Page 1:Super Flower SF-550F14MG Power Supply Review
Page 2:Packaging, Contents, Exterior And Cabling
Page 3:A Look Inside And Component Analysis
Page 4:Load Regulation, Hold-Up Time And Inrush Current
Page 5:Efficiency, Temperature And Noise
Page 6:Cross-Load Tests And Infrared Images
Page 7:Transient Response Tests
Page 8:Ripple Measurements
Page 9:Performance, Performance Per Dollar, Noise and Efficiency Ratings
Page 10:Pros, Cons And Final Verdict
Super Flower has made quite an impact on the PSU market. Its Leadex platform enjoys huge popularity, both under SF's brand name and other companies like EVGA. The newest Leadex Gold-rated PSU with 550W capacity is on our test bench today.
Super Flower recently released a new 550W Leadex power supply. In addition to its Gold-rated efficiency, this PSU offers modular cables with cube-shaped and LED-lit connectors, which we usually only see in the company's high-end offerings. On top of that, the SF-550F14MG employs a semi-passive mode that can be disabled if you'd prefer the fan to spin continuously. Speaking of the fan, strangely enough it isn't the same one used in Super Flower's Platinum Leadex PSU with the same capacity (SF-550F14MP).
Over in Europe, the price of this unit is very competitive given its high-end features. As you might already know, Super Flower doesn't have a retail presence in the U.S., but you can still find the company's products under the EVGA brand. In essence, EVGA's 550 G2 uses the same platform as the SF-550F14MG PSU, and is available domestically. However, the PSUs are not identical; a couple of notable differences include a smaller fan and Super Flower's cube connectors on the modular cables. There's another crucial distinction between the platforms, and we'll talk more about it on page three.
Lower-capacity PSUs are becoming more popular in the face of Intel's efficient architecture's and Nvidia's Maxwell family of GPUs. A 550W power supply can easily work in a PC equipped with a GeForce GTX 980 Ti and a potent host processor. If you really want to live on the edge, drop in a Radeon R9 390 GPU, which peaks around 370W at stock clocks. But you'll push that 550W PSU to its limit, reducing efficiency and the hardware's useful life. Generally, you want your PSU operating at 40 to 50 percent of its max-rated capacity, since that's where efficiency is often best.
As mentioned, the SF-550F14MG satisfies the 80 PLUS Gold requirements. It delivers its full power continuously at up to 50 °C ambient. On top of that, it fully supports the S6 and S7 sleep states that newer Intel CPUs support. Only basic protection features are enabled. Over-temperature protection is missing. Over-current protection is also missing, but it's not essential in a single-rail PSU, where over-power protection intervenes when something goes wrong.
A low-speed, double ball-bearing fan is used for cooling and thanks to the semi-passive mode it is able to offer a very quiet operation, especially under light and moderate loads. Given its low capacity, the SF-550F14MG could be even smaller, physically. However, a depth of 16.5 centimeters won't be a problem in most cases. Finally, you get a long five-year warranty. EVGA's is even better at seven years, so it's be nice if Super Flower matched the 550 G2's guarantee.
|Total Max. Power (W)||550|
The +12V rail is strong enough with almost 46A of maximum current output. The minor rails provide enough juice as well, taking into account the PSU's capacity. Finally, the 5VSB rail is a little stronger than we typically see.
Cables And Connectors
|Description||Cable Count||Connector Count (Total)|
|ATX connector 20+4 pin (600mm)||1||1|
|4+4 pin EPS12V (700mm)||1||1|
|6+2 pin PCIe (600mm+120mm)||1||2|
|6+2 pin PCIe (600mm)||1||1|
|SATA (540mm+125mm) / four-pin Molex (125mm+125mm)||1||2 / 2|
|Four-pin Molex (540mm+125mm+125mm) / FDD (+125mm)||1||3 / 1|
The unit comes with three PCIe connectors and a single EPS connector. We would prefer if it had four PCIe connectors, but Super Flower likely thought that'd be overkill for a 550W PSU. In addition, it'd be nice to have a second EPS connector or at least a four-pin ATX12V connector, since some mainboards need them, and it's just not safe to use four-pin Molex adapters for extra EPS/ATX connectors. Thankfully, you get plenty of SATA and peripheral connectors.
Cable length is satisfactory and the distance between connectors is adequate, although it might be useful to have more space between the four-pin Molex connectors. The components that use them (like system fans) are usually installed far from each other, so it'd be nice to have lots of room to stretch. On the other hand, hard drives and SSDs are usually installed right next to each other, so the SATA connectors don't need to be far from each other.
This is a lower-capacity unit, so Super Flower decided that a mix of 22-, 20- and 18-gauge wires on the main ATX cable would work. Don't anticipate any problems there; the cables don't have to deal with lots of power, so large voltage drops won't be an issue. But the ATX spec does state that at least 18-gauge wires should be used for power transfer and only the sense wires can be thinner. We also found a mix of 18- and thinner 20-gauge wires on the EPS and PCIe cables, which normally should consist of only 18-gauge wire. All peripheral cables employ the normal 18-gauge wires.
Since this PSU features a single +12V rail, we do not have anything to say about its power distribution.
- Super Flower SF-550F14MG Power Supply Review
- Packaging, Contents, Exterior And Cabling
- A Look Inside And Component Analysis
- Load Regulation, Hold-Up Time And Inrush Current
- Efficiency, Temperature And Noise
- Cross-Load Tests And Infrared Images
- Transient Response Tests
- Ripple Measurements
- Performance, Performance Per Dollar, Noise and Efficiency Ratings
- Pros, Cons And Final Verdict