Discovering 850 watt SFX power supplies exist


Small form-factor computer enthusiasts have to accept compromises to save space. Tall air coolers for dense CPUs might protrude too far, and liquid radiators might be too wide. Larger graphics cards might be too long to fit, take up too many PCI slots, or need additional physical support. But even if our smaller cases could accommodate all this, our power supplies might not.

My current desktop power supply is a Corsair 750 W Platinum SFX. I’ve used Corsair power supplies for more than a decade; they’re quiet, well constructed, easy to cable up, and have outlived other components by years. They’re also packaged thoughtfully; something you don’t realise is nice until you get it.

But I thought 750 watts was the highest one could go in this form factor, which limited hardware options like graphics cards.

Turns out, in the time I looked there are a few 850 W, which is what the 6900XT and 3080 recommend. Here’s EVGAs, which fortunately is called a Supernova, not a Collateral Damage, Shootout, Vengence, or Hyper-Extreme Fury. Ah, PC hardware manufacturers, always at the forefront of class and taste!

EVGA 850W PSU, with its box

I guess the bigger question is whether you’d want to run these cards in a confined space, even if you could. The NR200P is an airflow-focused case, but I already feel like I’d be pushing its thermal limits with anything more than it currently has. But it’s also where the industry is trending.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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