The mystery of XFX' budget "XT" line solved - OEM and platform discovered

Posted on February 3, 2016, 21:43

#The XFX XT line is very fresh to the market. It first quietly appeared in Brazil and other South American stores a few weeks ago, but now it has arrived to Newegg. XFX' website was silent about their new PSUs, as they simply weren't published on their page at all. It didn't take long to find out what sits inside, though.

Origins and specs bloopers

The XFX XT series is supposed to be a budget line consisting of three PSUs in total: 400W, 500W and 600W, achieving 80+ Bronze efficiency certification. The Brazilian store page includes a short list of technical specifications. The mention of a double forward design with a magnetic amplifier for the +3.3V rail isn't great (it's the ordinary, outdated way of building budget group regulated PSUs like Corsair CX430-600, EVGA "White" and B500-B600 series, or Seasonic S12II Bronze), but not unusual. 

The rail ratings and capacitor promises is where the problems start:

"- +12V: 35.8A (até 430W, 86% a 500W)"

The math here is correct, but it doesn't match what we can actually see on the label:

XFX XT 500W label
XFX XT 500W label

The unit's load table says the +12V rail is rated for 40A. The problems don't stop here, though - the wattage printed in the bottom cell of the table is 460W, despite the fact that 40A on +12V equals 480W - no more, no less. That's like saying "the length is one meter, which is 80cm."

Meanwhile, the specifications on the Newegg store page claims "[email protected] (up to 440W, 92% of 500W)". This is even more blatantly incorrect, because 40A@+12V isn't 440W either. 440W isn't even 92% of 500W - it's 88%.

The problem continues on the 400W and 600W units. Specifications visible on Newegg store pages (400W, 600W) claim that their +12V rails are respectively rated for 34A / 360W (that's actually 408W) and 48A / 540W (that's actually 576W).

What's even weirder is that the +12V amperage rating on the 400W unit exceeds its rated power - as you've seen above, 34 amps on this rail equals to 408W, which is more than the combined rating.

So which value on the label was printed correctly, and which one is wrong? Amps or watts? Based on the observation in the previous paragraph, we believe that the rail amperage rating was printed incorrectly, and the rail wattage rating is correct. Id est: the 400W unit is most likely rated for 360W (30A) on the +12V rail, the 500W one for 460W (38.3A) and the 600W one for 540W (45A).

We hope XFX will quickly notice and fix this unfortunate discrepancy, so we can have full understanding of the series' 12V rail load ratings.

The capacitor mention on the Brazilian store page is weird too: "Outros Capacitoress: 85C (Taiwan)" - secondary capacitors in PC power supplies are never rated for only 85 degrees Celsius. Even the worst of the worst are 105C. Of course, this is means that the PSU does actually use 105C secondary caps and the statement is just another error.

OEM and platform

Let's skip to the most interesting topic now. Every person interested in PC power supplies knows that so far, every one of PSUs by XFX was made by Seasonic. Naturally, it would be safe to assume that this new budget series comes from Seasonic too. Is it true? Well, yes and no. What does that mean? The apparent answer is frank: outsourcing.

Do you remember Hydance? It's a brand set up by Energy Power Enterprise, which in turn is a subsidiary of Seasonic created to target lower end markets. Their CT series power supplies are designed by Seasonic, but not made by them - they are outsourced to a factory known as Shenzhen Rui Sheng Yuan Technology, which used to manufacture units for Rasurbo, Ultra or old Topower. 

Shenzhen Rui Sheng Yuan is also used by Super Flower to outsource some of their cheaper units. SF simply doesn't have the capacity to meet the demand from EVGA and other brands, so they have to outsource to a few companies, including Ruishenguan.

The XFX XT series shares the internal design with the Hydance CT series. If the available information is correct, XFX XT is designed by Seasonic, but the manufacturing is outsourced to Shenzhen Rui Sheng Yuan just like the Hydance. That's why the transformer markings you can see through the XFX XT' fan grilles don't resemble anything made by Seasonic in their own factory.

If you prefer to see a diagram of the apparent situation, see here (EVGA's other partners not included):

Brand, OEM, and factory chart
Brand, OEM, and factory chart

 

Internals and specifications

 

Seasonic/Hydance CT 400W design<br>
Seasonic/Hydance CT 400W design
Photo by f14
Seasonic/Hydance CT 500W<br>
Seasonic/Hydance CT 500W
Photo by f14
Series
Model, 80+
OEM The platform OEM platform reference +12V capacity
XFX XT 400W Shenzhen Rui Sheng Yuan Technology
(design by Seasonic, outsourced)
Shared with Hydance CT

#

credit

Inconclusive
(label errors)
500W
600W

User f14 on vozforumz.net has opened his Hydance 400W and 500W a while ago. Both Hydance and XFX XT implementations use rather low end CS hold-up capacitor rated for 85 degrees C on the primary side, and the secondary side uses caps from the same brand for output filtering.

Both Hydance and XFX have their PCB screened for an additional X capacitor right before the bridge rectifier, but it was omitted and bypassed with a jumper wire - possibly for cost cutting.

Unused PCB space
Unused PCB space

The difference between the two series is that the XFX XT units are made to work with universal ~115-230V input voltages, while Hydance CT is 230V-only. For this reason the XFX XT implementation employs stronger bridge rectifiers to accommodate for higher currents flowing through them (roughly twice as high), and they also have heatsinks on them - while Hydance's versions stand alone. Universal voltage conversion may also require slight PFC transistor tweaking.

Despite being completely mangled, XFX XT series' +12V rail ratings may also end up being higher than the Hydance counterparts - Hydance versions are rated for respectively 300W, 400W, and 480W. Hydance CT series also claims to be multi-rail, but it is a... lie, to put it bluntly - the design doesn't have any required components needed to split the main +12V rail. XFX XT series' label is honest and correctly states that it is single rail (despite the actual ratings being wrong).

Performance

The build quality and platform design doesn't look optimistic, but so far there are no tests of either implementation, so the performance remains unknown. A friendly reviewer that has got all three XFX XT models on hand, and already started testing them, states that they perform well as far as he can see. The series may not look like much to brag about, but it certainly has a chance to become a viable option once the first test results come in.

Keep in mind that it shouldn't really matter whose hands assemble the product, as long as the source designers made it perform well and the final build quality is good. According to Newegg, XFX still offers 5 whole years of warranty for these units, and they wouldn't be doing that if they weren't convinced they can last so long.  

The first glances and capacitor choices may turn some of the potential customers off, but we urge you to wait with moulding your final opinion until the test results become available. The CS capacitors' reputation is questionable, but factors like high airflow and low ripple can make even poor capacitors last for considerable amount of time.

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