Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W Power Supply Review

paulktreg - 2011-04-06 12:17:09 in Power Supplies
Category: Power Supplies
Reviewed by: paulktreg   
Reviewed on: June 9, 2011
Price: $159.99

Introduction:

Sentey isn't a brand that immediately springs to mind, but perhaps things are about to change? The company's main manufacturing plant is based in Shenzen, China, with headquarters in Florida, USA, and an operations center in Walnut, California, along with new distribution centers in Latin America. Sentey was created with the goal of providing high end computing products that meet the need of the computer enthusiast.

Many of you may never have heard of Sentey, but its products are now available on a popular North American Internet-based computer parts supplier. Its website product portfolio includes what are now a range of very dated graphics cards, computer enclosures, a small range of 80mm and 120mm fans, and a range of power supplies. This time around, OCC is going to take a look at one of its power supply offerings. The Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W power supply is a modular unit with 80 Plus Gold rating for efficiency, flat modular cables, and a very respectable seven year warranty. Let’s have a closer look and see how well it performs.

Closer Look:

The gloss packaging of the Sentey Golden Power 850W power supply uses black, white and gold as its theme. The top of the box shows the Sentey "Building Dreams" logo, a photograph of the power supply, a stickered model number and wattage, 80 Plus Gold and 7 year warranty logos, and various features. The underside of the box contains the feature list in three different languages, connector types, and quantities and conformance marks. This box, because of the stickered model number on the top and connector table for four different models, is obviously used for the entire power supply series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The front face has a convenient carry handle, while the opposite face repeats much of the information already provided.

 

 

One side panel again repeats the information already given and on the opposite face is the specification table for the four power supplies in the series.

 

 

Lift the lid and there’s a layer of white foam to protect the top of the power supply. The power supply user manual sits on top of the plastic bag-enclosed power supply, with the modular cable bag, captive cables and power cord stored neatly at its side.

 

 

The power supply along with the full box contents, which includes a modular cable bag, user manual, power cord, and thumb screws for mounting.

 

 

The Sentey Golden Power 850W power supply has foam protection where it’s needed and includes a basic, but perfectly adequate set of accessories. Let’s move on and have a closer look.

Closer Look:

The Sentey Golden Power 850W power supply is nicely finished off with a slightly textured satin black paint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A large, hexagonal-holed exhaust grill, mains input IEC connector, mains on/off switch, and an active PFC sticker occupy the rear panel. On the front face of the power supply is the modular cable connector panel, along with a plastic-lined cable exit port to prevent damage from sharp metal edges. The captive cable set is screened all the way into the power supply, which is nice to see. The modular cable connector panel is universal — any lead into any socket — and it’s a feature I don’t like to see on high end power supplies. This sort of arrangement means the +3V3 and +5V rails have to be available on all the 8-pin sockets, so when it comes to the 8-pin PCI-E modular cables, it’s two ground wires short at the power supply end and linked at the graphics card connector. You won’t see this sort of arrangement on very high end power supplies.

 

 

Yellow, white and black labels are used to good effect — a specification label on one side panel and on the other, the power supply wattage is clearly shown along with the model number, 80 Plus Gold, and the Sentry logo.

 

 

The large, black, 140m cooling fan is covered with black grill bearing the Sentey logo at its center. The underside of the power supply is plain, apart from a label that acknowledges Ultra Products as the patent holder of the modular technology used by the Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W power supply.

 

 

The captive set consists of a motherboard 20/24-pin connector, EPS12V 8-pin connector, EPS/ATX 4+4-pin connector, 6-pin PCI-E connector, and a 6+2-pin PCI-E connector. The two PCI-E connectors are daisy chained onto the same cable set, something you don’t often see on high end power supplies. The modular cable set provides more than enough connectors, with black plugs for peripherals and red plugs for the PCI-E graphics cards. A particularly nice feature here is a peripheral cable set that has 4-pin peripheral and SATA connectors on the same chain — very useful for any user with a mixture of 4-pin peripheral and SATA devices, who would like to keep the cable count down.

 

 

The cooling fan is a Sentey-branded 140mm unit with dual ball bearing design. It’s impossible to determine the actual manufacturer, but at least it should be durable and quiet. The printed circuit board is neatly laid out and well made, making use of a mixture of high quality Japanese electrolytic rated at 105 °C and some solid state capacitors.

 

 

The Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W power supply is a well made unit with good quality packaging and, apart from one or two minor hiccups with the modular cable configuration, no real problems.

Specification:

 

Review Sample: Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W Power Supply, Part Number GSP850-SM.

 

Ratings Table:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W (GSP850-SM) Power Supply Specification Table
AC Input
115-240VAC     10A     50-60Hz
DC Output
+3V3
+5V
+12V
-12V
+5VSB
Maximum Load
24A
24A
70A
0.5A
3A
Maximum Combined Wattage
120W
840W
6W
15W
850W

 

System Protection:

 

No specific figures given for system protection parameters. See feature list for details.

 

Safety & Agency Approvals:

 

TUV, CE, FCC, C-Tick @ RoHS.

 

Power Supply Physical Characteristics:

 

Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W (GSP850-SM) Power Supply Physical Characteristics
Weight
Length
Width
Height
5.3lbs/2.4kg
7.1in/180mm
5.9in/150mm
3.4in/86mm

 

Power Supply Connectors:

 

Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W (GSP850-SM) Power Supply Specification Table
Connector Type
Qty
Motherboard 20/24-Pin
1
EPS12V 8-Pin
1
ATX12V/EPS12V 4+4-Pin
1
PCI-E 6-Pin
3
PCI-E 6+2-Pin
3
SATA Power 15-Pin
10
Peripheral 4-Pin
7
FDD 4-Pin
1

 

Power Supply Cable Lengths:

 

Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W (GSP850-SM) Power Supply Specification Table
Cable Type
Cable Length/Connector Spacing’s
Qty
Captive
PSU > 22" > Motherboard 20/24-Pin
1
Captive
PSU > 24" > EPS12V 8-Pin
1
Captive
PSU > 24" > ATX12V/EPS12V 4+4-Pin
1
Captive
PSU > 22" > PCI-E 6-Pin > 6" > PCI-E 6+2-Pin
1
Modular
PSU > 20" > Periph. > 6" > Periph. > 6" > Periph. > 6" > Periph. > 6" > FDD
1
Modular
PSU > 20" > SATA > 6" > SATA > 6" > Periph. > 6" > Periph. > 6" > Periph.
1
Modular
PSU > 20" > SATA > 6" > SATA > 6" > SATA > 6" > SATA
2
Modular
PSU > 24" > PCI-E 6-Pin
2
Modular
PSU > 24" > PCI-E 6+2-Pin
2

 

Features:

Exactly as printed in the user manual.

 

 

All information courtesy of Sentey @ http://www.sentey.com/en_productos_details.php?tipo=Fuentes&ctg=Golden%20Steel%20Power%20SM∏=gsp850-sm

Testing:

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

Throughout the tables, all passes will be highlighted with green text, while failures will be in red.

 

Short Circuit Protection:

I short circuited the 3V3, 5V0, and 12V rails 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:

In an ideal world, the ATX power supply, or any other for that matter, should maintain its DC rails at a constant voltage, but this is very difficult to achieve due to variations in the AC mains supply and changing DC load levels. The ATX12V V2.2 specification limits for this variation, expressed as a percentage, at either side of the ideal voltage, are given in the table below.

 

PSU Rail
Range
Minimum
Nominal
Maximum
+3V3
±5%
+3.14V
+3.30V
+3.47V
+5V
±5%
+4.75V
+5.00V
+5.25V
+12V
±5%*
+11.40V
+12.00V
+12.60V
-12V
±10%
-10.80V
-12.00V
-13.20V
+5VSB
±5%
+4.75V
+5.00V
+5.25V

 

*The +12V rail is permitted to go to ±10% at its rated maximum DC load.

There is no unit associated with voltage regulation, it is a simple ratio expressed as a percentage.

Voltage regulation VR= ([V no load – V full load] / V full load) x 100%

This equation is used to measure the voltage regulation of a simple single rail power supply, but measuring the voltage regulation of the ATX power supply and the difference from the specified rail voltage will require a slightly different tack.

ATX Power Supply regulation = ([V measured - V specified] / V measured) x 100%

This will give the difference as a percentage from the specified rail voltage, +3.3V, +5V, +12V, etc.

There will be very few, if any, power supply failures in this section. The switched mode power supply is very good at maintaining its rails at the correct voltage — they are constantly monitored and any changes are instantly fed back to the control circuitry and the necessary adjustments made to correct any error. So why test? The tighter the regulation, the better — ±5% is acceptable, ±3% is very good, and ±2% is excellent. The quality of the regulation is a useful indicator of the power supply’s overall quality.

 

Mains Input Voltage 110VAC

 

 

Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W (GSP850-SM) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 116VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
0
3.37V
±5%
+2.1%
+5V
0
5.15V
±5%
+3.0%
+12V
0
12.36V
±5%
+3.0%
-12V
0
11.98V
±10%
-0.2%
+5VSB
0
5.14V
±5%
+2.8%
Total PSU DC Loading = 0W (0% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W (GSP850-SM) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 115VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
10.55W
3.36V
±5%
+1.8%
+5V
24.32W
5.12V
±5%
+2.4%
+12V
128.23W
12.33V
±5%
+2.8%
-12V
4.23W
11.75V
±10%
-2.1%
+5VSB
10.27W
5.01V
±5%
+0.2%
Total PSU DC Loading = 178W (21% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W (GSP850-SM) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 113VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
10.69W
3.35V
±5%
+1.5%
+5V
24.63W
5.11V
±5%
+2.2%
+12V
397.92W
12.35V
±5%
+2.9%
-12V
4.24W
11.77V
±10%
-1.9%
+5VSB
10.11W
4.93V
±5%
-1.4%
Total PSU DC Loading = 448W (53% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W (GSP850-SM) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 108VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
42.44W
3.30V
±5%
0
+5V
72.07W
4.97V
±5%
-0.6%
+12V
690.96W
12.21V
±5%
+1.7%
-12V
4.27W
11.85V
±10%
-1.2%
+5VSB
9.84W
4.90V
±5%
-2.0%
Total PSU DC Loading = 820W (96.5% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Mains Input Voltage 230VAC

 

 

Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W (GSP850-SM) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 244VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
0
3.37V
±5%
+2.1%
+5V
0
5.15V
±5%
+3.0%
+12V
0
12.36V
±5%
+3.0%
-12V
0
11.98V
±10%
-0.2%
+5VSB
0
5.14V
±5%
+2.8%
Total PSU DC Loading = 0W (0% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W (GSP850-SM) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 245VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
10.68W
3.36V
±5%
+1.8%
+5V
24.53W
5.11V
±5%
+2.2%
+12V
127.98W
12.33V
±5%
+2.7%
-12V
4.24W
11.77V
±10%
-1.9%
+5VSB
10.17W
4.96V
±5%
-0.8%
Total PSU DC Loading = 178W (21% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W (GSP850-SM) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 243VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
10.65W
3.35V
±5%
+1.5%
+5V
24.68W
5.11V
±5%
+2.2%
+12V
397.57W
12.32V
±5%
+2.7%
-12V
4.23W
11.76V
±10%
-2.0%
+5VSB
2.05W
4.94V
±5%
-1.2%
Total PSU DC Loading = 447W (52.5% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W (GSP850-SM) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 241VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
42.57W
3.30V
±5%
0
+5V
72.81W
4.97V
±5%
-0.6%
+12V
690.59W
12.21V
±5%
+1.7%
-12V
4.25W
11.83V
±10%
-1.4%
+5VSB
9.96W
4.86V
±5%
-2.8%
Total PSU DC Loading = 820W (96.5% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

The Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W power supply produced an excellent set of results in this section. The actual DC voltage regulation was no worse than ±3% from the ideal on all the rails. No problems here, so let's move on.

Testing:

Efficiency and Power Factor:

Efficiency is a measure of the ATX power supply's ability to minimize losses during the conversion of the AC mains voltage into multiple DC rails. It is a simple ratio of output power measured in watts, over input power measured in watts expressed as a percentage. It has no affect whatsoever on the power supply’s ability to power a PC, but with higher efficiency comes less heat and lower utility bills. It’s also "green" and friendlier to the environment, which is the driving force behind the 80 Plus certification program.

Power factor is a strange beast that’s difficult to fully explain without the use of complex AC theory, so let’s keep it simple. Power factor doesn’t have a unit of measurement, it’s a simple number from 0 to 1 that is concerned with the way various loads consume power, and the nearer to unity the better. It is closely linked to 80 Plus certification because low power factors imply wasted energy that the normal domestic consumer does not get charged for, but the utility companies still have to generate.

Supply at 110VAC:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W (GSP850-SM) Efficiency & Power Factor
Supply = 110VAC/50Hz
DC Load (W)
0
178
448
820
DC Load As A Percent Of Max (%)
N/A
21
53
96
Efficiency (%)
N/A
86
89
85
Power Factor (PF)
0.55
0.99
0.99
0.99

 

The Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W power supply didn’t quite hit the required 80 Plus Gold levels for efficiency following the OCC power supply testing methodology, but this is usually the case. The 80 Plus tests are done at predetermined DC loading levels on all the rails that I just can’t match exactly, but with a peak efficiency of 89%, just 1% short of the mark, it’s a pretty good result. Power factor levels aren’t a problem, but this is usually the case when active power factor correction is implemented.

 

Supply at 230VAC:

 

 

Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W (GSP850-SM) Efficiency & Power Factor
Supply = 230VAC/50Hz
DC Load (W)
0
178
447
820
DC Load As A Percent Of Max (%)
N/A
21
52.5
96.5
Efficiency (%)
N/A
87
90
86
Power Factor (PF)
0.33
0.93
0.97
0.98

 

The results for efficiency are, as usual, a little higher when supplied from a 230VAC mains supply and the power factor takes a little longer to climb towards unity, but still a perfectly acceptable set of results.

 

AC Ripple On DC Outputs:

 

I have consistently found the AC ripple levels on the DC rails to be more or less equal with an 110VAC or 230VAC mains supply. The results given below are for 230VAC only, but I will continue to check the levels at 110VAC during testing and publish them below if there are any significant differences.

 

AC ripple/noise on the +3V3 rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 2mv/div, Timebase = 20uS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the +5V0 rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 2mv/div, Timebase = 20uS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the +12V rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 2mv/div, Timebase = 20uS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the -12V rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 2mv/div, Timebase = 20uS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the +5VSB rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 2mv/div, Timebase = 20uS/div

 

Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W (GSP850-SM) AC Ripple/Noise
Supply = 241VAC/50Hz DC Loading = 850W
DC Rail
+3V3
+5V0
+12V
-12V0
+5VSB
ATX12 Max (mV p-p)
50
50
120
120
50
Ripple (mV p-p)
10
8
15
8
6
Pass/Fail
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
 
Low noise/ripple levels on all the DC rails are what I like to see and the Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W power supply doesn’t disappoint!

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.

 

Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W (GSP850-SM) Temperature & Fan Speeds
Supply = 110VAC/230VAC
DC Loading(W)
Temp In (°C)
Temp Out (°C)
Δ Temp (°C)
Fan Speed (RPM)
0
N/A
N/A
N/A
694/693
178/178
21.7/21.0
25.7/28.6
4.0/7.6
697/698
448/447
22.3/21.5
38.6/33.6
16.3/12.1
701/701
820/820
22.3/22.4
54.0/53.8
31.7/31.4
705/708
 
The temperatures concerned me a little, as they are so much higher than other power supplies I’ve tested and an exhaust temperature of 53.8 °C is rather high. The fan remained at a relatively low speed of 700RPM throughout testing, which is unusual and certainly keeps things quiet. I introduced a little warm air into the power supply from my load and the fan ramped up to 1300RPM almost immediately, which indicates a possible drawback to out of case testing? The temperature control threshold is obviously set a little higher and the fan would probably kick in sooner when mounted at the top of a case, drawing in warmer air, but I can only see it running hot when bottom-mounted and drawing in room air. In any case, who buys a power supply and runs it at or near full load all the time?

Conclusion:

 

Price Per the Watt:

Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W at $159.99 = $0.19/Watt (06-2011)

 

What can I say? The Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W power supply performed beyond my expectations. Excellent DC voltage load regulation combined with high efficiency and very low noise/ripple on the DC rails make the Sentey one of the better power supplies to cross my path.

The packaging is adequate with a good set of accessories and flat modular cables that make routing and cable management a little easier. The instruction manual is basic, but what I especially liked is a feature list that is to the point and without any of the sales gimmicks and fancy descriptions that are, in reality, basic features that most power supplies offer anyway.

The only reservation I have is the high running temperature, albeit outside of an enclosure. The temperatures are far higher than I’ve seen from other power supplies in this class, but the introduction of warmer air into the power supply did cause the temperature-controlled fan to kick in almost immediately, so perhaps the threshold is set a little higher to keep fan noise to a minimum. High efficiency results in less heat production and lower fan speeds, so temperatures should remain within an acceptable range unless the power supply is run at or near full load for extended periods — a very rare occurrence in enthusiast’s gaming rigs?

I especially liked the combined SATA/4-pin peripheral cable — it will certainly keep the cable count down in some installations utilizing SATA hard drives with an older IDE optical or other devices requiring a 4-pin peripheral connector.

The Sentey Golden Steel Power 850W power supply is an excellent power supply for the money and I have no hesitation in highly recommending it and awarding it the OCC Gold award.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: