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EVGA and Coolermaster SFX PSU's: as reliable as full size PSU's?

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I once had a baby AT case that came with a ATX PSU that was much smaller than the standard. Unfortunately, the fan seized up and the PSU burned up because of the heat.

Are EVGA and Coolermaster SFX PSU's as reliable as full size PSU's? I'd imagine they have to run their fans faster to dissipate the heat load than a full size PSU so they're probably noisier right?
 
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Unfortunately, the fan seized up and the PSU burned up because of the heat.
That is not correct! If the fan seized, the PSU should have shut down when it got too hot. If it burned up, that clearly indicates (1) thermal protection circuits failed miserably and catastrophically (2) the PSU had a very poor design, or (3) both 1 and 2.

Are EVGA and Coolermaster SFX PSU's as reliable as full size PSU's?
That is WAY too general and vague a question to answer. You have to be specific with specific model numbers. This is like asking if a small car is as reliable as a full size sedan.
 
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The specific SFX PSU's I had in mind were:

1. Cooler Master V SFX Gold 850 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular SFX

2. EVGA SuperNOVA GM 850 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular SFX

3. FSP Group Dagger Pro 850 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular SFX (never heard of this brand before yesterday)

And lastly and most expensively:

4. Silverstone SX-LPT 1000 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular
 
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FSP has been around almost forever. They are best known as an OEM supplier - where they make the PSUs for other brands who put their names on them.

I am sure any one of those would be a "reliable" choice - meaning it "should" last for as long as you choose to use it. That is, it is likely you would retire the computer before it dies.

The only one of the above I would ignore is the Silverstone. I am sure it is a great PSU, but IMO, nobody needs a Platinum certified supply. Often misunderstood is the fact a higher rated 80 PLUS supply is NOT an indication of quality or reliability. It just means it is a little more efficient - it wastes fewer watts.

If you look at the 80 PLUS criteria (hover over the Gold and Platinum logos) you will see there is only 2% difference at 50% load between Gold and Platinum. It would take many years to make up the difference in energy savings for the extra purchase cost of the Platinum.

There is nothing to suggest a Platinum will last longer than a Gold, have less ripple suppression, better hold-up time, better regulation, tighter tolerances or run quieter.

If I had to choose, I would probably take the EVGA simply because I have used lots of EVGA supplies in recent builds, with no issues. So I have a bit of brand loyalty there.

That said, almost nobody needs an 850W supply. I would never, as in NEVER EVER buy any supply without first understanding my power requirements.
 
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Disclaimer: I have not used any of the four SFX models mentioned in post #3.

Concerning reliability no one can answer your question. One thing PC equipment reviewers cannot do is assess long-term reliability especially with a statistically significant sample size. This isn't specific to PC power supply units, it pertains to pretty much all PC components (CPUs, fans, RAM, graphics cards, whatever).

If long-term reliability is a major concern, your best bet is to select a unit with an exceptionally long warranty. The manufacturer has the best idea of the durability of these based on prolonged laboratory tests in-house as well as RMAs.

Bill_Bright's points about the differences between Gold and Platinum are pertinent. The differences between the two are pretty minimal especially for consumer use:


However one thing that hasn't been discussed is acoustics. SFX power supplies tend to be noisier than ATX power supplies -- particularly at higher loads -- because they use smaller fans to fit in the smaller SFX enclosure. A smaller fan needs to rotate at a faster speed to move the same volume of air. SFX power supplies are also narrower which means less exhaust vent space at the back panel compared to the wider ATX size.

What some SFX PSU manufacturers have done is to come up with the SFX-L form factor which makes the PSU longer. This allows the manufacturer to include a larger fan; this helps with acoustics. Naturally the PC case must have the space to accommodate SFX-L PSUs. The SFX-L form factor does not have an official specification for length so it is up to the buyer to do their due diligence in figuring out if a given SFX-L PSU model will fit in their particular case.

In my primary gaming build (see System Specs <==) I have a Silverstone SX800-LTI (800W, SFX-L format, 80 Plus Platinum) power supply. I didn't buy it for the Platinum certification. I bought it for its larger fan (120 mm) and the 800W capacity since it's powering a thirsty GeForce RTX 3080 Ti.

In an different build (NZXT H210 which is tight on space) I have a Corsair SF750 SFX power supply which has a smaller fan. In my specific usage case, this PSU isn't any noisier because it is a build with a lighter load. It's worth noting that Corsair offers a 7-year warranty. Originally the H210 case had an ATX power supply which was too bulky for the custom cooling loop that was trying to install at that time so I switched to the SFX unit to reclaim some real estate inside the case.

In selecting an SFX power supply, you really need to start with your usage case (what components it will be powering at what typical load amount) as well as the computer case dimensions itself. Shoehorning an SFX-L PSU might not be desirable in a small chassis although it might allow for better acoustics if used at a high load.

Naturally you pay a premium for an high-wattage SFX or SFX-L power supply versus an equal wattage ATX unit. Unless you are constrained by case space limitations, your wallet goes farther with ATX versus SFX and you'll have a longer warranty with the former and likely better acoustics.

It's worth noting the final sentence from the PC World article:

"Buy a power supply with an efficiency that fits your situation, not the demands of other people who believe you must always maximize on specs."
 
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Higher efficiency PSU's generally dissipate less power as heat, but it probably won't be significant between gold/platinum.
 
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Higher efficiency PSU's generally dissipate less power as heat, but it probably won't be significant between gold/platinum.
Yeah won't be very signifigant vs cost but you are technically correct.
 
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However one thing that hasn't been discussed is acoustics.
Well, I did slightly touch on it above - at least in terms of Platinum vs Gold when I said,
There is nothing to suggest a Platinum will last longer than a Gold, have less ripple suppression, better hold-up time, better regulation, tighter tolerances or run quieter.

Disclaimer: I have not used any of the four SFX models mentioned in post #3.
Adding my own disclaimer - While I have worked on my SFX computers, I have not used any SFX in any SFX build because I have never built a SFX computer for myself and likely never will. And this is due, much in part, to cvlades point about cooling and thus noise.

The problem is the same for laptops. Manufacturers can pack the horsepower of a PC into a laptop case, but not the cooling.
Higher efficiency PSU's generally dissipate less power as heat, but it probably won't be significant between gold/platinum.
Exactly this. Efficiency is all about wasted power - power that is wasted in the form of heat. But yes, any differences between Platinum and Gold will be insignificant. Typically, all this means is the fan "may" begin to spin a bit faster a bit sooner - maybe. The demand on the PSU would have to be very high for an extended period of time for a mere 2% difference in efficiency to cause the fan to spin up a little faster a little sooner.
 
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Adding my own disclaimer - While I have worked on my SFX computers, I have not used any SFX in any SFX build because I have never built a SFX computer for myself and likely never will. And this is due, much in part, to cvlades point about cooling and thus noise.
I don't think there is anything inherently inferior with the SFX PSU form factor. It's a worthy consideration for certain usage cases that thoughtful builders might be able to identify. It's a mix of features and compromises like pretty much anything in life.

Not everyone is gaming 8+ hours a day with today's power hungry premium desktop GPUs. There are plenty of other non-gaming usage cases and people with more than one computer. I'm typing this response on my NZXT H210 build, powering a Ryzen 3700X and a GeForce RTX 3050. I don't game on this system.

I've used plenty of desktop PCs over the decades that didn't have an ATX power supply. Whatever Apple proprietary PSU is in my Mac mini 2018 seems to be adequate for that matter and it's smaller than SFX.

;):p:D:)
 
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I don't think there is anything inherently inferior with the SFX PSU form factor. It's a worthy consideration for certain usage cases that thoughtful builders might be able to identify. It's a mix of features and compromises like pretty much anything in life.

Not everyone is gaming 8+ hours a day with today's power hungry premium desktop GPUs. There are plenty of other non-gaming usage cases and people with more than one computer. I'm typing this response on my NZXT H210 build, powering a Ryzen 3700X and a GeForce RTX 3050. I don't game on this system.

I've used plenty of desktop PCs over the decades that didn't have an ATX power supply. Whatever Apple proprietary PSU is in my Mac mini 2018 seems to be adequate for that matter and it's smaller than SFX.

;):p:D:)
I have a TFX PSU (proprietary) in my Dell work PC. Never heard it or the single-slot R7 450's fan, even with Furmark. TFX is very very small.
 
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My biggest issue with most SFX PSU's is that most only have 2 VGA outs.

I've ran a 3080FTW3 on a EVGA 650 SFX and while it has been fine I'm pretty sure it wont be with the next gen GPU's in the 80/90 segment.
 

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I'll tell ya what, it's just tough to beat Corsair or Seasonic SFX PSU's. They both have been some serious solid power supplies. In my experience.

I've had both and had a Seasonic go to crap, but it shut down without any damage to the system and Seasonic warrantied it without a single issue. The power supply was about 7 years old!!!!!

It had a 5 year warranty.
 
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I've seen a TFX PSU in a DVR surveillance unit. That PSU lasted for more than 10 years of 24-7 operation before it finally died. Too bad they don't make any TFX PSU's in > 700 Watt flavours.
 
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