Reviews - BFG LS Series Revisited
Sample Provided by: BFG (By OklahomaWolf on Sun, Feb-15-2009)

Page 1 -

Once upon a time, yours truly took a look at two units from a new line in BFG's offerings, the LS series. Coming in at 550W and 680W, the series proved to be adequate performers if a little uninspiring in ways.

As with most things, Father Time has brought on some changes in the series lately. No longer is Fore Point being used as the manufacturer, but Enhance gets the job instead. It will be interesting to see if they're still the solid performers they were when I last looked at an LS model. The two I'm looking at today weigh in at 450W and 550W.

The boxes for these two units are almost identical in terms of advertising and yet different in size. This is because the LS550 is physically larger, boasting a 135mm fan while the 450W version only gets a 120mm air mover. As you can see from this picture, this side of the box shows you some specs, lists the box contents, gives you a connector count, and even gives you some pictures of the connectors themselves. A load table rounds things out. Why, things are more rounded out than that time I tried to remove a Robertson screw with a Phillips screwdriver. Ok, ok, so I did it more than one time. Hey, what else was I supposed to do, reach over that extra foot and a half to get the right screwdriver?

The side opposite to the one in the last picture has all the marketing hype for these units. Fortunately, both boxes are identical here so I only need to type this out once.

Efficiency and Performance Meets Affordability

No longer does upgrading a power supply mean having to break the bank, nor does a limited budget require you to have to 'settle' for a second rate unit. Upgrade to a whole new level with a BFG LS Series power supply. BFG's LS Series features a typical efficiency of 85% so more power is converted to DC than many other power supplies on the market. BFG Thermal Control Technology ensures that the unit runs as quietly as possible by varying the speed of the fan in response to load and temperature. Single +12V rail, over-volt, over-current and short circuit protection provides rock solid reliability and safety.

Features Include

  • ATX 12V 2.2 Supports the latest Intel and AMD based platforms requiring 24-pin motherboard and 4-pin or 8-pin 12V connectors. The 20+4-pin motherboard connector also ensures backwards compatibility with previous ATX standards.
  • PCI Express Ready The PCI Express power connector ensures compatibility with many high-end graphics card configurations without having to use unreliable, often performance hindering adapters.
  • SATA Connectors Six serial ATA connectors allow you to connect up to six serial ATA devices without needing special adapters.
  • BFG Thermal Control Technology During regular operation, the fan slows down to reduce unnecessary noise.
  • Protection Circuitry Built-in protection circuitry is able to handle common power irregularities such as over-voltage, overload, and short circuits.
  • MTBF A mean time between failure rating of greater than 100,000 hours guarantees a long lasting and reliable source of power.
  • High Efficiency While most computer power supplies peak at 80% efficiency, the BFG LS Series is up to 85% efficient. This means less electricity is drawn from the outlet to power your computer compared to many other units on the market.

There isn't a lot to nitpick in the marketing here, a lot of this stuff is pretty common for every unit that comes to me, but there are a few interesting bits here and there. Like efficiency. For a unit that has been certified by 80 Plus, I'm hoping we'll get over the 85% figure once or twice in the load testing part. I also confess to liking the SATA connector count given - six is more than enough for any rig needing power from a 550W or less unit.

Like some of the competitors to these units, both of these models are being advertised as single 12V units. While this is often blown up into a bigger issue than it needs to be for larger units, I actually like to see this in lower powered units where dual 12V overcurrent protection can sometimes be more a hindrance than a help when you're trying to run a power sucker video card along with several other peripherals all sharing one 12V rail while the CPU is sitting over there thumbing its little CPU nose at you because it gets one all to itself. Look at it sitting over there, constantly asking for bigger and better coolers... who does it think it is, anyway?

Hey, guys! Turns out upgrading our PSU is simple! Says so, right here on the back of the box! All kidding aside, you and I might know a lot about this stuff but this side of the box is for that kid down the street who's standing there in the store all befuddled, bewildered, confounded, and confused because his best friend told him to get rid of that generic piece of junk in his computer before it burns the house down, and all this kid knows is he only has enough money to do this himself. As such, it's actually kind of nice to see BFG not cluttering up every square inch of the box in advertising hype, opting to include a simple upgrading guide, though there is still a little bit of marketing here too in the form of efficiency and noise graphs.

So, if you're that kid in the store (not saying you are or anything), you can go ahead and lose that deer in headlights look - BFG's going to help you get through this. Of course, if you've got that deer in headlights look because all six and a half feet tall, 225 pounds of me is barreling down the aisle at you with a shopping cart and a crazed expression, it's probably best if you move aside and let me pass so I can get to those hard drives on sale over there. It'll be better for everyone in the store, trust me.

And here's our first look inside the boxes. I must admit I am a little concerned, for there is no bubble wrap or styrofoam inside to protect the units.

However, BFG makes up for that by including more goodies than the boxes said was inside. Each unit gets a manual, power cord, power supply, screws, some zip ties, and some velcro cable ties. Nice. How about some free bubble wrap too? Sure, with two units to review I'd probably still be sitting there popping all the bubbles instead of getting any work done, but it would be nice to get some padding for these units.

Say, that gives me an idea. If you see me coming at you with a crazed expression in that aisle, just wave some bubble wrap around. That'll distract me long enough for me to calm down.

As it turns out, the manual is a simple multilingual installation guide. So, if you already threw the box in the fireplace you're still covered. I hope you remembered to take off the plastic carrying handle before throwing the box in there.

It's not too hard to tell which is which, with one being smaller than the other. That'll be the 450W with its 120mm fan on the right. In reality, it's a full 20mm shallower than the 550W version, so those of you with "space challenged" cases might want to sit up and pay attention.

Not only is the case on these finished in that lovely matte black I like so much, the sleeving is very well done too, going right up into the case. I do have something to nitpick though in the white zip ties visible where the cables go inside. That looks out of place here.

In an interesting turn of events, both of my samples included those two brackets used by certain cases to help bolt down the power supply. If you think those will be a problem, fear not, for they can be unscrewed and removed.

BFG LS450 +3.3V +5V +12V -12V +5VSB
24A 20A 29A 0.3A 2.5A
Max Power 130W 348W 3.6W 12.5W
450W

Here's the label and table for the 450W. It's plain as day who made this unit, for there is a big Enhance sticker right below the label. Why, it even tells you which Enhance model was used. This particular model is good for 29A at 12V which is a wee bit weak if you're looking to go buy a GTX 295 tomorrow, but still not bad for a 450W unit.

Select the right voltage? Huh? This unit has active PFC and will do that for you... what's to select?

BFG LS550 +3.3V +5V +12V -12V +5VSB
24A 24A 42A 0.3A 2.5A
Max Power 140W 504W 3.6W 12.5W
550W

Moving on to the 550W, our 12V rail now moves up to 42A and the combined 3.3V/5V capacity gets a small nudge in the positive direction as well.

Finally, here are the two units and their cables all stretched out for you. Well, most of the way stretched out. The table's not that big. Reminds me of the last time I tried to sleep in a twin size bed without letting my feet stick out. Here's a table double shot for you with all the connector counts and measurements to help you choose which is best for you. Meantime, I'll heat up the ol' SunMoon and see you on the next page.

Type of connector: BFG LS450
ATX connector (550mm)
20+4 pin
4+4 pin ATX12V/EPS12V connector (550mm)
1
5.25" Drive (500mm+150mm+150mm)
6
3.5" Drive connectors (+150mm)
1
SATA (485mm+150mm+150mm)
6
6 pin PCIe (500mm)
2
Unit Dimensions(L x W x H)
140mm x 150mm x 86mm

 

Type of connector: BFG LS550
ATX connector (520mm)
20+4 pin
4+4 pin ATX12V/EPS12V connector (530mm)
1
5.25" Drive (500mm+150mm+150mm)
6
3.5" Drive connectors (+150mm)
1
SATA (500mm+150mm+150mm)
6
6+2 pin PCIe (480mm)
1
6 pin PCIe (+150mm)
1
Unit Dimensions(L x W x H)
160mm x 150mm x 86mm

 

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