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XPG Core Reactor II 1200W ATX 3.0 80 PLUS Gold review: a midrange powerhouse

 An XPG Core Reactor II 1200W power supply on a desk.
An XPG Core Reactor II 1200W power supply on a desk.

XPG Core Reactor II 1200W ATX 3.0 80 PLUS Gold: Two-minute review

The XPG Core Reactor II 1200W ATX 3.0 80 Plus Gold PSU is the company's latest compelling mid-range component for builders and follows off its success in the more premium-tier Platinum-certified power supply segment with its Cybercore II series.

The Core Reactor II series then, which covers the spectrum from 650W units to its highest wattage 1200W PSU, leads this venture, showcasing XPG's ability to strike a crucial balance between performance, quality, and cost. This series is designed for users who want reliable performance without splurging, but also need some higher-tier power to power the best gaming PCs you can build.

Those high-end motherboards, processors, and graphics cards don't come cheap in terms of power draw, and so the Core Reactor II 1200W, an 80 Plus Gold certified unit, stands out for its practical design and consistent performance. It represents XPG's commitment to affordable quality and aims to meet the diverse needs of mid-range computing environments.

In terms of packaging, the Core Reactor II 1200W PSU comes in a robust, visually appealing box, complete with essential accessories like mounting screws, an AC power cable, and decorative stickers. The PSU itself is a blend of aesthetics and functionality, featuring a sleek matte black finish with embossed geometric patterns and a geometric fan cutout. Its 160mm length slightly exceeds conventional ATX size, but it is short enough to ensure compatibility with the best PC cases with ATX compliance.

An XPG Core Reactor II 1200W power supply on a desk
An XPG Core Reactor II 1200W power supply on a desk

The front of the PSU is minimalist, housing only the on/off switch and AC receptacle, while the rear is thoughtfully designed for easy and accurate cable connections. The unit's modular cable system includes an array of uniformly black cables, with most being neatly sleeved.

Performance-wise, the Core Reactor II 1200W PSU aligns with its 80 Plus Gold certification, demonstrating commendable efficiency and thermal management. The fan operates optimally, maintaining reasonable internal temperatures, even at significant power output and under various testing conditions.

After running the XPG Core Reactor II in my main workstation at the office under some pretty heavy loads, the fan stayed mostly quiet and the temperature stayed well below its rated operating temperature without issue. This PSU is rated for operation at an ambient temperature of 50°C, a testament to its robustness and reliability, especially in demanding environments.

An XPG Core Reactor II 1200W power supply on a desk
An XPG Core Reactor II 1200W power supply on a desk

Electrical performance is a highlight, with the primary 12V rail showing impressive regulation and effective voltage filtering. The PSU also passes tests for primary protections like Over Current, Over Voltage, Over Power, and Short Circuit, ensuring reliable performance.

In terms of internals, the Core Reactor II combines a robust build quality with a unique design, incorporating high-grade 105°C Japanese capacitors for enhanced reliability and durability. The PSU excels in power quality, achieving good energy conversion efficiency and maintaining steady efficiency across most load ranges. Its thermal management is effective, with the fan adjusting speed according to the load, ensuring efficient cooling while keeping noise levels minimal.

That said, if you're pushing this unit hard, such as with overclocking or loading up on the add-in cards, it can get a bit loud when load nears 100%, though never so much to be bothersome.

That said, if you're pushing this unit hard, such as with overclocking or loading up on the add-in cards, it can get a bit loud when load nears 100%, though never s much to be bothersome.range should add to their component shortlists.

An XPG Core Reactor II 1200W power supply on a desk
An XPG Core Reactor II 1200W power supply on a desk

XPG Core Reactor II 1200W ATX 3.0 80 PLUS Gold: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost? $204.99 (about £165 / AU$290)

  • When is it available? Available now

  • Where can you get it? Available in the US. UK and Australia availability is spotty

The XPG Core Reactor II 1200W ATX 3.0 80 PLUS Gold is currently priced at $204.99 in the US and backed by a 10-year warranty, giving the Core Reactor II 1200W PSU a good value for its performance. As far as midrange PSUs go, this one is positioned as an appealing option for those seeking a balance between cost, efficiency, and reliability.

While it might not have a platinum rating, its performance is more than enough for most builders out there who need to run some high-powered components like the best processors and best graphics cards for gaming or content creation, without worrying about running hot at all hours under heavy industrial-grade workloads.

XPG Core Reactor II 1200W ATX 3.0 80 PLUS Gold: Specs

Should you buy the XPG Core Reactor II 1200W ATX 3.0 80 PLUS Gold?

Buy the XPG Core Reactor II 1200W ATX 3.0 80 PLUS Gold if...

You want a high-powered PSU for a decent price
For the price you're paying, this is one of the highest wattage 80Plus Gold-rated ATX 3.0 power supplies going.

You want a modular PSU
As a modular PSU, cable management is much easier when you only use what you need.

Don't buy it if...

You need something more heavy-duty
While 80Plus Gold-rated is fantastic, if you need something more robust for a heavy-duty workstation, you might want to check out the Cybercore II Platinum-rated PSUs from XPG.

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First reviewed January 2024