be quiet! SFX L Power 500W Power Supply

REVIEW INFORMATION
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!

Performance (40% of the final score) – we’ll start off with the voltage regulation. Even though be quiet! tends to be a little more strict than many companies who contract out to their OEMs, it seems there’s only so much that one can do with this particular OEM. However, in this case it worked with the unit pulling down an excellent 1.29% number in the hot box. This means only half a point comes off today. And that is the only time it’s going to happen in this part of the score. Power on spike performance was close enough to perfection to leave that part of it alone, we got darn near Platinum efficiency numbers at times, and the ripple control was way under my requirements for not pulling points there. 9.5.

Functionality (20% of the final score) – be quiet! has a small edge on the Silverstone competition here thanks to the inclusion of the ATX adapter bracket the latter company has begun to leave out of their boxes lately. However, the situation is reversed for user guides, as Silverstone is still the king of Tree Slaughter Mountain there. Despite this, I found the documentation be quiet! included is good enough to not pull points for. However, a half point deduction will need to be made for that irritating ribbon style ATX cable. Ribbons are only good if those ribbons are kept to a minimum, otherwise you might as well just go back to the individual wire thing all power supplies used to come with back before they had to also look good. be quiet! also loses out in not including a semi-fanless mode like the competition, and you know they could have done it because Silverstone did it with the exact same platform. Regardless, I don’t think that’s a big enough deal to dock points for. And since I can’t find anything else to complain about here, I guess this thing’s getting another 9.5.

Value (20% of the final score) – $99.90 gets you one of these at Amazon right now. Comparatively, at NewEgg we find a barrage of competing units from Silverstone, including their own take on this platform at $99.99. Also, the Corsair SF600 can be had at Amazon for about $15 more. Honestly, though I like this unit, getting another hundred watts in a smaller housing seems like a no brainer to me. But there’s really not too much competition, so I can’t see myself doing lower than an 8 on this one. Silverstone, be quiet!, and Corsair… those are your options around this power level from companies who are reasonably serious about staying in this part of the market.

Build Quality (20% of the final score) – it’s always a momentous day when a Sirfa build makes it to this part of the review without incurring at least some deductions. We’re going to have to wait for the next one, though, because we’ve only got a three year warranty on a fan I’m not sure about. I’ve simply lost too many Globe FDB units over in the mining room over the time I was doing it to trust they’re simply going to hold up. The fan point goes away. However, that’s the only point going away. We had all the right capacitors, the design is fine, the soldering is dandy, and it’s just built well in general. I would have sinked the 12V output parts to the housing, but the unit did hold up fine in the hot box so that’s a minor concern. At 600W and up, that may be an issue but not today. 9.

be quiet! SFX L Power 500W – Scoring
Performance 9.5
Functionality 9.5
Value 8
Build Quality 9
Total Score 9.1

SUMMARY

be quiet!’s adventures into the SFX-L market seem to be heading in the right direction with this unit. Based on a platform we already know can do up to 700 watts, this little guy is a pretty solid entry into a market that is still under-supplied by most of the big PSU names out there. There’s just not a lot of competition, and it makes me very happy to see be quiet! stepping up like this. Now, if they could just lengthen that warranty a little bit I would be even happier.

The GOOD:

  • excellent voltage regulation
  • excellent ripple control
  • fully modular
  • very good build quality
  • lots of accessories

The BAD:

  • way too many big names are still missing from the SFX market

The MEDIOCRE:

  • short warranty
  • not sure about the fan

You can discuss the be quiet! SFX L Power 500W Power Supply and/or it’s testing results in our forums located here.