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Corsair SF450 PSU Review

Corsair enters the SFX PSU market with its new SF series consisting of two models at 450W and 600W capacities. Both power supplies are fully modular, promise high performance and come with 92mm fans to minimize noise output.

Transient Response Tests

Advanced Transient Response Tests

For details on our transient response testing, please click here.

In these tests, we monitor the response of the PSU in two different scenarios. First, a transient load (10A at +12V, 5A at 5V, 5A at 3.3V and 0.5A at 5VSB) is applied for 200ms while the PSU works at 20 percent load. In the second scenario, the PSU is hit by the same transient load while operating at 50 percent load. In both tests, we use our oscilloscope to measure the voltage drops caused by the transient load. The voltages should remain within the ATX specification's regulation limits.

These metrics are crucial because they simulate the transient loads a PSU is likely to handle (such as booting a RAID array or an instant 100 percent load of CPU/GPUs). We call them "Advanced Transient Response Tests," and they are designed to be very tough to master, especially for PSUs with less than 500W capacity.

Advanced Transient Response at 20 Percent

VoltageBeforeAfterChangePass/Fail
12V12.054V11.744V2.57%Pass
5V5.012V4.940V1.44%Pass
3.3V3.337V3.269V2.04%Pass
5VSB5.024V4.985V0.78%Pass

Advanced Transient Response at 50 Percent

VoltageBeforeAfterChangePass/Fail
12V12.034V11.907V1.06%Pass
5V4.994V4.927V1.34%Pass
3.3V3.319V3.260V1.78%Pass
5VSB5.005V4.963V0.84%Pass

Although the +12V rail is the most important, we'll start by mentioning the 3.3V rail  because it performs so well. This is probably the first time we've seen such low deviations at 3.3V. The 5V and 5VSB rails also perform well, while the deviation at +12V during the first test is higher because the primary switchers operate in PWM mode. During the second test, where frequency modulation mode is engaged, the deviation is close to 1%. That's a good number given the unit's low capacity.

Here are the oscilloscope screenshots we took during Advanced Transient Response Testing:

Transient Response At 20 Percent Load

Transient Response At 50 Percent Load

Turn-On Transient Tests

In the next set of tests, we measure the PSU's response in simpler transient load scenarios—during its power-on phase.

For the first measurement, we turn off the PSU, dial in the maximum current the 5VSB can output and switch on the PSU. In the second test, we dial the maximum load the +12V can handle and start the PSU while it's in standby mode. In the last test, while the PSU is completely switched off (we cut off the power or switch off the PSU by flipping its on/off switch), we dial the maximum load the +12V rail can handle before switching on the PSU from the loader and restoring power. The ATX specification states that recorded spikes on all rails should not exceed 10 percent of their nominal values (+10 percent for 12V is 13.2V, and 5.5V for 5V).

There are no voltage overshoots or spikes to report. Only a small step in the +12V slope during the last two tests prevents the SF450 from achieving a perfect result. 

Aris Mpitziopoulos
Aris Mpitziopoulos

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