Lian Li Silent Force 850W Review

paulktreg - 2008-09-29 13:12:19 in Power Supplies
Category: Power Supplies
Reviewed by: paulktreg   
Reviewed on: December 8, 2008
Lian Li
Lian Li
Price: $209.99

Introduction:

This is the second Lian Li power supply I have tested from the Silent Force range, so please have a look at the Silent Force 750W reviewed here. The packaging, box contents and power supply are identical, the only difference being a few labels and 100 watts more power. The Lian Li Silent Force 850W is, according to the Lian Li website, their highest powered unit available at the moment, so lets see how it performs. If you notice any similarities between this and the Lian Li Silent Force 750W review then I plead guilty, but please rest assured the testing phase is completely from scratch.

"The ever increasing demand of power users for high-end products and outstanding performance has initiated Lian Li to announce a new series of Power Supply Units (PSU) called the 'SILENT Force'. Building from Lian Li’s reputation as an enthusiast brand catering to the ultimate tastes, the product features a 135mm ball-bearing fan, modular cable management, and Japanese Main Capacitors to ensure that the quality and standards, as well as durability of Lian Li products, is as outstanding as our customers expect."

With clean and stable power driving your PC via the SILENT Force PSU and the multi 12V rails output and bead core protection for the PCI-e connectors, failsafe safety protections, and 80 Plus output all combine to give the SILENT Force PSU superior durability than anything else you are likely to get. SILENT Force PSU’s have today what PC power user’s need tomorrow!”

Closer Look:

The packaging for the Lian Li Silent Force 850W is identical to the previous Lian Li power supply I tested, and once again the power supply is packaged in a plain black box with a thin card sleeve for all the necessary information. The information is well laid out and uncluttered, and all sides are gloss black except the back panel. The front gives you an obligatory power supply photograph, which I have to say is top quality, and model and product name and the Lian-Li logo. The bottom left hand corner contains a sticker with the power supply wattage and model number which wraps around to the side to attach the sleeve and give you the same information on the side panel. The back of the power supply sleeve gives you the rather lengthy features list, the more information the better I say, provided the layout remains tidy. On the left hand side we are treated to a series of icons depicting some of the major elements from the features list.

 

 

The side panel below gives you small photographs of all the power supply connectors and a table of the named connector types and quantities. A welcome addition on the top is the inclusion of a sturdy carrying handle.

 

 

The wrap around sticker is on the left and an adhesive specification label on the right. The side panel also informs us that the power plug is suitable for the EU. The only external difference between the Silent Force 850W and 750W models are these two labels.

 

 

Lift the lid and the Silent Force 850W is neatly enclosed in foam. The user manual is in the side space along with a black canvas bag containing all the cabling resting on top of the hard wired power supply cables neatly tied with a wire wrap.

 

 

Below is a sneak preview of the power supply along with the user manual and cable bag. The bag is on the large side and contains all the modular cables, power cord and a small plastic bag containg four mounting screws.

 

 

The Lian Li Silent Force series has one of the best looking packages I've seen. The information is useful and well laid out, and all the illustrations are top quality and informative. Let's hope the power supply performs to the same high standard.

 

Closer Look (The Power Supply):

The Lian-Li Silent Force 850W certainly looks the part. I especially liked the black textured finish to the paint work, probably because it's different. The back of the power supply has a large honeycombed grill, power inlet and a nice large power on/off switch. Have you ever struggled with your hand round the back of your PC trying to find the small rocker switch that most manufacturers insist on fitting? This one should be easier to find! A very nice inclusion is the label telling you what voltages are available on the modular cable connectors and which 12V rails they are connected to (in this case 12V3 and 12V4). Not only does this help me know were to connect the loads, it helps you, the installer, find the correct connection points for your hardware.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The standard specification label is attached to one side, and on the other we are informed of the Fan Delay-Off Function. I could not get this to work on the last power supply that included this function, so let's hope I have better luck this time.

 

 

The next two photographs show the sleeved, hard wired and modular cables which are identical to those supplied with the 750W variant. You will notice the inclusion of a plastic sheathed ferrite bead at the power supply end of the cable on the two PCI-E power cables in the center of the photograph. These are normally fitted to help reduce EMI (electromagnetic or radio interference) on the power rails. I have to question the inclusion of this component, but unfortunately I have no valid way of testing their effectiveness.

 

 

The Lian-Li Silent Force 850W is fitted with a large 12V DC 135mm clear plastic ball bearing fan, manufactured by Globe, and covered by a black, slightly metallic painted grill. If you look carefully at the internal view of the fan on the right you will see the inclusion of slightly fogged, plastic baffle, to optimise airflow over the internal printed circuit board and heatsinks for maximum cooling effect.

 

 

The internal layout ot the power supply is uncluttered, which should maximise airflow over the components. The copper coloured heatsinks have a fine toothed surface to increase the surface area of the heatsink and improve heat dissipation.

 

The views below show more notches cut into the heatsink to further increase the overall surface area. The main capacitor is made by Nippon Chemi-Con of Japan, and in case you forget this, there is a MIJ label stuck to the top of the main capacitor proclaiming these components are of Japanese origin. All the electrolytics, on which I could make out a manufacturers mark, are Japanese in origin and rated at 105°C, rather than 85°C, which will improve the lifespan of the power supply.

 

 

This is a well built unit, exactly like the 750W variant, containing what would appear to be quality components. I am very impressed with overall quality of this power supply so far, let's hope the electrical performance is up to the same high standard.

 

Specification:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ratings Table:

 

Model No.
Lian Li Silent Force 850W (PS-S850GE)
AC Input

100-240VAC    11A    5060Hz

DC Output
+5V0
+3V3
+12V1
+12V2
+12V3
+12V4
-12V
+5VSB
Output Current
30A
28A
20A
20A
30A
30A
0.8A
3A
Maximum
Combined
Wattage
180W
750W
9.6W
15W
825W
25W
850W

 

System Protection:

 

No specific figures are given for the over current/voltage/power protection/temperature, under voltage protection or short circuit protection. The only information given is in the feature list and a short paragraph in the user manual.

 

Safety & Agency Approvals:

 

 

Power Supply Weight:

 

Power Supply Weight
Manufacturer/Model
Weight
Lian-Li Silent Force 850W
2.1kg
4.6lbs

 

Power Supply Connectors:

 

Lian-Li Silent Force 850W Connectors
24 Pin Motherboard
Hard Wired
1
EPS12V 8 Pin
Hard Wired
1
P4-12V 4+4 Pin
Hard Wired
1
Molex 4 Pin
Modular
6
SATA Power
Modular
6
FDD 4 Pin Power
Modular
2
PCI-E 6 Pin
Modular
2
PCI-E 6+2 Pin
Modular
2

 

Power Supply Cable Length & Connector Spacing

 

Type
Lian Li Silent Force 850W Cable Lengths
Qty
Hardwired
PSU > 24 Pin Motherboard 20”
1
Hardwired
PSU > EPS12V 20”
1
Hardwired
PSU > ATX12V P4 20”
1
Modular

PSU > 20” > Molex > 6” > Molex > 6” > Molex > 6” > Molex > 6” > FDD

2
Modular
PSU > 20” > SATA > 6” > SATA > 6” > SATA
2
Modular
PSU > 20” > PCI-E 6 Pin
2
Modular
PSU > 20” > PCI-E 6+2 Pin
2

 

Features:

 

There are quite a few features on the back of the packaging, under three different headings. Here they are:

 

Performance Features:

 

 

Flexibility Features:

 

 

Silence Features:

 

 

 

Testing:

For more information on how we test our power supplies, please browse our testing methodology.

Electrical Safety:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electrical Safety Test Class 1
Manufacturer/Model
Pass/Fail
Lian Li Silent Force 850W
Pass

 

Short Circuit Protection:

I short circuited the 3V3, 5V0 and all four 12V lines in turn. The power supply did shut down, and once the short was removed and the unit switched off for at least one second, resumed normal operation. Although listed here at the beginning of the testing section, I tend to leave this test until the very end, in case it doesn't quite go to plan.

 

DC Output Voltage Load Regulation:

 

Testing @ 110VAC

 

 

110VAC - Total Load at 177W which is 21% of Rated Maximum Output Power.

PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.40
3.20
10.88
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.19
4.85
25.17
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.18
2.59
31.55
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.23
2.59
31.67
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(3)
12.18
2.56
31.18
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(4)
12.23
2.60
31.80
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
11.82
0.35
4.14
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
5.12
2.07
10.60
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total Power Supply Loading
177W
 

 

110VAC - Total Load at 466W which is 55% of Rated Maximum Output Power.

PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.40
8.26
28.08
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.19
4.84
25.12
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.13
8.18
99.22
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.19
8.13
99.10
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(3)
12.18
8.23
100.24
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(4)
12.21
8.13
99.27
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
11.99
0.36
4.32
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
5.11
2.07
10.58
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total Power Supply Loading
466W
 

 

110VAC - Total Load at 860W which is 101% of Rated Maximum Output Power.

PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.40
12.76
43.38
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.29
14.12
74.69
4.75 – 5.25
Fail
+12V0(1)
12.05
11.56
139.30
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.17
11.37
138.37
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(3)
12.14
18.52
224.83
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(4)
12.16
18.49
224.83
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
12.20
0.37
4.51
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
5.10
2.07
10.56
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total Power Supply Loading
860W
 

 

Testing @ 230VAC

 

 

230VAC - Total Load at 177W which is 21% of Rated Maximum Output Power.

PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.40
3.19
10.85
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.19
4.83
25.07
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.23
2.59
31.67
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.23
2.59
31.67
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(3)
12.22
2.55
31.16
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(4)
12.23
2.61
31.92
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
11.82
0.35
4.14
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
5.12
2.07
10.60
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total Power Supply Loading
177W
 

 

230VAC - Total Load at 462W which is 54% of Rated Maximum Output Power.

PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.40
8.25
28.05
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.19
4.85
25.17
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V0(1)
12.12
8.17
99.02
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.20
8.09
97.08
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(3)
12.20
8.12
99.06
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(4)
12.21
8.09
98.78
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
11.99
0.36
4.32
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
5.11
2.07
10.58
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total Power Supply Loading
462W
 

 

230VAC - Total Load at 863W which is 101% of Rated Maximum Output Power.

PSU
DC Line
Measured
Voltage(V)
Measured
Current (A)
Load Power
(W)
ATX12V V Limits
(V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.40
12.83
43.62
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V0
5.30
14.37
76.16
4.75 – 5.25
Fail
+12V0(1)
12.06
11.60
139.90
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(2)
12.17
11.43
139.10
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(3)
12.15
18.49
224.65
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V0(4)
12.16
18.50
224.96
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V0
12.20
0.37
4.51
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
5.10
2.07
10.56
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total Power Supply Loading
863W
 

 

The DC voltage load regulation of the Lian Li Silent Force is, on the whole, very good, apart from two minor failures on the +5V0 rail. The +5V0 rail voltage is slightly high, of the order of 50mV, at 100% load at both 110VAC and 230VAC. This is a minor failure, although a failure nonetheless, and wouldn't really cause a problem when installed. The 12V rails all held up very well, and the 3V3 rail remained constant at 3.4V throughout testing, which is excellent.

 

Testing (Continued):

Efficiency and Power Factor:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Output & Efficiency at 110VAC
DC Load (W)
AC Load (W)
PF
Efficiency (%)
Pass/Fail
0
1
0.34
N/A
N/A
177
222
0.95
80
Pass
466
557
0.98
84
Pass
860
1097
1.00
78
Pass

 

Output & Efficiency at 230VAC
DC Load (W)
AC Load (W)
PF
Efficiency (%)
Pass/Fail
0
9
0.32
N/A
N/A
177
217
0.82
82
Pass
462
543
0.91
85
Pass
864
1050
0.94
82
Pass

 

One thing I have noticed throughout testing power supplies is best power factor at 110VAC, and best efficiency at 230VAC, which is once again the case with the Lian Li Silent Force 850W. The measurements however, do not meet the requirements of the stated 80 Plus certification. The efficiency drops below 80% at 110VAC and the power factor drops below 0.9 at 230VAC. I have however, technically speaking, subjected the power supply to a minor overload, but I feel dropping the load to exactly 850W would of made little or no difference to the efficiency or power factor measurements.

The Lian Li Silent Force 850W does meet the requirements of the ATX12V V2.2 specification and therefore, despite some minor failures against its quoted specification, still gains a pass in this section.

 

AC Ripple On DC Outputs:

 

Ripple/noise levels at 110VAC and 230VAC are virtually identical (slightly lower at 110VAC if anything, which is to be expected) and I have therefore included screenshots and values for  230VAC only.

 

AC Ripple On 3V3 Rail at 230VAC

(Amplitude: 10mV/div | Timebase: 10uS/div)

 

AC Ripple On 5V0 Rail at 230VAC

(Amplitude: 10mV/div | Timebase: 10uS/div)

 

AC Ripple On 12V Rail at 230VAC

(Amplitude: 50mV/div | Timebase: 10uS/div)

 

Lian Li Silent Force 850W AC Ripple/Noise Measurements

DC Output
+3V3
+5V0
+12V
-12V0
+5VSB
Ripple (mV p-p)
30
60
70
70
40
Pass/Fail
Pass
Fail
Pass
Pass
Pass

 

The ripple/noise level on the 5V0 rail is slightly higher than the ATX12V V2.2 permits with all other levels within specification.

 

Testing(Continued):

Temperature, Noise Levels and Fan Speeds:

 

I am not going to give a pass or fail in this section, as the ATX12V V2.2 does not really have any references on which to base a decision.

Temperatures are purely for information only, as there are too many variables involved when installed in a case, which, by the way, it wasn't. Ambient temperature, processor cooling efficiency and case cooling fans all play their part on the temperature of the air entering the power supply, and consequently the temperature of the air leaving it. No valid conclusions can be made from this test.

 

 

 

 

DC Loading
Temp In (°C)
Temp Out (°C)
Δ Temp (°C)
Fan Speed (RPM)
177W
21.3
30.6
9.3
740
462W
23.1
37.9
14.8
970
864W
21.2
42.7
21.5
1390

 

The Lian-Li Silent Force 850W lives up to its name and remains very quiet even when the 135mm fan runs at 1390 RPM. This maximum speed is not fast when compared with other power supplies in its class, but does appear to keep the power supply cool at all times. Perhaps the inclusion of the baffle, mentioned earlier, does improve air flow and cooling.

The "Fan Delay-Off Function" that I talked about earlier does indeed work. The power supply ran for approximately 3 hours at maximum load, and at shut down (using the motherboard on/off signal via the green cable), the fan continued to run at 740 RPM for approximately 2 minutes. Cooling down the power supply at PC shutdown like this will, I'm sure, prolong the life of the power supply, but not by any significant amount I'm sure.

 

Conclusion:

Environmental Factors:

No prizes for the packaging I'm afraid. The use of a cardboard sleeve for the box and a large foam envelope for the power supply do nothing for the environment. We again also have the black canvas type bag, probably plastic based. It's nice to have, but is it really necessary as we can all find somewhere safe to store the unused modular cables? The high efficiency and power factor do however pull it a few points back.

 

Price Per the Watt:

Power Supply Lian-Li Silent Force 850W at $209.00 = $0.25/Watt (December 2008)

 

The Lian Li Silent Force 850W comes with an excellent set of modular cables that will provide all of the connectors you are likely to need and more. The user manual is adequate and will provide all the information you need for a successful installation. One useful inclusion is pin-out diagrams for all the connectors, along with the voltage and cable colour at each pin .

The Lian Li Silent Force 850W will provide what most PC users want: stable rails up to its rated maximum power. The efficiency, although very good, is borderline as far as 80 Plus certification is concerned, and at one point we get a power factor that dips below the required level of 0.9. The DC level and ripple on the 5V0 are slightly high, but don't let this put you off using the Silent Force 850W. It's a minor problem and will not, in my opinion, affect real world operation of the supply. If efficiency and power factor aren't top of your list of requirements, then this power supply will easily run all dual graphic card configurations with ease, and is on par with other power supplies in its class. The performance of the Lian Li Silent Force 850W power supply, although not perfect, was solid.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: