The ASUS TUF Gaming 850W Gold PSU Review: Tough But Fairby E. Fylladitakis on August 31, 2023 9:00 AM EST
Though ASUS as a company needs no introduction to regular AnandTech readers, even for us it's easy to overlook just how vast their range of product lines is these days. As the company has moved beyond PC motherboards and core components to kept diversifying over the years, they've established whole subsidiary brand names in the process, such as the “Republic of Gamers” or “ROG”. Nowadays, the ASUS logo can be found on almost every PC component and peripheral there is, from mouse pads to gaming laptops.
One of the many series of products ASUS is supplying under its brand name – and that, somehow, we've never reviewed up until now – is a rather extensive array of power supply units. The company splits its units into three main series, the ROG, the TUF Gaming, and the Prime, all of which are targeting higher segments of the market. In fact, ASUS is fairly rare in this respect; unlike most other manufacturers, ASUS largely stays out of the low-to-middle range of the market altogether, instead focusing on the more lucrative premium and gaming segments.
Today's review directs its focus towards ASUS's TUF Gaming series, which is – in our opinion – the most versatile series that the company currently markets. The TUF Gaming units are designed with long-term reliability and high performance in focus and are being marketed accordingly. The new 850W Gold variant of this series aligns with Intel's ATX 3.0 design guidelines, with the 80Plus Gold certification and 10-year manufacturer’s warranty as the major highlights, and retails for a reasonable price tag.
|Asus TUF Gaming 850W Gold
Power Specifications ( Rated @ 50 °C )
|80 Plus Rating||Gold|
|AC INPUT||100 - 240 VAC, 50 - 60 Hz|
Packaging and Bundle
ASUS is known to be careful with their packaging and the box that the TUF Gaming 850W Gold is supplied in is no exception. The artwork on the box is detailed, with plenty of information to be found on the sides and rear of the box. The box is sturdy and the unit is well-protected inside to ensure safe shipping.
A fair bundle can be found inside the box of the TUF Gaming 850W Gold PSU. Aside from the typical AC power cable and the mounting screws, ASUS also supplies several cable ties, three quality cable straps, and a thick manual in 30 languages. There is also a “certificate of reliability” that indicates which tests the capacitors and chokes of the units had to pass for ASUS to use them. Most of them are done in accordance to the MIL-STD-202 and MIL-STD-810H standards, which gave ASUS the ground to boast about “military-grade reliability”. The tests are performed by iST, an independent laboratory based in Taiwan.
The TUF Gaming 850W Gold is a fully modular design, allowing for the removal of every DC power cable, including the 24-pin ATX connector. All of the cables are black, with black connectors and individually sleeved wires, including the ATX 24-pin and the new 12VHPWR cables. It is interesting to note that the total number of connectors is fairly low for a unit with that kind of capacity.
|ASUS TUF Gaming Gold|
|ATX 24 Pin||-||1|
|EPS 4+4 Pin||-||2|
|EPS 8 Pin||-||-|
|PCI-E 8 Pin||-||3|
The ASUS TUF Gaming 850W Gold PSU
Externally, the TUF Gaming 850W Gold PSU is in direct contradiction to the “military” theme ASUS's marketing is heavily relying upon. The reason is that military designs are supposed to be entirely minimal and inconspicuous, while the designer of the TUF Gaming 850W Gold PSU practically left no part of the body untouched in an effort to create an aesthetically appealing product. Chamfered edges, embossed designs, graphic prints, debossed lettering – this unit has it all. The chassis is just 150 mm deep, which ensures compatibility with all but the smallest ATX-compliant cases.
Both sides of the chassis are heavily decorated but they are not identical. A cutout of the series logo can be seen on the left side, serving as a little cooling vent. There is no such cutout on the right side and the series logo is printed on the chassis instead. The entirety of the top side is covered by a sticker with the electrical specifications and certifications of the unit. The fan cutout at the bottom side of the TUF Gaming 850W Gold PSU is hexagonal instead of round.
Naturally, the front side of the PSU is home to the connectors for the modular cables. A basic legend is printed directly onto the body of the PSU in white paint. The series logo is subtly etched across the top part of the front side. The rear side is typical, with just the AC power receptacle and a basic on/off switch in sight.
The fan responsible for the cooling of the TUF Gaming 850W Gold PSU is a dual-ball bearing engine fan made by Champion, a Chinese manufacturer whose we very rarely encounter the products of inside PC components. The 135mm CF1325H12D has a maximum speed of 2100 RPM, which is very high for a fan of that size. ASUS markets the fan as an “axial-tech” technology fan, which basically is a plastic ring that connects the outer part of the fan’s blades, supposedly increasing the fan’s pressure.
The OEM behind the creation of the TUF Gaming 850W Gold PSU is Great Wall, a Chinese OEM that became known in the Western markets only a few years back when Corsair decided to use them for several of their mainstream products. The TUF Gaming 850W Gold is based on a platform that we have not encountered before and certainly is one of the latest Great Wall designs, developed to comply with the ATX 3.0 design guide requirements.
We can see that the main switch and AC plug receptacle are attached to a vertical PCB that also hosts a few of the filtering stage components, with the rest on the main PCB. The filtering stage is typical, totaling four Y capacitors, two X capacitors, and two filtering inductors. It leads to a dual input rectifying bridge configuration supplied by Leshan Radio Company (GBU15K), a Chinese company that we have never encountered before. The passive APFC components are two Rubycon 420V/390μF capacitors and a sizable filtering inductor.
All of the active components before the main transformer that need cooling are attached to a single long heatsink across the edge of the PCB. The primary side inversion circuit is a typical half-bridge LLC topology, with the two switchers also supplied by a company that we have never seen before (WAYON) and we could not find any datasheet for these particular chips (WMJ36N6N65SF2). Considering the PSU’s efficiency rating and half-bridge configuration, these definitely are very efficient low on-resistance MOSFETs but we have been unable to come by their exact specifications.
On the secondary side of the main transformer, six transistors from yet another manufacturer that we have never seen before (Jinlibo Electronics 4NA1R4C-A) form a conversion circuitry that generates the main 12V line. The secondary 3.3V and 5V lines are generated on the vertical daughterboard that is attached both to the main and the vertical PCB with the unit’s connectors. All of the electrolytic capacitors on the secondary side are supplied by Nippon Chemi-Con and Rubycon, while the solid-state capacitors are supplied by Nippon Chemi-Con and Nichicon.