Internals

We knew before even cracking the casing that this power supply is from Enhance, which is fine since we like their craftsmanship. We have seen many different models made by this ODM, but they are usually 850W to 1000W. These are the first 500W-600W models we've seen from Enhance, and we were eager to begin testing. As you will see shortly, they don't let us down.

The heatsinks are large and occupy almost all of the free space in the casing. Cooler Master advertises their use of small copper plates on the heatsinks as a means of increasing heat dissipation, since copper transfers heat faster than aluminum. Aluminum still dissipates the heat faster to the surrounding air, which is one reason the whole cooler isn't made of copper. The second reason is of course the much higher price of copper. In fact looking a little bit closer at the "copper" plates, we don't actually think they are made of pure copper - more likely a copper alloy (i.e. bronze). That is again cheaper than pure copper since there is a higher percentage of zinc in the alloy. This keeps most of the good features of copper and only decreases the outcome slightly.

The layout is another good Enhance feature. The input filtering stage reaches from the AC input over the whole upper side of the PCB to the right side. After that comes the PFC stage with a large coil. There are two main capacitors made by Nippon Chemi-Con (450V, 180µF, 105°C). In the secondary, we find mostly Teapo capacitors and two made by Su'scon.

Cables and Connectors Testing with the Chroma ATE Programmable Load
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  • Megaknight - Tuesday, September 09, 2008 - link

    And once again the american consumer is screwed by stupid companies and the stupid US patent system... Reply
  • Amart - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    The Ripple/Noise charts and a dedicated page for Quality are a good decision - thank you. Reply
  • OverDraught - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    The product label does not show the UL mark, which has probably been applied for but not issued yet. No big deal unless you are in the USA and are building computers for resale or lease. If so, check with your product liability carrier before using this product.

    Personally, I would never by a PSU that was not UL listed.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    As stated, the patent issues are keeping this out of the US for now, so the lack of a UL mark might have something to do with that. If/when that's resolved, then we can see if the UL is listed. Reply
  • Bozo Galora - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    Well, I feel like I was just struck by lightning.
    Actual ripple graphs within an AT PSU review.
    Beat me with a giant wet Ramen noodle.

    (Anyone see pigs flying?)
    Reply
  • semo - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    "Cooler Master advertises their use of small copper plates on the heatsinks as a means of increasing heat dissipation, since copper transfers heat faster than aluminum. Aluminum still dissipates the heat faster to the surrounding air"

    so both aluminum and copper dissipate heat faster... compared to what?

    also why isn't there any comarison to other psus. For example the sample reviewed here is more expansive than the CoolerMaster 520W Real Power Pro Modular but does it deserve the 50% mark up in price?
    Reply
  • Christoph Katzer - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    huh? yeah...

    Heat goes faster through copper than through aluminum. But aluminum can dissipate the heat faster into the air. This is why we have today mostly aluminum-coolers with a copper base which Cooler Master used for these power supplies now...

    We do regular comparisons with the Buyer's Guide and sometimes in roundups.

    For starters your mentioned unit comes from Acbel and is not even half as tough as an Enhance-build PSU like the Silentpro.
    Reply
  • Howard - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    I don't believe that aluminum dissipates heat faster than copper does. The reason why we have heatsinks that are a mix is probably because aluminum is much cheaper (and lighter, though that is probably a secondary rather than primary factor). Reply
  • bludragon - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    I agree. I think we need mythbusters on this one. Cu has higher conductivity than Al. But, Cu is heavier, more expensive and harder to machine so we reach the compromise of Cu base and Al fins. Reply
  • PEJUman - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    It's true Cu retains heat better than Al.
    Here are the simple clues:
    Cu have higher conductivity and Specific heat than Al.
    Conduction (CPU/Transistor to heatsink) needs good thermal conductivity.
    Convection (Heat sink's fins to ambient air) needs a lot of surface area.

    simple explaination:
    While with higher conductivity, Cu will transport heat faster, but with the higher spec. heat Cu will stores more energy than Al (at the same shape and volume) while having the same surface area, thus Cu will be harder to dissipate convectively.

    Now the long explaination:
    Copper is a good candidate as first line 'heat sink', it will absorb a lot of energy before increasing 1 deg, meaning for a CPU at 47 deg and ambient at 27 deg, it will hold 27... 28... 29... 30 deg longer than Al as it heats up. - GOOD

    now comes the drawback, with the high specific heat, when copper try to release heat to ambient air, it will maintain it's hot temperature longer than Aluminum simply because it has to dissipate more energy to ambient air before dropping 1 deg in temp.
    So, let's imagine copper fins with the same shape and volume as Al, it will take a lot more air to cool the copper (not to mention it's heavier too) than the Al. - BAD

    Thus the reason using Al for fins, and copper for heat block (sink).
    asborbing heat from transistor or CPU got to do with small contact surface area, in which case higher thermal conductivity allows lower interface junction temp). while the Al fins dissipate heat more efficiently (in terms of heat flux/weight/size) than cooper.

    Now, heat sink is just like any other overclocking quest, you're bound by the weakest link. Thus to come up with a good heatsink assembly you need to have properly sized Cu sink & Al fin.
    This means sufficient surface area between the Al & Cu interface to sustain the same heat flux rate that the Cu is capable to aborb and Al fins capable to dissipate.
    Mess this balance up, and your again bound by your weakest link, be it your copper block, Al fins of its Cu-Al interface area.
    Reply

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