Greetings once again, my dear readers. It's Monday, and as is usually the case around these parts I have another victim to torture. This time, it's one of BFG's latest, the LS680. The LS series is designed to offer good performance at a reasonable cost with good reliability. This particular unit is rated at 680 watts, which makes it a competitor to the multitude of FSP Epsilon based units out there, but there is also a 550W model in the lineup for those who don't need something super powerful. I'll be taking a look at that one too one of these days.
But for now, let's throw the 680W under the microscope and see what it's made of. Hmm... I can't seem to get it to fit. Maybe I need a bigger microscope.
Our opening set of box shots reveal some interesting points about the unit, though nothing that is really unique to this unit. Thermal fan control - who doesn't offer that? Quad 12V rails - again, nothing new. PCI-E connectors - standard these days. SATA connectors. Protection circuitry - I should certainly hope so. High efficiency - almost everyone and his dog knows about and uses double forward converters now, so that's nothing new. I've come to expect high efficiency now, even from value oriented units like this one.
The other interesting thing is that the little brother to this unit, the LS550, is 80 Plus certified. Makes me wonder how big brother lost out. We'll see about that on the next page.
Upgrading your PSU is simple! It says so, right there on the back of the box. BFG also threw in some fancy graphs to show you the fan noise profile and efficiency curve.
The final side of the box with any useful data on it contains a load chart, specifications, connector counts, contents of the box, pictures of connectors, and one thing I really like to see - a promise that it can do full output at 40 degrees. The warranty is given here as being five years long.
On unpacking the box, there appears to be more in there than was given on the side of the box in the last picture. Sure, the power cord, PSU, manual, and screws are all there, but so is a little bag full of Velcro cable ties. I like free little extra things.
The power supply itself is done up in a simple understated matte black with a big embossed BFG logo on each side. I like it already. Feels disturbingly light for a 680W, though. I hope it handles the load testing. The unit is an active PFC design, negating the need for a voltage switch.
I like the sleeving on this unit too. Neat and tidy, it goes all the way up into the body of the unit.
The load table on this unit is a bit unusual, I must say. Usually, the maximum combined power capacity is given as capacity for the entire unit. Here, the 680W rating is only for the three main rails. Kind of weird, if you ask me. I'll set up my table in accordance with the label, but I can't very well go by that 750W peak rating for load testing, because peak numbers are about as useful as a hundred dollar bill on a city transit bus. That is, it'll get you into trouble if you show it to that giant guy with the long hair, torn up shirt, and bad teeth in the back holding the bottle of whiskey and baseball bat, but won't do you much good showing it to the driver either.
So, what I'm going to do is apply the 680W number to the whole unit and choose my loads accordingly. And then I'm going to put down the whiskey and baseball bat. If anyone asks, they're not mine. Not mine at all.
Type of connector:
ATX connector (520mm)
4 x 2 12V Xeon/EPS connector (520mm)
2 x 2 12V connectors (520mm)
2 x 4 PCIe (540mm)
2 x 3 PCIe (540mm)
5.25" Drive connectors (550mm+150mm+150mm)
3.5" Drive connectors (+150mm)
*EPS12V connector is modular 4+4 pin type
**6+2 pin modular type connector
A good old tentacle shot and cable table rounds out page one. Those blue connectors in the above picture are the PCI-E connectors. T'was nice of them to choose a different color so you could tell them apart. Not much else to say about the connectors - they're pretty standard fare. No fancy quick disconnects on the 5.25" Molexes - they're good enough to get the job done and no more. Actually, I'll be honest - I don't like load testing the quick disconnect units. The SunMoon's jack panel has them too close together to fit well.
One item of interest is that BFG again threw in some free goodies. Some of you may remember the SATA connector count on the box being given as four connectors. Nuh-uh... we have eight of them here. Lots of hard drive potential on this unit without having to go get splitters. I like that.
12V rail distribution as given in the owner's manual is:
12V1: ATX, SATA, 5.25," and 3.5" Molex connectors
12V2: EPS12V/ATX12V connector
12V3 and 12V4: PCI-E connectors
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