Early June we published an extensive group test of 39 PSUs with a capacity of 300 to 450 watts. At the time Be quiet! informed us that they were working on a new Pure Power L8 series, for which they didn't have sample available yet. Since then we receive the 300W and 400W versions. We tested them and compared them to the 39 PSUs from the earlier round-up.
If you're going to build a PC with an AMD A, Intel Ivy Bridge or Haswell processor and won't be using a dedicated graphics card, a power supply with a capacity of 300 or 350 watts is more than enough. For a budget or mid-range card all you need is 400 or 450 watts, even for some limited overclocking. There is plenty of choice in this segment, and it keeps growing.
The Be quiet! Pure Power L8 power supplies are reportedly manufactured by HEC (or Compucase). In addition to the 300W and 400W models we're testing, the series also has 350W, 500W and 600W versions. They're all 80Plus Bronze certified, and should therefore be at least 85 percent efficient at a 50 percent load. Be quiet! claims it goes up to 88%. The power supplies are not modular, but the L87 models that are have a CM suffix.
Both power supplies have two 12V rails. For the 400W model these supply 22A and 20A, and a total of 30A or 360 watts. For the 300W model the 12V rails are limited to 18A with a total load of 23A, or 276 watts.
Both PSUs have only two molex connectors. The 400W model has four SATA power connectors, the 300W three. The 400W model has two 6/8 pin PEG connectors, while the 300W model only has one. It's a typical number of connectors for PSUs in this segment.
Both models have a 12cm Be quiet! Silentwings fan, that manages to stay very...quiet. All cables are sleeved, not just the motherboard one. Both also have a power switch in the back.
They're affordably priced. The 400W model is available for an average of £45/ € 52, and the 300W model for £38/ € 45.