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Lian Li PE-750 SFX-L 750W PSU Review

Lian Li enters the PSU market again with two new SFX-L models featuring 550 W and 750 W capacities. The PE-750 is under the microscope today. It features modular cabling, a single +12V rail, and a semi-passive fan.

Our Verdict

Amazing efficiency, very high capacity, silent operation under normal conditions, compact dimensions and four PCIe connectors are the main assets of Lian Li's PE-750 unit. On the contrary the very short warranty along with the sleeve-bearing fan, the 85 °C bulk caps and the very high price will probably make many of you prefer another product instead.

For

  • Full power at 46 °C
  • High power density
  • Powerful
  • Efficient
  • +12V performance
  • 5VSB rail's efficiency
  • Compact dimensions
  • Quality filtering caps
  • Fully modular
  • Quiet operation (at normal conditions)
  • Semi-passive mode
  • 4x PCIe connectors and 12x SATA ones

Against

  • Warranty
  • Ripple at 3.3V
  • Hold-up time
  • Sleeve bearing fan
  • 85 °C bulk caps
  • Single EPS connector

Lian Li PE-750 Power Supply Review

Lian Li is mostly known for its well-built aluminum cases. However, we've also seen it introduce three PSU families. The company's most recent PSU project includes two SFX-L units that achieve high power density: the PE-550 and PE-750.

The SFX-L form factor's major advantage is a combination of compact dimensions and room for a 120 mm fan. SFX-based PSUs top out with 92 mm fans, and they're not as quiet. Meanwhile, the SFX-L specification is 30 mm longer, reaching 130 mm in total.

Lian Li's PE-750 is our test subject today. It features a 120 mm sleeve-bearing fan that's not exactly ideal in such an expensive PSU, but it's at least complemented by a semi-passive mode so it won't activate under light loads. As a result, it should last longer. Unfortunately there is no option to deactivate the semi-passive mode if you want the fan to spin constantly, staving off higher temperatures inside the PE-750. At least you can check that the fan is working, since every time the PSU starts up, the fan briefly spins up.

The PE-750 is based on a fully modular platform provided by Enhance Electronics, and its capacity is impressive given the compact dimensions that inevitably impose design limitations. Lian Li gives the PE-750 and its smaller brother another advantage in the form of a bundled SFX to ATX adapter, which lets you install the PSU in larger cases lacking native support. Some companies charge extra for this luxury, so we certainly appreciate the inclusion.

Specifications

The PE-750 boasts 80 PLUS Platinum efficiency, which isn't easy to achieve in a high-capacity, compact power supply. According to Enhance, the maximum temperature at which this PSU can deliver its full power continuously is 40 °C. That's conservative when it comes to PSU temperature ratings.

You get a full suite of protection features with the PE-750. What we didn't expect to find in a $160 PSU was the sleeve-bearing fan. It simply doesn't belong. We would have hoped to see a double ball-bearing or FDB/HDB fan instead. Sleeve-bearing fans are used in lower-cost PSUs since their lifetime is limited and they aren't suitable for horizontal installation.

We don't approve of Lian Li's short warranty, either. Companies like Corsair and Thermaltake provide seven-year warranties with their SFX-based PSUs. Lian Li should step up with at least five-year coverage but this would require a higher quality fan.

Power Specifications

Rail3.3V5V12V5VSB-12V
Max. PowerAmps2015622.50.3
Watts8074412.53.6
Total Max. Power (W)750

At 80 W, the minor rails have a low combined power rating. However, we are pretty sure that OCP is set much higher, so there won't be any problems with transient loads. On the the contrary, the +12V rail is very strong and can deliver up to 62 A. Finally, the 5VSB rail has a fairly average 12.5 W capacity.

Cables And Connectors

Modular Cables
DescriptionCable CountGaugeConnector Count (Total)
ATX connector 20+4 pin (400 mm)118AWG1
4+4 pin EPS12V (400 mm)118AWG1
6+2 pin PCIe (400 mm+150 mm)218AWG4
SATA (300 mm+200 mm+100 mm+100 mm)318AWG12
Four-pin Molex (300 mm+200 mm+200 mm) / FDD (+100 mm)118AWG3 / 1

The main ATX cable is long enough for an SFX-L PSU, while the single EPS cable should be at least 10 cm longer in our opinion. The distance between four-pin Molex connectors is pretty long at 20 cm, and the SATA cables also have proper distances between their connectors.

Four PCIe connectors are ample in this product category, though we don't like the fact that there is only one EPS connector. Normally, a 750 W PSU (even an SFX one) should have two.

There are plenty of SATA connectors. We would, however, prefer a quartet of four-pin Molex connectors instead of three. And ideally the Berg connector would be exposed through an adapter, rather than a fixed lead.

Power Distribution

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

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