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BitFenix Formula Gold 450W PSU Review: Compact, Efficient, And Near-Silent

Final Analysis

The BitFenix BF450G is a very good power supply, no doubt about that. It offers tight load regulation on all of its rails, it is highly efficient, incredibly quiet, and its ripple suppression is pretty good. Although this PSU lacks a semi-passive mode and uses a smaller 120mm fan, it's still one of the quietest models we've ever tested. Channel Well Technology and BitFenix did a very good job designing the BF450G, earning this platform a top place in its efficiency class (80 PLUS Gold and ETA-A).

Some enthusiasts will be disappointed by the lack of modular cables. However, this PSU's compact footprint should simplify installation in enclosures with limited space inside. While cable management may be more difficult, this is still only a 450W power supply. It doesn't feature a ton of cables anyway. Higher-capacity PSUs are where you should start worrying about the difference between modular and non-modular connectivity.

With the shift away from SLI and CrossFire multi-GPU configurations (due to DirectX 12), high-capacity PSUs are rarely necessary these days. That means even a 450W model is ample for a decent gaming PC. Using a lower-capacity power supply facilitates higher efficiency under light and moderate loads, too. This is why we strongly recommend choosing a PSU based on your real needs, with a bit of overhead built in to avoid operating it at full load under demanding tasks.

The 450W category doesn't include many performance-oriented options since many brands start their higher-end lines at the 550W capacity point. As a result, 450W PSUs are typically pretty mainstream. For somewhere between $20 and $40, you can often find an EVGA 450 BT or Corsair CX450 on sale. Meanwhile, BitFenix is asking $60 for its BF450G. Just bear in mind that the BF450G is based on a much better platform. Besides higher performance, it's also a lot quieter than those competing models.

If you find yourself unable to forgive the fixed cables (but are fine with 450W of capacity), check out the BitFenix Whisper 450 M. It features modular cabling and should only cost about $10 more than the BF450G.

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Disclaimer: Aris Mpitziopoulos is Tom's Hardware's PSU reviewer. He is also the Chief Testing Engineer of Cybenetics, and developed the Cybenetics certification methodologies apart from his role on Tom's Hardware. Neither Tom's Hardware nor its parent company, Purch Media, are financially involved with Cybenetics. Aris does not perform the actual certifications for Cybenetics.

  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    Nice - I really like how quiet these models are running.

    Of course, it's also funny that the Formula Gold model is less noisy on average than its "Whisper" mate.
    Reply
  • Dark Lord of Tech
    Excellent , thanks Aris!
    Reply