Known more for its aluminum chassis, Taiwanese manufacturer Lian Li has also gone into power supply units (PSU). This move makes good business sense, as it already has a ready pool of customers and from there, it's only a small step to offering casings pre-installed with PSUs. At the moment however, there are only two models available and as you can expect from a premium brand like Lian Li, they are high-end models rated at 500W and 600W. Features like modular cables and high power efficiency ratings, along with its high wattage and SLI/CrossFire support immediately place them among the top tier and confirm that they are targeted at the enthusiast segment. These features are almost a must for Lian Li to break into such a competitive market successfully. Here to convince us today, we have the more powerful version, the Lian Li HPC-600-A12C.
Like many other vendors, Lian Li does not actually manufacture its own PSUs. You can hardly blame the company for testing the waters first before committing to designing and building its own. The HPC-600-A12C is in fact manufactured by SIRTEC International, which, going by the extensive range of PSUs on its website, has both the expertise and the experience. This 600W model seems to be unique however as SIRTEC only has wattages of up to 560W. However, the main features and even the naming scheme used by SIRTEC seems to have been transplanted faithfully to the version offered by Lian Li. Not that we're complaining of course, since these features are only found in high-end PSUs.
Lian Li lists the combined power output of the +12V rails on its PSU as a respectable 440W, with a maximum current of 23A on the +12V2 rail. That should be more than sufficient for dual graphics cards, whether you're running a SLI or CrossFire rig, especially since Lian Li states that the 12V1 and 12V3 rails add up to to a maximum of 300W.
The average power efficiency is quite competitive with the options available now as it is rated at more than 80%, with a quoted peak of 84%. Active PFC (Power Factor Correction) and protection against over-voltage and short circuit are other 'standard' features on this Lian Li.
Just from its casings, you can tell that Lian Li takes noise output very seriously. This approach is extended to the PSU, as besides the usual smart fan (120mm) with thermal control, Lian Li has also included a rubber anti-vibration pad to ensure that your casing won't be vibrating along with the PSU fan. Such a scenario is more likely to occur with an aluminum chassis, so Lian Li probably has a vested interest here. Another move was to have 4-pin case fan connectors with thermal control, so that the system fans too will be reined in when temperatures are low. These measures should help to a certain extent reduce the noise output due to the PSU.
Cable management has been a headache for enthusiasts for years but nowadays, high-end PSUs with modular cables have greatly eased this problem. This Lian Li PSU is no different from the competition with its modular cabling, though the company did get points from us by packing the cables neatly in a separate cardboard box so that you won't misplace them easily. Together with sleeved cables, messy cables are no longer a valid excuse for any enthusiast worth his salt.
Lian Li has covered all the bases with its HPC-600-A12C. This PSU comes with a two-year warranty, has a decently high power efficiency rating, supports the latest ATX standard and seems to have gone the extra mile to ensure silent operation. Modular cable management is another feature that we can expect from a high-end product like this Lian Li PSU. Finally, a retail price of S$229 (US$149) may not be cheap but reasonable considering the competition.