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Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w review
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Sunday, 09 August 2009 10:48
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Article Index
Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w review
Features and specifications
Packaging
Cables and accessories
Closer look
Inside the psu
Testing
Conclusion
All Pages

Chieftec CFT-850-14C is the 850w model of the Chieftec Turbo series. It can provide up to 850 watts of power and is cooled by a silent 14cm fan. It also has a very nice blue finish that makes it look better than the most power supplies. Chieftec is known for the low prices it has, but will the quality and performance meet our expectations? 

 

 

 

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Some of the features that CFT-850-14C also has are 80-plus and Sli-ready certifications.It also integrates many protection features like over/under voltage, short-circuit and over-temperature protection.

 

 


 

 

 

 

Let's have a look at the features and specifications!

 


 

All data is taken from Chieftec website:


Let's see the packaging!

 


The packaging is nice and colorful. We can see some features at the front.

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w

 

At the side we can see the included cables.

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w

 

At the other side we can see the model of the psu(all Turbo series models have the same package)

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w

 

When we open the package we can notice the psu,a user manual and all the cables.

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w

 


The psu is modular,here we can have a look at the cables included.

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w cables

Now let's have a closer look at Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w! 


The Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w seems very nice, it has a beautiful blue finish.We can also see the 14cm fan.

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w

 

We can notice the fan protector with the Chieftec logo in the middle and the 14cm fan.

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w

 

From the front we can notice the hot air exhaust and the power switch.

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w

 

From the side there is a sticker with the specifications.

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w

 

At the other side there are some small vents(I will explain later why these are important)

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w

 

A sticker with the specifications is placed at the bottom of the psu.

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w

 

At the front we can see the modular cable connectors.

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w

 


Let's have a look at the inside!


Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w seems quite tidy from the inside, we immediately notice the large heatsinks and the heat insulation wrapped coils.

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w

 

Transient filtering is very good, with an X-capacitor and 2 C-capacitors.It also has 2 ferrite rings and a very sufficient second stage filtering!

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w

 

The fuse is in a protective material that will protect other components in case it blows.

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w

 

The main capacitor is made by Nippon Chemicon(I wasn't able to read the specs),these are very reliable caps.Near the main capacitor we can see a small pcb, this is the active PFC circuit.

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w

 

Secondary capacitors are also made by Nippon Chemicon.The only bad is that they are covered by cables and airflow to them is minimal.

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w

 

This is why the small vents at the side of the psu are critical! They allow a better airflow resulting in better cooling of the secondary caps.

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w

 

Here we can notice the thermal sensors that control the 14cm fan at the heatsink.

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w

 

This is the circuit that controls the fan speed.

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w

 

Fan is made by Yate Loon Electronics which is known for the high quality fans. 

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w fan

 

Let's see how the Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w performs!


Power supply testing methodology

  • For testing power supplies I am using a homemade tester that consists of multiple power resistors and amperometers.
  • This allows me to control with pin point accuracy the exact load at each rail
  • One more reason to test psu's with this method is that high power power supplies(800+ watts) are very difficult to be tested with a normal system.With the tester I am using I can achieve loads of up to 1800 watts.
  • Readings are taken with a high sensitivity digital multimeter, and if required a voltage drop diagram is made.
  • In order for a test to be considered successful the psu has to be able to perform it for 2 hours.
  • Noise levels are recorded from 10cm away from the back of the psu(air exhaust) 




TESTING Part 1st (Real testing)

At this part the Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w will be tested in real conditions, in my pc that was built for this reason.

Testbed

  • CPU:Intel core i7-950 @ stock speed
  • Mobo:EVGA X58 Sli
  • VGA:Dual MSI GTX 260@ Sli
  • Memory:Adata 6Gb kit
  • HDD: 4x Seagate 500Gb


All reading were taken with a high sensitivity digital multimeter.In order to achive max load several instances of Orthos were running,with Furmark to stress the vga cards.Below we can see the results.

 

 

 


 

 

The Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w remained very silent at idle and tha fan was inaudible, but at load the noise was higher and fan was spinning at higher speeds.This is normal because a 850w psu is producing lots of heat.The psu had also some noticable voltage drop I didn't expect.This may prove to be a problem, synthetic test will show better results for this.

 


TESTING Part 2nd(Synthetic testing)

At this part my homemade psu tester is used.This allows me to know the exact load of each rail.This is very usefull because I can measure the efficiency and also see if the psu can really provide the specified wattage.

Please note that synthetic testing is much more difficult for the power supply, and this means that it has more voltage drop than with the same load at a real system. 

Here are the results:

 

Part 1 - 30% load

 Voltage Line
Power Load(Amps/Watts)
Voltage 
 3.3v8A/26.4w3.31v
 5v8A/40w
5.03v
 12v12A/24w
12.23v
 12v22A/24w
12.23v
 12v35A/60w
12.18v
 12v45A/60w
12.17v

 

 

Part 2 - 50% load

 Voltage Line
Power Load(Amps/Watts)
Voltage 
 3.3v10A/33w
3.29v
 5v10A/50w
4.99v
 12v15A/60w
12.18v
 12v25A/60w
12.16v
 12v310A/120w12.06v
 12v410A/120w
12.09v

 

 

Part 3 - 80% load

 Voltage Line
Power Load(Amps/Watts)
Voltage 
 3.3v18A/59.4w
3.27v
 5v18A/90w
4.94v
 12v17A/84w
11.68v
 12v27A/84w
11.65v
 12v315A/180w
11.69v
 12v415A/180w
11.71v

 

 

Part 4 - 100% load

 Voltage Line
Power Load(Amps/Watts)
Voltage 
 3.3v21A/69.3w
3.26v
 5v21A/105w
4.90v
 12v110A/120w
11.61v
 12v210A/120w
11.63v
 12v318A/216w
11.67v
 12v418A/216w
11.65v

 

Part 5 - Individual line loads(each line is tested alone with the maximum specified load)

 Voltage Line
Power Load(Amps/Watts)
Voltage 
 3.3v30A/99w
3.21v
 5v30A/150w
4.86v
 12v118A/216w
11.52v
 12v218A/216w
11.51v
 12v330A/360w11.57v
 12v430A/360w
11.55v

 

 

Efficiency

Efficiency is calculated by measuring the consumption of the power supply for known loads.

 

 


 

 

Temperatures

Here exhaust air temperature was measured.  

 

 

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w was able to withstand 850w load for 2 hours, so I raised the bars and tried to find its absolute limits...For short time it also was able to hold with 900w load, but after about 10 minutes the psu was shutting off.The max load the psu was able to withstand without failing was 870 watts.The noise was noticeable at such high loads. We can have a look at the noise testing below.

 

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w Sound pressure level

Generated sound was monitored 10cm away of the exhaust of the psu at a sound insulated box in order to eliminate any external sound or echo.Readings are taken using a high sensitivity digital SPL meter.(Values under 17dBA are considered to be inaudible)

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


 


 



 

 



 

Chieftec CFT-850-14C 850w performed well and was able to provide up to 860 watt, but it has a major problem. The voltage drop is very high, something unacceptable for a 850w psu which is intended for high-end systems that require stable power.Also with loads over 80% the voltage readings of the 12v lines are way off the ATX regulations.Despite the fact that the pc kept working normally, nobody would like to have a power supply with such voltage drop.I wish I had the equipment to measure rippling also.

Efficiency is always over 80%, something good for the future buyers. Also one more good point is that the noise was kept low even at full load.

I have to admit that this is one of the cheapest branded 850w power supplies, and this is its strong point.

Something that made me question about the quality is the English language at the manual...There are lots of errors, what shall someone expect from a product with so many errors at its manual?

 

Pros

  • Nice looking
  • Low noise
  • Low price

 

Cons

  • Major voltage drop
  • Poor English at the package(many errors)

 

 

 

 

 


 

 



 


 



Last Updated on Monday, 14 September 2009 17:00
 

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