Maingear Potenza Super Stock SFF System Review

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Power Consumption & Noise

Power supply options in general are limited in the SFF sector, and even more so when you whittle down the available options to reliable makes and models. The one Maingear chose for the Potenza is SilverStone's ST45SF 450W, an 80 Plus Bronze certified PSU with a single +12V rail that can deliver up to 36 amps.

A 450W PSU seems rather pedestrian by today's standards, but a high quality unit shouldn't have trouble delivering power to a system like the Potenza, which is strictly a single GPU system. Still, does it have enough juice to accommodate overclocking and multiple storage solutions? In a word, yes.

Total System Power Consumption
Tested at the Outlet

We used SeaSonic's Power Angel Power Meter to measure the amount of power our test system pulled from the wall. You'll find three figures below: power supply's maximum rated wattage, peak power consumption under a full CPU/GPU load, and how much the system pulled from the wall when idle, following a fresh system boot.

Loading up a system with Furmark (GPU) and Prime95 (CPU and RAM) isn't the wisest thing to do if you're shooting for system longevity, but it gives us an overview of what end users can expect in an absolute worst case scenario. In doing so, the Potenza peaked at 396W after the power supply got good and toasty. That leaves a fair amount of headroom, and even more when not pushing the system to the brink of meltdown. At idle, the Potenza only pulled 65W from the wall (system only, not including monitor).

In terms of noise, the Potenza is, for the most part, a polite addition to the family. Things start to whir and swirl at full bore, but even then, the system never sounds obnoxiously loud.


Silverstone contacted us to point out that while the ST45SF power supply's rating is 450W, it's actually capable of pulling more from the wall under load. The company explains it like this:
"Since ST45SF is an 80 Plus Bronze certified PSU, it is capable of 82% efficiency at full load of 450W so that means it will pull around 548W from the wall, not 450W."

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