When Silverstone kicked off their whole push for more power in small form factors, I thought it was a brilliant idea. They cast a light on a long neglected part of this industry, and I thought we’d get a nice long list of other companies jumping into the market and giving us all kinds of awesome performance in a tiny space. Regretfully, this doesn’t seem to have come to pass. Corsair and Enermax have tried, but it seems like Silverstone is still the only one really pushing things in this space. Well, now German company be quiet! has decided to get in on the action. Let’s have a look at this little 500 watt wonder and see if we have another worthy competitor to Silverstone.
SUPPLIED BY: be quiet!
PRODUCT: be quiet! SFX L Power 500W
PROD LINK: SFX-L Power 500W Product Page
PRICE: $99.90 @ Amazon
Price is at time of testing!
Our power supply today comes from be quiet!, as you can see above. And it seems as though this company has decided to jump into the small form factor market that Silverstone has been targeting for a while. In fact, Silverstone is the originator of the SFX-L form factor, which allows for slightly more power density than a regular SFX unit does. But where Silverstone is now pushing 800 watts into these little buggers, be quiet! has chosen to go a little more reserved. Today’s unit weighs in at only 500 watts, while the top end model only runs up to 600 watts.
This is likely an intentional choice. be quiet!’s main focus has always been on… surprisingly enough… being quiet. And you don’t get quiet by pushing the limits of technology on power supplies. More power density means more heat. More heat means more need to remove that heat. And that means you start hearing your cooling fans a little better.
At first glance, this unit looks to be well on target to hit Silverstone where it hurts. Fully modular, 80 Plus Gold, along with the ATX adapter bracket Silverstone has stopped throwing in with their units? Yeah, it’s not hard to see which company be quiet! is aiming at with this one. But remember, we also have stuff like the amazing Corsair SF600 to deal with as well. Which, I must point out, is a fully SFX compliant unit that does not need the deeper housing of SFX-L to get the power density in. Given how that unit performed, be quiet! could have an uphill battle indeed with this unit.
I now show you the back of the box. As always, there’s marketing back here. Nothing much new, but there’s a lot of useful information on things like the cabling, housing dimensions, load specs, and a reminder that this company is German and therefore we should expect premium quality. News flash… I expect premium quality from every power supply I run. You skimp on these things, you may well end up with dangerous crap that fell of a white truck in Shenzhen.
Hmm… three year warranty on this little guy. I’m not sure I like that in this case. Three years is pretty good these days for an entry level product, but not too competitive anymore.
Inside the box, we find a power supply, two sets of screws, some modular cables, a power cord, and the ATX adapter plate. The manual is good – nothing I intend to score against later.
Here’s the adapter plate. Silverstone’s stopped including these with some units as mentioned, but it’s nice to see someone still offering them. A unit like this could power an mATX or full ATX build without too many problems, as long as it can meet its promised power delivery specs.