Be Quiet! PURE POWER L8 500 W Review 2

Be Quiet! PURE POWER L8 500 W Review

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Introduction


We would like to thank Be Quiet! for supplying the review sample.

Be Quiet! is probably the largest German company in the PSU and CPU-cooling market. They, as their name implies, mainly focus on providing products with a quiet operation as German users are generally very sensitive to noise, so all of their products are equipped with silent fans of high quality.

The newest additions to Be Quiet’s portfolio of products are the fresh L8 units that belong to the Pure Power series. These mostly address the mainstream and mid-end market segments. The new models are six in total, and all of them are equipped with affixed cables to restrict production costs and achieve a lower retail price. We already reviewed the CM L8-730W here, and the L8 ones are also 80 Plus Bronze certified, featuring, according to their manufacturer, exceptionally quiet operation due to the silent 120 mm fan with rifle-bearings. Since Be Quiet! is well known for their low-noise products, we have no reason not to believe them. However, our sound-measuring equipment will be the final judge of that.

Today’s menu has as the main dish for the Chromas the Pure Power L8-500W that is equipped with two +12V rails. It can also deliver its full power continuously at up to 40°C ambient, has up to 88% efficiency, and all of its native cables are sleeved in order to provide improved airflow inside the chassis, and to look nice! According to Be Quiet!, this unit is also ready for the Intel Haswell platform, so it supports Intel C6/C7 sleep state energy requirements. We will of course verify or debunk this claim through our tests, especially since it is very hard for budget units to achieve Haswell compatibility as their cost-saving design does not cope well with highly unbalanced loads on all rails.

Specifications

Be Quiet! L8 500W Features & Specs
Max. DC Output500W
PFCActive PFC
Efficiency80 PLUS Bronze
ModularNo
Intel Haswell ReadyNo
Operating temperature0°C - 40°C
ProtectionsOver Voltage Protection
Under Voltage Protection
Over Power Protection
Over Temperature Protection
Over Current Protection
Short Circuit Protection
Cooling120 mm Rifle-Bearing Fan ()
Semi-passive operationNo
Dimensions150 mm (W) x 86 mm (H) x 150 mm (D)
Weight1.93 kg
ComplianceATX12V v2.4, EPS 2.92
Warranty3 years
Price at time of review (exc. VAT)$74.99 (MSRP)

Efficiency is Bronze in an effort to restrict production costs, which allows Be Quiet! to offer a product for the mainstream market. The use of nothing but affixed cables was another such measure to keep costs down.

According to Be Quiet!, The L8-500W is Haswell ready, but our testing proved the opposite. We will discuss this issue further in the corresponding results. Also, the maximum operating temperature at which the PSU can deliver its full power continuously is restricted to 40°C, while the ATX spec recommends 50°C. The unit does do well in terms of protection features as it is equipped with all of them and has a cooling fan that uses a riffle-bearing, an enhanced version of a sleeve-bearing with increased lifespan and lower noise output.

The dimensions of the unit are compact, and one can glean that the unit supports the latest ATX spec, v.2.4, from the corresponding row of the above table. Finally, the warranty is long enough for a mainstream product, and the price looks good for what the PSU offers on papers.

Be Quiet! L8 500W Power Specs
Rail3.3V5V12V112V25VSB-12V
Max. Power24A15A28A20A3A0.3A
120W456W15W3.6W
Total Max. Power500W

There are two +12V rails with unequal power distribution. The first can deliver 8 A more than the second. +12V2's current output of 20A is relatively low; however, the unit's capacity is also low, making such a weak +12V rail nothing to worry about. The minor rails have high enough combined power, but the 5V rail is much weaker than the 3.3V one in an effort to have the unit pass the Haswell compatibility test successfully. Finally, the 5VSB rail has 3 A current output, which will suffice in all cases.

Cables & Connectors, Power Distribution

Native Cables
ATX connector (450mm)20+4 pin
4+4 pin EPS12V (565mm)1
6+2 pin PCIe (500mm)2
SATA (450mm+150mm+150mm)3
SATA (450mm+150mm) / 4 pin Molex (+150mm) / FDD (+150mm)2 / 1 / 1
4 pin Molex (450 mm+150mm+150mm) 3

The number of available connectors looks good for the capacity of the unit; however, one or two more SATA connectors would be nice. Also, the ATX cable is quite short at 450 mm, but this unit will most likely be installed into a small/medium case where such a short length won't pose a problem. The same applies to the single EPS cable; it should ideally be at least 600 mm long. Both PCIe cables are of a normal length, and the distance amongst connectors on cables with more than one is adequate. Finally, all gauges are of 18AWG size, a size the ATX spec sets forth for most PSU cables.

Power Distribution
12V1PCIe1, ATX, Peripheral
12V2PCIe2, EPS

Power distribution doesn't look optimal because the EPS and second PCIe connector are fed by the weaker +12V rail, and the EPS connector normally isn't mixed up with any of the PCIe ones. It would definitely be better for both PCIe connecters to be fed by the 12V2 rail, leaving the EPS to be fed by 12V1.

Packaging


The small box features a black background with a small image of the unit at the front. Under this image are the series description, the capacity of the unit, and a small list including the most crucial features of the PSU in two languages, English and German. The 80 Plus Bronze badge is located near the top-left corner and is really small, like they meant to hide it!


This side has a features description in two languages at the bottom and a series of badges the unit earned from various review sites.


The features description on this side is given in two languages that differ from those on the other side, and there are some more award badges at the bottom.


There is nothing new on the top side of the box.


The rear has a paragraph promoting Be Quiet! and their products, and a scheme illustrating all available connectors and the length of the cables on which they are installed. A table also provides information on the power output specifications of the unit, and a small scheme right next to it gives away the unit's dimensions. There is also a features description in English.

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