Sapphire Pure 1250W Power Supply Reviewpaulktreg - October 29, 2009
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Closer Look (The Power Supply):
The Sapphire Pure 1250W power supply paint finish is slightly unusual in that there is a slight brushed texture underneath the high gloss metallic black paint. It looks very well, but fingerprints are easily visible and careful handling will be required to avoid unsightly scratches.
The exhaust grille at the rear of the power supply utilises as much room as possible with the IEC mains input connector, mains on/off switch and PowerGuard indicator LED occupying the top corner. The front face of the power supply also carries a small area of grille which will unfortunately mean some hot air is pushed back into the power supply enclosure, so good air flow through the case may be needed for some PC configurations. The modular cable connectors are neatly laid out with black connectors for peripheral/SATA cables and red for the PCI-E cables. Slightly puzzling that there are four red PCI-E connectors and only three modular cables to fit these sockets; perhaps this is for future upgrades, with extra cables available from Sapphire, for the mystery 12 pin connector mentioned in the feature list? The user manual does make reference more optional connectors being available but I was unable to find any reference to them on the Sapphire website.
A comprehensive specification label occupies one side of the power supply, the other left blank and if you look carefully, you can just see the slight brushed texture of the paint finish caught in the light.
The photograph below shows the 140mm polished silver case fan covered with a gold fan guard with the Sapphire logo at its centre. This particular fan is LED lit which I will show in all its glory later on in the review. The base of the power supply carries production barcodes and stickers used during the manufacturing process for quality control, testing and indentification.
The captive and modular cable sets. The more observant of you will notice the captive cable for the two 6+2 pin PCI-E connectors leaves the power supply as one braided bundle and then splits into two after approximately one quarter of the length and the three PCI-E modular cables follow the same design. It keeps things a little tidier. The cooling fan RPM detector cable can be seen at the rear.
The fan used in the Sapphire Pure 1250W is manufactured by Power Cooler, utilises Twister Bearing Technology and is rated at 12VDC/0.75A with a model number of PD1402512H. I couldn't find any information on this manufacturer or model number on the Internet, but similar designs point to the fan using dual ball bearings and a frictionless magnetic drive to reduce wear. The photograph on the left shows the fan mounting with a small clear plastic baffle utilised to direct the air where it's needed. The photograph on the right shows the LEDs and current limiting resistors mounted on the inside rim of the fan housing.
I couldn't find any marks on the printed circuit board to identify any particular manufacturer, but it does look exactly like the Enermax 85+ 1250W power supply. The printed circuit board is well made and uses a mixture of 85°C and 105°C electrolytic capacitors by Nippon Chemi-Con. The claim that the Sapphire Pure 1250W power supply uses solid state capacitors is partially true, because I can only see them on the printed circuit board at the rear of the unit on which the modular cables connectors are mounted. The main purpose of the base-mounted main printed circuit board would appear to be 12V production with the 3V3 and 5V rails derived via DC to DC convertors on the modular connector board mentioned previously and shown below in the photograph vertically mounted at the rear of the power supply.
It's not unusual to see two main transformers (the third smaller one will be for the +5VSB rail) in units of this rating, but I can't really see how they are configured. Quite often you find two 12V rails with the 3V3 taken from one and the 5V0 rail from the other, but this is usually reflected in the specification table and the combined wattage groupings, but the specification table for this unit doesn't indicate this configuration. The mains transient filter components are all there and the unit uses high quality aluminium heat sinks with a very large surface area, which will be needed to dissipate large amounts of heat when delivering 1250 watts of power.
The Sapphire Pure 1250W ticks all the right boxes so far with well designed and laid out packaging, good build quality and good looks. Let's have a look at the more important factor - performance.