Articles: Cases/PSU

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Chieftec CFT-850G-DF, CFT-1000G-DF, CFT-1200G-DF

Chieftec’s Super Series is comprised of over a dozen models but I will discuss only the top three of them, ranging from 850W through 1200W. They are made for Chieftec by Sirtec. These PSUs are all based on the same platform, so I will be discussing them all together, too.

Exterior Design

The PSUs have a rather rare dual-fan design with a main 135mm fan and an auxiliary 80mm fan. I can easily recall only one more such power supply I have dealt with – the Enermax Galaxy.

The dimensions of the case are rather large. It is 220 millimeters long, i.e. 80mm longer than the standard ATX power supply. But I don’t think anyone will be installing such high-wattage power supplies into compact system cases.

Like the models discussed above, these power supplies have detachable cables. That’s very handy considering the thickness of the bunch the cables of a high-wattage PSUs can form together.

The PSU’s connectors are of the Molex Mini-Fit Jr. variety. Surprisingly, the 6-pin connectors for graphics card and peripheral cables of the Turbo Series PSUs differed in the position of the keys that prevented you from plugging anything wrongly, but such keys are absolutely identical in the Super Series products!

It means you must be careful when attaching the cables: if you accidentally plug a HDD power cable into a red socket, your HDD will die.

It is good that the connectors scheme shows what voltages go where, including the specific lines of the +12V rail. If you use only two out of the four available graphics card connectors, you should choose connectors of different lines (12V1 and 12V2). This guarantees that the PSU’s protection won’t be triggered because of overload on an individual line even if you’ve got a very power-hungry graphics card.

Circuit Design

Notwithstanding the large housing, I wouldn’t call this PSU roomy.

The PSU has a dual-transformer design which is often employed in case when one transformer of the required wattage just doesn’t fit into the housing and has to be replaced with two half-wattage transformers.

Input noise filters and a high-voltage diode bridge with a small dedicated heatsink are located on a narrow separate card installed upside down. This position is understandable since the components must all be accommodated within the PSU dimensions but questionable in terms of cooling: the rather large chokes obstruct some air flow.

Otherwise this power supply is quite an ordinary product as today’s PSUs go. It is equipped with an active PFC device whose power components reside on an individual, third heatsink. And it also offers dedicated voltage regulation. The PFC device and the power transformers of the inverter do not heat up much, so their heatsinks are just simple aluminum bars painted black.

Talking about color, many reviewers write that the black color of heatsinks improves cooling, but that’s not exactly so. The color of heatsinks only matters with passive cooling when heat transfer is performed through convection and radiation (it is the efficiency of radiation that the color affects) but when a power supply has active cooling, its fan driving air through its entire case, heat transfer by means of radiation is absolutely unimportant, and the color of heatsinks plays no role whatsoever.

The PSU is based on a Champion Micro CM6800G chip that combines both PFC and main regulator controllers. The details marked around it on the PCB are not something the manufacturer has forgotten to solder. These are the elements installed on the other side of the PCB.

The PSU has Teapo capacitors at the output. These components have good reputation.

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