Our load tests utilize a couple of FAST ATE active load testers and a variety of other equipment such as an oscilloscope, power conditioner, temperature probe and a power consumption meter. You can read more about our standard testing approach here.
The tests performed are based around six conceivable setups that are out there and progressively load down the PSU up to the power supply's limits or 1000W, whichever comes first. Since our test equipment's limits are higher than that of the Be Quiet Pure Power L8 500W power supply, we can test it to the maximum.
The above tests represent typical loads that we have measured from various systems and are meant to give a rough idea of where your computer might fall in line with our tests. Please keep in mind that each system is different and actual loads can vary greatly even with similar hardware.
Let's start by taking a look at the voltages to see how well this unit did during testing. Starting with the 12V1 rail, we see 1% regulation from start to finish with a total drop of .14V and it faired the best. Looking at 12V2, we see 2% regulation from start to finish with a total drop of .15V. The 5V rail managed to stay within 2% of specification with a total drop of .09V from start to finish. Moving towards the 3.3V rail, we see that regulation was within 2% of specification with a total voltage drop of .06V.
DC Output quality for the Be Quiet Pure Power L8 500W was good and well within specifications. During Test 1, we saw 17mV of noise on our scope. When we increased the loads in Test 2, the ripple climbed to 20mV at a little over half load. During Test 3 under a load of 500W, the oscilloscope showed a maximum of 31mV on noise on the 12V rail.
The Be Quiet Pure Power L8 500W is rated for 80 PLUS Bronze efficiency. This means that the power supply must perform at 82%/85%/82% efficiency at 20%/50%/100% loads respectively. As you can see, the Pure Power L8 500W passed on our bench, and wasn't close to failing at any point.
Given the track record that we've seen from Be Quiet!, we started this review with high expectations. I have to say that Be Quiet! has done a decent job of meeting these expectations. Being a budget unit, the Pure Power L8 500W power supply doesn't come with all the bells and whistles and it isn't intended for a true enthusiast rig. Instead it is intended for a single GPU gaming system users who desires a bit more out of their power supply than the cheapest thing on the market and it just that.
Performance wise, the Be Quiet! Pure Power L8 delivers on all fronts. From a voltage regulation perspective, the Pure Power L8 500W does a great job with all rails almost staying within 1% regulation and just barely breaking into the 2% area. Despite the all Taiwanese capacitor construction, the unit also does very well on the noise suppression. The Pure Power L8 500W also achieves 80 PLUS Bronze efficiency just as it is rated for.
We were actually quite surprised to see non-Japanese capacitors inside the Pure Power L8 500W when we opened it up as we've not seen them in any of their other units that we have reviewed in the past. Despite this, the unit managed to do well. Unfortunately, Be Quiet!'s market penetration just isn't where it needs to be yet in the US. Only certainly models are available at some websites and others charge an arm and a leg for shipping. If you can find the Pure Power L8 500W at MSRP, then it will be a steal and represents a great bargain.
Keep your eyes open and be patient if you can so that your pocket doesn't get gouged. Once they get some more market penetration which we know they are working hard on, they are going one hell of a company to compete with and are sure to be a favored company by many if they stick to what they're doing.