Introduction & Specifications
The quantity of smaller sized builds over the last couple of years has increased thanks to the availability of small form factor cases and motherboards (m-ITX) being widely available on the market. Up until last year, however, the availability and affordability of SFX power supplies have been pretty poor, but today I’m hoping that this trend is about to change. Today I’m taking a look at the Kolink SFX 450W power supply which features an 80PLUS Bronze efficiency rating and is also available in 250W and 350W versions. Let’s take a look at the technical specifications and see what we’re dealing with…
– Dimensions: 125 x 63 x 100 mm (W x H x D)
– Fan: 80 mm (thermal controlled)
– Efficiency: min 82/85/82% @ 20/50/100% load (230 volts).
– Active PFC (0.9)
– Form factor: SFX
Starting off with the packaging, it’s easy to tell that the power supply inside the box is small… because the box is small! On the box, we have the efficiency rating which is states as 85+ at 230V. At the bottom of the front, there is a model indicator sticker which depicts which model it is you have purchased/received; this means they use the same packaging throughout the entire range with the main difference being the wattage.
Inside the box, there isn’t much in the way of accessories or internal packaging. The Kolink SFX 450W is neatly wrapped up in a layer of bubble wrap which does fill the box making it secure in transit. Aside from the power supply, there is an information guide as well as mounting screws for installation inside a case.
Taking a look at the unit itself, it features a plain black powder coated shell with its width being longer than its length. With a size of 125 x 63 x 100mm, it’s very small and complies with the SFX form factor.
Cooling this small and svelte looking unit is a single 80mm fan which is controlled internally by the unit based on the operating temperature at the time; basically, the warmer it is, the harder and faster the fan will spin.
Here we have the obligatory specifications sticker which depicts/states the AC/DC voltages across the different lines (3.3V, 5V, 12V). It also contains all the usual European electrical safety badges and warning notices.
In terms of cables and connections, Kolink has included the following:
– 1 x 20+4-Pin ATX12V/EPS12V
– 1 x 4+4-Pin ATX12V/EPS12V
– 2 x 6+2-Pin-PCIe
– 4 x SATA
– 2 x 4-Pin-Molex
Obviously I should stress that type and style of power supply isn’t meant for running insane graphics cards, although it held our test system up without a problem. I should also mention that this unit isn’t modular, but given the size and price range, you would be foolish to ask for modular given that the cheapest modular SFX power supplies start from around £80+; more than double what this unit is currently selling for.
Since we don’t currently have access to an ATE load tester, a multi-meter is used to show each of the power supplies performance on the 3.3v, 5v, and 12v rails. Although we can’t do full load tests, we can provide relative information regarding variance and fluctuation of current and ripple on the rails which is integral and indicative of quality in a power supply.
To perform the above tests, the methodology will be as follows:
Intel Core i7 7700K @ 4.5GHz
ASUS Z270 Maximus IX APEX
ASUS GTX 1060 STRIX OC
Crucial (2x8gb) 16GB DDR4 Ballistix Elite 3000MHz
1 x 525GB Crucial MX300 SSDs
Voltages will be monitored via a multi-meter and the AC power draw will be monitored via a power monitor when drawn from the wall. For the idle test, the system will be simply booted up and let to run into windows and after 5 minutes when the power draw has leveled out, the readings will be taken.
To load and apply power to the power supply, a combination of IBT and Furmark will be run to put as much strain on the power supply as possible. After 10 minutes the readings will be taken and to ensure maximum strain, the CPU will be overclocked to 4.5GHz. Depending on the power of the power supply, multiple graphics cards could be used in line with how comfortable I feel the power supply will cope with such load. In the case of this unit, the GTX 1060 doesn’t support SLI. We will endeavor to improve our testing methods throughout 2017.
ATX themselves specify that a fluctuation and variable of 5% is acceptable so to number crunch it means that:
3.3V = 3.135V – 3.465V is acceptable
5V = 4.75V – 5.25V is acceptable
12V = 11.4V – 12.6V is acceptable.
Any readings outside of these figures will be an automatic fail.
|3.3V = 3.22V|
|5V = 5.09V|
|12V = 12.25V|
|3.3V = 3.42V|
|5V = 5.2V|
|12V = 12.38V|
As you can see, all 3 of the lines (3.3V, 5V, 12V) were well within the standards specified by ATX. Given that Kolink is owned by Caseking and are outside of the usual OEMs such as FSP/Seasonic/Superflower, I really do think the Kolink is a very decent performer for the price!
For such a small power supply, the Kolink SFX 450W makes a big splash in my eyes and as far as bang for buck goes, this unit sits highly with me in the SFX power supply market. In each of our tests with our digital multi-meter, the unit performed well within the limits set by ATX, at idle and load… and you can’t really ask for more than that.
On top of the excellent value offered, the unit doesn’t look too bad either and has a nice black powder coated finish throughout. The cables do look a bit garish, but the likelihood of them being seen inside a small SFX system is small and unfortunately for the value, it’s been the only sacrifice made; one worth making in my honest opinion. The fan does its job of keeping the unit cool and given our system isn’t far off from the max output at full load, the fan wasn’t that loud or noticeable.
I think it’s fair to say that the Kolink SFX 450W power supply is a very decent offering and one that should hopefully make building small form factor systems more affordable on the whole. The 450W SFX model comes in at around £40 (at the time of review) from Overclockers UK which in my opinion represents fantastic value for money when you consider the cheapest competitor is around £60 for the same wattage.
If I was personally building a new system and it had to be small form factor for whatever reason, this would be the unit I went out and purchased. Why do you ask? Because the price is just too damned good to ignore offered by Kolink, especially when you consider the cost of Silverstone’s or Corsairs alternatives. Sure paying more would get you modular, but with very few connections/cables actually hard wired in any way, it’s not going to make much of a difference in my opinion and that’s where I stand!
Huge thanks to Kolink & Overclockers UK for sending in the SFX 450W power supply in for us to take a look at. You can purchase it by clicking HERE!
- Very affordable SFX option in comparison to competitors
- Decent performance
- 80PLUS Bronze rated efficiency
- Comes with a 3-year warranty
- Hardwired cables look outdated and cheap