As we already know the BitFenix Formula Gold 550W features a single 120mm fan design like many other offerings on the market that has come to be the preferred standard for quiet cooling environments due to the ability to move a larger volume of air at slower speeds than a smaller diameter fan. While great for quiet computing environments the key criteria in our evaluation is whether or not the cooling solution is sufficient, not necessarily it’s sound level or form factor.
External Build Quality
The exterior of the BitFenix Formula Gold 550W looks well done but not too far out of the mold of what we see from most power supplies today. Perhaps the most interesting part is the fan guard which uses a straight wire grill that is a bit like the Chrysleresque Corsair ones. BitFenix takes the stealing from automakers parts bins a step further with the BitFenix logo which looks like a screaming chicken lifted straight from a Trans Am (Smokey and the Bandit style). The only other touches that make the unit seem to standout is the Formula Series branding on the sides. Otherwise, this unit looks like your standard slightly textured black finished fully wired power supply.
The BitFenix Formula Gold 550W comes in at a total length of ~5 1/2 inches while the cables come in at a length of ~16″ to 25″ to the first or only connector. Additionally, the cables are a mix of FlexForce style cables and standard sleeving.
Internal Build Quality
Once we open the top of the BitFenix Formula Gold 550W, we see a CWT GPS based unit. The most noticeable thing to most people will be how sparse this unit looks and you are correct; it is a sparse looking unit. The topology is a half bridge resonant LLC primary with a synchronous rectification secondary and DC-DC VRM’s for the minor rails. The fan cooling this unit today is a bit unusual as it is a rifle bearing Martech fan rated at 0.16A at 12v which we do not see that often. Lastly, we see neat soldering on the rear of the main PCB.
The Formula Gold 550W input filtering begins up on the housing itself with some X capacitors and Y capacitors and the balance of the filtering is on the main PCB. The bridge rectifier is next and it is attached to single large heatsink on the primary side. On this same heatsink we also find the APFC power components. This is followed by the APFC coil and the main input capacitor which is provided by Rubycon and rated at a huge 450v 470uF 105C.
The secondary side of this unit looks very sparse with just two small heatsinks for the 12v MOSFET’s (that are on the main PCB) past the main transformer. Past this, we find the add-in PCB that houses the DC-DC VRMs. Between the heatsinks and the DC-DC VRMs are a mix of FPCAP solid capacitors (similar to what is on the DC-DC VRMs) and Nippon Chemi-con standard capacitors. Lastly, we see the screening on the main PCB showing the individual 12v rail leads including an unused one for another PCIe connector.
Build Quality Summary
Today’s BitFenix Formula Gold 550W is the first power supply we have seen from BitFenix and we are starting off with more of an entry-level product today. For an entry-level product, the Formula Gold 550W seems like a well-built unit. The exterior build quality and branding is well done and tasteful for an entry-level fixed cable unit that is trying to standout just a bit. The interior of the unit is sparse but it features a modern topology. The component selection, when it comes to capacitors (Rubycon and Nippon Chemi-con standard capacitors as well as FPCAP solid capacitors), is excellent. The fan is a bit of a mystery, though, but back on the plus side he build quality and integration seems to be well done. Let’s move on now to the load tests and see how the Formula Gold 550W!