Lian Li SP850 White 850W SFX Power Supply Review

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Build Quality

As we already know the Lian Li SP850 is a single 92mm fan design that is similar to the preferred 80mm cooling solution by some brands. The major downside to this fan design is that to move a sufficient volume of air to cool a high output power supply it must spin very fast resulting in elevated noise levels. While these 92mm designs are not great for quiet computing environments the key criteria in our evaluation is whether or not the cooling solution is sufficient.

External Build Quality

Just like last time we saw a Lian Li power supply, the exterior of the Lian Li SP850 is one of the more refined-looking PSUs we have seen. It is not because of anything major but it is all in the details. The finish is not just a flat white or textured white finish. Rather, it is more of a white brushed aluminum finish. The attention to detail in the actual finish and branding on the top of the unit is, simply, the best in the business.

The modular interface is also well labeled. However, the actual Lian Li branding on the side of the unit is applied via a sticker which seems like a weird choice given the precious obsession with quality finishes. Plus, the other side has a giant power label sticker on it. Other than that, everything here is standard for an overhead 92mm fan-sized SFX unit.

The Lian Li SP850 comes in at a total length of ~4 inches while the cables come in at a length of ~7″ to 24″ to the first or only connector. Additionally, the cables are all individually sleeved cables or flat FlexForce style cables.

12-pin 12VHPWR PCIe 5.0 Cable Adapter

The 12VHPWR PCIe 5.0 adapter can be seen here connected to the SP850 by the two 8-pin PCIe slots needed to provide the amount of power that the new specification calls for currently. Lian Li says the cable is a 16 AWG thick cable and is able to handle 350W-400W in a single 12-pin connector, this cable does not have the 4 data sense pins for sideband signaling. Running 350W-400W over this cable though would be pushing the power supply connectors out of ATX spec, which is normally 150W each. Lian Li does this by providing a high-quality 16 AWG cable to handle the load.

Internal Build Quality

Once we open the top of the Lian Li SP850, we see a rather cramped unit that looks identical to the Helly-built SFX units we have seen to date at TheFPSReview. The topology features a resonant LLC primary with a synchronous rectification secondary and DC-DC VRMs for the minor rails. The fan cooling this unit today is a double ball bearing fan from Yate Loon rated at 0.60A at 12v and it is paired with three large(ish) heatsinks of varying shape/configuration. Lastly, the soldering is generally neat but there are a couple of hand touch-ups visible.

The SP850 input filtering begins upon the housing itself where we find some X capacitors and Y capacitors. The balance of the input filtering is found on the back edge of the main PCB. There is then a pair of bridge rectifiers stuck to each other and then attached to a heatsink. The APFC power components are next attached to a heatsink and they are followed by the APFC coil. Speaking of that heatsink, the main input capacitor is right next to it and it is provided by Rubicon with a rating of 400v 560uF 85C. Next to this are the main switchers attached to another substantial heatsink in the unit.

The secondary side of this unit looks crowded once more, but what do you expect? It’s an SFX unit and it is 850W in capacity. In the middle of this area, we find the main transformer. Surrounding this is a heatsink that is attached to the MOSFETs, which are on the back of the main PCB, and uses the case as a heatsink as well. Next to this, we find the DC-DC VRMs housed on their own PCB (populated by FPCAP solid capacitors) up against the modular PCB and edge of the main PCB. In front of these PCBs, we find a few solid electrolytics from APAQ as well as a couple of standard electrolytics from Nippon Chemi-con. The modular PCB construction looks very nice and there are more solid capacitors from APAQ as well.

Build Quality Summary

Today’s Lian Li SP850 is the second SFX power supply we have seen from Lian Li and it seems to follow the general formula that we saw from the first (SP750). The build quality looks very nice/excellent but this unit is, obviously, very small so it is a bit cramped. The exterior is alternatively one of the most refined and good-looking units we have seen but it is also a bit odd with the way the branding is applied. The integration seems to be very well done and the component selection is excellent to the unknown as we see Rubycon and Nippon Chemi-con standard capacitors as well as APAQ and FPCAP solid capacitors. We also see a double-ball-bearing fan used in this unit. All in all, the Lian Li Sp850 looks like a well-sorted-out unit in general. Let’s move on now to the load tests and see how this unit performs!

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Paul Johnson
Paul is a long time PC hobbyist and tech enthusiast having gotten his start when he broke his first C64 quickly followed by breaking his first IBM XT. Most notably however, for 12 years, he served as the Power Supply Editor for one of the truly early, groundbreaking, and INDPENDENT PC enthusiast sites ([H]ardOCP) until its mothballing in April of 2019. Paul now brings the same flair and style of his power supply reviews to The FPS Review.

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