Super Flower Leadex Titanium 1600W Power Supply Review

Corsair's mighty AX1500i PSU must now face some stiff competition, as Super Flower's new Leadex Titanium 1600W offers even more power and efficiency.

Super Flower recently introduced the Leadex Titanium series, which currently consists of only one very high-end power supply with extreme capacity. The Leadex Titanium (model number SF-1600F14HT) is the most powerful PSU with Titanium efficiency available, taking the crown from Corsair's AX1500i, which, up until now, was the efficiency king.

Unlike the AX1500i, the new Leadex unit doesn't utilize digital circuits to achieve its high performance levels. However, it does use a cutting-edge platform that pushes analog circuit technology to its limits. A while ago, we couldn't believe that an analog design would be able to offer such high efficiency levels, and we were pretty sure that the use of digital circuits was a one-way road for Titanium-class high-capacity PSUs. But as it seems, Super Flower's engineers proved us wrong. Indeed, they did a marvelous job on this platform, which is also used by EVGA's 1600 T2 PSU; the EVGA unit is based on the Leadex platform with some minor component changes that reduce its efficiency to Platinum-class.

In addition to Titanium efficiency, the new Leadex PSU offers a full protection feature set, along with a modular cabling design. In such high-capacity PSUs with this many cables, full modularity is the way to go. Otherwise, the installation process, and especially cable management, would be daunting. In addition, the SF-1600F14HT can deliver its huge power under tough conditions, at operating temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit).

The ability to deliver full power continuously at 50 °C is extremely important. A PSU's internal components are rated to operate up to a specific temperature level. Above that, their performance drops significantly. More important, their expected lifetime shrinks. Usually, when a manufacturer specifies the performance of a PSU, there is no information about the maximum temperature along with it. Rather, vendors tend to state the exact temperature level at which the unit's full power can be delivered continuously. This trick is commonly seen in the more affordable PSUs that have a peak operating temperature for full power delivery that tops out around 25 °C (77 °F). That temperature level is highly unrealistic, given the conditions inside a PC chassis where temperatures are well above 30 °C (86 °F).

On the other hand, someone can easily find the max operating temperature information on good PSUs, and the ATX specification recommends that it should reach 50 °C. When we write about these thermal numbers, we're talking about the temperature at which a PSU can deliver its full power continuously and not just some of it. The important thing to keep in mind is that when Super Flower states that its 1600W Titanium unit has a max operating temperature of 50 °C, then high-quality components are being used. This is made doubly evident by the product's long five-year warranty (EVGA offers a 10-year warranty on its 1600 T2 PSU, based on the same platform).

So far, everything looks great on paper. And we also have the recent experience with EVGA's 1600 P2 unit, which uses a less efficient version of this platform but still performs amazingly well. But PSU testing is much more involved than reading specs on paper, so it is time to evaluate today's subject using our high-end equipment.

Specifications

Currently, this is the only 1.6kW PSU with Titanium efficiency; the Corsair AX1500i comes in second with up to 1.5kW. The more powerful a PSU is, the harder it is to achieve high efficiency levels, as the operational range broadens. And, on top of that, at high loads, even the smallest faults in design can lead to significant energy losses. Without a doubt, Super Flower proved that it has the required know-how and the proper facilities to build such high-end platforms. Admittedly, the company caught the competition off guard, although some may argue that most of the other OEMs simply see no use in such powerful platforms, so they focus on lower-capacity categories. Nonetheless, Super Flower was one of the first manufacturers to include a Titanium PSU in its portfolio (although Corsair, along with Flextronics, managed to release the AX1500i earlier).

According to Super Flower, all major protection features are present, including the crucial Over Temperature Protection (OTP), which is essential to a PSU even when it is able to deliver its full power at up to 50 °C. The cooling in this Leadex unit is handled by the same fan found in most Super Flower PSUs; it is provided by Globe Fan and uses double ball bearings for increased lifespan. This is a reliable fan, but it is also powerful, which means it can be noisy under tough conditions. Thankfully, the fan profile is pretty loose, and there is also a semi-passive mode available that allows the PSU to operate silently at low-enough loads.

Finally, the price is steep, and Super Flower provides only a five-year warranty compared to EVGA's 10-year coverage on the slightly more expensive 1600 T2. Unfortunately, our readers in the U.S. are again robbed of the opportunity to own a high-end piece of hardware; you won't find the Leadex Titanium for sale, narrowing your options to EVGA's version.

Power Specifications

Rail3.3V
5V
12V
5VSB
-12V
Maximum PowerAmps
24
24
133.3
3
0.5
Watts
120
1599.6
15
6
Total Maximum Power (W)1600




The single +12V rail can deliver almost the unit's full power on its own, which means that you'd have 133.3A available on this rail. Most of you won't need such huge power levels, but there are some overclockers able to fully exploit those capabilities. With 120W combined power output, the minor rails are also strong enough for most combinations of hardware. Finally, we would like to see a stronger 5VSB rail in a 1.6kW beast, although 3A should suffice.

Cables And Connectors

ATX connector (590mm)20+4 pin
4+4 pin EPS12V (750mm)2
6+2 pin PCIe (750mm+150mm)10
6+2 pin PCIe (750mm)4
SATA (550mm+105mm+105mm+105mm)12
SATA (550mm+105mm) / 4 pin Molex (+100mm+100mm)2 / 2
4 pin Molex (550mm+100mm+100mm)3
FDD adapter (+100mm)2

There are enough connectors to power every high-end system with multiple graphics cards installed. After all, such high power levels would be meaningless without a lot of cables and connectors. The Leadex unit has two EPS connectors along with 14 PCIe connectors, all available at the same time. This lets you feed a dual CPU system with up to seven mid-range or four high-end graphics cards. On top of that, there are plenty of SATA connectors, while the four-pin Molex connectors are ample.

All of the cables are long, allowing for easy installation of the PSU, even in full-tower cases. There's also no need for extension cables, which we recommend against anyway (especially in high-capacity PSUs). Cable extensions can lead to significant voltage drops as the load increases, and if they are low-quality, they can even melt under tough conditions.

The distance between the PCIe and SATA connectors is good, but we would like to see the peripheral connectors placed farther away from each other. Finally, the 24-pin ATX, EPS and PCIe connectors use mostly thicker 16AWG wires for decreased voltage drops, while the rest of the connectors use the standard 18AWG gauges.

Power Distribution

Since this PSU features a single +12V rail, we do not have a comment about its power distribution.

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This thread is closed for comments
18 comments
    Your comment
  • Shankovich
    As much as these super powered PSU reviews are interesting, I wouldn't mind seeing more PSU's for the regular non 4-way Crossfire/SLI user. I think in July you guys did some 450W reviews? Wouldn't also mind a battle of the basement review for those cheap PSU's just for fun. Again, love these 1000+ Watt reviews, but maybe toss in some sub 600W stuff in there more often if possible. Love the depth you guys go to in your PSU reviews!
  • Dark Lord of Tech
    Can't wait till it arrives.
  • Bezzell
    Can you arc-weld aluminum with this?
  • Bezzell
    One lead from ground, the other on the 12v?
  • MasterMace
    The Power Supply failed 80 Plus Titanium specifications at 50% (93.34% vs 94%) and 100% (89.61% vs 90%)
  • tanjo
    Page 9 graphs shows a different PSU (Corsair CS850M) though they all link to the correct full list images when clicked.
  • ko888
    416912 said:
    The Power Supply failed 80 Plus Titanium specifications at 50% (93.34% vs 94%) and 100% (89.61% vs 90%)


    80 PLUS certification occurs at 23°C only.

    Tom's Hardware is testing in a hotbox at over 42°C. So how is that failing 80 Plus Titanium specifications when 80 PLUS Organization doesn't certify or even test at that temperature?

    Kitguru.net measures efficiency at 35°C and the SuperFlower Leadex Titanium 1600W has no problem meeting 80 PLUS Titanium:
    http://www.kitguru.net/components/power-supplies/zardon/superflower-leadex-titanium-1600w-review/6/
  • alidan
    Quote:
    As much as these super powered PSU reviews are interesting, I wouldn't mind seeing more PSU's for the regular non 4-way Crossfire/SLI user. I think in July you guys did some 450W reviews? Wouldn't also mind a battle of the basement review for those cheap PSU's just for fun. Again, love these 1000+ Watt reviews, but maybe toss in some sub 600W stuff in there more often if possible. Love the depth you guys go to in your PSU reviews!


    i personally cant see a reason to go lower than 650 watts, the most basic computer with a gpu may only use 50-60% of it at load, but the head room is valued by me far more than the cheaper outset cost...

    i had a psu blow up on me... never again.
  • Aris_Mp
    Quote:
    As much as these super powered PSU reviews are interesting, I wouldn't mind seeing more PSU's for the regular non 4-way Crossfire/SLI user. I think in July you guys did some 450W reviews? Wouldn't also mind a battle of the basement review for those cheap PSU's just for fun. Again, love these 1000+ Watt reviews, but maybe toss in some sub 600W stuff in there more often if possible. Love the depth you guys go to in your PSU reviews!

    Quote:
    As much as these super powered PSU reviews are interesting, I wouldn't mind seeing more PSU's for the regular non 4-way Crossfire/SLI user. I think in July you guys did some 450W reviews? Wouldn't also mind a battle of the basement review for those cheap PSU's just for fun. Again, love these 1000+ Watt reviews, but maybe toss in some sub 600W stuff in there more often if possible. Love the depth you guys go to in your PSU reviews!

    Quote:
    As much as these super powered PSU reviews are interesting, I wouldn't mind seeing more PSU's for the regular non 4-way Crossfire/SLI user. I think in July you guys did some 450W reviews? Wouldn't also mind a battle of the basement review for those cheap PSU's just for fun. Again, love these 1000+ Watt reviews, but maybe toss in some sub 600W stuff in there more often if possible. Love the depth you guys go to in your PSU reviews!


    The next PSUs will be more down to earth, with sub-1000 W capacities
  • Aris_Mp
    Quote:
    The Power Supply failed 80 Plus Titanium specifications at 50% (93.34% vs 94%) and 100% (89.61% vs 90%)

    Quote:
    Page 9 graphs shows a different PSU (Corsair CS850M) though they all link to the correct full list images when clicked.


    Already informed the editors responsible to fix this. Thanks!
  • eriko
    Ladies / Gents,

    I actually have a requirement for 2200W, preferably Platinum spec.

    I was hoping not to have to buy 2x 1200W PSUs, as the chosen supply will be sitting out in the open full time, and a single PSU simply means less mess / cabling.

    Any ideas for me?
  • ko888
    169066 said:
    Ladies / Gents, I actually have a requirement for 2200W, preferably Platinum spec. I was hoping not to have to buy 2x 1200W PSUs, as the chosen supply will be sitting out in the open full time, and a single PSU simply means less mess / cabling. Any ideas for me?


    This is probably the closest you'll get with a top tier PSU. It's the Super Flower Leadex Platinum 2000W 8Pack Edition SF-2000F14HP (230V only). Probably EU only.

    http://www.super-flower.com.tw/products_detail.php?class=2&sn=16&ID=119&lang=en

    Review: http://www.kitguru.net/components/power-supplies/zardon/superflower-leadex-platinum-8-pack-edition-2000w-review/
  • Aris_Mp
    the above can do 2200 W. Have it on the test bench right now.
  • eriko
    Actually the requirement is 1800W, without overclocking. I budgeted an extra 400W for overclocking & PSU headroom so I don't run it @ max all the time.

    So it sounds like we have a winner, but unable to source that in Bangkok. Might be forced to import (never fun) as I see it available in Germany.

    Quote:
    the above can do 2200 W. Have it on the test bench right now.
  • mrmez
    Certainly a declining market for PSU's over 1Kw, considering you could run 4x GTX 980's off 1Kw.
    You'd have to be looking at more than 2x Titan Z's to need more, or... just about anything from AMD at the moment ;)
  • Eggz
    Very thorough review!

    I think it would be great to see PSU a roundup featuring the PSUs that run two-card SLI/CrossFire with Nvidia's/AMD's top GPU, but the PSU is of high enough quality to be at a lower Wattage rating than typically would be required.

    It would show which PSUs are exceptional for their wattage rating.
  • Aris_Mp
    I am not so keen on roundups since this means less thorough testing (since if I fully test each PSU of the roundup it will take many weeks). However in every review I compare each PSU with many of its class and in essence the performance and performance per buck graphs of every PSU review provide all comparison info needed. With a quick look at the above graphs you can easily find out which PSU has better performance or which one has the higher perf per buck ratio.

    Once I have more 115 VAC data results I will also provide and efficiency comparison data for the entire operating range of each PSU (thousands of possible load combinations) and not just for 14 different load levels.
  • Eggz
    That would be useful, thanks!

    As for the roundup, I agree that making it from scratch would be super time intensive. But you have a lot of work already done, and most people don't have access to the testing tools you have.

    With all of the SFF builds popping up, I'm sure people would appreciate a rec list (or something like that) of the "more powerful than expected" PSUs. It's just a thought, though, because you'd know more about the practicalities of actually compiling something like that.

    Great review, btw, keep'm coming! :-)