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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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Aris Mpitziopoulos is a Contributing Editor at Tom's Hardware US, covering PSUs.
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