Super Flower SF-550F14MP Power Supply Review
After establishing a very good reputation in the power supply unit (PSU) market thanks to its excellent mid- and high-capacity units, Super Flower (SF) decided that it was time to start competing in the low-capacity region, where sales volume has recently increased. Lately, more and more users look for lower-capacity PSUs with high efficiency, since modern GPUs (at least Nvidia's recent offerings) don't draw as much power, even in worst-case scenarios, as older graphics cards. This means that there is a large market for PSUs with 500 to 600 W capacities and Platinum efficiency levels, considering Titanium units still have very high prices. Currently, there is almost no competition in the 550 W and Platinum-efficiency category, with one of the very few contenders being the Rosewill Quark-550, which we haven't tested yet so we can't comment on its performance. There are also the Seasonic SS-520FL and the Enermax EDF550AWN, but these are passive PSUs with higher price tags.
SF's 550 W Platinum offering is on our test bench today. The PSU's model number is SF-550F14MP, and it is based on the same Leadex platform that the other, more powerful units in this line utilize. With this new addition, the Leadex Platinum line is among the most complete on the market today, including eight PSUs with capacities ranging from 550 W to 2,000 W. This line features the highest-capacity PSU money can buy, and now it also has a representative in the low-capacity 550 W category.
In addition to having Platinum efficiency, this PSU is Haswell ready and utilizes a fully modular cabling design. It has a wide temperature operating range, but its protection features don't include over temperature protection (OTP), which is very crucial for any PSU. The cooling fan uses double ball bearings, which provide an increased lifetime, and a semipassive mode that offers zero noise output at light loads. The dimensions of the unit are typical for this category, but the price is pretty high. Finally, the five-year warranty period is adequate, but EVGA's offerings based on the same platform offer an even longer warranty.
|Total Max. Power (W)||550|
There is only one +12V rail, which is common for a Super Flower PSU; the company has made it very clear that it doesn't believe in multiple +12V rail units. The maximum combined power that the minor rails can provide is restricted to 100 W, which will suffice for a midlevel system. Lastly, the 5VSB rail has the typical capacity found in most PSUs nowadays.
Cables And Connectors
|Description||Cable Count||Connector Count (Total)|
|ATX connector 20+4 pin (550mm)||1||1|
|4+4 pin EPS12V (650mm)||1||1|
|6+2 pin PCIe (550mm+125mm)||1||2|
|6+2 pin PCIe (550mm)||1||1|
|SATA (500mm+140mm) / 4 pin Molex (+140mm+140mm)||1||2 / 2|
|4 pin Molex (500mm+130mm+130mm) / FDD (+130mm)||1||3 / 1|
As expected, there is a single EPS connector. However, we didn't expect to see an odd number of PCIe connectors. Most PSUs feature an even number of PCIe connectors, but in this case, Super Flower decided to offer three of them. Apparently, Super Flower wanted to stay on the safe side and avoid cases where a user might try to power two high-end VGAs along with other system components with this PSU.
For a 550 W PSU, the number of provided SATA connectors is high, and there are also enough four-pin Molex connectors. Although the main ATX cable looks short, a midcapacity PSU likely won't be installed in a full tower chassis but in a much smaller one, so there shouldn't be any compatibility problems. The EPS cable is long enough to avoid the use of extenders, while the length of PCIe cables is ideal for the majority of cases. In addition, the distance between SATA and peripheral cables is adequate. Finally, the cable that hosts the single PCIe connector along with the ATX and EPS connectors all use 16-AWG wires, while the remaining connectors consist of 18-AWG gauges. Normally, a 550 W unit doesn't need wires thicker than 18 AWG, but it seems like Super Flower didn't want to lose any load-regulation performance on the cables.
Because this PSU features a single +12V rail, we do not have anything to say about its power distribution.