Corsair SF450 (2018) 450W SFX Power Supply Review

The Corsair SF450 SFX is, as you might have guessed from the "SFX" part number, a computer PSU built specifically with small form factor systems in mind. Corsair promises high power density along with "low noise," which are two qualities that many SFF builders are likely looking for. It also brings has Platinum level efficiency and is fully modular.

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Build Quality

The Corsair SF450 2018 features a single 92mm fan design that is similar to the preferred 80mm cooling solution by some brands. The major downside to this fan design is that to move a sufficient volume of air to cool a high output power supply it must spin very fast resulting in elevated noise levels. While these 92mm designs are not great for quiet computing environments the key criteria in our evaluation is whether or not the cooling solution is sufficient, not necessary its sound level or form factor and our comments on such later are not absolute decibel values.

External Build Quality

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The exterior of the Corsair SF450 2018 is identical to the recently reviewed SF600 2018. The only thing we see different here is a slight revision to the logo on the side as it now says SF450. Among the things that are retained are the black slightly textured finish, modular interface, the Chrysler-esque fan guard, the washed out grey color, and the restricted exhaust grill. Overall, the fit and finish is consistent and done well for what it is. However, all of that is kind of expected given both the SF600 2018 and SF450 2018 are part of the same product line and generation.

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The Corsair SF450 2018 comes in at ~4 inches long. Additionally, the modular cables reach out to ~7 to 17 inches at the first or only connector. The cables are the exact same as the ones on the previous SF600 2018 in length (which makes them a wee bit shorter than what we have seen on other occasions from other vendors) and sleeving type. That sleeving type would, again, be the somewhat popular to look at but pain to work with individually sleeved design. Considering how big of a mess this sleeving type makes when working with power supplies, working with these cables in tight spaces will be a real joy again today (that was sarcasm in case you missed it).

Internal Build Quality

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Once we open the new SF450 2018, we see the SF600 2018 again with only a few minor changes. The topology is very modern with a resonant LLC primary and a secondary which uses synchronous rectification and DC-DC VRMs for the minor rails. Dropping down 150W has not gained us much space, it seems, as the unit is still a bit cramped even though we don't see much in the way of heatsinks as there is just one on the primary side and the 12v MOSFETs are installed on the rear of the main PCB. These power components then use a thermal pad and the housing as their heatsink. Speaking of the PCB, we again see that the soldering here is generally well done. The fan paired with this unit is the same Corsair branded rifle bearing fan rated at 0.22A at 12v that we saw in the SF600 2018.

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Starting at the input filtering, we see that it begins on the AC receptacle with an attached PCB and then directly soldered to the main PCB just like with the SF600 2018. As this is the same as the SF600 2018 it is not surprising that this PCB contains a coil, X, and Y capacitors. The filtering then moves on to the edge of the main PCB. Continuing on to the primary side proper, we see the large flat bar-like heatsink which houses the APFC and primary side power components. Between this heatsink and the edge of the PCB, we find the main input capacitor which is a Nippon Chemi-con rated at 420v 390uF 105C. Slightly behind this, by the modular PCB, we find the +5vsb transformer tucked out of the way much as was the case in the previous SF600 2018. Lastly, for this section, the PFC controller is once more missing from the topside as it is on the rear of the main PCB.

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Moving over to the secondary side, we find no heatsinks present as the majority of the heat producing components are on the rear of the main PCB once more. There is a large transformer in the center to the left of frame as well as a number of capacitors along with the add-in PCB which houses the DC-DC VRMs and fan controller. The capacitors we see throughout the secondary, so far, are solid capacitors from Nippon Chemi-con. Moving to the modular PCB, the soldering we can see on the modular PCB looks good and, when we swing around to the front, we find a number of solid capacitors as well as a few standard capacitors. All of these capacitors are provided by Nippon Chemi-con. Beyond that, we find a number of locations that are screened for more capacitors that are not populated today.

Build Quality Summary

The overall build quality of the Corsair SF450 2018 is identical to that of the SF600 2018 which this unit shares a platform with. The exterior of the unit sees the same slightly revised branding (as well as the awful individually sleeved cables of the SF600 2018). When we move to the interior, we find the overall build quality coupled with the integration to be well done. The component selection includes Nippon Chemi-con standard and solid capacitors which are excellent, as always, to see. We also find that we get the same rifle bearing fan that we saw in the SF600 2018 with all of its benefits and pitfalls. All in all though, the actual integration looks very neat today which is a great way to round things out. So, let's move on now to see how this unit performs in our load tests!