Lian Li SP850 White 850W SFX Power Supply Review

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Conclusion

The Lian Li SP850 is the second SFX power supply we have seen here at TheFPSReview from Lian Li. In the past, Lian Li has marketed power supplies but they are better known for their excellent chassis. So, while PSUs have not been their biggest product segment, Lian Li is known for quality products. This gives us a lot of hope today! Especially since their last power supply, the also tin SFX sized SP750, was an excellent product! However, hope is not all that you need to have a quality power supply. So, does this unit stack up to the high marks of the Lian Li reputation, or does it come up a bit short? Let’s see.

Build Quality

Today’s Lian Li Sp850 starts things off with a build quality that is very good/excellent for its market position. The exterior represents a well-branded and labeled approach that looks like what we have seen from Lian Li before (save for one item). Most apparent in this effort is, well, the color. Whereas the SP750 we saw was brushed aluminum black, this unit is a stunning all-white with silver branding. Everything that was well done with the previous SP750 on the exterior carries over today with simply the color swap in place. The other item to note here is the inclusion of the 12-pin 12VHPWR PCIe 5.0 cable adapter. This is the first time that we have seen one and it is interesting that it is on an SFX unit.

Speaking of cables, we see that all of the cables are FlexForce cables or individually sleeved cables. Generally, individually sleeved cables look cool to some people but are quite pointless and only make a mess. However, on this unit that isn’t exactly the case because with an SFX-appropriate set of cables the length is short enough that they remain stiff enough to not tangle terribly. That is also helped by the fact that they are ziptied at regular intervals. Wait, doesn’t that defeat the purpose of individually sleeving them?

Moving to the interior, integration is about as clean as it can be with this design in such a small space and the topology is modern once more. The component selection features Rubicon and Nippon Chemi-con electrolytics as well as FPCAP and APAQ solid electrolytics. There is also a double ball-bearing fan from Yate Loon used to cool this unit. Lastly, the documentation with this unit is very basic and it has a 5-year warranty.

Load Testing

Today’s Lian Li SP850 started off testing in good shape. We saw voltage regulation of up to 0.14v on the 12v rail, 0.13v on the 5v rail, and 0.14v on the 3.3v rail. These numbers would not be good on the minor rails for a lot of units, but this unit is an SFX-sized unit. That said, these numbers are also comparable to the Cooler Master V850 SFX GOLD WHITE as this unit ends mixed with that unit. Moving on, we saw efficiency values that ranged from 87.31% to 90.61% efficient at 120v AC input and 85.88% to 89.85% at 100v AC input.

When we look at the Transient Load Tests results for the Lian Li SP850, we see that the results are good but mixed. When directly loaded, the 12v rail showed a peak change of ~320mV, and the 5v rail had a peak change of ~45mV. During the 12v load, the unloaded 5v rail saw a peak change of ~40mV. In absolute terms, these results are in the specification and this unit bests the Cooler Master V850 SFX Gold WHITE Edition.

DC Output Quality

The DC Output Quality results for the Lian Li Sp850 were excellent. Overall, we saw peak ripple/noise values of just ~30mV of ripple/noise on the 12v rail, ~15mV on the 5v rail, and ~10mV on the 3.3v rail during our regular load tests. These values are well within specification limits and that means, at a minimum, good in absolute terms. In relative terms, these results trailed the Cooler Master V850 SFX GOLD White.

Noise

Today’s Lian Li Sp850 is a larger capacity unit than the last power supply we saw from Lian Li but it is trapped in the same SFX form factor. With that being the case, even though this unit has a large overhead fan and very good efficiency, it is constrained in a number of ways that make noise output more of an issue. One final good point for this unit is that it does feature a hybrid fan controller which means that it is going to be running fanless up to ~40% load (advertised). Of note, while ~40% is advertised our sample did not turn the fan on during our 50% load tests at 120v so it was silent to that point.

When testing this unit, it was rather quiet overall given all of the caveats surrounding this unit. That said, the SP850 did become apparent in our load testing environment starting during the Torture Test. From that point on, the noise it produced continued to increase. So, this unit seems to be a good option for folks looking for a quiet product offering in this market segment.

Final Points

The Lian Li SP850 is a very good mainstream 850W power supply no matter its form factor and today that form factor is very small. From a Build Quality that looks stunning in white to voltage regulation and DC Output Quality results that are very good/excellent, this unit was hitting on all cylinders early on which is surprising given the platform as we recently saw it fail from Helly’s own captive brand 1STPlayer. Thus, we have a bit of a head-scratcher overall. This unit was better than the Cooler Master V850 SFX GOLD when it came to Transient Load Tests, worse than the Cooler Master V850 SFX GOLD when it comes to DC Output Quality, and mixed with the Load Tests results. So, while this unit was good overall it was not better than the competition but, rather, tied with the competition.

$153.56
in stock
3 new from $150.32
6 used from $124.02
as of April 22, 2024 3:44 am
Amazon.com

Today, we find that the Lian Li SP850 has an MSRP of $149.99. This is actually good because the competition is the Cooler Master V850 SFX GOLD and that unit clocks in at a higher Retail Price. So, while the performance aspects may not be able to cleanly outpace Cooler Master V850 SFX GOLD this unit does present a better value proposition. So, users looking for a good 850W SFX unit with a badass white color scheme, like we saw on the Cooler Master V850 SFX GOLD, this power supply ticks all of those boxes!

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Lian Li SP850 850W Power Supply

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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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