Keep Calm and Grog On!


Home About Us Article Index Forums Dice GrogShop GH ON FACEBOOK GrogNews
Let Your Grog Flag Fly!

Recent Articles

GARPA 17, 4/26/13

SimCity AAR Part 1, 4/25/13

Announcing MayViation, 4/24/13

Second Look at Wargame AirLand Battle, 4/21/13

First Look at Wargame AirLand Battle 4/19/13

AAR of Dark Age Minis Battle, 4/18/13

Video Review of Zulus on the Ramparts, 4/14/13

GARPA 16, 4/12/13

Crusader Kings II AAR Part 16, 4/11/13

Book Review: Ninja: 1000 Years of the Shadow Warrior, 4/10/13

Review of Bioshock INfinite, 4/7/13

Review of XFX PRO650W Core Edition PSU, 4/5/13

Civilization V AAR, Part 13, 4/4/13

Fire with Fire, 3/31/13

GARPA 15, 3/29/13

Civilization V AAR, Part 12, 3/28/13

Wheaton INterview, 3/27/13

March Mayhem Winner, 3/25/13

Warlock Multiplayer AAR, 3/21/13

WWII PTO Alternate Histories, 3/20/13

GARPA 14, 3/15/13

Crusader Kings II AAR, part 15, 3/14/13

Civilization V AAR, part 11, 3/7/13

Prezcon Convention Coverage, 3/2/13

Civilization V AAR, part 10, 3/3/13

Click here for our

FULL Article Index


Screenshot features

True Grog Power!

A Review of the XFX PRO650W Core Edition PSU

By Andy Mills, 5 April 2013


GrogHeads is proud to recognize the XFX PRO650W Core Edition PSU with induction into the Order of the Hex for Hardware Excellence.



I love power supplies! A lot of geeks may drool over insanely powerful SLI video card set-ups or overclocked CPU’s, but the power supply unit (PSU) is what brings a PC to life. The PSU market is burgeoning with new and traditional high-end vendors. Names like Corsair, EVGA, OCZ, Silverstone, and Thermaltake are now in the running with well established vendors, such as Antec, Enermax, and PC Power and Cooling. Quality PSUs are essential for any gamer who wants stable system performance and is going to run expensive hardware in his rig. In a previous article (Power Projection – A Wargamer’s Practical Guide to PC Power Supplies, May 6, 2012), we mentioned five things to remember when buying a PSU:

  • Make absolutely sure it is a brand name unit.
  • Match it to the form factor of your PC.
  • Ensure it has a 3-5 year replacement warranty.
  • Base your wattage requirements on your CPU and video card(s).
  • Verify it is 80 Plus Certified and has Active PFC.
  • Don’t be afraid to overbuy when it comes to wattage.

With these basic tenets in mind and a screwdriver in hand, I set out to review the XFX 650 Watt (P1-650S-NLB9) PRO650W Core Edition PSU.

Please Note: You shouldn’t remove the cover from your PSU as it will void your warranty. The danger of being electrocuted is also very real. An unplugged PC PSU can discharge enough electricity to serious hurt or kill a person


Knowing Your Audience

The Pro 650W is part of the three unit Pro Core Edition series released by XFX. The other PSU’s in the series are rated at 750 watts and 850 watts. I chose to review the 650W as it was the best “bang-for- the-buck” when it came to street price. I also made the choice based on the fact the average wargamer is probably not running a rig that requires a massive 750-850 watt PSU. xfxI wanted this to be a practical review aimed at the Grogheads audience, not one geared for system junkies- there are plenty of sites that cater to that crowd.



XFX is best known as a USA vendor that caters to the PC enthusiast crowd. XFX is owned by Hong Kong based Pine Technology Holdings, which started up in 1989. XFX teamed up with the well-established Taiwanese manufacturer, Seasonic to enter the PSU market. As many gamers and hardware enthusiasts know, Seasonic has produced quality PSU’s for such respected vendors, as Antec, Corsair, and PC Power and Cooling. Prior to the Core Edition Series, XFX released the Black and XXX Edition PSU’s, which were also based on Seasonic units.



Safe Arrival

The first thing I noticed when the unit arrived at my door was the flashy, large box with all the relevant specs and certifications clearly visible. The PSU was shipped in a bubble wrap bag and surrounded by form inserts to prevent any damage. The unit I reviewed for this piece was in transit for 3 days and there was no evidence of any problems. The box also contains a package of standard mounting screws and brief user’s manual.



The PSU was packed very well and arrived at my door safe and sound.



On the Box

Like most high-quality parts, the retail box for the 650W is covered in marketing propaganda. Aside from the basic specs, it proudly proclaims that the 650W meets the necessary criteria for 80 Plus (Bronze), Nividia SLI, and AMD/ATI Crossfire certifications. XFX also has a True Wattage Guarantee that states the output of the unit will either meet or exceed the 650 watt rating. The XFX website ( has their complete PSU line documented, extensive picture galleries and videos to explain the design philosophy behind the units.






Easyrail Technology™

A great deal of attention is focused on XFX’s trademarked Easyrail Technology™. This how they explain it:

PSUs with EasyRail™ Technology give you one continuous rail of power covering the total maximum wattage. What this means is that no matter how many devices you have, high or low power, they can easily stack until it reaches the full maximum wattage. With EasyRail™ technology you can maximize the potential of your PSU with ease. 

The 650W has a single 12 volt “rail” or power source, while some other PSUs have multiple 12 volt “rails.” In the latter case, the 12 volt power source is divided into 2 (or more) sources or “rails” which typically have a lower output limit. I have owned several single and multiple “rail” PSUs and never had an issue with either type. If a PSU is well designed and honestly labeled, the number of “rails” is not all that important. If you are going to use more power than a multiple “rail” PSU can provide, chances are you’re going to need a bigger supply from the outset. A single “rail” is not a magic wand. Bottom line: Easyrail Technology™ isn’t a big deal.


Making Connections

The 650W sports a respectable variety of connectors that will address all of your component needs. Most XFX units come in either fully wired, semi-modular, or modular designs (this review is focused on the fully wired model). Each sleeved cable is of sufficient length to allow for installation in larger full-tower cases. Most single output cables are 508 mm in length while ones with multiple outputs may be slightly longer.

The chart below summarizes the connection types available:



A Nuclear Reactor

One of the videos on the XFX website states that designers wanted this unit to look like nuclear reactor – mission accomplished. As shown in the pictures below, the 650W has a 135 mm geometrically shaped fan grill with a large black futuristic enclosure that would look right at home on the set of Aliens. It also has an understated look of power, without tacky, lighted fans or trashy, transparent windows. The front of the unit has an extruded hard plastic panel that adds to the “cool factor.” Hands down, this is the best looking PSU I have ever run across. If you have a window on your case or use an open air enclosure, this PSU will certainly crank-up your “cool factor.”



A top down view. Notice the large 135mm fan.



A side view.



Notice the large XFX plastic panel on the front of the unit.



The rear grill sports an XFX logo.


On the Inside

In keeping with a proven Seasonic design topology, the interior of 650W is clutter free with good cable routing. This allows the 135 mm ball bearing fan to effectively cool internal components without generating the noise that is typical of smaller single or dual fan layouts. Four large heatsinks ensure that excess heat is dissipated into the exhaust stream and blown out the back of the unit. As with other high quality PSUs, the 650W has Japanese, not cheap Chinese capacitors, which tend to be superior in terms of performance and longevity. Soldering on the main PCB is well done and many spots where components could work loose are reinforced with non-conductive white adhesive.



With the case off the fan mounting is clearly visible.



Inside the 650W – notice the large heatsinks and capacitors. The white globs of glue used to reinforce components are clearly visible.


True Wattage Warranty

So does the true wattage warranty really hold up under scrutiny? With my well calibrated multi-meter in hand, I checked the wattages at idle and everything was within spec – a good start. I then connected the 650W up to a variable limit (hobby grade) 900 watt dummy load that I use to test PSUs for my RC hobby. After gently upping the level on the unit, I was easily able to reach 633 watts on just the 12 volt “rail” while maintaining nominal loads on the 3.3 volt and 5.0 volt leads - very impressive! Fan noise was moderate and the exhaust air was warm, but not hot. This test left me with no doubt that the unit was very capable of pushing out an additional 17 watts of power on the other leads without a problem.



By using a paperclip to connect the green and black wires, the unit can be powered on for testing.


The Good

The 650W is great unit for both the average gamer and the geek who wants a quality PSU that will last. XFX is so confident in their 650W PSU that they offer the consumer a five year warranty upon registration. This warranty is on par with other heavy hitters in the industry, such as Corsair and OCZ.

The unit lives up to the true wattage warranty and the inclusion of a large fan keeps the operating noise to a minimum.

It has a great look and super durable construction inside and out.

Sleeved cables are long enough for most mounting situations and the variety of connections will satisfy just about any system configuration

With a street price of $69.99 - 89.99 CDN/US, the 650W is an excellent deal.


The Bad

The 650w is a big unit. It may be too large for some cases especially with the extruded front panel.



This picture shows the size of the 650W in comparison to a Corsair CX 500 PSU which has more traditional dimensions.


The Bottom Line

The 650w is a solid performing PSU that would be a superb addition to any system in a mid-size or large ATX case. It meets all of the relevant requirements that were laid out above for selecting a power supply:

  • It is a brand name
  • It can be mounted in most mid-tower or full tower ATX cases
  • It has a 5 year replacement warrant upon registration
  • It should easily handle any tasks appropriate for a 650 watt PSU
  • It is 80 Plus (Bronze) Certified and has Active PFC
  • It has enough headroom to allow the average gamer an upgrade path

XFX has done an excellent job with this unit. If you’re looking to upgrade or replace your current PSU the XFX 650W Core Edition, the decision is a no-brainer. It is well engineered, looks totally killer, has an excellent warranty and screams performance all for a street price of $89.99 or below (I picked up the unit in this review for $69.99 before taxes)! Enermax, OCZ, Corsair, and other higher end vendors should be scared – very scared. A product this great deserves the Order of the Hex!


Discuss this review here >>

Share your comments with FaceBook here!


Please support the folks that support GrogHeads
Forums | Articles | About Us | Terms & Conditions | GrogNews
Copyright ©2012-2019, Grogheads, LLC. All rights reserved in the United States and throughout the world. All other products and copyrights mentioned on Grogheads, LLC are the property of their respective companies, and Grogheads, LLC makes no claim thereto.

GrogDice - Refresh the screen to roll a new set!

Or go here to roll a LOT of dice