Corsair SF450 Platinum SFX PSU Review: Best of the Best

Final Analysis

Corsair worked closely with Great Wall to improve a platform that was already impressive. It's incredibly difficult for an SFX PSU to achieve high performance while keeping noise low, especially at higher capacity points. By installing most of the parts on the PCB's solder side, GW engineers gave the front plenty of clearance, which helps open up airflow. Combine free-flowing internals with an efficient platform and you're able to use a low-speed fan that spins all the way down under light loads.

We only wish that the SF450 Platinum's semi-passive mode could be turned off to allow the PSU to operate with its fan grille facing downwards or sideways. As a general rule, you never want to install a passive or semi-passive PSU with its top exhaust grille facing any direction that doesn't allow hot air to escape. Heat rises, so if you block this pathway, you trap that air inside. Inevitably, the PSU's operating temperature rises uncontrollably.

Corsair's SF450 Platinum blows its competition out of the water by offering exceptional, along with ultra-quiet operation. Fully modular cabling is complemented by individually sleeved cables, which, combined with the bundled SFX-to-ATX bracket, make this product even more appealing.

On the other hand, it's also a lot more expensive than the SF450 Gold. As a result, the older model achieves a higher value score. If you don't really care about the adapter or the sleeved cables, and you can live with a 1% efficiency difference, then choosing the SF450 Gold saves quite a bit of money compared to the SF450 Platinum. The older model demonstrates better transient response as well.

Whether you go with the SF450 Gold or Platinum, you're getting one of the best 450W power supplies available in an SFX form factor. They both deliver high performance and quiet operation, two qualities that are difficult to get from a compact PSU.

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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, Future PLC, are financially involved with Cybenetics. Aris does not perform the actual certifications for Cybenetics.

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  • SR-71 Blackbird
    I run a SF600 Gold in one of my setups. To improve on that is awesome. Thanks for the review Aris!
  • Brian_R170
    Nice to see more quality PSUs available for small form-factor cases. The included ATX-to-SFX adapter is welcome addition, but I prefer the flat non-sleeved cables found on the SF450 Gold in small cases where space to bundle cables is limited.
  • TripleHeinz
    I've been running for 3 years in a row, almost every single day with the PC on, a FSP FSP300-60GHS-R SFX PSU in my custom-made mini ITX system. It is rated at 300W, 80 plus, 80mm fan with sensor, completely silent, comes with an ATX bracket+cable+screws, user manual plus nice box, a total marvell. I think it is a very respectable PSU (good internals) if you ignore the standard satin gray color.

    Well I'm here to say that the Corsair SFX PSU is very impressive but for that price you'll have to justify the buy with a very specific purpose of your own. I can only recommend the FSP SFX PSU, the 300W model (the 450W model is said to be loud), it is more than enough for HTPC and low power ITX parts (and midrange hardware as well: I5 + GTX1060).

    Disclaimer: I do not work for FSP ;p
  • jayjr1105
    Great review. Amazing these SFX's getting so good even with less room.

    May I suggest the latest Rosewill Capstone M lineup by Andyson for a future review. The previous Superflower and Enhance units were well reviewed but they switched to the Andyson GX platform. Thanks!