be quiet! 350w SFX Power PSU


PSUBeing the first SFX PSU reviewed on Overclock3D thus far, it does make it slightly difficult to draw a conclusion on its performance in relation to any alternatives on the market. However, as much as I told myself not to compare the be quiet! SFX Power to the likes of an ATX PSU, it has become increasingly obvious throughout the testing that the unit is easily capable of competing with some of its full-sized counterparts.
Take for example the efficiency. At anything between 200-300w load the unit managed a highly respectable 85%. This only dropped down to 83% at other load levels, and even when run well above specification at an impressive 420w in Test 7, still managed to keep its chin up at 82.84%. This will play an important part in keeping energy bills to a minimum, especially when HTPC's and SFF Home/NAS servers tend to be left on 24/7.
Moving on to the voltage stability there's very little to be concerned about here either. The +3.3v and +5v rails may not have been quite as stable as some of the 350W full-sized ATX PSU's I've tested in the past, but with voltages ending up at 3.31v and 4.92v at full load, you really cant complain. The +12v rail was a bit of an odd ball, starting at 11.92v and actually increasing to 11.96v as a larger load was applied. This would tend to indicate that the voltage regulation on the PSU is overcompensating for the load and potentially reducing the maximum power output of the PSU at the top-end. However, with the unit managing to hold a 420w load in the testing this certainly wont pose any problem to those looking to get a full 350w out of the unit.
The only area that the be quiet! SFX Power failed to deliver (which is a bit ironic given its name) was in the noise output. At anything up to around 75% load the unit was perfectly silent. However on pushing closer to the PSU's maximum output, the 80mm fan speed increased significantly bringing with it the annoying pitched squeal that only 80mm fans are capable of. By 100% load the fan could easily be heard above the din of the PSU testing equipment which leads me to believe you wouldn't  want your HTPC / SFF PC to be in the same room as you when this PSU is running flat out.
The Good
- Efficient operation for such a small unit
- Reasonable voltage stability in the 'normal' tests T1-T4.
- Sleeved Cables and Black finish make it good looking for an SFX unit.
- Ripple was surprisingly good.
- 420w max output!
The Mediocre
- Didn't like the cross-load tests.
The Bad
- Noisy approaching full load.
Although the be quiet! SFX Power is far from perfect, being able to fit such a stable and efficient PSU into a Small Form Factor casing is worthy of award. For this reason the be quiet receives our recommended award.
OC3D Recommended Award
Thanks to be quiet! for sending the SFX Power in for review. Discuss this review in our forums.
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Most Recent Comments

22-09-2009, 13:13:09

"Looking for a quality small form factor PSU to replace the generic grey deathtrap that came with your HTPC chassis? Read on to see if be quiet! have the answer."

be quiet! 350w SFX Power PSUQuote

22-09-2009, 13:22:50

Very nice unit that, the size of it is great, whilst performance is sitll good. Looks nice as usual too!

Shame it's noisy at full load, but for the applications it's aimed at, will it ever reach full load?Quote

22-09-2009, 13:43:55

My initial thoughts were that they've done really well to get it so small, but it's a shame about the noise. Then exactly like Peter I wondered how likely it is for a HTPC system to hit full load.

Depends on if you use it for Bluray playback (thus a beefy CPU) or not I guess.Quote

22-09-2009, 14:37:59

Perfect timing.

Need a HTPC PSU as my relative's HTPC PSU just busted!

Gotta love OC3D.Quote

22-09-2009, 15:14:49

Originally Posted by name='zak4994'
Perfect timing.

Need a HTPC PSU as my relative's HTPC PSU just busted!

Gotta love OC3D.
Glad to be of service

@Peter/VB, yeah I doubt in most systems it will come close to 350w so the high load noise won't really be too much of an issue. But on the other hand I do have a Q6600 HTPC with a HD4850 and 3x1TB HDD's, so I might give it a slightly hard time Quote

22-09-2009, 15:15:40

Just wanna make sure before I order, will this fit in an HP Slimline PC?

Don't wanna thread hijack. lolQuote

22-09-2009, 15:22:12

Originally Posted by name='zak4994'
Just wanna make sure before I order, will this fit in an HP Slimline PC?

Don't wanna thread hijack. lol
If it takes a standard SFX PSU then yeah I'd say so. We can compare measurements if you're not sure tho Quote

22-09-2009, 16:25:03

Lol. That's a hell of a HTPC Jim!

I still find the size of the thing amazing. As so many PC parts are getting enormous (men and their size fetish eh) it's great to see some companies going in the opposite way.

I'd love to see how it looks in size against the PCP&C behemoth Quote

23-09-2009, 10:26:20

It all really depends if ur buying all the components for a htpc, or ur using gear u have lying about to make one.

The size, or shape, of the unit here wouldn't fit into the htpc I've got at present. It's more the shape of a squashed vhs-video unit - to that extent, the options are to really go with what is supplied with the case. It works, can't remember off-hand if it's 300/350/400 (might be a CiT), but it is a p4 designed psu, with optional replacements coming in the shape of some obscure stockers. 4 pins to the Q35m mobo has worked to this point.

So really, even with the psu being aimed at the smaller case market, u do have to consider the cases this could limit u to.

Imo too, being as this will not be used (or meant for should I say, cos people do some strange things) in some enthusiasts oc'ing, large graphics, loads of drives, rig - it has a limited appeal to the small case people that I don't think warrants a costing of £45 necessarily.

Having said that, it performs close to the quality of a regular atx of similar wattage. Therein lies the reason u would have to submit.

More than anything tho, I like the idea that the option is out there. Too many things pop-up during custom builds, that hamper what u might want to do. Having the shorter depth is great without the loss of quality.

Great stuff.

(another thing this will be good for is replacement psus for dell/compaq etc builds that often have a small-depth psu in them. if u try a regular one in them, u find the dvd drive doesnt fit. great option)Quote

25-09-2009, 04:23:06

Wouldn't this be perfect as the second power-supply in a WC system!

Just thought of that.Quote

25-09-2009, 04:33:50

Originally Posted by name='VonBlade'
Wouldn't this be perfect as the second power-supply in a WC system!

Just thought of that.
Yep. It may be a bit old school now but I was also thinking that it would make quite a good TEC/Pelt PSU.Quote

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