Pros, Cons, And Final Verdict
The BWG550M is a nice surprise from Bitfenix, and there is no doubt that CWT's new GPU platform is a great performer. This 550W member of the Whisper family registers tight load regulation, excellent ripple suppression, high efficiency, and good transient response. Plus it's equipped with all of the protection features that matter. Build quality is great and only highly-regarded Japanese capacitors are used inside, including many polymer caps that don't have a problem working effortlessly under high ambient temperatures.
Modular cabling and quiet operation are two of this unit's other key features. More important, though, is an aggressive suggested retail price. Set just under $80, even tough opponents like Corsair's RM550x and EVGA's 550 G2/G3 have a hard time distinguishing themselves. At long last, a worthy opponent has emerged. This will push companies already dominating in the PSU market to lower prices and push innovation.
After its fairly weak Fury Gold line, Bitfenix makes a strong return with the Whisper family, which has all of the credentials needed for an emphatic recommendation. In addition, CWT proves once more that it is one of the best PSU manufacturers by creating an affordable high-performance platform. We also like that every cable except for the ATX one doesn't lean on filtering caps, which would make them bulkier.
If you are building a mid-range PC, the 550W Whisper unit should be at the top of your shopping list. Bitfenix and CWT seem to trust it, otherwise they wouldn't protect it with a seven-year warranty. The only downsides we spotted were the not-so-efficient 5VSB rail and the HDB fan, which doesn't have the rated lifespan we'd expect from coolers leveraging similar technology. As we mentioned, though, if Bitfenix was unsure of this fan's reliability, the company wouldn't stand behind it with an extra-long warranty. Our last complaint concerns the main ATX cable, which consists of two connectors that can be difficult to hook up. Bitfenix should provide more flexibility to those connectors, making the installation process easier. Until then, we recommend attaching the ATX cable before screwing the BWG550M into place.
MORE: Best Power Supplies
MORE: Power Supplies 101
MORE: How We Test Power Supplies
MORE: Picking The Right Power Supply: What You Should Know
MORE: Computer History: From The Antikythera Mechanism To The Modern Era
MORE: All Power Supply Content
Which ever you can find at a lower price. Performance wise they are very close.