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

BitFenix's Formula Gold power supplies are aimed at builders without a lot of money to spend, but who still want high quality and efficient operation. The entry-level BF450G model sells for about $60. Although it's not the cheapest 450W option out there, we're impressed with its 80 PLUS Gold and ETA-A certifications. Moreover, a LAMBDA-A++ badge from Cybenetics means the BF450G also runs quietly. You can certainly find good PSUs for less money and higher-performance ones for a bit more. But the BitFenix BF450G earns our recommendation for striking a compelling balance in an otherwise cost-sensitive space. It's only a shame that all of this power supply's cables are fixed, complicating cable management a bit.

After reviewing BitFenix's BWG550M and BF650G, and walking away impressed, we thought to turn our attention to the lowest-end Formula Gold model next, since its output is sufficient for a mid-range machine with one graphics card. In order to offer high build quality in a modern platform, BitFenix had to forgo modular cabling. A lot of folks aren't going to like that. However, we'd rather see compromises in cable design rather than the PSU's electronic components, which would undoubtedly affect our reliability and performance benchmarks.

The lack of modular cables is partially compensated for by the BF450G's compact footprint. Given such small dimensions, you won't have a problem installing this PSU in cramped cases. Of course, cable management would be a lot easier with a fully modular power supply. If that's a must-have feature, plan on spending at least $10 more for something from BitFenix's Whisper M line-up.

Specifications

Manufacturer (OEM)Channel Well Technology
Max. DC Output450W
Efficiency80 PLUS Gold, ETA-A (88-91%)
NoiseLAMBDA-A++ (<15 dB[A])
Modular
Intel C6/C7 Power State Support
Operating Temperature (Continuous Full Load)0 - 50°C
Over Voltage Protection
Under Voltage Protection
Over Power Protection
Over Current (+12V) Protection
Over Temperature Protection
Short Circuit Protection
Surge Protection
Inrush Current Protection
Fan Failure Protection
No Load Operation
Cooling120mm rifle bearing fan (DF1202512SELN)
Semi-Passive Operation
Dimensions (W x H x D)150mm (W) x 87mm (H) x 140mm (D)
Weight1.72 kg (3.79 lb)
Form FactorATX12V v2.4, EPS 2.92
Warranty5 years

Again, the BF450G features 80 PLUS Gold and ETA-A efficiency certifications, along with an impressive LAMBDA-A++ noise badge. Surprisingly, this is one of the quietest actively-cooled PSUs available (and that's without a semi-passive mode).

All of the protection features you'd expect from a name-brand power supply are accounted for. Of course, such a capable design commands a premium. Its $60 price tag is quite a bit higher than Corsair's $45 CX450 and EVGA's $40 450 BT. Both of those competing PSUs employ lower-efficiency platforms though, and the 450 BT's architecture could be called downright outdated.

Power Specifications

Rail3.3V5V12V112V212V35VSB-12V
Max. PowerAmps20202525252.50.3
Watts10045012.53.6
Total Max. Power (W)450

Three +12V rails facilitate up to 450W of combined power output. The minor rails are completely sufficient, while the 5VSB rail can deliver up to 2.5A on paper. In reality, that number is much higher.

Cables & Connectors

Captive Cables
DescriptionCable CountConnector Count (Total)GaugeIn Cable Capacitors
ATX connector 20+4 pin (660mm)1118-22AWGYes
4+4 pin EPS12V (670mm)1118AWGNo
6+2 pin PCIe (560mm+150mm)1218AWGNo
SATA (460mm+150mm+150mm) / Four-pin Molex (+150mm)26 / 218AWGNo
AC Power Cord (1400mm) - C13 coupler1118AWG-

The main ATX connector's cable has some extra capacitors to help minimize ripple. There are two 6+2-pin PCIe connectors for graphics cards, and we're satisfied by the number of SATA connectors BitFenix offers. We would, however, like to see at least one more four-pin Molex connector. Lastly, the distance between SATA and peripheral connectors is ideal at 15cm.

Power Distribution

12V1ATX, peripheral, SATA
12V2CPU
12V3VGA1


The BF450G's power distribution is optimal, since the PCIe and EPS connectors are powered by dedicated rails.

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  • 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.
  • SR-71 Blackbird
    Excellent , thanks Aris!