, but sometimes there is no thought to what is going to power them. There is often a misconception on what brand or type of power supply to purchase when building a new computer. Are all power supplies considered equal? Would you "settle" for a Celeron Processor since it looks and specs like a Core 2 Duo? Of course not. So why should you skimp on a power supply? With the number of new products coming out for computers these days, you need to make sure you have enough power to run them all. There are so many power supplies on the market, how do you choose the right one? There are many factors one must consider when choosing a power supply for your system. Efficiency, connections, and design are some of these factors that will help determine the power supply that's best for you.

Mushkin, known for its high quality memory, offers high performance power supplies as well. One of these power supplies is the XP-800AP. The Mushkin XP-800AP is an 800 watt power supply with four 12-volt rails to power an extreme system, and then some. The Mushkin XP-800AP features technologies like ActivePFC and RailFusion to keep your system operating smoothly while being Eco-Friendly. So will the Mushkin XP-800AP be enough? Will it provide the power that is needed to sustain your powerful system? Let's take a look and find out.


Closer Look:

The Mushkin XP-800AP comes boxed in a black box with a green pattern on it and the Mushkin logo. The front of the box lists the features of the XP-800AP and the sides have the specifications, package contents, and a brief summary of technology that went into making the Mushkin XP-800AP Power Supply.








Opening the top of the box reveals an inner box that houses the extra cables. The power supply, main power plug, mounting screws, and cable ties are underneath.




Now let's unpack this power generating beast and let's see what it is made of.

Closer Look:

The Mushkin XP-800AP power supply is made of a shiny chrome-like housing. This power supply uses a semi-hybrid modular design keeping the most important cables, the main power and PCI-e cables, soldered to the PSU for better efficiency, and the others for peripherals in a modular setup. This keeps the cables hanging around in the case to a minimum and aids in cooling. There are eight connection spots, called EZ-Plugs, for the extra cables that will be shown below. There is a 135mm fan included, which is illuminated by four green LED's to brighten the inside of the case.














Opening the case consists of four screws on the bottom of the PSU near the fan. I advise you not to do this, as it will void your warranty and may cause severe harm. We here at will do this for you so that you will not have to do it yourself. Once the top of the case is removed, you have a better view of the insides and the large cooling fan.




Looking around in the inside, you see the huge 470uF capacitor that on the PC board that is used to maintain a stable current when power fluctuates. Near the back is the inside of the main power connection that allows the power to go from the wall to the inside of the PSU. There are large heatsinks that cover the rails to keep them cool as the air from the fan passes over them. There is also the wires from the main plugs and the EZ-Plugs that are soldered to the board.



There is also a great feature worth mentioning here. The Mushkin XP-800AP has a special feature that allows you to operate the power supply on four rails or on a single rail, depending on your setup and power requirements. This change is initiated by a simple switch on the back of the power supply by the main power switch; slide one way and you have the single-rail setup and the other way for a quad-rail setup.


Closer Look:

There is no shortage of connections for the Mushkin XP-800AP. Connected directly to the body of the power supply is the 20+4-pin main ATX plug, a 4+4-pin CPU power plug, and two 6+2-pin PCI-Express plugs for multiple cards or one card that requires two power connections.














In addition to the main plugs, there are the EZ-Plug modular connectors to support hard drives, DVD drives, fans and even more graphics cards. There are eight ports on the power supply for the extra connectors. Included in the box are three SATA cables supporting up to eight devices, two standard 4-pin power cables supporting up to six devices and two floppy drives, and two PCI-Express cables supporting two more 6+2-pin connections.



Now that we have the basis down for the Mushkin XP-800AP power supply, let's move on to the testing phase of the review.



+12V1 DC

0.5A Min / 20.0A Max

+12V2 DC

0.5A Min / 20.0A Max

+12V3 DC

0.5A Min / 20.0A Max

+12V4 DC

0.5A Min / 20.0A Max

+5V DC

1.0A Min / 26.0A Max

+3.3V DC

0.5A Min / 26.0A Max

-12V DC

0.0A Min /0.8A Max


0.0A Min / 3.0A Max





How will I know if this power supply delivers the watts? I need to test how it performs under load, verifying the voltages. With that being said, I can finally start testing the unit. To put this power supply through its paces, I will run a series of tests to load the Mushkin XP-800AP to simulate heavy gaming usage. The testing procedure will include running Stressprime 2004 Orthos Edition to stress the CPU and memory, HDtune to load the hard drives, and 3DMark06 Professional to stress the video card. The test system includes four high-CFM 120mm Antec blue LED fans and one 80mm Ultra blue LED fan to add additional load to the 12-volt line. Additionally, a custom Danger Den water cooling setup will be connected to add more load to the XP-800AP. Voltage measurements will be taken with my trusty voltmeter.


Testing Tools:

Testing Setup:








The Mushkin XP-800AP ran strong during the testing, but evened out even closer to true values under load, never dipping below the specified voltage. Even switching between the single and quad rails did not affect the performance.



This power supply will make any owner very happy. It provides very stable power and has the connections to power any current system, including ones with multiple graphics card setups. With four PCI-Express connections, a user can power up to four cards with single 6-pin power requirements or two cards with the 6- and 8-pin dual-power requirements. The XP-800AP has an aesthetically pleasing look to it, and the nice green glow from the 135mm fan, which is thermally controlled for quiet operation, makes the inside of the case light up nicely. However, it would have been nice to have options for different LED colors for users with different case setups, or even the option to turn the LED's off, but that is strictly a personal preference. The XP-800AP runs very silent with the included fan, yet still remains cool during operation. The semi-modular system is great for people like me who hate the clutter in their case. When you are pushing your hardware to the limits and creating more heat than normal, the choice of being able to remove unnecessary cables increases the air flow through the case, thus keeping the hardware cooler. In addition, I think Mushkin has hit a homerun with the RailFusion system. This will combine the rails to increase power when it is needed so the system does not bog down. Mushkin also gives users the ability to switch between using all four 12v rails or a single one based on their needs.

The Mushkin XP-800AP may be a little more price-wise than some of its competitors, but remember, you get what you pay for. The quality that went into designing the XP-800AP shows with its features and performance. Mushkin took raw power and performance and placed it into a great looking product for any enthusiast or system builder to be proud of. If you are looking for a power supply that will not let you down, I would strongly recommend the 800W XP-800AP. With a rating of up to 85% efficiency, it has taken the place of my other power supply in my main testing rig to provide me the stability I need while reviewing components. Also, with a five year warranty from Mushkin, you will never have to worry about your system being without the power it needs.