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BFG 800W Power Supply Review

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SKYMTL

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BFG-4.jpg


BFG 800W Power Supply Review




Product Number: BFGR800WPSU
Price: $160.57 @ Directcanada
Packaging: Retail
Fan Size: 2X 80mm
Warranty: Lifetime
Availability: Now
Manufacturer’s Product Page: BFG Tech - 800W Power Supply




When someone says the name BFG, we immediately start thinking about graphics cards but unbeknownst to many consumers BFG has a long list of other products in their stable. These products include motherboards, various AV products, power supplies and even an Internet Traffic Cop. While all of this sounds very interesting, in this review we will be concentrating on one of their power supplies in 800W flavor.

For their power supply undertakings, BFG has looked to Topower as an OEM. Topower is one of those companies that has a Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality; they are capable of producing a rip-roaring power supplies but have been known to produce their fair share of flops as well. Luckily, BFG has long been known for releasing high-quality products and backing them up with a lifetime warranty to boot. Thus, even though their OEM may be a bit on the spotty side, BFG stands behind their products 100% by offering the customer great customer service and outstanding warranties.

In this review we will be taking a closer look at the BFG 800W power supply. This unit has been out for almost half a year and in that time we have seen various competitors come into the same price range. Speaking of price, this 800W power supply as seen a significant price reduction in recent weeks to the point where it is selling for around $160CAD. A few short months ago this same product was retailing for over $200CAD and this new price is a significant reduction. This price reduction is probably due to the number of competitors that have popped up on the market in the last little while. If this power supply can perform up to our expectations for a BFG product, we may have a new winner in the price / performance area.


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Gav

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Packaging and Accessories

Packaging and Accessories

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The packaging used for this BFG power supply is very….green and keeps to the general theme of the BFG logo and corporate branding. There is definitely a lot of information on the front of the box; it ranges from the technical features of the power supply itself to some shameless marketing hype in the form of a “The Power User’s Power Supply” label. There is also a run-through of some of the connectors you will get with the BGF 800W unit.

The amount of protection inside the box is more than enough to ensure that your brand new BFG power supply won’t arrive at your doorstep in pieces. Not only do the cables provide a good buffer zone between the box and the power supply but the unit has also been encased in bubble-wrap as well.

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BFG has gone out of their way to offer us a very complete accessory bundle with their power supply. You get the usual mounting screws and power cord but there are also some handy black zip-ties and five colored Velcro cables tie wraps as well. This might be nitpicking but I wish that BFG had decided on one color of tie wraps since the included rainbow of colors would look a bit odd if used together inside of a case.
 

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Exterior Impressions

Exterior Impressions

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This BFG 800W power supply is the same size as a standard ATX power supply so it should not have any problem fitting in any standard ATX case. BFG has added two 80mm fans; one to intake cool air and one to exhaust hot air out the back. If you look a little closer, you will not see an input voltage switch; this means that BFG has equipped this power supply with APFC.

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While the finish on the exterior casing looks like a matte grey in these photos, it has much more depth than that. The grey paint has a high-gloss finish that gives it a pretty stunning look to it but at the same time this makes it an absolute magnet for fingerprints. So, if you don’t want your BFG power supply looking like a CSI crimes scene, have a cloth ready to buff it after installation.


Cables and Connectors

- Molex: 8 Connectors
o 2x 38” (3 connectors each)
o 1x 23” (2 connectors)

- SATA: 6 Connectors
o 2x 29” length (3 connectors each)

- PCI-E 6 Pin: 2 Connectors
o 2x 17” length

- 4-Pin Floppy: 2 Connectors
o 2x 44’’ length (at end of each Molex cable)

- 20+4 ATX Connector: 16 1/2” length

- 4+4 Pin CPU connector: 16 1/2” length

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All of the cables on the BFG 800W power supply are wonderfully sleeved in form-fitting but easily-bent black sleeving. Unfortunately, this is where the fun stops with this particular power supply since every one of the cables is abysmally short. The PCI-E connectors refused to reach the bottom graphics card in the Gigabyte Aurora 750 case I installed it into.

To add a bit of insult to injury, there are only two PCI-E 6-pin connectors and not a single 8-pin PCI-E connector in sight. This is an 800W power supply and in this day and age people use these high wattage power supplies to power dual 8800GTX cards or something very close to that. Without using the Molex to 6-pin connectors included with the cards, there is no way to power dual 8800GTX or HD2900XT cards with the BFG 800W power supply.

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I had to take a picture of the PCI-E connectors since they are finished in the oddest blue color. This may be a problem for you if you are dead-set about having everything in your case matching or complementary colors. On the other hand, if I am not mistaken this color will make these connectors highly UV-reactive.

Another small problem presents itself with the way the sleeving is finished up to the ends of the connectors. There seems to be a small covered zip-tie before each connector which makes it very hard to bend the connectors in the direction you may want them.
 

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Output Characteristics

Output Characteristics

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The BFG 800W definitely looks like it has the potential to output a good amount of power. If we go by what the packaging says, this power supply has the capability to output 20A on four +12V rails for a total combined amperage of 54A. Now, for an 800W power supply, this is total of 648W is not that impressive considering some power supplies we have reviewed in the past have offered over 95% of their total output on the +12V rail(s). Frankly, I found it a bit disappointing but after some long discussions with BFG it turns out his is a misprint. Rather, the combined output should be closer to 60A and this is sure a heck of a lot better than what is printed on the packaging.

Hopefully, now that BFG has a solid staff of power supply experts, little misprints like this will no longer pop up. I just wish we had a way of testing this claim but we don’t. However, it will be interesting to see how this power supply holds up with a pair of HD2900XT cards pulling juice from it.
 

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Interior Impressions

Interior Impressions

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Cracking open the BFG 800W shows us some typical Topower internals and heatsinks which are well set up for a dual 80mm fan layout. Both the primary and secondary look well appointed even though this looks very much like it is a group-regulated unit.

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Both the primary and secondary sides are populated by Jenpo caps. I have never seen a great amount of complaints about this particular brand but I have not seen them outside of Topower-built power supplies. The cap on the primary is rated at 85*C which is perfectly all right considering it is lodged right up against the exhaust fan. The caps and other components on the secondary are similarly well ventilated due to the cross-flow provided by the intake fan. But wait…we are not yet done with our walkabout inside of the BFG 800W power supply!!


Really delving deep

Right about here this review will take a bit of a different turn with a new section. A second BFG 800W power supply was sent to a power supply fanatic better known as Oklahoma Wolf from both Jonnyguru.com and Badcaps.net. He was more than willing to give his power supply a frontal lobotomy and send us the lowdown about what he found. So, without further delay, here is what he found.

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Here we are looking at the transient filter on the input side. This is where some power supplies take a turn for the worse but it looks like the Topower-built BFG 800W is well-appointed here.

The next picture shows the underside of the main PCB. All of the traces are cleanly soldered without any excess but if you look closer there is no Loc-Tite or solder on the screws which hold the heatsinks in place. While it is highly unlikely, this may cause the screws to vibrate loose over time.

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Interestingly, one of the transformers on was not seated properly on the PCB before it was soldered in place. I thought this might be an isolated case with Okla’s unit but upon closer inspection, my unit had the same issue. While this should not affect performance in any way, it does go to show that there may be some lapses of Topower’s quality control.

The main protection chip carries the number PS232S. Unfortunately, we could not find any information about this chip…but the search continues!!

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On one side of the primary heatsink there lies a PFC diode on the extreme left of the heatsink while the two primary switchers are 20N60 units set up in a double forward converter arrangement. Interestingly, for some reason the center leg of the PFC diode has been cut off.

On the other side of the primary heatsink there are two GBU606 bridge rectifiers running in parallel which add up to 12A of capacity. Meanwhile, on the right there are 20N60C3 parts used for the PCF controller.

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Here we have the secondary side where the +12V is handled by four STPS30L60CT rectifiers in parallel. That's and incredible 120A of total potential capacity. Filtering is done using four 3300uF caps on the 12V output (two input, two output) but while it does appear that there are individual OCPs on the four 12V outputs, each output cap is shared by two rails. The +5V output is handled by two STPS30L45CT parts in parallel for a total of 60A capacity.​

In the next picture we see the PWM/PCF controller. This is a commonly-used Champion CM6800G controller which is used in quite a few power supply designs.
 

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Performance Tests

Performance Tests

System Used

Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 3.5Ghz (B3)
Memory: 4GB Corsair Dominator DDR3 @ 1600Mhz (Thanks to Corsair)
Motherboard: Asus Blitz Extreme
Graphics Cards: 2X Gigabyte HD2900XT 512MB
Disk Drive: Pioneer DVD Writer
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 320GB SATAII
Fans: 5X Yate Loon 120mm @ 1200RPM
Monitor: LG Flatron L2000CN-BF (1600X1200)

For our complete power supply testing methodology, please go here: Hardware Canucks Power Supply Testing Methodology


Efficiency Testing

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To tell you the truth I was quite surprised by the efficiency displayed by the BFG 800W. While it was not quite up to the standards set by the Antec Truepower Quattro, it did manager to beat out the much more expensive DA850. What I was most pleased by was the small amount of electricity it pulled from the mains when the computer was shut off. If you are someone who shuts of their computer for long periods of time, you should seriously consider this power supply.


Voltage Regulation

+5V Voltage Regulation

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The +5V regulation present me with a bit of surprise. As the overall load increased, the +5V rail actually increased its voltage but it never went above the ATX specified maximum. This may be due to the fact that this power supply is group regulated.


+3.3V Voltage Regulation

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The +3.3V regulation was very good but that is to be expected considering a modern computer system does not draw much from this rail.


+12V Regulation

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In this test the BFG 800W did quite well though the drops it displayed were more than the other two units. On the other hand it stayed well within the limits and considering this unit is not approved for dual R600 operation, I think it did quite well.


+12V Ripple

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Throughout the tests, the ripple exhibited by the BFG 800W power supply climbed quite a bit though it never hit anywhere near the 120mV max. Overall, I think this result is quite good even though it cannot compete with power supplies that are priced quite a bit higher (DA850 and TPQ 850). For a Topower-built unit, this is actually one of the better results I have seen.
 

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Heat and acoustical performance

Heat and acoustical performance

While the rest of the performance tests work quite well in BFG’s favor, when it comes to quiet operation this power supply is not up to my expectations. I have seen plenty of power supplies in the past that make due quite well with a single or multiple 80mm fans and still be quite quiet. Unfortunately, from the moment I began the first load test until the final full system stress test, this the BFG 800W was anything but quiet. While the noise it produced was more akin to a loud “whoosh” instead of a mechanical drone, it was still noticeable over all the other fans in my case. If there is one thing that needs to be desperately changed about this power supply, it is the overzealous fan speed controller.

Even though the two fans kicked up a veritable cyclone, the interior actually stayed quite warm as evidenced by the heat emanating from the back of the unit. So, maybe it IS a good thing that the fans are blowing for all they’re worth.
 

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Conclusion

Conclusion

This power supply presents me with a bit of a head scratcher now that I have reached the point of having to write a conclusion. While the BFG 800W displayed good performance across our tests and its lifetime warranty is a huge selling point, there is nothing about this power supply that made me stop and say “wow”. Even though it seems capable of outputting its stated 800W, other than its good price there isn’t much to keep it from being mentioned as an also-ran in the power supply race. I was actually more than happy with the build quality and its showing in the efficiency tests but it is the many small issues I have with it that keeps me from recommending it. I was actually expecting a bit more from BFG considering they bill this as the “power user’s choice” but those expectations never really materialized.

As I have already mentioned, there are a number of things which contribute to drag this power supply down. One of those things is the extremely short length of the cables which are some of the shortest I have come across on ANY power supply. If a company is searching for ways to decrease the cost of their power supplies, shortening cables is not something that should be even considered. Then there is the issue I have with the actual connectors themselves. You would expect an 800W power supply to be able to natively run a pair of 8800GTX or HD2900XT cards but the BFG 800W doesn’t. It only has a pair of PCI-E connectors and none of the new PCI-E 8-pin connectors which have become (in my opinion) mandatory on all power supplies over 600W. Finally, there is the noise output of this power supply that may annoy some people. If you like playing your games at louder volumes of if you have some of those neato noise-canceling headphones then you are all right. But, if you want a quiet computer then you should definitely look elsewhere.

Trying to like this power supply isn’t hard at all since it performs better than I expected and its new lower price will have many people looking at it very closely. Unfortunately, there are several areas which need some attention in order to bring the BFG 800W into contention as a good choice for a high-wattage power supply.


Pros:

- Good performance
- Lifetime Warranty
- Price

Cons:

- Cable lengths are far too short
- Only 2 PCI-E connectors
- Quite loud at higher loads
- No 8-pin PCI-E
- Finish is a magnet for scratches and fingerprints


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Thanks to BFG for providing us with this power supply

A special thanks also goes out to Oklahoma Wolf for contributing to this review


To post any questions or comments you may have, you can go here: Comment Thread for BFG 800W PSU Review
 
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