By now if you have been around LanOC on the review side of things as well as our LAN events you will have noticed that I love small form factor builds. I’ve gone on and on about them many times when covering all of the unique components that have been coming out for them. When it comes to feeding your new tiny build with power you used to have just two options. You could build a tiny build and use an adapter to run a laptop power adapter or you could shoe horn in the smallest ATX power supply you could fit. The laptop PSU option was limited in wattage basically eliminating the possibility of a powerful build and going ATX gave you the power but they take up a lot of space. Those of you who have dug into prebuilt PCs have most likely seen some of the FlexATX PSU’s, well SFX is a small standard form factor version of that. Over the past few years Silverstone has been the only option in SFX power supplies with enough power and modular options, but that has changed. Today I’m going to take a peek at the Corsair SF600 and see how it compares.
Product Name: Corsair SF600
Review Sample Provided by: Corsair
Written by: Wes
Pictures by: Wes
Amazon Link: HERE
LanOC Reviews only covers the features of power supplies due to not having the equipment to test them up to our standards. Because of this you will not see a performance section, a final verdict, or awards. Therefore, we prefer to call this a preview rather than a review. Thank you for understanding; we keep our standard to the absolute highest for you, our reader.
|Wattage Available||600 and 450|
|80 PLUS Certification Level||Gold|
|Dimensions||100mm x 63mm x 125mm|
|Continuous Output Rated Temperature (°C)||40°C|
|Zero RPM Fan Mode||Yes|
|4-Pin Peripheral Connector||1|
SF Series High-Performance SFX Power Supply
AC power cord
DC Modular cable set
DC Modular cable storage bag
Corsair case badge
6th generation Intel® Core™ processor Ready (Intel Skylake and Z170 motherboards)
ATX12V v2.4 and EPS 2.92 standards and is backward compatible with ATX12V 2.2, 2.31 and ATX12V 2.01 systems
SFX PSU is compatible with SFX cases. To use with an ATX case, an SFX to ATX bracket (not included) is required
|Corsair SF600 SFX Power Supply|
|AC Input Rating||DC Output Rating|
|AC Input: 100V - 240V||DC Output||+3.3V||+5V||+12V||-12V||+5Vsb|
|Current: 10A - 5A||Max Load||20A||20A||50A||0.3A||2.5A|
|Frequency: 47Hz - 63Hz||Maximum Combined Wattage||120W||600W||3.6W||12.5W|
|Total Power: 600W|
The box for the SF600 was noticeably larger than the Silverstone SFX power supplies but still much smaller than what you would see with a normal ATX power supply. The box is also a lot brighter as well with its bright yellow trim. On the front the main focus is on the photo of the SF600 in the middle. The yellow highlights the model name as well as the SF Series up in the top right corner. In the top left is the Corsair sail logo as well. If the SF600 wasn’t obvious for the wattage they also include the wattage right above it as well. With that they also have the 80 Plus Gold certification as well as the impressive 7 year warranty. Down along the bottom they highlight a few features in three different languages as well.
Up on the top edge they make it easy to figure out if the SF600 has enough connections for you with photos of each connection along with the name and the number of each you will have.
The back of the box has a few photos of the power supply but they are a little small. You can see the modular connection as well as a picture of the fan. They also have the 80 Plus efficiency graph as well as a graph of the fan noise in relation to power output. I love this graph because you will be able to see exactly where your build will cap out on fan noise assuming you have an idea of what your build needs for power.
Inside the box the documentation is up on top and then under it the power supply is secured with thick foam on both sides. This is why the box is larger, Corsair used about the same thickness in padding that a heavier full ATX power supply gets. There is no way your SF600 is going to come in damaged from being banged around.
For documentation you get a warranty guide that goes over the 7 YEAR WARRANTY. Then the manual itself breaks everything else down. The manual covers both the SF600 and the SF450 and is in multiple languages. In fact look at how thick it ends up being, I think the manual actually takes up almost the same cubic space as the power supply itself.
For accessories you get a thick power cable and a small bag. In the bag you get a thin metal Corsair case badge, black screws to mount the power supply, and a nice supply of small black zip ties. What is missing here though is an SFX to ATX adapter like the Silverstone options all have had. I complain because Silverstone only sends an unpainted grey adapter, but at least there is one. Corsair does have one and they sell it on their website for $5 plus shipping. It is also painted or powder coated in black as well so that is a major plus.
Once we get all the way inside the box the SF600 actually comes in its own velvet drawstring bag. Then of course the cables do as well. This is a little un needed really, if you are using the power supply you aren’t going to need the bag. That said they can always be useful around the house. The cords having a bag on the other hand is very helpful, you rarely use all of the cable so it helps to keep the extras all in one place.
Photos and Features
So with the Silverstone SFX options they started a long time ago with a Bronze rated 450 Watt PSU in both a modular and non-modular setup. That eventually moved to a 600W option as well as a new 450W both Gold rated. Corsair has done the same only they skipped the lower 80 Plus rated options and their first SFX power supplies are both 80 Plus Gold. They have a 450-watt option as well as the 600 Watt and both are fully modular. Today I will be taking a look at the 600 Watt model.
The SFX form factor can be a little bit surprising to anyone used to a full ATX power supply, especially when you consider how much power they output in such a small space. For reference a full sized ATX power supply is going to be about 150mm x 150mm x 86mm and that is for the smallest models, larger wattage models get much longer. The SF600 on the other hand is 125mm x 63mm x 100mm, smaller in every dimension. This is the same size as the Silverstone options, so you can use the SF600 in all of the Silverstone cases that require SFX.
What caught my eye right away was the drastically different cooling fan on the SF600, it takes up a much larger area on the power supply than other SFX power supplies and the fan opening uses a normal style grill rather than just cutouts in the sheet metal. When you first get the SF600 is also comes with a sticker warning you that the fan actually doesn’t turn on during low to moderate loads. This is important to know because I’ve had a few people freak out when their video cards fans didn’t power up. The fan inside is low profile 92mm fan that is grey in color. Being 92mm is an improvement for SFX but I’m not surprised that Corsair wanted to keep it off for lower wattage usage as it’s still not big enough to be able to push a lot of air without having to run at a decently high RPM. Thankfully given the fan doesn’t even need to come on a lot the fan shouldn’t have to run too fast.
To get all of that air out the back of the SF600 is perforated with honeycomb shaped holes. While small the SF600 does still manage to keep a small power switch on the back as well as the standard three prong power plug. Corsair also slipped a small tag with the model name on here as well because they know that in a lot of the SFF cases this power supply is going to be buried into a tiny space.
That didn’t stop them from putting a standard Corsair logo with the SF600 name on the side of the power supply though.
On the other side they packed all of the required stuff onto one sticker. Here we have all of the regulatory certifications and logos. They also have a barcode for the serial number should you need to RMA it and above that they also include the model name and a breakdown of the power load per cable.
The overall finish on the SF600 is a textured black powder coat where the Silverstone PSUs have a glossy finish. The textured finish looks great, especially on the top where Corsair has embossed their logo as well as bent lines for a little style.
The last part of the SF600 is of course where all of its modular cables hook up. Here we can see that like Corsairs larger power supplies the 24 pin power for the motherboard is split up into two connections. Everything is labeled clearly with there being two connections for peripheral/SATA connections and then three for PCI and the CPU.
For cables the SF600 has six different cables. The 24 pin motherboard power and the 4+4 8 pin CPU power cables are a given and even so Corsair didn’t hard wire them leaving the possibility of using longer or shorter cables if needed. Really the included cables should be short enough though, the 24 pin measures 13 inches long. Like I mentioned before the 24 pin uses two different connections at the PSU to split things up. The cable itself consists of four different ribbons of the thin and flexible cables that most higher quality power supplies use. The other cables use the same cable as well. The PCI Express cables both have 6 + 2 connection ends on them depending on if your video card needs an 8 or a 6 pin connection. All in all, you get everything you will need for any single video card build really. You have enough for up to 4 SATA devices and three Molex in addition to the cables for the CPU, Motherboard, and video card. This is exactly the same as the Silverstone 600 watt SFX PSU as well.
Like I mentioned in our disclaimer at the start of our coverage. In order to keep up the standards we use in other LanOC reviews I can’t in good conscience put the SF600 through halfhearted testing and say it’s great. Testing power supplies to our standards requires equipment that we don’t have. So today we aren’t doing a full review, just a preview by taking a look at what the SF600 is about. So beyond performance testing, what do we know about the SF600? Well for starters I’m really excited to see other manufactures jumping into the SFX market. More options are great for everyone and help drive improvements. In this case I think Corsair has set themselves apart with the SF600 by adding a little styling that is missing in the Silverstone PSUs. In addition, the larger fan and fan vent means better cooling and less noise as well, especially with the fan turning off in lower power usage.
The Corsair SF600 has the same flexible cabling that I love on the higher wattage Silverstone SFX PSUs. Good cabling is the difference between a good looking build with airflow and a mess of thick wires that has no airflow. In larger builds even mediocre wiring jobs can get by but in a small form factor build that airflow is the only thing keeping your new LAN rig from overheating. I would have liked to see Corsair include the SFX to ATX adapter like Silverstone, the corsair adapter is painted though and available directly from them for a good price and also on Amazon.
Speaking pf pricing how do the Corsair PSUs compare? Well currently the SF600 is available for $199.99 and the SF450 is available for $89.99. The Silverstone 600 Watt is selling for $189.99 and the Silverstone 450 Watt for $88.99 (I linked everything in case the prices change). So basically the Corsair SFX power supplies are priced exactly with the competition leaving it up to preference. Both companies have a good reputation but I am loving the upgraded cooling and better styling on the Corsair SFX PSUs. So much so in fact, that I’m considering dropping the SF600 in a new Lunchbox project build that already has the Silverstone in it.
Live Pricing: HERE