Two weeks ago before taking a Christmas break, I took a look at two different Asus products. Before the new year I figured I might as well check out one last Asus product that came in as well. Along with the new water cooling kits Asus has also brought out their own power supply lineup. They are calling them the Asus ROG Thor, which I think the biggest surprise is that no one else has snatched that branding up for their own power supplies given the whole god of thunder and lightning thing. Anyhow like with their water cooling kits, Asus has gone a different direction with the Thor lineup including building in an OLED screen that shows the real-time wattage usage as well as integrating addressable lighting into the power supply as well. Sop today I’m going to take a look at some of the features that Asus went with on top of an already highly rated Seasonic Prime Ultra Platinum power supply. With that at its base, the Thor lineup is already one of the best on the market, but I’m curious to see if the Asus specific features and styling makes this any better of a choice over the Seasonic.

Product Name: Asus ROG Thor 850W Platinum

Review Sample Provided by: Asus

Written by: Wes Compton

Pictures by: Wes Compton

Amazon Affiliate Link: HERE

 

**Disclaimer**

LanOC Reviews only covers the features of power supplies due to not having the equipment to test them up to our standards. Because of this, you will not see a performance section, a final verdict, or awards. Therefore, we prefer to call this a preview rather than a review. Thank you for understanding; we keep our standard to the absolute highest for you, our reader.

specs

I wasn’t all that big of a fan of the amount of specifications Asus had available on their website. This includes no information on the length of the cables, cooling system, or even what form factor the power supply is. Not to mention there was only basic information on the load range and nothing on the MRBF, operating temperatures, or anything else.

 


Packaging

Like most of the new ROG products, the Thor power supply has the same black background with red trim on the bottom for the packaging as the others. ROG has always gone with a red, but the new look has a much brighter red along with some of the angular designs in the black background normally found on the Strix lineup. There is a picture of the power supply on the front of the box, something I think every product should do but they normally don’t. Then for branding, the model name is in a metallic finish with the wattage in the middle in the largest font. The back of the box dives into some of the power supplies main features with a short description of each along with a picture on each as well. Then there is a specification listing up under the bottom, along with the barcodes for the model and serial number.

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When you open the box up, Asus once again did their showcase where it angles a panel inside of the top of the box with the ROG logo printed on it. Inside the box is filled with even more boxes. Normally power supplies are right there with foam around them but Asus put all of that in the left box. Then the box on the right has all of the accessories and cables. The benefit to this design though is as they have printed on the power supply box, if you have to RMA the PSU you just have to ship a much smaller more compact box.

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The second box, when you open it up it has a semi-transparent box up on top with all of the accessories and documentation along with an ROG logo on it. You get a white quick start guide and there is also a 20% off coupon for Cablemod. This time around it doesn’t have a code on it, so I assume they have you prove you own the Asus product another way on the website so I can’t give our code away like normal. There was also a metal ROG case badge that I found inside of the user guide. Then for accessories, Asus provides more than just about any other power supply. You get a decent amount of long zip ties, more than the 4/5 that most PSUs come with and also with those you get 5 ROG branded Velcro straps. The four black mounting screws are a given, but the bag from cable mod was a nice surprise. This is a bag of black cable combs, these are included because some of the PSUs cables are individually sleeved!

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The power cable was packed in the box down along with the power supply cables. It is nothing out of the ordinary, a thick cable capable of hanging the 850-watt capacity with your normal USB and PC connections on the ends. The power supply cables come in a nice ROG bag that you can store your extra cables in later. Inside I was surprised to find all of the cables were bagged again in plastic bags. They were split up between the flat accessory cables and the other bag had all of the individually sleeved cables as well as the other cables.

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Photos and Features

Well, one thing is for sure, Asus didn’t want just a sticker rebrand when it came to the Thor power supplies. In fact, the styling changes over other power supplies are visible just about anywhere you look. Is that a good thing? Well, that will depend a lot on what you think of Asus’s styling in general, they didn’t really take a big departure for the Thor, it has the same black and chrome styling a lot of their motherboards have. This is a little flashier than their video cards, however.

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So the first area I want to look at is the cooling side. Now, most power supplies go two directions, they have a hole with a wire ring fan grill keeping things from getting inside or they just stamp cut the sheet metal casing with a circle shaped series of slots for ventilation. The Thor power supplies have neither of those options. What they went with is this slot design that runs from one corner to the other with what looks like machined bars covering the fan. Its actually a really good look in my opinion though the bars don’t take pressure as well as the other designs. When you touch them they are held tight like guitar strings. The whole power supply is finished in a rough black powder coat but if you look at the bars you can see a slight gloss black design on them as well, I assume it’s the ROG logo but I couldn’t see it very well. Also in gloss was the ROG name up in the top right corner. Then on the opposite corner is the Thor branding. This is placed on an angled corner and this is all plastic. It has RGB backlighting behind it but what stood out to me the most was this whole corner on our model was loose. It wouldn’t come off or anything, but it did move around when touched.

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The rest of the addressable RGB functionality is all in the main side panel where the ROG logo is backlit along with the diagonal strip next to it. This side has the line drawing designs found on Asus motherboard PCBs and it is all around the main feature of the Thor line, an OLED screen. The screen is rectangle in shape but Asus didn’t provide any information on the resolution or anything else in the specifications. The screen isn’t as controllable as the screen on the Asus water cooling kits. This one has just one function, to show the realtime wattage being used for the system. Now that feature has been added to a few digital power supplies in the past, but those all had to be hooked up via USB and you use sometimes iffy software to monitor the wattage. This doesn’t have graphs or long-term information, just the current wattage. I love the screen, but I did have one concern. As you can see from the second picture, the other side of the power supply doesn’t have a screen, just some basic branding. So this only works if your build can work with the screen orientation. To put things in perspective, this picture is taken with the outside power plug on the left and the fan on top. In a lot of normal cases, this design would mean not using the bottom mounted fan vent. I was also worried about this with some modern cases that only vent from the bottom, but most of those honestly are like that because of a PSU cover and that would block the view of the screen altogether.

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The inside facing side of the Thor, like every other modular PSU, has all of the cable connections. They are your normal Seasonic recessed connections. The bottom row has both of the connections needed for the 24 pin motherboard power and then two 8 pin connections. Then there are three more 8-pin connections above that. All five of those split duty with the PCI and CPU cables and that means there are enough connections for two CPU power cables and three PCI should you need one for the motherboard or you have a weird card that requires three. Then all of the peripheral connections are 6-pin connections, those four are on the top row above the 24-pin. Lastly, there is a two pin connection over on the left for the Aura RGB connection. Initially, I thought maybe Asus was providing another connection option, like they do on their video cards but actually this is to hook the power supply up to your motherboard to control the addressable lighting on the PSU.

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Flipped around we can see the back end of the Thor. So this is where the power cable hooks up and as always you have a power switch. For ventilation, the entire back has hexagon holes to allow the intake fan to blow heat out of your case. Asus was careful to make sure there wasn’t one area that didn’t have ROG branding so you do have the red logo here and then there is the 0bd fan button. This is a feature that the Seasonic Prime Ultra Platinum that this is based on also has. This changes the fan profile to not turn the fan on until things actually warm up, most power supplies have this by default but it is nice to have the option to turn it on or off.

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The last portion of the Thor is the underside. This is on the flip side of the fan and this is also where Asus put all of the power supply info. This includes the DC output specifications as well as that sexy 80 Plus Platinum logo.

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For cables, Asus did make a big change from the norm. They stuck with the now very standard thin and flexible cables for all of the peripheral cables. That being the SATA and Molex cables. But when you get into the cables visible on the inside of your build like the 24 pin they actually stepped up with individually sleeved cables. I can really understate how nice it is that they went this direction, especially with so many people later upgrading with individually sleeved cable extensions or full-on custom cables to get that same look. The individually sleeved cables are all from CableMod which shouldn’t be a big surprise given how closely Asus has worked with them on the lighting side, even including a discount with every motherboard.

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For the peripheral cabled you get five total cables. Three of the five are SATA cables and two are Molex, in the photos below, the SATA cables are the top three. As you can see, two of the cables are extra long at almost 33 inches long, those two cables have four SATA connections all spaced evenly out after the first connection at just before 19 inches. The third SATA cable is interesting because it is shorter and only has two plugs. I love this because I have been known to cut my SATA cables shorter in most builds where I don’t need all of the extra plugs. The Molex cables are shorter because Molex can only support three connections on a cable, so the longer of the two has three and is 24 inches long. The shorter cable has just two plugs and is just under 20 inches, but that cable also has the first Molex connection earlier as well.

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As for the other cables. Well, you get six cables in the second bag and five of those are individually sleeved. It is interesting though that one is sleeved all together, not matching the individually sleeved or the flex flexible cabling. All of these cables are nearly the same length. You get a 24 pin cable for the motherboard power, two CPU power 8-pin cables, then three PCI cables. All three of the PCI cables have 6 or 8 pin combo connections on them and the one odd man out cable actually comes with two 6/8 pin connections on it. So I mentioned they are all nearly the same length but officially the 24 pin is 25 inches long. The CPU power and both individually sleeved PCI cables are a touch past 27 inches and the combo cable is closer to 28 inches long when stretched out, not counting the extra PCI connection that adds about another inch. When you get a closer look, the combo cable does use the flexible cabling for in between the two PCI connection, but the rest is sleeved in a single large sleeve.

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The individually sleeved cabling is done by CableMod as I mentioned before and they used their paracord based sleeving that they call their ModFlex. I personally prefer their Nylon based sleeving that they call ModMesh but only because the colors are brighter when used with it. In this case, the black can’t get brighter so the paracord is a good pick for this use. It is a little easier to work with because it has a little more flex and it is softer as well and won’t catch on everything.

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There were two other smaller cables included. These were both RGB related. The Thor has a two pin RGB connection with the other cable connections. Both of these cables hook up to that same port, but not at the same time. This gives you both of the addressable LED connection options depending on what motherboard you are connecting too. One has the 3 pin version that is similar to a traditional RGB connection that Asus boards use and the other has the smaller connection with locks that you see on Gigabyte boards.

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Now a few of you who may not have seen individually sleeved cables before might be wondering why go this route. It is obviously an aesthetic look that some people prefer and with that, it also means not everyone is going to like the look. I myself have been using it on builds all the way back to our Fridge build which was what 6 years ago? I like the look over the single sleeve cable even when you are just using a single color like Asus is here but individual sleeving really sets itself apart when you start getting an accent color in the mix. To show your options I used the cables that came with the Thor to show a few different looks. The first is the combo cable for the PCI, this actually shows us the single sleeve option as well as the flex cable that most PSUs come with these days. Then I showed both directions you can go with individually sleeved cables. You can run them with or without cable combs and Asus did include a set of black cable combs from, CableMod with the cables for the Thor. They basically keep all of the cables spaced out perfectly for a clean look. You have to spend a lot more time getting everything perfect but it can look really nice when done right. I’ve used both options depending on the look I was going for on a build, so it is nice that Asus included them even if you aren’t going to use them.

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Now with this not being a full review like I do with most other hardware, we are just taking a look at the features of the Asus ROG Thor. The biggest feature that Asus has gone with on this model is the screen on the side and to a lesser extent the addressable RGB lighting. Because of that, I wanted to focus on those more than just the feature rundown above.

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The addressable RGB lighting and the screen are both on the same side as you would expect. Ironically though I didn’t really even think about the location of the screen until after the Thor came out and I was thinking about which build I might want to test it in. Right off the bat, a lot of today's modern mid to full tower cases are out because the new trend there is hiding the power supply completely with full-length covers. A few do have a window to show the PSU while still hiding cables but that is about it. But it was really thinking about the location of the screen in relation to the fan that brought up concerns for me. Most cases vent out of the bottom, but there are some that don’t, because of that most power supplies flip their logos on one side so you can install it either way.

The big downside with the Thor is in that situation you just wouldn’t be able to see the screen at all. Asus ended up deciding to put the fan up on top with when the screen is visible and that to me is this power supplies biggest fault. You have to give up the closed loop cooling to use the screen and even old cases with the PSU up on top that used to pull air from the inside wouldn’t work with this orientation. It will work in our D-Frame Mini build, but I have to flip the PSU when/if I do that to keep the screen visible and fan uncovered.

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As for the screen itself, I love the idea of being able to see power usage at any point. Especially without needing to use any software like a few of the digital power supplies do to get the same feature. I also think that this might open some peoples eyes on how big of a power supply they really need. There are some people who go WAY too small and risk their expensive builds but there are even more people who might be surprised to find out they don’t need half as much of the wattage as they have. Unless you have a crazy multi-GPU setup or you are overclocking X299 or X399 you most likely don’t need that 1200 watt power supply. Ironically the Thor power supplies are only available in 1200 Watt and 850 Watt so by the time they use that screen and see that they don’t need that wattage it is too late. Without any way to use software to display anything other than the wattage, I think the feature will get boring really quick. But when paired up with the Asus Ryou it could be interesting to be able to see your wattage on the Thor and then your temperatures on the Ryou if you did an all Asus build.

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The addressable RGB lighting is nice and it could provide some extra customization in your build. But that is only if you are okay with most of it being that ROG logo or the Thor branding in the corner. I’m happy to be able to change the lighting to match my build, especially if I put this in our bright orange D-Frame Mini, but I hate having all of my lighting feel more like billboards than a feature.

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Overall

Like I mentioned at the start, this isn’t a full review, just a preview or a look at the features of the Asus Thor. I would never put our full recommendation behind something without being able to completely test it and with power supplies that does require specialized equipment that we do not have. That said every indication is that this is based around the very well reviewed Seasonic Prime Ultra Platinum, only with ROG designed heatsinks inside as well as the obvious exterior changes. So I would keep an eye out for in-depth reviews from sites like Johnny Guru and HardOCP which do test up to that standard as far as the actual performance goes.

Feature wise the Thor lineup is extremely interesting though. Being an 80 plus rated Platinum power supply itself is a huge feature. But Asus tried to improve on that with an exterior screen, addressable RGB lighting, individually sleeved cables, and an ROG styled case. Does it work? Well, I love the look of the power supply, especially the design of the fan grill. But after going over everything I did get tired of just how much branding Asus put on this power supply. I do understand that the ROG brand is a big selling point, but there isn’t an angle that doesn’t have the branding visible in some shape or form. This would have been okay with me if maybe all of the lines on the side were RGB lit but not the ROG logo. Not to mention the logo showing up on the screen when you first put power to it as well.

The screen, well that was the most interesting feature to me going in and I ended up liking having my wattage visible at any time. I was however disappointed in the fan orientation in relation to the screen. There are already a lot of cases covering up the PSU all together making this feature not worth it in some builds, but you also don’t have the option to run the fan on the bottom of a case to pull in fresh air.

While the screen and the lighting got my attention, it was the individually wrapped CableMod cables that were my favorite feature of the power supply. I run CableMod cables on a lot of my builds and always love them, not having to replace the cables at all and still getting that custom look is huge.

So where do the Thor power supplies end up in today's market? Well, aesthetically there really aren’t a lot of companies doing anything in the power supply market. Thermaltake has had the corner on the RGB PSU market for a while now and those really just have RGB fans inside of them. Beyond that what the FSP Hydro with its liquid cooling? But it isn’t really very visible. It's actually a little crazy that no one has pushed to bring out anything interesting in the PSU market, so I can see why Asus made this jump. Visually the Thor does look good and spec wise this is a monster power supply. The screen, well I don’t think everyone will put that to use, or in some cases even be able to see it. But it all really comes down to the pricing.

The 850 watt Thor that I took a look at today sells for @219.99 on Newegg and it really isn’t available on Amazon yet. In fact, it really only became available in the new year. When I started writing this article a few weeks ago availability was after the new year. On Newegg, when comparing with other 850 Watt power supplies, I took a look at how many were available with 80Plus Platinum certification.

There were 12 in total and the ROG Thor was the second most expensive of those models. Three are on sale for the next for hours going all the way down to $109 which is crazy for an 80Plus Platinum power supply. But what I was mostly interested in was the Seasonic PRIME Ultra at the same wattage. It is available at $173.39. So all of the ROG styling, the addressable RGB LEDs, ROG cooling, OLED screen, and individually sleeved cables are going to cost you $46.60 over the same model from Seasonic. Is that a good deal? Well, I think that depends on who you ask. Obviously, some people won’t care at all about any of those features. For me, I was curious what a similar individually sleeved kit would cost from CableMod because that was the biggest feature for me. They don’t sell one for the Thor because it already comes with a set, but a basic cable kit from them which only gets you the 24-pin, one CPU, and two PCI cables costs $49.99. The Thor comes with an additional CPU cable for a little less. Just as long as you like black lol.

In other words, this could be a good deal. Even if you aren’t interested in the screen or lighting. But I think most people are going to go with a power supply that costs less and get extension cables. I think Asus has a nice opportunity to bring out a slightly lower range model that sticks with the individually sleeved cables, paired up with an 80Plus gold rated PSU at a better price point that could really light up the market.

Live Pricing: HERE

Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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