Manufacturers are oftentimes keen to send in the most premium bits of kit to review. Showcasing engineering talent and offering the largest profit margins, it is easy to see why, but we'd usually prefer mainstream solutions that naturally cater for the masses.
It seems as if be quiet! has listened to our request by providing a 650W model from its new Pure Power 11 FM range of PSUs.
This £90 effort is joined by 550W (£80) and 750W (£100) models designed to compete against stiff competition from Corsair (RMx) and Seasonic (GX). Headline specs reveal promise. The trio is now built by Channel Well Technology (CWT), and the 650W offers 80 Plus Gold efficiency, fully-modular cabling, four PCIe plugs, full power at an ambient 40°C, and practically silent operation until 70 per cent load. For most gamers running a single graphics card, this is a sweet spot supply.
Adhering to the latest ATX 2.52 spec, one minor quibble is its 165mm length. No deal breaker in larger chassis, but CWT could have managed a 150mm depth without issue, especially as there's only a 120mm rifle-bearing fan in use. Aesthetics are typical be quiet! insofar as there's substance over style.
The port designation sticker feels a bit tacky but you're not going to see it in the chassis. All told, this supply concurrently supports an 8-pin CPU, a 4-pin CPU, four PCIe (6+2-pin), nine SATA, two PATA and floppy. That's a good selection for a PSU of this ilk. Helping matters further is sensible spacing between flat cables that are easy to manoeuvre around a chassis.
Know that the fan doesn't switch off at low loads, like the competition, but it runs so slowly that it is practically impossible to hear even in a very quiet system.
be quiet! is also different as it normally uses multiple rails for the 12V supply. We'd prefer one as it stops any potential problems arising from connecting a single line to a super-powerful card.
Inside, soldering is clean and neat. This is a DC-to-DC supply, meaning the 3.3V and 5V rails' juice is derived from the main 12V. Teapo and Elite provide decent electrolytic caps rated to 105°C yet the main capacitors are only rated to 85°C. Something better, rated to 105°C, would only cost a couple of quid more and last twice as long, going by the spec sheets. be quiet! backs it with a five-year warranty, instead of the 10 we now commonly see, so that's something to know when comparing like-for-like.
Right-o, on to the benchmarks.