Articles: Cases/PSU

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Power supply units with wattage ratings of 600 to 800 watts enjoy high demand nowadays. Even though the majority of home computers do not actually need that much power, no one is going to refuse to have a reserve of wattage, especially if you don’t have to pay much for it. So what can we expect from PSUs which offer that much wattage at a more or less affordable price? To answer this question we’ve taken half a dozen products, both new and not very new. All of them have one thing in common. Their price is more affordable compared to most other same-class PSUs.

Testing Methodology

The following article offers a detailed description of our testing methodology and equipment and a brief explanation of what the specified and tested parameters of power supplies mean: X-bit Labs Presents: Power Supply Units Testing Methodology. If you feel overwhelmed with the numbers and terms this review abounds in, refer to the Methodology.

You can also go to our Cases/PSU section to check out reviews of all other PSU models we have tested in our labs.

We will mark the actual power consumption of three system configurations (discussed in our article PC Power Consumption: How Many Watts Do We Need?) in the cross-load diagrams. This will help you see if the tested PSU can meet the requirements of a real-life PC.

Testing Participants

Chieftec BPS-650C

We’ve tested a number of Chieftec PSUs in our labs and been generally pleased with them. We have rather high hopes about this one, too. It hails from the Nitro series which represents the top of the company’s current product line-up.

The BPS-650C is shipped in a rather small box of glossy cardboard. The packaging is unified for all BPS series products that range in wattage from 550 to 950 watts. The box has a plastic handle. Many manufacturers forget about this handy detail, but not Chieftec.

Exterior Design


There is nothing extraordinary about the exterior design of this PSU. It is a standard-sized box with detachable cables and a large 140mm fan behind a wire grille.

There are small vent holes in one of the side panels. The other only has a stamped logo of the manufacturer. A label with specifications is on the bottom panel of the PSU. The dark-gray matte paint with shimmering metallic particles seems to be the most original feature in the exterior of this product.

Circuit Design

Under the hood we can spot the familiar traits of the PSH platform Channel Well Technology. It is the newer, second version of it, though.

The differences from the original PSH platform can hardly be noticed with a naked eye, however. The component layout is largely the same whereas dedicated voltage regulation is still based on electromagnetic amplifiers.

The only visible difference from the first PSH is that there is only one daughter card here instead of two.

That single daughter card carries a PWM & PFC controller chip CM6800G.

The monitoring chip PS229, responsible for protection against various violations of electronic parameters, resides on the main PCB.

The PSU has electrolytic capacitors from United Chemi-Con at its output. KZE series capacitors enjoy an excellent reputation.

Cables and Connectors

The Chieftec BPS-650C is equipped with the following cables and connectors:

  • One mainboard cable with a 20+4-pin connector (61 cm)
  • One CPU cable with a 4+4-pin connector (59 cm)
  • Four connectors for graphics card cables
  • Four connectors for peripheral power cables

Included with the PSU are:

  • Two graphics card cables with 6+2-pin connectors (60 cm)
  • One cable with two PATA power connectors and one floppy-drive plug (60+15+15 cm)
  • One cable with two PATA power connectors (60+15 cm)
  • Two cables with three SATA power connectors on each (60+15+15 cm)

The cables are sufficiently long, yet the 4+4-pin CPU power cable might have been made a little longer still to make sure that the PSU is compatible with large system cases that have a bottom PSU bay.

It can be noted that Chieftec has stretched the product unification idea to the limit: this model is only equipped with two graphics card cables although has as many as four connectors for them. The missing pair of cables might be useful, though, as the BPS-650C is quite capable of powering up a couple of performance-mainstream cards like GeForce GTX 560/560 Ti or Radeon HD 6870 in SLI or CrossFireX mode, respectively. At least its wattage meets GPU makers’ recommendations for such configurations. Each such card needs two 6-pin power connectors, so you won’t be able to connect two of them with the cables included with this PSU unless you use adapters.


The specifications are blameless and up to today’s standards. The BPS-650C can give you up to 636 watts across its solid +12V rail, its total output power being 650 watts. The load capacity of the +3.3V and +5V rails is quite high, too. The BPS-650C features 80+Bronze certification.

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