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Technical Finesse: The High Current Pro HCP-1200

The HCP-1200

Introduction

As described in my last blog, we took an awful long time to develop the High Current Pro HCP-1200 and designed it to be the king of the hill – the best of the best power supplies out there. Well, after testing this unit again and again and fine-tuning every little detail, we feel we hit the mark.

Initial reviews show the press shares our opinion. Renowned review site [H]ard|OCP even went as far as calling the HCP-1200the new king of 1200W power supplies” exceeding the competition in almost every way and Jonny Guru gave the HCP-1200 their “Recommended” award. In the following I want to show you certain details I think valuable to better understand how we achieved the performance we present with the HCP-1200.


Key Features

The Input Filtering Stage

The input filtering stage is a very important factor for good power supplies and help to reduce EMI traces that could go back into the power grid. In addition, it is the first line of defense for a power supply against hazardous malfunctions from the grid. The input filtering stage in the HCP-series is equipped with the latest and highest quality components for best results.

PFC Stage

The PFC stage is equipped with state-of-the-art components. Instead of a smaller number as usual in today’s power supplies we used a total of four larger bulk capacitors from a renowned Japanese company capable of handling voltages up to 450V and of course rated at 105c.

This is essential for usage in areas with unstable voltage grids like we find in India or grids with smaller input voltage as we find in Japan (90Vac). The HCP-series fits perfectly into every kind of environment; we made sure of that.

The Efficient 1-Step Transformer

The transformer in the HCP-1200 is very special. It is a 1-step transformer, which means it does the same as a normal transformer just in one step and is therefore able to reduce energy waste which in turn increases efficiency.

In addition to this we attached the MOSFETs directly to the transformer output to reduce the distance that would normally lead us over the PCB and then to the MOSFETs. This makes the transformer in the HCP-1200 the most efficient one.

+3.3V & +5V DC-to-DC VRMs

Both DC-to-DC modules also called VRMs come with a very unique feature. The input to both circuits is filtered by Japanese-brand solid state caps (polymer capacitors). This gives the circuit already filtered voltage.

The output is again filtered with Japanese-brand capacitors, but this time electrolyte caps. This gives the HCP-series its incredibly low ripple/noise on the lower voltage rails. There are thin copper heatsinks in between to keep smaller parts cooler.

The Output Filtering

To achieve the low ripple & noise results our high-end customer would expect from us, we equipped the output filtering stage with a sea of high-quality Japanese brand capacitors. We used both electrolyte and polymer capacitors to achieve one of the lowest ripple & noise results in the market.

What kind of system was the HCP-1200 made for?

Just about everything out there. With the HCP-1200 you will have a power supply that can power up high-end workstations or any kind of gaming setup. We equipped the HCP-1200 with two CPU connectors – one 8-pin and one 4+4 -pin connector. To supply your power-hungry graphics cards, we attached a total of eight 6+2pin PCI-Express connectors. Yes, eight. This means you can run a decent Quad-SLI graphics array and the high current on the 12V rails makes this pretty easy, too.

Every graphics card will be powered by one 12V rail through the two PCI-E connectors and through a second 12V with the 24pin ATX connector. Over-current protection (OCP) on the rails assures you that nothing will burn up in flames if there should be a short circuit or similar malfunctions occur.

HCP-1200 PCI-E connectors

The HCP-1200 is equpped with eight 6+2-pin PCI-E connectors

As for the initial question, what kind of system the HCP-1200 was made for, let’s take a look at the efficiency curve of the unit and check which power consumption would best fit into the criteria to get maximum performance out of the HCP-1200.

HCP-1200 Efficiency Curve

The HCP-1200 Efficiency Curve

As you can see the HCP-1200 works with great efficiency but if you want to pull the maximum out of the unit you will run best with a PC with a power consumption from around 240 to 1000 watts. You already have more than the average efficiency with around 100 watts and also far beyond that mark with full load of 1200 watts so in fact you don’t need to worry about waste of electricity while running the HCP-1200 since it will run efficiently at any load.

Well, take the latest processor or CPU from Intel® or AMD® such as an Intel Core i7-980X or AMD Phenom II X6 1090T. Pair this with the latest motherboard compatible with four graphics cards. Choose either four NVIDIA GTX480, or the new GTX580. If you want CrossfireX, choose four of the latest HD5870. The HCP-1200 will be able to power and run them stable without issue. And if it can handle up to four graphics cards at the same time plus the latest CPU, you can rest assured that it can also handle any kind of single, dual or triple graphics card.

The HCP-1200 was also tested with four of the mighty GTX480 Lightning graphics cards from MSI. These graphics cards are based on an own design instead of the normal reference design from NVIDIA® and have an incresed power consumption due to better performance. Therefore they need two 6+2pin PCI-E connectors and one with 6 pins. The HCP-1200 needed a few adapters for this setup, but it’s well capable of handling four of the most demanding cards out there.

Cooling the HCP-1200

The HCP-1200 power supply is cooled by an 80mm fan made by the renowned Japanese company Sanyo Denki. We decided to go with an 80mm fan because of its dual-layer design. This means our primary stage is on the upper PCB and the secondary stage in on the lower PCB. This makes the length of this power supply rather short because we had more space than usual to fill with components.

The fan is controlled by a Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) circuit which allows us to lower RPM to a minimum and exert greater control over the fan when compared to DC-controlled fans. This results in very low acoustic noise readings, especially from lower to medium loads up to 1000 watts. At higher wattages, one might imagine that even an 80 PLUS Gold certified power supply will have quite some heat to dissipate. In order to provide a long-lasting product to our customers we run the fan much faster with higher loads to be able to cool every component sufficiently. However, it stays within an adequate level of under 35dB(A) (measured at 1m in our laboratory).

HCP-1200 noise level chart

HCP-1200 noise level chart

Of course there are many more features the HCP-1200 has to offer but  listing them all would be overkill. You have now seen the most interesting and most important features of the technical side and I am pretty certain it will give you a great impression of this great product.

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Comments (8)

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