There sure were SFX-L units all over the exhibit hall at Computex this year!
I love this because I truly believe that SFX and SFX-L have the potential to supplant ATX as the standard form factors for PC power supplies (reducing the space the PSU takes up inside the case in the process), and we’re starting to reach an inflection point of SFX and SFX-L PSU availability from multiple companies.
The reason I say that is because having more SFF power supply options encourages case manufacturers to design around the form factor, which in turn creates a bigger market for these PSUs, which encourages even more SFX/SFX-L cases, and thus a positive feedback loop is born. While there weren’t all that many cases that require SFX/SFX-L at the show, with over a dozen new SFX-L units featured in this roundup alone it’s just a matter of time.
Surprisingly there weren’t many new SFX power supplies at the show, though I suspect we’re seeing a trend towards the 130mm SFX-L this year because the larger fan makes for an easier sell to end users worried about the noise, since the 100mm long SFX is limited to only 80mm or 92mm fans. The depth is the only difference though since both SFX and SFX-L are 63.5mm tall and 125mm wide, a reduction from ATX of 22.5mm and 25mm respectively.
This is pretty straightforward, it’s a fully-modular 500W unit based on the prolific Sirfa/High Power platform as a companion to Akasa’s upcoming Venom RG Mini-ITX case.
The only oddity is it’s labeled as being “90% efficient” instead of the expect 80 PLUS Gold-rating, so either Akasa hasn’t gotten this certified yet or they don’t plan to. No word on price or availability because I misplaced my notes, but I would guess Q3 or Q4 since that’s the expected release date for the case.
True to their name, be quiet! is skipping SFX and jumping straight to SFX-L for their entry into the SFF PSU market in order to take advantage of a larger 120mm fan. At the show they introduced the SFX-L-500W and the SFX-L-600W, which feature full modularity, a single 12V rail, 80 PLUS Gold efficiency, SFX to ATX bracket, and 3-year warranty.
Surprisingly to me though, be quiet! opted to not have any semi-fanless functionality. According to the rep I spoke with they are already quiet enough at idle, even with the fan spinning, due to the temperature-controlled fan curve. Hopefully I will be able to get my hands on a review sample to put their claim to the test.
The OEM is Sirfa/High Power and they should release around August. MSRP is $109 for the 500W and $129 for the 600W.
Though it will almost certainly never be available at retail under Enhance’s branding, I’ll add go ahead and add this for completeness.
Since they are the OEM, Enhance had their own prototypes of the SilverStone 450W fanless SFX-L unit we broke the story on. The Enhance prototypes look identical to the unit in the SilverStone booth, but the Enhance reps told me that they have their version rated for 400W at the moment. They are aiming for 500W though.
An interesting tidbit I learned is that the USB connector can monitor DC voltages on all the rails, input AC voltage, temperature, and current. I assume for current it can monitor the power draw on each of the DC rails, but I didn’t think to clarify with the rep I was talking to.
SilverStone said it will likely release next year when we spoke to them initially, but Enhance has a more aggressive target and told me they’re aiming for the end of this year.
Unfortunately we did not have the chance to make it by EVGA’s suite, but Tom’s Hardware has some info on their new SFX-L units. The two new models are the 650 G3s and 750 G3s, which as you might have guess are 650W and 750W respectively. Details are sparse but they are fully-modular, feature a 120mm fan, and will presumably be Gold-rated like the Super Flower platform considering the model number.
Something the EVGA’s appear to share with the Super Flower versions is semi-fanless functionality that can be turned off (so the fan is always on) via a switch on the connector side of the unit. This is a feature that we’ve seen on some ATX power supplies, but is a first for either the SFX-L or SFX form factor. Hopefully the semi-fanless implementation is good enough that there isn’t a need to disable it unless desired, but in the event that it isn’t, being able to disable passive mode without having to buy a new PSU is fantastic.
According to Tom’s Hardware the release date is possibly early 2018.
While Scythe was the first to release something resembling a SFX-L unit in 2008, the modern era of SFX-L started with High Power (the retail brand of Sirfa) and their 500W Gold-rated unit at Computex 2013. And Sirfa has been the OEM behind many of the SFX-L units on the market (particularly 500W Gold-rated ones) since then. More on the history of SFX-L here.
So the SFX-A700PT-F12C (or SFX-A 700W for short) isn’t really new since in that it’s the same platform the SilverStone SX700-LPT is based on, but it is a new addition to the PSU lineup sold under the High Power brand. The basic specifications are the same as the SX700-LPT: 700W, Platinum-rated, fully modular, semi-fanless, Japanese capacitors, and semi-fanless functionality. Unlike SilverStone though, High Power will be bundling a SFX to ATX bracket.
I’d be curious what, if any, differences there are in performance between this and the SX700-LPT (which I reviewed here), but the SFX-A 700W won’t be releasing until Q4 this year so any comparison will have to wait.
For everyone else on this list that had more than one new SFX-L unit, it was just two different wattage versions of the same model. Raijintek, on the other hand, had new PSUs to show at Computex of two different platforms entirely.
First is the LSFX-series 500W, which also uses that aforementioned Sirfa/High Power platform. Specs are much the same as it’s cousins: 500W, Gold-rated efficiency, and full modularity, but I neglected to ask if it was semi-fanless though.
Speaking of which, one thing Raijintek has done to stand out is using a spiffy-looking fan that sports a red frame and white blades. While it may not be to everyone’s tastes, it’s fun to see something a little different in the SFX-L space aesthetically.
This should release soon in mid-July but no word on price.
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Raijintek also had this more budget-friendly alternative:
Details on this are fuzzy other than it’s also 500W and fully modular, but Bronze-rated instead. I’m not even sure who the OEM is.
No release date other than it’ll be at some point after the Gold-rated version launches.
I ran out of time to check it out personally, but the other members of our intrepid Computex team informed me of a mysterious SFX-L power supply at the Segotep booth so I just had to get to the bottom of it.
Segotep, or 鑫谷 as it is known in its native China, does not have much presence in Western markets (though they are the OEM behind the Enermax Steelwing case as noted in Drew’s review). This is a Computex 2017 SFX-L roundup after all though, so it’s well worth discussing them here even if availability of this unit outside China may be almost nonexistent.
After some searching and liberal use of Google Translate, I found that the mystery unit is the Segotep M600G. Strangely, it doesn’t show up on the Segotep website even though there are already a few reviews of it on Chinese PC hardware website like this one.
Despite what the model number would suggest, this is actually a 500W unit and from the linked review, the specs are Gold-rated efficiency, full modularity, single 12V rail, 120mm fan, dual 6+2 PCIe connectors, and wide input voltage (so it would be safe to use on the 120V North American power grid for example).
The flush modular connectors look impressive at first, but the M600G is actually a bit longer than typical SFX-L at 140mm. The OEM appears to be Fortech Electronics which, like Segotep, is part of the Colorful Group.
It’s not for sale yet that I could find, but the review mentions a price of only ¥599 (~$88).
Of all the SFX-L units at the show, the SilverStone NJ450-SXL is the one I’m personally most excited about: a 450W Platinum-rated fully-modular SFX-L power supply with completely passive cooling.
Because while the SFX and SFX-L units have greatly improved in the noise depart over just the last two years, there still isn’t one that is quiet enough at typical gaming loads of 200W-300W for someone as picky as I am to be completely satisfied. So I’ve cajoled SilverStone’s marketing manger Tony Ou about the possibility of a completely passive SFX-L PSU before since there’s no better way to reduce fan noise than just removing the fan entirely, but I wasn’t seriously expecting such a thing to happen for several more years yet.
The most I would have hoped for was a bullet point on a product roadmap PowerPoint set at some vague date in the future, so imagine my complete and utter surprise when an actual physical prototype of just such a thing showed up as I was wrapping up my conversation with Tony! I was so amazed that my dream PSU finally exists that immediately after leaving the SilverStone’s booth we grabbed lunch, and I typed out our exclusive first look sitting on the floor in a corner of the exhibition hall between bites.
Tony told me to expect this unit sometime next year at the earliest. But like I mentioned earlier, the OEM Enhance said Q4 and when I asked a rep at the SilverStone booth towards the end of the show they also repeated Q4. Considering that the highest wattage fanless ATX power supply is only rated 20% higher at 550W though, cramming 450W of passively-cooled power into a housing less than half the volume will be no mean feat. As such, I will set my expectations for next year but I certainly wouldn’t mind to be proven wrong.
All that extra engineering and the higher-quality componentry to deal with the heat comes at a cost though, so price will probably be in the neighborhood of the SX800-LTI despite being almost half the wattage.
In the United States, Super Flower is mostly just known as the OEM behind many of EVGA’s well-received ATX power supplies, but in other parts of the world they sell PSUs under their own brand.
I must not have talked to the right person, because when I stopped by and inquired the rep only made vague references to a 700W Gold-rated platform that would release next year. Luckily Aris Mpitziopoulos from Tom’s Hardware wrung out more details from them.
Go check out his article for more information, but I found the following quote fascinating:
At the moment, all Super Flower engineers are working on this new SFX-L platform, which shows how important the SFX-L market is to Super Flower.
That an OEM like Super Flower, who are well-regarded for their ATX PSU platforms, feels this project is so important as to focus the entire engineering department on it is an incredible validation of the growing importance of SFF!
In the process of trying to hunt down the EVGA hotel suite, we ran across XIGMATEK’s instead. I’m glad we did because they also had new SFX-L models, which we covered here. In short, there will be the SFX 120F-500W and SFX 120F-600W and both feature Gold-rated efficiency, fully modularity, a slim 120mm fan, single 12V rail, and will come with a SFX to ATX bracket.
It is the same platform, for the 600W at least, as the SilverStone SX700-LPT so that means the OEM is Sirfa/High Power.
These units are ready to go, but the release date and price hasn’t been finalized yet.
I believe this is all of the SFX-L power suplies that were at the show, but if I missed one please let me know in the comments.
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Thoughts? Discuss them in the forum here.
June 9 update: Corrected the OEM for the be quiet! units, it is Sirfa. Also added the model number for the SilverStone fanless unit.