Today we will be looking at the Enermax Liberty 500W power supply. Liberty? But that PSU is two years old! Yes, as a matter of fact it is, but since its release a few years ago it has served the community well, providing stable power and low failure rates. We thought it would be worthwhile to take a look at it and see how it compares to some of the latest and greatest PSUs we've been reviewing. It's still a very stable offering, and users running such a power supply will hopefully be able to determine whether or not they need to consider upgrading anytime soon.

Enermax has been in the power supply (and case) market for ages, and anyone who has taken the time to build and/or mod a PC in the past decade should already be familiar with the Enermax name. When they were founded in 1990, Enermax was one of the first companies to begin selling retail power supplies to the market, helping to bring us to where we are today. Over the past few years we've seen a tremendous growth of Enermax products, particularly when it comes to introducing new technology and being the first to market with new standards. Enermax has built up a successful team over the years with branch offices and warehouses around the world. Their headquarters are located in Taoyuan, Taiwan.

The Liberty was designed with cable management as one of the features, which continues to provide good flexibility two years after purchase. The discussions around the web about voltage drops caused by the modular cable design and the extra resistance that can create do not seem to be a problem for Enermax - they continue to design current models with modular cables. Enermax promotes the flexibility of cable management in their advertising, and it is said that you can run a decent high-end system with the smaller 400W Liberty and a few extra cables. For people who own a Liberty power supply that are looking to upgrade, they don't necessarily need to buy a new power supply. A few extra cables will be enough to run many newer systems as well. The 500W model comes with two 12V rails supporting 22A each - plenty strong for all but the most demanding configurations - and we will see later that their OCP is even a little higher than stated.

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  • MCSim - Tuesday, July 31, 2007 - link

    400W Liberty here. Mine is also about 2 years old and still going strong. There's no need for new PSU. :) Reply
  • wolfman3k5 - Monday, July 30, 2007 - link

    Just out of curiosity, did you guys run out of stuff to write about? Reply
  • leexgx - Monday, July 30, 2007 - link


    i had the 400W Enermax PSU for 2 years now and its powering my server quite happy (8 hdds and an old P4 2.6ghz 2gb ram) never had an problem with them (use thermaltake TR2 420W-500w now for basic PSU as its the only good ones on my local trade lists never had one blow on me)
  • CuriousMike - Monday, July 30, 2007 - link

    fwiw, I bought two 350w enermax "basic" powersupplies about 2 years ago ( built two new machines for home.)

    One of the units fans developed a bad squeek about 2 months into ownership.
    I tried contacting enermax in two different ways - both via email.
    One was their usa (my locale) website (which I think was a distributor site?), and the other their taiwanese/chinese site.

    Never heard back from them.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, July 30, 2007 - link

    The squeaky PSU gets the new fan, and the squeaky wheel gets the oil. You just need to squeak a bit louder probably. That or you got unlucky. I haven't dealt with Enermax directly, but I have had a few companies (DFI, for example) where it took several email messages to get help. Not good at all, but eventually they did respond. The fact that their email support form fails 75% of the time didn't help, of course. Reply
  • Vidmar - Monday, July 30, 2007 - link

    While I think the Efficiency charts in load percentage are nice, if you included Efficiency charts in watts it would be more informative from a buying perspective.

    The reason? I know the sum of system load is 375watts normally. The way it is now, if power supply XYZ has a max load of 650watts, I have to calculate where my ~375watts falls into that load chart (~57% load). But if the next power supply has 1000 watts max, then I have to yet again calculate what load percentage that may be for *that* power supply. If the Efficiency charts were in watts, instead of load, no calculations would be necessary. If I could look at your charts and see that XYZ power supply provided those watts the most efficiently, that would be the power supply I would get.

    Maybe you could just provide a second X axis on the chart that included the watts.

  • michal1980 - Monday, July 30, 2007 - link

    Owned for for probably 18+ months now. It was a replacement for the early problems the antec neo-he's had. and I bought it at a retail store for about 110 bucks. I had no idea if it was good because it was so cheap (for a retail store, everyother branded 500w psu was 150~180 bucks).

    its given me good stable power for all these years, and I hope for a few more.
  • kmmatney - Monday, July 30, 2007 - link

    I've owned a 550W Enermax PSU for over 5 years! It was originally made for the old Thunder K7 dual AMD motherboards, but it now powers my Core 2 Duo. It's been a great power supply - never thought it would last so long. I did recently re-oil the fan (still running on the original fan as well). Reply
  • mostlyprudent - Monday, July 30, 2007 - link

    Nice review. I appreciate the diversion from the high end. I have been wondering how newer models would stack up against an old favorite. It is nice to see that there is a little more happening in the PSU industry than just wattage hikes. Reply
  • Thinkitect - Monday, July 30, 2007 - link


    Value PSU review? Quality Benchmarks? Fortron Source!

    FSP Group products should be the baseline for the reviews and price/performance rating.
    The AX-400 and AX-500 for value were great (and still are), though efficiency may be outdated. The blue series should be the one to compare to right now.

    I've used the same AX for years through many upgrades, and it now powers a relative's workstation. I have the BlueStorm II 500 powering my new gaming rig, and now there are the FX-600-GLN and FX-700-GLN with even higher efficiency ratings.

    High quality well priced components that deserve the comparison and recognition.

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