Everybody.. be quiet, please. Everybody? BE QUIET!
Ok.. now that I have your attention..
Today we're reviewing a power supply from Listan's "be-quiet!" product line, the be-quiet! Straight Power E9 680W. Listan is a German company that started out as a distributor in 2000 and is still a distributor of Chieftec, 3R Systems and HKC chassis today. In 2003, Listan started their own brands: Revoltec and be-quiet!. Revoltec offers a full gamut of PC accessories ranging from USB media card readers to cooling fans. be-quiet! focuses on higher-end cooling fans as well as power supplies like the one we're having a look at today. Listan's products are widely available in Europe, but have only been sporadically available in the United States.
When searching for be-quiet! products, make sure you search for "be-quiet" and not Listan. As you can see from the box below, the product is marketed as just "be-quiet" and doesn't bear the Listan brand at all. The same is true with Revoltec products.
As we can see from the picture of the unit on the box, this power supply, unlike the E8 400W we reviewed a while back, the E9 680W is semi-modular.
The back of the box has all sorts of good information.
be quiet über be quiet!
Before you even open the box, you know that cables and connectors you get and the size of the unit. We have that information in our reviews too! Check it out..
be-quiet Straight Power E9-680W
Type of connector:
20+4-pin ATX connector (550mm)
4+4-pin ATX12V/EPS12V (550mm)
PCIe (2 cables w/ 2 connectors) (550mm each)
+12V3 or +12V4
SATA (1 cable w/ 4 connectors) (500mm+150mm+150mm+150mm)
SATA (1 cable with 3 connectors) (500mm+150mm+150mm)
5.25" Peripheral Power Connector (1 cable with 4 connectors) (550mm+150mm+150mm+150mm)
2x SATA/2x Peripheral/1 x Floppy Power Connector (1 cable w/ 5 connectors) (500mm+150mm+150mm+150mm)
Unit Dimensions(L x W x H)
160mm x 86mm x 150mm
The format of our table really doesn't describe the cable layout too well, so I'll explain it further.
First off, the PCIe cables: There are two modular interfaces for PCIe cables. The cables are actually two, full length, 550mm cables, each with a 6+2-pin power connector at the end. The good thing about this kind of cable versus the typical 550mm+150mm PCIe power cable is that the load on the first connector isn't going to create resistance that may drop the voltage to the second connector. The bad thing about this type of cable is that if you have a graphics card that needs only one PCIe power connector, you have a whole second cable to tie off and hide. Even if you use both cables, you have to tie them together to keep things looking neat.
Also note that under "+12V Rail", I list the PCIe cable as being on either +12V3 or +12V4. This is because the +12V rail being used depends on which modular connector you plug the cable into.
The other cable that needs some explanation is the one I've labeled "2x SATA/2x Peripheral/1 x Floppy Power Connector". We can call this the "kitchen sink cable". Essentially, you have 550mm until you get to the first connector, which is a SATA connector. After 150mm, there's a second SATA connector. After another 150mm, there's a 5.25" peripheral power connector (what some people call a "Molex" connector, even though Molex is a brand name and they make a number of different kinds of connectors), then there's a second 5.25" peripheral power connector, then finally a floppy power connector.
The back of the box also has a number of bullet points describing the product within.
There's a description of the Silent Wings fan that states it is a 135mm diameter, with flow-optimised fan blades and a 300,000 hour MTBF fluid dynamic bearing. The box also tells us that the topology used is active clamp with synchronous rectification.
A DC output table is also provided on the back of the box. The above photo shows this pretty well, but for the sake of not breaking with tradition, here is our standard DC output table:
be-quiet Straight Power E9-680W
Enough of the outside of the box. Let's open it up and see what's inside.
Inside the box, we see the power supply, not protected by any foam, but protected by a piece of cardboard with the sides folded out to touch the inside sides of the retail box. On top, there is a manual for the power supply, and a manual for the Silent Wings fan within the power supply.
As we take everything out of the box, we see the power supply unit, a power cord (CEE 7/7 plug in the unit we received), two bundles of modular cables and a Ziploc bag with a few Zip-ties and some mounting screws.
And here is our modular interface. With only the 24-pin cable attached, this is pretty much the next best thing from a fully modular power supply. Although it's interesting that they made the 4+4-pin modular. I don't know of a single motherboard made in the past decade that doesn't have either a 4-pin or 8-pin for CPU power. Even a mini-ITX motherboard for a Core2Duo needs a 4-pin.
Above is a picture of our solitary fixed cable; a lone 20+4-pin ATX power connector cable. The sleeving is fairly good quality.
I know I've oo'd and ah'd over the be-quiet design before, but I can't say enough times how cool this thing looks. The subtle yellow trim around the fan, the "bars" that act as a fan grill. If you mount the PSU in the bottom of your windowed chassis, you get to display a de-bossed "be-quiet" logo on the side of the power supply.
If you have a chassis where the power supply mounts on the top, you get to see a specification label.
Exhaust goes through a fairly typical honeycomb grill.
Finally, looking at the two pieces of documentation included, one seems to be just a flier for Silent Wings fans. It does have technical data for a number of models of fan, but none listed are 135mm, so we can't even assume what specs apply to the fan used in this power supply.
The manual for the power supply is very hardy. It covers safety, features of the power supply, some installation instructions, a description of the different safeguard functions used in the power supply as well as some troubleshooting tips.
Now let's put the power supply on the load tester..
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