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  • airmantharp - Friday, February 10, 2012 - link

    Did you mean results?

    Only posted for the humor involved :).
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    There are times when I miss our old CMS system where misspelled words were immediately underlined. Sorry for the error. ;-) Reply
  • Termie - Friday, February 10, 2012 - link

    Did I miss it, or did you not actually list the price of the power supply in this article? I would think that would be a critical element of the review. You repeat several times that this is a very expensive power supply, but without a price stated, I don't think your readers will be able to draw any conclusions from this.

    I know Newegg currently has a paid add running at the top of this article showing its price for this product, but that is not the same thing as stating the price in your article.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    We linked to the lowest price we could find in the second to last paragraph, but you're right -- nowhere did we actually list the price. I have added that information to the same paragraph now. Thanks! Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, February 10, 2012 - link

    "Does anyone actually detach their CPU/mainboard cables?"

    2x12V cables is still a relatively high end mobo feature. Being able to get rid of one of these cables would be beneficial for many people.

    Also putting jacks on the chassis for cables (GPU3, Peripheral5) only provided in high end models is rather lame in a high end model. A second plug board that leaves the two spaces unsoldered, and without cutouts in the housing shouldn't be prohibitively high as additional engineering work.
    Reply
  • Amoro - Friday, February 10, 2012 - link

    It looks like it actually failed the requirements for platinum specification at 20% load, achieving only 88.79% instead of the 90% required. Reply
  • Iketh - Friday, February 10, 2012 - link

    I was disappointed I didn't learn what a Platinum Certification is in this article. That's the only reason I clicked the article was to get a rundown on the spec itself.

    Google to the rescue...
    Reply
  • Galcobar - Friday, February 10, 2012 - link

    Indeed, given the whole article is pitched as being about the arrival of a PSU able to meet the Platinum specifications, I was expecting to be told what the Platinum spec actually meant.

    As a result, I'm left with another question: did this PSU actually pass the Platinum specs, and at what temperature? Ecos Consulting (the company behind 80 Plus) tests at 23C, actually below the engineering standard room temperature of 25C; lower temperatures make for greater efficiency and slower fan speeds.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the comments -- I've added a bit of information to the text now. Reply
  • gwolfman - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    But does this (the certification) have to apply to 120VAC/60Hz? If I remember correctly, 240VAC/50Hz is more efficient to convert to 12VDC, which will take this PSU to new heights. Reply
  • colonelciller - Friday, February 10, 2012 - link

    call me a newb... but why would I want a power supply such as this?

    honest question. Won't other computer components will be designed around more standard power supply output characteristics anyway?
    Reply
  • wifiwolf - Friday, February 10, 2012 - link

    PSU is one of the most important components.
    You don't want PSU to fail on you ever.
    It starts with spiky stability and in time components start failing and you never relate it directly to power supply until you monitor those voltages.
    Probably everyone looking at this article gone through that until they wised up.
    When you just use Word and Excel on your computer, you probably survive with system hanging once a month in a stable environment. But when you push a bit harder on your system, sometimes the result can be a computer burning literally.
    Reply
  • medi01 - Sunday, February 12, 2012 - link

    Except that more efficient PSU that race for higher numbers tend to be much more complex, which definitely does NOT help with reliability. (at least as far as my personal experience with Enermax Modu 82+ goes, broke within first 2 month, occasional to frequent reboots 2 years later =/) Reply
  • Iketh - Friday, February 10, 2012 - link

    LOL NOOB

    what wifiwolf said are the main reasons, but high quality power supplies also lower power bills considerably on high-watt systems (crossfire/sli/overclocking etc...)

    the 2 rules of thumb when building your own system is 1) don't skimp on powersupply 2) don't skimp on motherboard. You can skimp on CPU/RAM and everything else because you can make adjustments on those components so that they work, as in megahertz or RAM timings and the voltages to those components, but you can't adjust how capacitors on motherboards and powersupplies deliver said power.

    you have to experience the headaches associated with cheap power supplies before you completely understand.
    Reply
  • bji - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    False dilemma.

    The choice is not only between this power supply and "cheap power supplies".

    There are also power supplies at 1/2 the cost of this one that would likely have performance and reliability that would be so similar as to, for most people, be indistinguishable.

    Therefore the question of, why would this power supply be a better choice than a good quality power supply that is much less expensive, is a valid question and not one that should be so easily dismissed.

    I paid something like $130 for a Seasonic 650 Watt gold power supply and I am not sure what I'd really be getting with this Enermax supply that is tangibly different.
    Reply
  • bji - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    Just checked my newegg order history; I actually paid $120 with free shipping in October 2010 for a Seasonic X650 Gold. It is 1% - 2% less efficient than this Enermax.

    Let me reiterate that I think it's valid to question the value of this power supply rather than dismissing the question outright.
    Reply
  • Iketh - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    Well I should have mentioned that I'm not endorcing this power supply whatsoever, just answering his question about "standard" vs good.

    Minimum quality I use in my own systems is Antec 80-plus bronze.
    Reply
  • beginner99 - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    I good power supply is of course important but its like with CPUs. The top notch model i overpriced compared to what it offers. So yeah, a 120$ Seasonic Gold sure is better value for most people assuming they last the same time (that's the big question as a power supply usually is re-used for the next build). Reply
  • cfaalm - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    I guess it's still like what wifiwolf said still. It depends on how hard you think you're going to drive your system. Hardly any of the manufacturers like Asus, Dell or Acer are going to bother with these PSUs. They can settle for anything that goes up to 75% efficiency on 50% load. If you build your own just for fun but still don't drive it very hard, you'll be OK with a "standard" PSU.

    For everyone else, serious OCing, gaming, heavy duty video and audio etc. you don't want to skimp on the PSU as you know you'll be asking for the last drop of CPU/GPU power your system can muster.
    Reply
  • just4U - Sunday, February 12, 2012 - link

    I think the days of the cheap PSU (save maybe for OEMs) is gone. Even $50 power supplies are fairly decent these days. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    I try to avoid having "fanboy" level emotions tied to a company, but Enermax inspires that feeling in me more than any other. That being said, I don't believe anyone should buy a PSU by brand alone; if you can't find a positive review for it, don't buy it, buy something that has been tested by independent people you trust (Anandtech and Tomshardware come to mind).

    Does it make sense to pay the premium price Enermax PSUs goes for? I'll tell you how I think - I've always thought it was just plain ridiculous that PSUs had cords that just plugged into the back with no way to secure them, especially higher-powered ones that draw a lot of current and can get warm and loosen up. Enermax is the only company that has addressed this issue (not to mention providing beefy power cords that aren't likely to heat up anyway), and I'm willing to pay the extra money for a product when the company pays attention to details like that.

    If that means I'm paying $50 for a little wire to you, than so be it. It means I'm buying a rock-solid PSU that I won't have to replace for a decade to me, and the increased cost is minimal over that lifetime.

    BTW, the 860W Platinum Seasonic is $219.99, plus shipping on top of that, at Newegg right now. Looks to me like Enermax's price for this kind of thing isn't out of line since Seasonic is a premium PSU manufacturer that isn't known for inflating its prices.

    ;)
    Reply
  • pandemonium - Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - link

    Or you can just not skimp on anything and have a rig that lasts forever. There's always exceptions to the rule, but more often than not, higher quality = longevity and stability; regardless of component.

    Of course, if you're rebuilding your computer every 6 months, then none of that really matters anyways.
    Reply
  • Galcobar - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    The point of higher efficiency is the amount of power the PSU itself consumes in transforming the current in the wall from AC to DC. The components of your computer need X power, and (assuming basic quality) will receive it. The efficiency is how much power the PSU pulls from the wall (Y) to provide X power. The difference between what your computer needs and what your PSU consumes (Y-X) is wasted power, which usually means extra heat. The more efficient the PSU, the closer Y is to X and therefore the less power is wasted -- which means less money wasted and less heat generated.

    Quality's a separate issue. If the PSU provides unstable power, it can kill the components precisely because they're designed to work with a standard supply. Go outside that standard (specifically, the ATX standard) and electronics stary dying.
    Reply
  • meloz - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    >>Our personal preference is that more is less when it comes to logos and such,

    I am very disappointed to hear this. I always loved how Anandtech used to put performance and functionality on top when evaluating gear, unlike websites like engadget which 'review' gear based on how it looks (mostly), with some crumbs thrown towards performance and functionality.

    It was good ride while it lasted, I guess. It's all about bling-bling.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    Yes, because that is clearly everything this article is based on!... Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    >>Our personal preference is that more is less when it comes to logos and such

    Whilst saying "less is more" would have been more intuitive than saying "more is less", what they both mean is that at AT they *don't* like products where you've paid for a bunch of logos and other rubbish when all you really want is a PSU (or other bit of hardware) that does its job well.

    I've never stuck a sticker from a PSU, CPU, graphics-card, hard-drive, software (I believe if you buy it they sometimes include a sticker along with a legal license-key) or anything else on my case.
    Reply
  • Lord 666 - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    I stuck the Mossberg sticker that came with my new 590 on the outside of my computer case. Reply
  • Byte - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    Power supplies have gotten pretty insane. Really, it just converts 120V AC to 12V DC in the end. It will not make your system go ANY faster. Even getting supper expensive RAM might yield another 1-2%, You will not even get that with a power supply. Any quality power supply will be able to get your system running and overclocking all you want. I think most builders will be fine with a $40 500watt corsair. It will even handle SLI/xFire as long as you don't have the flagship cards. Power supplies are like rims on cars, it doesn't make it faster, but we are convinced we need better ones, except you can't even see the power supply. Reply
  • Zaranthos - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    As Galcobar and others have said it's about efficiency which saves you money over time. Someone else mentioned using the same PSU for 10 years which will put money back in your pocket given enough time if it's more efficient. I have a power supply in an old server that I've been using for 10+ years and it's probably not efficient at all but it's also low wattage. When building a new server that I may use for another 10+ years I will spend extra money on the PSU for all the reasons mentioned. I want to keep my monthly electric bill lower, I want less heat pumped into my house at least during the summer months when I have to run AC, and I want the power supply to last longer than any of the other components. Reply
  • Ph0b0s - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    You also pay extra for power supplies like Enermax ones, that have protection circuits for over-volting etc. I have tried the cheaper power supply route. You think it's OK, it's cheap so if it fails I can just buy another one. Well that works until it burns out a lot of your system when it fails because it had not functions to protect the rest of your system. The Enermax PSU in the rare, for them, event of a failure, fail gracefully without burning out the rest of my components. Some Enermax PSU's I have had for 10+ years now, still going strong. So expensive PSU's actually work out cheaper in the long run. Reply
  • Galcobar - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    Power supplies are like rims on cars -- we don't see the effect easily, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    Nobody's claiming a good PSU will make your system faster. It will make it cheaper to run, and last longer. A cheap PSU can and will kill your components with unstable current (that would be the ripple mentioned in the article) or out-of-spec current (running 4V into a 3.3V component). Then you have to pay to replace those components. A cheap PSU will also fail sooner, meaning you have to replace it, spending yet more money.

    As for quality rims, actually, those do make your car faster. A simple cast rim is weaker and will weigh significantly more than a forged rim. The high unsprung, rotating mass requires more energy to accelerate and maintain speed (and the effect is greater than an equivalent mass in the body of the car), meaning you lose performance and fuel economy. It also degrades handling for the same reason.

    Of course, lots of rims are purely cosmetic and have no performance value,and that holds true of some PSUs. Good quality costs money initially, but will either pay for itself or provide a measureable benefit. The point of a review such as this is to separate out the ones that just look good from the ones that actually do good.
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Sunday, February 12, 2012 - link

    Troll. Reply
  • faster - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    With the move to SSD from mechanical drives and die shrinks from componenent manufacturers (CPU, video card, chipset, ect.) the power requirements of systems are going up not down right? Wrong! Power requirements of modern computers are going down.

    If power saupply manufacturers are going to impress me into spending $230, they should put a battery in their power supply that protects against brown outs, power outages, and power surges. Now that would be something worth $200+ dollars. Otherwise the Gold standard is literally, the Gold standard.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    That's what surge protection extension leads and UPS are for. Putting that in a PSU would just add size, cost a lot of people don't need and decrease durability since batteries don't life forever. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Sunday, February 12, 2012 - link

    Why do people read a review of a 750W PSU and start bashing it because it is a 750W PSU? Is your self esteem really so low you can't stand it if someone has a different purpose or standard than you? (Notice I didn't say "better' standard.)

    Guess what bubba, not every product made in the world is intended to impress you.

    You are correct in saying the power requirements for the CPU and storage (SSD) are going down, but as far as video cards - you have no clue. An overclocked GTX 580 has been shown that it can pull as much as 300W. Just one. Yes, the power required for these things will go down too, eventually, but we aren't there yet and not everyone runs on-board graphics and uses smaller screens or are perfectly satisfied with low resolutions and frame rates.

    ;)
    Reply
  • Ph0b0s - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    The disappointing thing with the latest bunch of Enermax PSU's, is the omission of a fan signal cable from the PSU. All the way up to the Revolution 85+ PSU's, Enermax used to have a signal cable from the Fan inside the PSU that you could connect to your motherboard and monitor the PSU fan speed. This was unique to Enermax. It is a very useful diagnostic tool, by which you could tell the fan was working properly or if the PSU was getting to hot due to the thermal design of your case.

    Now they no longer do this Enermax have lost some of their prestige to me. Would have been nice if this change had been mentioned in the review.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    These high efficiency PSUs could do for quite a while without the fan. Personally, that fan monitoring never really helped me.. but then my fans didn't fail either ;) Reply
  • MrSpadge - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    .. please! Reply
  • MT SOL - Saturday, February 11, 2012 - link

    There is a typo in the second sentence of the first paragraph. I think you mean "turn-on" instead of "tun-on" :).

    As you can see, typos are a turn-on for me :).

    On a side note, it would be interesting if AnandTech crunched some numbers to show how much a 80+ Platinum PSU could save over other 80+ PSUs (Bronze, Gold, etc.). That would be of great practical value :D.
    Reply
  • cbag - Sunday, February 12, 2012 - link

    Its fairly easy to calculate. I crunched numbers based on an 80 Plus as the baseline. Assuming 750w power supplies, computer on 24 hours a day for 365 days @ 50% load. A 90 Plus Platinum PSU would save you $64.27 dollars @ 12 cents per KWH. And that is the savings over an 80 Plus!

    So it does add up and would be well worth it in a computer that you leave on overnight to crunch rendering or folding, etc.
    Reply
  • ssj3gohan - Sunday, February 12, 2012 - link

    In this sentence:

    "(...) This compensates for the slightly higher losses during turn-on (which is no problem with a low resistance between drain and source). (...)"

    you imply that the drain-source resistance has something to do with the switching losses. This is not the case! Let me explain: there are two types of losses associated with power transistors: on-state losses and switching losses. On-state losses are incurred when the transistor is fully on and conducting current; it's simply the drain-source on-state resistance (R(DS, on)) times current squared. Then there's losses associated with the transition from off to on, or from on to off. At this moment, the transistor doesn't instantaneously turn on or off, but enters its linear region. At this time, both high voltage and current exist simultaneously over and through the device, which means P=I*U=high losses. You can't fix this with lower on-state resistance because the transistor is not in its on-state, it is in some state in between. This transient period is only very short (tens of nanoseconds) but if you switch really fast, e.g. 200kHz+ which is what happens in some power supplies, the losses add up quickly. The only way to combat these losses is:

    - Making either I, or U, or both zero at switching time (zero current, zero voltage switching [ZVS, ZCS])
    - Making the transient period as short as possible (which in practice means reducing gate charge or if possible using better drivers)

    That last bit is pretty much a no-go for modern supplies because it causes noise spikes, hence the advent of ZCS and ZVS.
    Reply
  • Martin Kaffei - Sunday, February 12, 2012 - link

    I know. This might be a translation failure.
    The previous sentence is already about turn-on ("switching"), so this one was about the next phase.
    In this case I meant saturation (no sure if this is the correct word in English).
    Reply
  • kenyee - Sunday, February 12, 2012 - link

    I.e., is it small enough to fit in actual HTPC cases?

    86% efficiency at 10% load makes it enticing... :-)
    Reply
  • Lithium466 - Monday, February 13, 2012 - link

    It seems that the 5Vsb rail is not protected, and that overloading it (with more than 4A) will permanently destroy the power supply...
    Have you tried it ? Is is true ?
    Reply
  • ShieTar - Monday, February 13, 2012 - link

    Apparently 20% are specified to be 20% on each rail, for each voltage, (see the qualification test report here: http://www.plugloadsolutions.com/psu_reports/ENERM... ).

    To me, this seems to be a bit less than realistic. In normal day usage, I would expect the 12V rail to be the one that really changes between idle and load cases, with the other voltages remaining at a relatively constant, and rather low, load.

    Would it be possible to test efficiency at a few realistic load cases on top of the ones used by the specification? This would be really interesting to see.
    Reply
  • 86waterpumper - Monday, February 13, 2012 - link

    I agree that alot here run higher end gaming rigs and may use 750 watts of power or even more. I also say that alot here are more likely to have htpcs, servers, and secondary systems somewhere in their house they themselves have built. Then you have the times when a friend or family member wants you to build a system for them to do light tasks. It doesn't always make sense to use a pico type supply for these and there is a gap between say 200 watts and 400/450 watt psus. For all these reasons it is past due time that we get some more efficient lower watt supplies. Right now my main system is a 2500k using the onboard hd3000 video I can play games fine since I have dual older 4:3 monitors still. I currently am using a x-400 seasonic and it's great but I really wish there had been a x-200, 250 or 300 instead.
    There will be a need for high end video cards for those that want to run huge monitors, but as onboard graphics get better and better we will see a shift where people who don't game all the time or want to blow 500 bucks on a video card are content with using onboard. It would be like if chevrolet decided to ONLY make the camaro and corvette fuel efficient and did not care about the compact cars it just does not make sense. I think psu manufacturers are missing the boat in a way but I'm also sure they are afraid that people will not pay a premium for a psu unless it has big watt numbers...
    Reply
  • Iketh - Monday, February 13, 2012 - link

    My thoughts exactly. I'm sick of using 400w power supplies to power 50-100w. I've even thought of the possibility of tapping into the wires or finding splitters for every plug so I can run 2-3 systems off one power supply. Reply

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