BitFenix is a company that became known for their unique, yet cost-effective computer case designs. The company was initially focused solely on PC cases, but quickly expanded their products portfolio to include other related products, such as case modding items, fans, and power supply units. A little over a year ago we reviewed two of their first PSUs, the BitFenix Whisper M 450W & 850W units, which we found to be both capable and competitively priced.

For today's review  we are taking a look at the latest addition to the company's PSUs lineup, the Formula Gold 650W PSU. As its name suggests, the Formula Gold series comes with an 80Plus Gold efficiency certification, with a long list of impressive features and rather bold quality assurance assertions on its marketing sheet. BitFenix claims that it is one of the most cost-effective 80Plus Gold units in the market, though with a retail price of $80 for the 650W version, it faces some aggressive competition amongst other 80Plus Gold designs. Ultimately this is a PSU with both its advantages and shortcomings, as we'll see in this review.

Power specifications ( Rated @ 50 °C )
AC INPUT 100 - 240 VAC, 50 - 60 Hz
RAIL +3.3V +5V +12V +5Vsb -12V
MAX OUTPUT 20A 20A 54A 2.5A 0.3A
105W 650W 12.5W 3.6W
TOTAL 650W

Packaging and Bundle

BitFenix supplies the Formula Gold 650W PSU in a typical cardboard box, with thick walls that offer ample shipping protection. Inside the box, we found the unit well-protected in polyethylene foam pieces. The artwork is mostly black, with abstract geometric shapes forming a partial triangular mesh and a close-up picture of the PSU itself. Abundant information regarding the unit's main features and performance is printed on the sides and rear of the box, in multiple languages.

In an effort to keep the cost as low as possible, the company reduced the bundle to the absolute essentials. We only found the necessary AC power cable, four black mounting screws, a few zip ties, and a basic manual inside the box. There are no other items or cables, as this particular PSU has all of its cables hardwired to the chassis, none are removable.

BitFenix Formula Gold 650W
Connector type Hardwired Modular
ATX 24 Pin 1 -
EPS 4+4 Pin 1 -
EPS 8 Pin 1 -
PCI-E 6+2 Pin 4 -
PCI-E 8 Pin - -
SATA 8 -
Molex 4 -
Floppy - -
The BitFenix Formula Gold 650W PSU
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  • DanNeely - Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - link

    "Modern power supplies work on both systems, however the nature of switching means that they are slightly more efficient with higher voltage inputs. "

    Is there something specific to switch mode design that makes lower voltage hurt? I'd always assumed it the difference was due to the 4x higher I^2*R resistive losses on the input end.
    Reply
  • E.Fyll - Thursday, June 14, 2018 - link

    That is generally correct. Actually, a lower input voltage will decrease the switching-related frequency losses as well (the switching cycle is longer to maintain the same energy output). That's why this PSU displayed almost identical efficiency at lower loads regardless of the input voltage -the resistive losses are higher with a 115V input but the switching losses at low loads are lower, so they virtually negate each other. At higher loads however, the switching losses are minimized regardless of the input voltage, whereas the resistive losses are (theoretically) always four times higher. They actually tend to be even higher than that, because higher component temperatures increase the resistive losses, and the higher resistive losses increase the component temperatures even further. It's a vicious circle. Reply
  • benedict - Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - link

    Sell it for 60-65$ and it will be a hit. At 80$ it's just one of many. Reply
  • Orange14 - Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - link

    For $10 more I could purchase an equivalent wattage Seasonic that is fully modular and has a 10 year warranty, At this price point, there is no compelling reason for this PSU to exist. Reply
  • AdrianB1 - Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - link

    You are totally right. For this price it should be at least semi-modular and have better features, like passive mode and/or higher efficiency. Reply
  • qlum - Thursday, June 14, 2018 - link

    I personally prefer non modular over modular as I prefer not ot use a shroud and non modular just looks better on the front of the case. Tje few extra cables I can easily hide on the back anyway. Reply
  • AdrianB1 - Thursday, June 14, 2018 - link

    Semi-modular is the best of the 2 worlds, you have the ATX 24 pin cable built in like in a non-modular PSU and the other cables are connected only if you need them, so you don't have to hide anything on the back, leave it in a drawer. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Friday, June 15, 2018 - link

    I don't follow. How do you see your PSU from the front of your case? What kind of shroud do you use with your PSU and why are more cables better in that case? Do you use some very specific cases?
    My last non (semi) modular PSU was a Silverstone one I used in a Lian Li mATX box (V351b) with a few short cables that fit my need. At that point, modular was still a good bit more expensive. After that though, I had at least semi-modular or fully modular PSU and like the ease of use of installing them, as well as the less clutter. But I also use mATX or smaller cases.
    Reply
  • boozed - Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - link

    Not to be confused with Bitfinex.

    I did once see the Bitfenix logo used by accident at a fraudcoin conference.
    Reply
  • crashtech - Saturday, June 16, 2018 - link

    At this very moment, the SeaSonic SSR-650RM is a few dollars less, so there's no reason to buy this PSU, which ought to be in the $65to be at all interesting. Reply

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