BitFenix after a long break again represents a new line of power supplies, which focuses on quiet operation and high quality workmanship. The Whisper line has been certified 80PLUS Gold, fully modular cable connection and equipped with modern technology. Add to this a very attractive price. Our test lab received BitFenix Whisper M 650W (BWG650M) power supply, which will go through our tests.
BitFenix entered the power supply market in 2014 with the Fury family. But the power supply units Fury could not gain a foothold in the market, by now they have almost completely disappeared. At the end of 2016 BitFenix made a new attempt, releasing the “Whisper M” line. Power units Whisper M have a power of 450 to 850 watts. For them, the effectiveness of 80PLUS Gold is stated, and good equipment can be noted: a fully modular cable connection system and a design with several lines. The power supply is equipped with a full set of protection circuits, uses Japanese capacitors, and the warranty is seven years. So the quality of Whisper M should be on top.
BitFenix focuses on the European market, so it accentuates the quiet operation of the power supply. Inside, a large 135 mm fan with FDB bearing is used, the fan controller is optimized for quiet operation. Add to this good efficiency and optimization of electronics without whistling throttles. As a result, the power supply, in general, works quite quietly.
The retail price of the BitFenix Whisper M is 77.90 euros (450 watts), 89.90 euros (650 watts) or 115.90 euros (850 watts), it can be called very attractive compared to competitors. In Russia, power supplies at the time of publication have not yet appeared.
BitFenix Whisper M 650W is supplied in a cardboard box on which basic information about the power supply is printed. The BP itself is securely packed in foam, covering it both in front and behind.
The BitFenix Whisper M 650W delivery kit is quite expected. In addition to the power supply cables, mains power cable, mounting screws and cable tighteners, the manufacturer added a short user’s guide, which provides installation information, technical specifications of the power supply unit and the operation of protection circuits.
BitFenix Whisper M 650W looks quite simple, which is associated with the steel case of anthracite color. For a power supply with a 135 mm fan, the length is quite standard – 160 mm.
But there are two distinctive elements. BitFenix chose linear bars for the grille, which also contribute to quiet operation. In addition, BitFenix abandoned simple rectangular labels by adding bevelled corners.
From the inside of the power supply unit, you can see the connectors for connecting modular power cables, which are neatly signed.
In addition to two connectors for connecting a 24-pin ATX cable, separated on the side of the PSU, there are four 6-pin sockets for connecting SATA and peripheral power cables and four 8-pin video card slots. All connectors are signed, with the help of the power table it is possible to divide the load on the existing four 12V lines. The 12V1 line is allocated for powering the motherboard and the periphery (SATA / Molex), the 12V2 line is responsible for the 8-pin. The CPU socket, and the 12V3 and 12V4 lines are allocated for VGA1 and VGA2 video cards.
On the outside of the power supply there is nothing remarkable, except that the socket and toggle switch on / off.
The BitFenix Whisper M 650W is based on four 12V lines, for two of which the load is declared 25A, and for another two 30A. In total, the lines can provide a power of 650 watts, which corresponds to the rated power of the PSU. The secondary voltage provides a load of up to 20 A, combined power up to 100 W.
Inside, the BitFenix Whisper M 650W power supply is based on the modern CWT platform based on the resonant conversion of LLC with Synchronous Rectification technology, DC-DC converters are used for additional voltages. BitFenix capacitors have chosen almost completely from the Japanese manufacturer Nippon Chemicon. In the main circuit, an electrolytic capacitor with a capacity of 560 μF per 400 V is used. In secondary circuits, solid and electrolytic capacitors of the KZE family from Nippon Chemicon are almost everywhere installed, but there are also three electrolytic capacitors from the Japanese manufacturer Nichicon.
An important function of the power supply is the protection circuit, since the “death” of the power supply can lead to the failure of other components of the PC, often more expensive. At BitFenix Whisper M 650W we get good protection schemes. Namely protection from overvoltage (OVP), overload on separate lines (OCP), general overload (OPP), short circuit (SCP) and overheating (OTP). In the manual, BitFenix explains the operation of individual protection schemes. With the exception of OVP, the trip thresholds are not specified, although the tolerances accepted in the design of the PSU are indicated. For correct operation of the protection schemes BitFenix Whisper M 650W meet chips Sitronix ST9S429-PG14 and Weltrend WT75180.
In our tests, we were able to confirm the operation of the overload protection circuits. For secondary voltages of 3.3 V and 5 V, the shutdown was observed at a current of 28 and 27 A. On the 12V1 / 12V2 lines (motherboard / peripherals or CPU) the limitation was 32 A, and on the 12V3 / 12V4 lines (VGA1 / VGA2) we received About 38 A. Quite reasonable restrictions.
It’s nice that BitFenix took seriously the implementation of the concept with several 12V lines, each line received a separate OCP protection. With a small load on the secondary voltages, we got a power failure at a combined load of 68 A on 12 V lines, that is, OPP is triggered at a power of about 820 watts. Overall, the BitFenix Whisper M 650W has performed well on implementing security schemes.
Let’s move on to the level of noise and equipment.
BitFenix Whisper M 650W is equipped with a 135mm fan that can blow a pretty decent airflow through a relatively open air grille. In the center of the fan you can see the manufacturer’s logo.
The fan is manufactured not by the most famous manufacturer Martech, it is equipped with FDB-bearing and, at first glance, provides a rather high level of performance (0.6 A and 7.2 W).
BitFenix Whisper M 650W fan controller is fully active, according to the manufacturer’s information, the initial speed is 500 rpm, but in our tests we got almost 650 rpm. The given speed the power unit BitFenix supported during enough long period of loading. Even with a load of 80%, we got a slightly higher speed – 700 rpm.
As for the noise level, BitFenix Whisper M 650W worked very quietly, the weak rustling of the fan could only be heard in close proximity. Under full load, our sample BitFenix Whisper M 650W reached a speed of almost 1,000 rpm, but the noise level still remained pleasantly quiet. The noise level was already noticeable, but not distracting. In general, BitFenix Whisper M 650W works nicely quietly, although it can hardly be considered a competitor of branded “quiet” models.
As we mentioned in the beginning, the BitFenix Whisper M 650W is equipped pretty well. The fully modular connection system offers four PCI Express power connectors, eight SATA and four Molex, quite a lot for a 650-watt power supply.
All cables are implemented in the form of black loops.
The quality of the workmanship is good, the length of the cables is sufficient.
On the BitFenix interfaces, BitFenix Whisper M 650W left a positive impression.
After the announcement of the program 80 PLUS, the last 8 years in the market of power supplies efficiency has played an increasingly important role. The buyer received a fairly simple criterion for selection – 80 PLUS, and the manufacturers had a convenient opportunity to distinguish their products through the certification of the level of efficiency. It is pleasant in BP efficiency that buyers now get several reasons justifying the purchase of very good power supplies. Let’s start with saving energy, which is reflected in the electricity bill, and if you are worried about the environment, you can slightly reduce the amount of fossil fuel burned and carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. In addition, smaller energy losses in the conversion lead to less heating of the power supply components. Finally, a more efficient power supply means better components and the latest production technologies. In any case, we performed the quality check of the output voltages, since a good power supply should work not only efficiently, but also stably.
Thanks to our test station, we can fix the power consumed by the power supply from the outlet, and also the power of the load (imaginary) of the computer, which allows us to calculate the efficiency of the power supplies. First, we’ll look at the efficiency at different loads, after which we’ll go on to evaluate the efficiency at three fixed load levels.
We begin measuring efficiency with a very small level of five percent, which corresponds to just over 30 watts of power. BitFenix Whisper M 650W showed a relatively decent result of 79.7%, because at such a low load platforms are not always optimized for maximum efficiency. At a load of ten percent, we got a quite good level of 88.1%.
At a load of 20%, the test power supply went to the operating level. The efficiency of 91.6% can also be called quite good. In the range of 40 to 60%, power supplies usually show maximum efficiency, with our 650-W BitFenix Whisper M, the maximum efficiency of 93.1% was observed at two loads of 40% and 50%. After a peak of 50% efficiency from the load level of 60% began to decline slowly, but under full load we got a decent 90.6%. For the 80PLUS Gold power supply, the efficiency was very good.
For power supplies, we also carried out three measurements corresponding to three levels of 80 PLUS certification (20%, 50%, 100% load) with mains supply 115 V / 60 Hz. The distribution of the load of our test station does not exactly correspond to that of the 80PLUS laboratories, but for an approximate comparison it can be used. With results of 90.6% / 91.3% / 87.4%, the BitFenix Whisper M 650W power supply meets the minimum requirements of 87% / 90% / 87% for 80PLUS Gold, significantly exceeding them at low and medium load points.
Equally interesting is the comparison of efficiency with three fixed loads, because it allows you to evaluate the efficiency of power supplies under conditions as if they are installed in the same configuration. The first load of 90 W corresponds to an old office PC or a modern mid-level computer in idle mode. The BitFenix Whisper M 650W power supply showed a very good efficiency of 90.5%, bypassing many comparable 80PLUS Gold power supplies, such as the Corsair CS750M or the Super Flower Leadex Gold 650W.
At a higher power consumption level of the system, in our case 250 W, the BitFenix Whisper M 650W power supply also showed very good results. With a level of 93.2%, he surpassed many comparable BP 80PLUS Gold. With a load of 500 watts, the BitFenix Whisper M 650W’s performance is still good, but the same Corsair CS750 was able to come out ahead.
The efficiency of the BitFenix Whisper M 650W can be called very good. At low loads, the PSU demonstrates very good results for the 80PLUS Gold model, on other load ranges the efficiency is also quite high.
The quality of the output voltages is one of the most important criteria of a power supply, no less important than efficiency. The power supply should work stably, the voltage should not “jump”, otherwise it could affect the computer. Therefore, we checked the stress levels under different loads, and also judged if they remain within the limits of the ATX band specifications. Recall that the specification ATX allowed a deviation of plus / minus 5 percent of the nominal voltage, we just set these thresholds on the graphs as boundary values.
In addition, we evaluated the quality of the output voltage using an oscilloscope. In particular, we evaluated high-frequency noise and voltage pulsations, which are observed at the output lines of direct current. They are related to the principle of the operation of switching power supplies, and depending on the design quality and filters of the power supply they can be smoothed with a certain degree of success. The ATX standard provides for the 12 V line allowable ripple of 120 mV (from peak to peak), and for 3.3 V and 5 V lines – 50 mV (from peak to peak).
By stabilizing the voltage BitFenix Whisper M 650W demonstrates very good results for its class. For secondary voltages, the fall is only 0.4% or 0.2%, here Whisper M can compete with high-end models. On the 12 V line, the drop with the load increase from 10% to the full was 1.1%, which is also relatively small. In general, we were pleasantly surprised by the stability of the stresses.
By pulsations and noise, the results are also good. On the 12 V line, we received a total of 14 mV ripple at full load, although by specifications they can be up to 120 mV. Pulsations of 16 mV along the 3.3 V line can also be called very good. As for the 5 V line, here we received pulsations of up to 32 mV, also an acceptable result, given the permissible level of 50 mV.
The BitFenix Whisper M 650W power supply unit proved to be good at output voltage quality. Stresses are well stabilized, by pulsations / noise we also get a very good picture.
The power unit BitFenix Whisper M 650W performed well in our test, we did not encounter any significant deficiencies in any discipline. So we have a decent universal power supply that provides a high level of performance, but it works pleasantly quiet.
Technically, the power supply is quite modern, it offers good efficiency 80PLUS Gold, it is even higher at low loads. The output voltages are perfectly balanced, in terms of pulsations and noise, we also get good results. BitFenix has developed BitFenix Whisper M 650W as a four-line power supply, with the load on the lines matched correctly. Buyer BitFenix Whisper M 650W will receive a full set of protection schemes, capacitors used quality, manufactured by Nippon Chemicon and Nichicon.
BitFenix Whisper M 650W power supply proved to be worthy compared to its competitors. For a 650W model, on the positive side, we note four PCI Express connectors, as well as the ability to connect up to eight SATA power connectors and up to four Molex. The connection of the power cables is completely modular and implemented well.
BitFenix Whisper M 650W worked with a pleasantly low noise level. So its name BitFenix Whisper M 650W corresponds. However, although the power supply unit works quietly, its operation is still noticeable. If you need a very quiet power supply with passive cooling under low load, then you should choose a specialized model. But if a small noise level is acceptable for you, then pay attention to the Whisper model.
The Power Supply BitFenix Whisper M 650W failed to set new standards in any disciplines, but it proved to be generally good. And here we just come to the last criterion of our evaluation – price. BitFenix traditionally performs well at a price that is noticeably lower than its competitors. The power unit has not yet appeared in Russia, but in Europe it will have to pay less than 90 euros. The price is at the level of the Corsair RMx Series 650W, most competitors are more expensive. Therefore, BitFenix with the Whisper M line has all chances to strengthen its reputation in the power supply segment.