Lian Li SP850 Gold SFX Power Supply Review

Layout, design and features …

In order to get a complete impression, we have once again created a 360° panoramic view of the Lian Li SP850 for independent back and forth sliding.


The SP850 is available in white and black and already makes a good impression on the outside. The fan cover made of brushed aluminum saves weight and carries the Lian Li logo parallel to the elongated ventilation slots. In keeping with the small form factor format, the power disconnect switch is also kept small. The SP850 can be supplied with 110-240V mains voltage, whereby the applied input voltage does not have to be set via a selector switch, which eliminates operating errors.

Opposite the power socket, almost the entire wall is equipped with sockets for the numerous connection cables.

Up to 8 devices with SATA connector and 4 devices with Molex connector can be connected to the 3 sockets for peripherals. There are also 4 sockets for CPU and PCIe. If you need 2x 8-pin CPU connectors, there are still 2 sockets for the graphics card(s). Either the new PCIe 5.0 12VHPWR connector or a total of 3x 8-pin PCIe can be connected to these remaining 2 sockets. Both options provide up to 450 watts for the graphics card. If you add 75 watts from the PCIe slot on the motherboard, that’s enough for graphics cards that need up to 525 watts of power. In the SFX/SFF area, the presence of the PCIe 5.0 12VHPWR connector is currently still an absolute specialty. If you want to install a high-performance graphics card in your SFF Mini-ITX system, this is the best choice, because the new 12-pin connector is much smaller than three 8-pin PCIe connectors.

Speaking of size … It’s impressive that you can already get 850 watt power supplies in the SFX class these days. This circumstance makes it possible to build ever smaller PCs without having to do without powerful CPUs or graphics cards. For comparison, the following picture shows a 350 Watt PC power supply in ATX format next to the SP850.

Inside the SP850 we see two transformers that have been made immune to coil whine with a bit of glue. A large electrolytic capacitor is installed on the input side. According to Lian Li, only high-quality Japanese capacitors were installed in the SP850, which should last for a long time. On the output side, only polymer capacitors are installed. Since 12 volt only systems have not yet caught on, the components inside the SP850 are pretty tightly packed together because the power supply also has to provide 3.3V and 5V, but their importance is decreasing. Therefore, the solder contacts of the connection sockets already come very close to the induction coils, which are only protected by lacquer. Of course, all safety-relevant protection circuits are on board. These include OCP, OVP, UVP, OTP, OPP and SCP, which means that voltage, current, power and temperature and short-circuit are monitored and a shutdown is triggered if necessary before damage can occur. To counteract possible overheating, a 92mm fan was installed, which stands still in partial load operation below 60°C and only revs up to 2800 rpm if necessary. Thus, the fan in the new SP850 spins 200 rpm lower under full load and thus also quieter than in the Lian Li SP750, which we also already had in our test. The aluminum heatsinks are narrow and have a few cooling fins at the top, which are optimally located directly under the fan.

The cables with SATA and Molex connectors are designed as ribbon cables. Two cables with 4 SATA connectors each are included and one cable with four Molex connectors. The distance between the plugs is approx. 120mm each.

The connection cables for the mainboard, CPU and PCIe are sleeved, whereby each individual wire is sleeved and not the entire cable harness. The CPU cables are 15cm longer on the SP850 than on the SP750.

An absolute specialty in the SFX area is the 40cm long cable with 12pin PCIe 5.0 connector, which can deliver up to 450 watts to a graphics card via its 16AWG conductors. The 12VHPWR connector was not yet included on the SP750, so it is a real added value on the SP850. The width of the 12VHPWR connector is only 19mm, which is just 1mm more than an 8pin PCIe connector. The “old”, 8pin PCIe connector transmits a maximum of 150 watts. The new, 12-pin PCIe 5.0 connector is therefore ideal for high-performance systems with limited space.

With that, we would have illuminated the most important features of the power supply and will now turn to practical testing.

Lian Li SP850 Practical testing …