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be quiet! Straight Power 11 550W Platinum Power Supply Review

The new Straight Power 11 model with 550W max power is now certified as 80 PLUS Platinum and features a dead silent operation.

be quiet! Straight Power 11 550W Platinum
(Image: © Shutterstock, be quiet!)

Protection Features

Check out our PSUs 101 article to learn more about PSU protection features.

Protection Features   

OCP

12V1: 34.6A (192.22%), 11.972V
12V2: 34.5A (191.67%), 11.905V
12V3: 38.6A (193%), 11.714V
12V4: 38.7A (193.5%), 11.694V
5V: 40.1A (182.27%), 5.025V
3.3V: 41.6A (189.09%), 3.235V
5VSB: 4A (133.33%), 4.865V

 

OPP

792.72W (144.13%)

 

OTP

✓ (129°C @ 12V heat sink)

 

SCP

12V: ✓
5V: ✓
3.3V: ✓
5VSB: ✓
-12V: ✓

 

PWR_OK

Proper Operation

 

NLO

 

SIP

Surge: MOV
Inrush: NTC Thermistor

 

The OCP triggering points are way higher than the nominal values. With such low Amperage levels, at +12V, on papers at least, we didn't expect close to 130% OCP but >190% is too high for a 550W PSU. The same goes for the minor rails, where OCP is set at sky-high levels. Finally, the OPP is also quite high. Normally, it should be within 130-135%. 

DC Power Sequencing

According to Intel’s most recent Power Supply Design Guide (revision 1.4), the +12V and 5V outputs must be equal to or greater than the 3.3V rail at all times. Unfortunately, Intel doesn't mention why it is so important to always keep the 3.3V rail's voltage lower than the levels of the other two outputs.

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be quiet! Straight Power 11 550W Platinum DC Power Sequencing Scope Shots

be quiet! Straight Power 11 550W Platinum DC Power Sequencing Scope Shots (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Everything rolls fine here, since the 3.3V rail is always at a lower level than the other two rails. 

Cross Load Tests

To generate the following charts, we set our loaders to auto mode through custom-made software before trying more than 25,000 possible load combinations with the +12V, 5V, and 3.3V rails. The deviations in each of the charts below are calculated by taking the nominal values of the rails (12V, 5V, and 3.3V) as point zero. The ambient temperature during testing was between 30 to 32 degrees Celsius (86 to 89.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

Load Regulation Charts

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be quiet! Straight Power 11 550W Platinum +12V Load Regulation

be quiet! Straight Power 11 550W Platinum +12V Load Regulation (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Efficiency Chart

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Ripple Charts

The lower the power supply's ripple, the more stable the system will be and less stress will also be applied to its components.

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be quiet! Straight Power 11 550W Platinum Ripple Suppression Charts

be quiet! Straight Power 11 550W Platinum Ripple Suppression Charts (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Infrared Images

We apply a half-load for 10 minutes with the PSU's top cover and cooling fan removed before taking photos with a modified FLIR E4 camera able to deliver an IR resolution of 320x240 (76,800 pixels).

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be quiet! Straight Power 11 550W Platinum IR Images

be quiet! Straight Power 11 550W Platinum IR Images (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Thanks to the efficient platform, the temperatures are at normal levels. 

MORE: Best Power Supplies

MORE: How We Test Power Supplies

MORE: All Power Supply Content

  • JohnBonhamsGhost
    how can it be both;

    + FORCompatible with the alternative sleep mode

    &

    - AGAINSTNot compatible with the alternative sleep mode

    ??
    Reply
  • chaz_music
    Great write up, Aris.

    I was not aware that the Intel PSU specs were coming out this summer (July 2020), which is great. BTW, take a look at the ripple graph on page 3. I think the Y axis is labelled wrong. Also, why no data on the 115VAC holdup? That is critical for people using this PSU with a standard UPS. Most of desktop UPS systems (think: inexpensive) are standby / line interactive and have a change over relay with transfer times in the 4-20mSec time range. Any PSU that is lower than that will have problems keeping the CPU alive during an outage. Too bad there is not a signal from the PSU to the CPU to power back. That signal could be used everywhere to cause SSDs and RAID arrays to go into save mode, and other subsystems to power down (Ethernet, USB, audio, etc.).

    The Cybernetics Labs testing methods are spot on for the "how and why". There are minor tweaks that I would make, but overall, excellent testing methodology. The UPS market has cheated on efficiency for decades by testing a cold UPS for the product documentation. Everything should be at thermal steady state for true efficiency numbers, and at realistic operating conditions. The only parts that benefit from being warm are the electrolytic caps, except for their lifetime. I believe it is still true that all electrolytic caps have a decrease in ESR as they get warmer, up to a point depending on the electrolyte used. Everything else gets worse efficiency with heat: MOSFETS, XFMR, filter inductors, etc.

    It is good to see better efficiency numbers in lower power PSUs. I searched for along time on my NAS build for at least a 80+ gold rated 200-250W PSU. I finally found an FSP 250W unit that was in an SFX package. A great article would be one who has the better/best low power PSUs especially in the area of efficiency.

    Several points that I believe get overlooked in thinking about efficiency:

    How much energy are you going to use to cool the building that the PSU is in? Usually around 50% of the total PSU power used for the months that HVAC is being used. This also gets overlooked with cost comparisons for LED bulbs versus incandescent bulbs. The HVAC savings is enormous.
    The concept that the payback period for a higher cost efficient PSU does not give good ROI. I reuse most of my PSUs unless the caps look poor or I have had it being used at over 50-60% rated power for much of its life. With PSU getting warranties of 5years+, the added cost should be amortized over a longer period. Maybe over two chassis builds?
    Thanks for the great article.

    BR,
    Charles
    Reply
  • Aris_Mp
    JohnBonhamsGhost said:
    how can it be both;

    + FORCompatible with the alternative sleep mode

    &

    - AGAINSTNot compatible with the alternative sleep mode

    ??
    this is an obvious error. It IS compatible with the alternative sleep mode. Already asked to fix this.
    Reply
  • Aris_Mp
    chaz_music said:
    Great write up, Aris.

    I was not aware that the Intel PSU specs were coming out this summer (July 2020), which is great. BTW, take a look at the ripple graph on page 3. I think the Y axis is labelled wrong. Also, why no data on the 115VAC holdup? That is critical for people using this PSU with a standard UPS. Most of desktop UPS systems (think: inexpensive) are standby / line interactive and have a change over relay with transfer times in the 4-20mSec time range. Any PSU that is lower than that will have problems keeping the CPU alive during an outage. Too bad there is not a signal from the PSU to the CPU to power back. That signal could be used everywhere to cause SSDs and RAID arrays to go into save mode, and other subsystems to power down (Ethernet, USB, audio, etc.).

    The Cybernetics Labs testing methods are spot on for the "how and why". There are minor tweaks that I would make, but overall, excellent testing methodology. The UPS market has cheated on efficiency for decades by testing a cold UPS for the product documentation. Everything should be at thermal steady state for true efficiency numbers, and at realistic operating conditions. The only parts that benefit from being warm are the electrolytic caps, except for their lifetime. I believe it is still true that all electrolytic caps have a decrease in ESR as they get warmer, up to a point depending on the electrolyte used. Everything else gets worse efficiency with heat: MOSFETS, XFMR, filter inductors, etc.

    It is good to see better efficiency numbers in lower power PSUs. I searched for along time on my NAS build for at least a 80+ gold rated 200-250W PSU. I finally found an FSP 250W unit that was in an SFX package. A great article would be one who has the better/best low power PSUs especially in the area of efficiency.

    Several points that I believe get overlooked in thinking about efficiency:

    How much energy are you going to use to cool the building that the PSU is in? Usually around 50% of the total PSU power used for the months that HVAC is being used. This also gets overlooked with cost comparisons for LED bulbs versus incandescent bulbs. The HVAC savings is enormous.
    The concept that the payback period for a higher cost efficient PSU does not give good ROI. I reuse most of my PSUs unless the caps look poor or I have had it being used at over 50-60% rated power for much of its life. With PSU getting warranties of 5years+, the added cost should be amortized over a longer period. Maybe over two chassis builds?Thanks for the great article.

    BR,
    Charles

    Hi Charles, and thank you for your comments.

    The hold-up time is almost identical between 115V and 230V. The change is in the inrush current. I agree with you, the hold-up time is of immense importance.

    CL ripple graph in page 3, I cannot find anything out of order.

    If you have any suggestions on how to improve the Cybenetics methodology, they always hear opinions and are ready to make changes, if those are for the best.

    About efficiency, diodes have lower voltage drops at increased temperatures as well, and this plays a major role especially in bridge rectifiers.

    Thank you for the other two points you mention. Indeed the cost of dealing with the added thermal load of lower efficiency PSUs is significant.
    Reply
  • Co BIY
    Interesting cross-hatching (in solder?) on the back of the board in the FET and VRM photo.

    Can someone explain the purpose of that ? Heat Sink ? Heat dissipation ?
    Reply