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Corsair SF450 SFX PSU Unboxing and Hands On Review

saikiasunny

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Seeing a high end Mini ITX system in India is a rarity. This is mostly due to the fact that we don't have the best product selection here. Either you don't get the right component and if you get them, then be ready to see your wallet loose weight.

The SF450 along with the SF600 is Corsair’s first attempt in the SFX form factor market, which is largely dominated by SilverstoneTek. The SF450 is a SFX PSU with fully modular design, 7 year warranty, gold rating and zero decibel operation. It will be interesting to see what this small, almost pocket sized PSU offers.

Note- This review will be more of an unboxing and subjective testing. Currently I don’t have access to expensive testing equipment nor do I have the technical prowess to review it by dissecting it. I will showcase it through the eyes of a customer.

You can check the specifications here-
SF Series™ SF450 — 450 Watt 80 PLUS® Gold Certified High Performance SFX PSU

UNBOXING

The SF450 comes in a neat looking box with a yellow and black color scheme. The front offers a quarter view of the PSU with some additional features and details.

sf-450-front-box.jpg


At the back you find more technical details like the power output ratings, dimensions and also get to see the fan and efficiency curves. If you look at the fan curve, you will see that the fun curve does not rise up to a certain point. We will get to that later.

sf-450-back-box.jpg


The top of the box provides some info about the included cables and their respective lengths. The offered cables will be sufficient for powering any form of high end single card setup.

sf-450-top-box.jpg


The bottom side lists some more features along with the serial codes and electrical certifications.

sf-450-bottom-box.jpg


The right and left sides are identical and just repeat the features.

sf-450-side-box.jpg


Inside the main box, there’s another brown box holding the main components. It’s neatly packed and considering the size of the PSU, you get a generous sized box.

sf-450-brown-boc.jpg


The contents of the box include the following-

  1. Manual and Warranty guide
  2. Bag of connector cables
  3. Screws, some short zip ties and a plastic Corsair sticker
  4. AC cable
  5. PSU (duh!)

psu-sf450-contents.jpg


The PSU is tightly sandwiched between two foam pads. The PSU along with the cables are provided inside faux-velvet bags. These are really useful to keep the unused cables. I wish my PSU came with such bags. The AC cable is of good quality and includes a 13A fuse

The packaging is clean and protective enough that it will be safe for any kind of shipping. The bags also add to the value. Overall I like the packaging.

And with the packaging out of the way lets go over through the PSU.

Corsair SF450

After removing the foam pads, you get the faux-velvet PSU bag. Inside the box you get to see the tiny PSU.

The PSU body has a matte textured surface. The left side has the name SF450 written on it. Though the packaging has a black and yellow color scheme, the PSU itself follows a conservative grey shaded scheme. This is a good point cause it is difficult to color match a yellow PSU with the rest of the components.

psu-sf450-side.jpg


The right side has those ugly but necessary technical specs sticker. As you can see the SF450 uses a single rail design and provides 37.5A on the 12V rail.

psu-sf450-side-details.jpg


The back of the PSU has a perforated honeycomb grille. You also get a small glimpse of the clean interior work of the insides.

psu-sf450-rear.jpg


As the PSU is modular, there are no cables sticking out of it. The connectors are labelled with large lettering and has a clean layout and has enough connectors for powering any single card setup.

psu-sf450-connectors.jpg


The bottom of the PSU has a some small grip lines and a stamped Corsair logo.

psu-sf450-grip.jpg


On the other side you get to see the 92mm fan. You can also see a small warning sticker. This informs the user that the the fan will not start spinning till it reaches a particular load which is around the 90-100W. Another unique point of the fan is that it is comparatively larger than other fans of other SFX PSUs. Mainly the SFX PSUs use a 80mm or smaller fan for their cooling.

psu-sf450-fan.jpg


Overall the PSU has good build quality; the sturdy connectors, large openings, silent fan… everything results in a nice fit and finish.

Cables

With the PSU being checked, lets see what the cables looks like.

Just like the PSU, the cables come in a bag, which is helpful in managing the unused cables. The SF450 includes the following cables-

psu-sf450-wires.jpg


The SF450 uses all black, flat cables. They are not sleeved but are flexible to use. They are easier to manage than the conventional design. And when you are going for a small build, then cable management becomes necessary.

psu-sf450-wire-closeup-300x245.jpg


The connectors are also made of high quality plastic.

psu-sf450-connector-300x206.jpg


Size Comparison

To really appreciate the size of the PSU, I am including a small size comparison with a normal sized PSU. You can clearly see that why it makes sense to go for a dedicated PSU for a small form factor PC build. They take up lesser space and still provides you with enough power to house a high performance system.

sf-450-comparison-fan.jpg


sf-450-comparison-2.jpg


Some Testing

As I already wrote in the beginning, I cannot test the PSU with full technicality, but would still provide some remarks on the performance. This is how a customer would see the PSU when he will hold it in his hands.

Here’s a quick look at the interior of the PSU.

sf450-internal.jpg


The OEM for the SF series is Great Wall. From a bit of research on the interwebs, I could find that it is an OEM that can be trusted. I have seen insides of many PSUs, but I want to say this is one of the cleanest I have seen. The soldering and hot glue work is clean and the black PCB also adds to the neat layout. Electrical performance should be good to considering Corsair is using 105c Japanese grade capacitors.

This neat layout is important because SFX power supplies have a lot less volume to stuff the components and deliver almost same amount of power. A clean layout will ensure that the air from the fan reaches every component effectively.

Lets talk about the fan. The fan is one of the major feature of the case. The fan is larger than other comparable SFX units and Corsair also claims it is quiet. The fan is a 12v, 0.22A 92mm unit and the model number is NR092L. According to corsair the fan should only reach 30dB at the maximum load. Currently very little info is available for the fan.

sf450-fan-768x713.jpg


The fan was quite, this is what I can say. The fan makes a clicking sound when it starts to spin but it is not a problem, it indicates that it is going for the low power mode. You will be hard pressed to hear it over the other components of your PC. Even at a distance of approximate 15 cm, the fan remained completely silent. When under load, it does not get any louder.

The SF450 uses a Zero RPM mode. Up to a certain load, the fan does not spin. This is where I see the first problem of the PSU. I hooked it with a low power system for half an hour for a few days. Because of the small load, fan was not spinning for the whole time and the PSU got hotter than I expected.

This may cause some loss in efficiency at lower power draw modes. The major problem will be with the users who are going to use this PSU for extremely low power needs for longer duration. But gamers should not worry cause the load requirement for gaming components are generally higher.

Conclusion

Entry of a company like Corsair into this tight market is a sign that the small PCs are the new trend. It is a niche market and very few reputable companies have ventured here. And with the advent of bigger companies, the signs look promissory for the future.

As for the product, this is one solid entry. The efficient design and an assuring 7 year warranty from the company will ensure that the product will work for any configuration thrown at it.

This product is especially great for India. Not every niche product maker is present in India. But with a product like this with the backing of a company like Corsair, soon other companies should follow.

The good things include the silent operation, high quality modular cables, long warranty period, gold efficiency and a tidy component layout. The only con that I can think of is the heating issue at low power draw for long periods. This will be case only for long periods of idle use. Other than that, I could not find any issue with the PSU

The Pricing for the PSU in the international markets is around 89$, Indian retail pricing is not yet announced. This article will be updated when the price is available.

Original Article- Corsair SF450 Review on Desktoprigs.in
 
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