What is a TFX Power Supply: Understanding Form Factors and Specifications

Kunal Patel

TFX Power Supply

A TFX power supply is a type of compact power unit that is commonly used in small form factor computers and slim cases. This power supply differs from standard ATX and even smaller SFX power supplies as it conforms to the TFX12V standard. The TFX power supply is designed to provide a reliable power source to systems where space is at a premium, such as mini PCs, media centers, and slimline desktops. Due to their smaller size, they can fit into tighter spaces without compromising performance, making them an ideal solution for builders who need a power supply for a slender PC build.

TFX power supplies usually have lower power capacities, as the systems they are designed for typically require less power than full-size desktops. However, this does not mean that TFX PSUs are not powerful. They must still deliver sufficient power for all components within the PC, including memory, processors, and even graphics cards in some cases. These power supplies usually include strong dual 12V rails to ensure stability and are sometimes gold-certified for energy efficiency.

Standard Physical Measurements Of A TFX PSU

Here’s a breakdown of the standard physical measurements of a TFX power supply:

  • Width: 85 mm (3.35 inches)
  • Height: 64 mm (2.52 inches)
  • Depth: 175 mm (6.89 inches)

It’s important to note that some variations in depth exist among TFX models. Some can be a bit shorter or slightly longer than the standard 175mm.

Key Points:

  • Always verify the specific measurements of the TFX PSU you’re considering against the available space in your computer case.
  • Manufacturers usually list the dimensions on their product pages and spec sheets.

Exploring TFX Power Supplies

If you’re building a compact PC or upgrading an older system, you may encounter the TFX power supply. Unlike standard ATX power supplies, TFX PSUs boast a unique form factor and specific uses. Here’s what you should know:

What Sets TFX PSUs Apart

  • Size: Their defining feature is their smaller size compared to ATX PSUs. A typical TFX unit measures around 85mm wide, 65mm high, and up to 175mm long.
  • Uses: TFX PSUs are common in small form factor (SFF) PCs, home theater PCs (HTPCs), and some older proprietary computer systems.

Considerations When Choosing a TFX PSU

Here’s a breakdown of important factors:

WattageMatch wattage to your components’ power needs. TFX PSUs generally range from 180W to 300W but can go higher.
EfficiencyAim for 80 Plus certification: Bronze, Silver, Gold, etc. Higher efficiency reduces power waste and heat.
Cables & ConnectorsMost TFX PSUs are not fully modular. Check for the connectors your system needs, like a 24-pin motherboard connector, PCIe for graphics cards, and SATA for drives.
Fan NoiseTFX PSUs often use smaller fans, which can be noisier. Look for models with lower dB(A) ratings for a quieter build.

TFX vs. Other Compact Form Factors

Other compact PSU form factors exist, making it important to know the differences:

  • SFX: Slightly larger than TFX, offering more wattage options and sometimes modularity.
  • Flex ATX: Smaller and more rectangular than standard ATX, designed for highly space-constrained systems.

When to Opt for TFX

Choose a TFX PSU if:

  • Your Case Demands It: Some smaller cases specifically require TFX power supplies.
  • Space is Your Biggest Concern: If maximizing every bit of space matters, TFX is your best bet.
  • Upgrade Path is Limited: Older systems might only support TFX PSUs.

Key Takeaways

  • TFX power supplies are suitable for small form factor and slim PCs.
  • They adhere to TFX12V standard, different from ATX and SFX units.
  • Lower capacity TFX PSUs still maintain strong performance for essential components.

Understanding TFX Power Supplies

TFX power supplies cater to systems needing a small form and reliable power delivery. They are an essential component for low-profile PCs and media centers where space is a premium.

Technical Specifications and Features

TFX units have lower power capacities, generally up to 300W. They often come with 80 PLUS certifications, such as 80 PLUS Bronze or Gold, indicating energy efficiency levels.

Compatibility and Installation

These power supplies fit in slim cases and have specific screw alignments for installation. Some include cable ties for improved cable management.

Design and Form Factor

Their form factor is longer and narrower compared to standard ATX PSUs. Measurements typically stand around 85mm wide, 64mm tall, and 175mm deep.

Applications and Uses

Main uses include small form factor and media PCs which require compact power solutions. They support components like low-profile PCIe graphics cards.

Marketplace and Availability

TFX power supplies are available from various manufacturers, like SilverStone, be quiet!, and others. Consumers can find options ranging from new to used, with prices between $100-$300.

Additional Features and Certifications

Common features include over power protection (OPP), over voltage protection (OVP), and 80 PLUS Gold efficiency ratings for less wasted heat.

Safety and Protection

Safety mechanisms include short circuit protection (SCP) to prevent damage, and overcurrent protection (OCP) ensures stability during power fluctuations.

Performance and Efficiency

Efficiency ratings minimize power consumption and reduce heat, fostering stable power delivery and prolonging component lifespans.

Accessories and Components

They may include modular cables, making it optional which internal power cables are connected, aiding aesthetics and airflow.

Consumer Insights

Customers value a balance between price and efficiency. Products combining these with warranty terms draw consumer appreciation.

Emerging Trends and Innovations

Advancements are seen in cooling technologies and multi-rail operation for better stability and fan size reduction for quiet operation.

Cooling Technologies

Typically, these PSUs incorporate an 80mm fan. The latest models use improved bearing technology for cooler and more efficient performance.

Power Supply Rails

TFX models come with either a dual 12V rail or a single rail operation, aiming for improved power distribution and component compatibility.

Cable Management and Aesthetics

Solutions include sleeved cables which make setups look cleaner and flat cables for easier routing within tight spaces.

Indicators and Monitoring

LEDs and software interfaces are less common in TFX PSUs but some include basic indicators for power or fault status.

Branding and Manufacturer Reputation

Names like SilverStone and be quiet! are well-regarded for their quality and customer service, important for trust in safety and performance.