Home / Tech News / Featured Tech Reviews / be quiet! SFX L 600W Power Supply review

be quiet! SFX L 600W Power Supply review

Correctly testing power supplies is a complex procedure and KitGuru have configured a test bench which can deliver up to a 2,000 watt DC load.

We test ambient temperatures at 35c in our environment to greater reflect warmer internal chassis conditions.

We use combinations of the following hardware:
• SunMoon SM-268
• CSI3710A Programmable DC load (+3.3V and +5V outputs)
• CSI3711A Programmable DC load (+12V1, +12V2, +12V3, and +12V4)
• Extech Power Analyzer
• Extech MultiMaster MM570 digital multimeter
• SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa)
• Digital oscilloscope (20M S/s with 12 Bit ADC)
• Variable Autotransformer, 1.4 KVA

DC Output Load Regulation

Combined

DC Load

+3.3V
+5V
+12V
+5VSB
-12V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A V
75W
1.09
3.30
1.47
5.03
4.92
12.18
0.50
5.01
0.20
-12.03
150W
2.09
3.28
2.97
5.02
10.02
12.16
0.50
4.99
0.30
-12.04
300W
4.30
3.27
6.00
5.00
20.58
12.07
1.00
4.96
0.30
-12.05
450W
6.57
3.26
8.48
4.98
31.79
12.00
1.50
4.88
0.30
-12.04
600W
9.94
3.25
12.20
4.96
41.78
11.95
2.50
4.86
0.30
-12.04

Load regulation is quite good, holding within around 3%.

be quiet! SFX L 600W Maximum Load
666W

The number of the beast! we managed to get 666 watts out of the unit before it shut down safely.

Next we want to try Cross Loading. This basically means loads which are not balanced. If a PC for instance needs 500W on the +12V outputs but something like 30W via the combined 3.3V and +5V outputs then the voltage regulation can fluctuate badly.

Cross Load Testing +3.3V +5V +12V -12V +5VSB
A V A V A V A V A V
590W 1.0 3.30 1.0 5.01 46.0 11.94 0.2 -11.98 0.50 4.95
145W 12.0 3.24 15.0 4.95 2.0 12.20 0.2 -12.02 0.50 4.93

The supply passed the cross load test, although the results show quite a variation on the rails.

We then used an oscilloscope to measure AC ripple and noise present on the DC outputs. We set the oscilloscope time base to check for AC ripple at both high and low ends of the spectrum. ATX12V V2.2 specification for DC output ripple and noise is defined in the ATX 12V power supply design guide.

ATX12V Ver 2.2 Noise/Ripple Tolerance
Output
Ripple (mV p-p)
+3.3V
50
+5V
50
+12V1
120
+12V2
120
-12V
120
+5VSB
50

Obviously when measuring AC noise and ripple on the DC outputs the cleaner (less recorded) means we have a better end result. We measured this AC signal amplitude to see how closely the unit complied with the ATX standard.

AC Ripple (mV p-p)
DC Load +3.3V +5V +12V 5VSB
75W 5 5 5 5
150W 5 5 5 5
300W 5 5 10 10
450W 10 10 25 15
600W 10
10 40 20

Ripple suppression rates very highly with all the rails falling well within industry tolerances. At full load the +12V rail hits 40mV which is a great result for an SFX L unit. +3.3V and +5V rails hit a peak of 10mV at full load. These are very commendable.

Efficiency (%) 230V
75W
87.45
150W
89.87
300W
92.21
450W
91.87
600W
90.69

Efficency is very good and it exceeds 80 Plus Gold levels across the board. It peaks at just over 92% at 50% load.

We take the issue of noise very seriously at KitGuru and this is why we have built a special home brew system as a reference point when we test noise levels of various components. Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on components we are testing. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.

Today to test the Power Supply we have taken it into our acoustics room environment and have set our SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa) one meter away from the unit. We have no other fans running so we can effectively measure just the noise from the unit itself.

As this can be a little confusing for people, here are various dBa ratings in with real world situations to help describe the various levels.

KitGuru noise guide
10dBA – Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refrigerator
50dBA – Normal Conversation
60dBA – Laughter
70dBA – Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA – City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA – Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA – MP3 Player at maximum output
110dBA – Orchestra
120dBA – Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA – Threshold of Pain
140dBA – Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA – Instant Perforation of eardrum

Noise (dBA)
75W
29.3
150W
30.5
300W
33.2
450W
34.5
600W 36.8

The power supply is quiet when delivering under 300 watts. At higher loads the fan spins up to compensate and its audible when delivering around 500 watts of power. Overall however, and even when delivering a full 600 watts of power, the fan is actually never that intrusive.

Temperature (c)
Intake
Exhaust
75W
35
42
150W
35
47
300W
37
52
450W
41
56
600W
44
59

The large fan helps move a lot of cool air across the internal components and as such the thermals are very good, even when tasked with a high load.

Maximum load
Efficiency
666W
90.2

At 607W the FSP power supply drops to 90.2%. This is not a viable ‘real world’ situation, but its interesting nonetheless.

Check Also

Overclockers UK is kicking off its Black Friday deals

Overclockers UK is kicking off its Black Friday sales with a bang in the run …

  • Full cable management for build flexibility and convenient usage

  • Lee

    I rarely read temperature info on psu reviews. Thank you for that.

  • dyoexnocte

    Fluid bearing fan ? On their website it’s marked as sleeve bearing:
    http://www.bequiet.com/en/powersupply/789