ReviewsPower SupplyCORSAIR SF1000L SFX Gold Review - Small Form, Big Performance

CORSAIR SF1000L SFX Gold Review – Small Form, Big Performance

In this review, I will be telling you all about the Corsair SF1000L after testing it for several hours and comparing its performance against other PSUs that I have tested.

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Review Summary

The Corsair SF1000L PSU is an SFL power supply that exceeds expectations with its performance and efficiency. Slightly larger than SFX PSUs, it offers better results under max load due to improved heat dissipation. It is designed for high-end, power-hungry builds, with impressive cable management and high quality internals. Despite its compact size, the SF1000L performs on par with or better than many full ATX PSUs, making it a top choice for small form factor cases.

Hours Tested: 8
Tech4Gamers Recommended Award

Overall
9.3/10
9.3/10
  • Performance - 9.6/10
    9.6/10
  • Build Quality - 9/10
    9/10
  • Efficiency - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Value - 9/10
    9/10

Pros

  • Exceeds 80 Plus Gold efficiency.
  • Superior performance to many full ATX PSUs.
  • Handles and overclocks demanding builds well.

Cons

  • Noisy at 50% load.
  • Larger than SFX PSUs, limiting compatibility.

Corsair is among the very few brands that have enough in-house engineering expertise to modify any existing PSU platform from an OEM as they find it suited for their requirements. This is mainly the reason we get to see superior performance in Corsair’s PSUs even when they are utilising a platform which is used by many other brands.

Corsair has had a go in the past for their small form factor SFX lineup; this is the first time they are going for an SFL lineup, which is slightly bigger in size compared to SFX.

In this review, we are (as usual) expecting SF1000L to perform exceptionally well, as its SFL form factor being slightly bigger than SFX will help it achieve better results, especially under max load, which becomes very challenging due to excessive amounts of heat generated from the internal components.

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Key Takeaways

  • The Corsair SF1000L PSU combines compact size with superior performance, efficiency, and top-notch build quality, making it ideal for high-end, small-form-factor builds.
  • You should buy the Corsair SF1000L if you want an SFX PSU that does not compromise on performance to offer the most stable and reliable gaming experience.
  • You should not buy the Corsair SF1000L if you are after the most silent small form factor PSU in the market.

Here are the specifications:

Cybenetics Efficiency Platinum
Cybenetics Noise Standard+
ATX12V Version 3.1
Continuous Power W 1000 Watts
Fan Bearing Technology FDB
Fan Size MM 120mm
Multi GPU Ready Yes
Modular Yes
MTBF Hours 100,000 hours
PSU Form Factor SFX-L
Zero RPM Mode Yes
80 PLUS Efficiency Gold
Warranty 7 Year
Weight 2.285

Packaging & Unboxing

The power supply comes in the iconic Corsair’s highlighter yellow-themed box. The front of the box has the ATX 3.0 label at the top right to show that the PSU complies with the latest ATX 3.0 standards.

At the back of the box, you’ll find some basic specifications, efficiency and noise level graphs, and highlights on the key features like the Cybenetics and 80+ GOLD badges and Zero RPM Mode of the fan.

The overall quality and feel of the box is right on line with Corsair’s standard; it feels premium and high quality. The accessories bundle packs all the necessary cables along with an SFX-to-ATX bracket. This is very useful for those who plan to install this PSU in an ATX chassis.

Design

Measuring at just 130mm x 125mm x 63.5mm, the SF1000L, as also suggested by its name, is an SFF (Small Form Factor) PSU that can easily fit in compact builds. The overall design of the Corsair SF1000L is pretty standard and basic. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, given that it does the job well with its perforated panels for improved airflow. But if you were in the market for an impressively attractive PSU, I would say the SF1000L won’t cut it.

Regardless, you can see the 120mm Rifle Bearing Fan; the white fan adds a nice touch of accent colours over the black shell, but that’s pretty much it.

Corsair SF1000L Spec Side
Spec Side (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Corsair has printed information about all the necessary specs over each rail on this side, along with all the regulation standards the PSU follows.

Cable & Connectors

The cable and connectors are impressive. Corsair has bundled 2x EPS connectors (each on a dedicated cable) as well as 3x PCIe 6+2 pin on dedicated cables. All the cables are more than enough to handle any high-end build to the point that you can even put a 4090 on it without any hiccups.

Here is the list of all connectors:

Cable Type Quantity
ATX Connector 1
EPS Connector 3
SATA Connector 12
PATA Connector 3
PCIe Connector 6

Here is the modular side of the PSU. It is great to see that Corsair has labelled the important connectors for novice builders. Plus, I have always loved Corsair’s micro-fit connectors because they are relatively easier to insert. 

Corsair SF1000L Connector Side
Connector Side (Image By Tech4Gamers)
PRO TIP: Use the SFX-to-ATX bracket if you plan to install this PSU in an ATX chassis, so the cables are not short.

Teardown & Component Analysis

Great Wall is the OEM for Corsair’s SFL PSU lineup, as was the case with their many previous PSUs as well. There are quite a few OEMs that seem to have mastered small form factor PSU designs, and Great Wall is among them.

Corsair SF1000L Internal PSU Layout
Internal PSU Layout (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Overall, the internal PSU layout is very clean, and we don’t see clusters of cables that would have caused components to not receive proper airflow. There’s a single piece of an aluminium heatsink that houses two Bridge Rectifiers, two APFC MOSFETs & its boost Diode along with Half-Bridge LLC converter’s MOSFETs, a topology which is usual in Gold-rated PSUs.

Main Heatsink has enough surface area to dissipate the heat of all the primary & secondary MOSFETs. You can also see the TO247 Package APFC MOSFET on the main heatsink.

One of the main reasons small form factor PSUs are hard to engineer is that an OEM has to re-engineer the main 12V rail Transformer by keeping its size to the absolute minimum. This is possible by increasing both the surface area of the transformer’s internal copper wiring and its switching frequency.

12V rail MOSFETs are all soldered on the back of the PCB, utilising the PSU’s metal shroud as their primary heatsink.

You can see the Thermal pad for the 12V rail. There is also a small vertical daughter board responsible for providing minor voltage rail 5V & 3.3V.

All the capacitors (electrolytic & polymers) are from top-of-the-line Japanese manufacturers such as Rubycon, United-Chemicon & FP-Cap. Such quality components are easily gonna surpass the 7-year long warranty period.

This is the first time we get to see Mini-fit Jr. connectors fitted on the back of any PSU and we just love them! They are not only tiny cute & cuddly but also require very less insertion force especially for the 24 pin connectors. This is one of many reasons we love & really appreciate Corsair’s engineering & innovation.

Corsair SF1000L 120mm FDB Fan
120mm FDB Fan (Image By Tech4Gamers)

A 120mm fluid dynamic bearing fan starts spinning when the PSU reaches a specific level of temperature. With the high efficiency of SF1000L, fan speed curve can be slightly tuned down for less audible operation.

WARNING: Be aware that the PSU can get noisy under 50% load, which can get a bit annoying in quieter environments.

PSU Load Testing

Corsair SF1000L Testing
Corsair SF1000L Testing (Image By Tech4Gaemrs)

12V & Minor Voltage Rails Regulation

Load in % 12V 5V 3.3V
20% 12.05V 5.06V 3.33V
50% 12.03V 5.06V 3.33V
70% 12.01V 5.07V 3.34V
90% 12.00V 5.08V 3.35V
100% 12.00V 5.07V 3.34V

Voltage regulation is very tight. A very impressive performance for an SFL PSU.

PSU Efficiency

Load in % Power Factor Efficiency
20% 0.939 92.29%
50% 0.966 94.12%
70% 0.976 93.89%
90% 0.981 93.48%
100% 0.983 92.33%

This platform is well tuned for efficiency and although rated for 80 Plus Gold, it easily reaches Platinum level of efficiency in our test.

Voltage Ripple Performance

Load in % Voltage Ripple
20% 11.2mV
50% 10.4mV
70% 11.2mV
90% 11.8mV
100% 12.0mV

This is the test where even full ATX PSUs struggle if they aren’t designed well, but oh boy Corsair’s SF1000L performed exceptionally well and even much better than the full ATX PSUs we have reviewed in the past.

Corsair & Great Wall has designed a beast of a platform especially for the ones who are into extreme OCing.

Temperatures

Due to SF1000L’s extremely high efficiency, this PSU and its fan didn’t have to struggle much, even with the max 62.4C temperature on the back (where the 12V rail MOSFETs are located)

Should You Buy it?

Buy It If

You want a jack of all trades in an SFF: The Corsair SF1000L is a mix of both high efficiency & extremely well build quality that can easily handle and even overclock the most power-hungry desktop processors & GPUs available today and even for upcoming generations. Plus, if your utmost priority is to use it in a small form factor case, then we don’t think you will have to look elsewhere.

Don’t Buy It If

You’re fine with an ATX PSU: If a small form factor isn’t really your requirement, then SF1000L isn’t for you as you can easily buy a full ATX PSU for a lot cheaper than this.

Final Verdict

For those who want an SFL PSU for their small form factor case that will house some of the most demanding and power-hungry components, Corsair’s SF1000L, with its extremely well-built, latest ATX 3.0 specs and innovative design connectors, is our highly recommended pick!

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