So far things have been pretty typical for a power supply review. After all, there are only so many ways to design a standard PSU chassis and provide cable harnesses. Now we come to the interesting part: the internals. Enermax did a tremendous job designing this power supply, but let's start at the beginning.

When I first saw the filtering stage, I asked the representatives at Enermax if CWT is the ODM. They responded by threatening to beat me up. ;-) Anyway, the filtering stage looks very good and has all of the necessary components. The coil sits on top of the PCB, covered with shrinking hose -- hence the similarity to CWT PSUs. Right nearby are the rectifier bridges, both without heatsinks. The PFC stage follows next and the coil is placed on a solid socket. Matsushita builds the three primary capacitors, rated for 220µF and 400V at 85°C.

Enermax is particularly proud of their transformers, since they synchronized both of them for quad forward circuitry. Two synchronized transformers will share the work equally, which makes the work more efficient. The power supply also features eight safety features such as OCP (Over Current Protection), UVP (Under Voltage Protection) for the AC part, UVP (Under Voltage Protection) for the DC part, OPP (Over Power Protection), OTP (Over Temperature Protection), SIP (Surge & Inrush Protection), and SCP (Short Circuit Protection).

This power supply uses a DC-to-DC topology, which means that the 3.3V and 5V rails do not come directly from the transformer anymore. The transformers can now be built for the sole purpose of delivering a stable 12V output. In DC-to-DC designs, so far the extra circuitry has been included on the main PCB in the secondary stage of the PSU. Enermax relocated this functionality to a sister PCB that we will describe in the next paragraph. The secondary stage in this power supply now only has to deal with the six 12V rails. The capacitors for this purpose are all made by Chemi-Con, one of the best but still affordable Japanese capacitor manufacturers.

So where are the 3.3V and 5V rails created? Let's have a look at the large sister PCB where the cable management sockets are located. The left side is where it happens. The upper part is for the 5V output and the bottom is for 3.3V. The output feeds directly into the cable harnesses, and from there on to the peripherals. Since this is done totally independent from the other 12V rails, this power supply can output 99% of its rated power on just the 12V rails, which we will verify in a moment. Other power supplies that generate the 5V and 3.3V rails from the transformer normally have problems with the voltage distribution if not loaded according to ATX-norm.

Cables and Connectors Testing with the Chroma ATE Programmable Load
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • houe - Thursday, November 6, 2008 - link

    Seems odd to have a "efficient" 1000 watt computer. If you care about low power I doubt you'll be putting a 1000 watt supply in your rig. Any computer that consumes 200 watts at idle is probably not a computer you'll want to run 24/7 so the efficiency probably isn't going to matter too much. That being said it still seems like a cool power supply.
  • Rezurecta - Thursday, November 6, 2008 - link

    Thank you for the dumbest comment ever.
  • MadMan007 - Thursday, November 6, 2008 - link

    I don't think it was dumb and certainly not the dumbest comment ever. He asked why they start at 800W (should have said 850W but whatever) and he's right about the real power draw of systems. Having super high power PSUs is fine but I'd love to see efficiency like this starting with a 400-500W unit not 850W. A mega-PC is going to draw lots of power anyway. The 82+ line does fill the lower power draw range, maybe that's why they started this higher, but that doesn't make the question dumb.
  • Christoph Katzer - Thursday, November 6, 2008 - link

    People just need to understand that at the moment it's just still too expensive to build units around this wattage that have 90%+ efficiency. You don't wanna pay $150 for a 500W PSU because you can run your normal one for years and ending up with the same price.
  • MadMan007 - Thursday, November 6, 2008 - link

    Fair enough, at least that's a reason and not saying 'dumb comment' :) The 82+ line is nearly as efficient and does have some low power options so Enermax may feel they already have that segment filled.

    Over time the design changes that increase efficiency should trickle down yea?
  • Rezurecta - Thursday, November 6, 2008 - link

    That was for iwodo
  • The0ne - Thursday, November 6, 2008 - link

    I'm not sure you know what YOU'RE talking about making that comment to Iwodo, unless of course you prefer to stick to your configuration that requires more than 850W. In which case, carry on.

    700W for my configuration.

    IP35 Pro with Q6600@3.2GHz, 4Gig, 9800GX2, 2 DVDRW, 5 Hard Drives, 6 internal Fans for the case, misc USB devices

    So I don't know about you but I think his question is very valid. The dumbest I think would be someone who came up with the question afterward not thinking more about what the other person was addressing.
  • legoman666 - Thursday, November 6, 2008 - link

    Lol, you're out of your mind if you think your system uses anywhere near 700w. Buy a Kill-A-Watt and report back some real usage numbers. I imagine it's closer to 300-350w @ full load.
  • gochichi - Monday, November 10, 2008 - link

    I know right? I've been "bad" and left my little Inspiron 530 with the power supply that came with it and I'm running a Radeon 4850 (fairly power hungry, but not wacko hungry) in it and it runs perfectly. At most it's rated at 350W and it's a Quad-core system with some other goodies.

    The way I see it, burning DVDs, playing Blu-rays, playing games are some of the most energy consuming things you can do. However, you do either one or the other. I'm sure my system would have power issuues if I played Crysis, burned DVDs and watched a blu-ray all at one time. But you know what? My system, though it's beefy can't handle those things at one time anyway, so who cares.

    This powersupply is super nice though. Over the top? Yes. But it's so nice it just doesn't matter. This guy is for systems running Raptors and X-fire and all that stuff. Even if you're not running that stuff though, it's perfectly quiet at loads of 500W or below. So even when you're not pushing it, it's still classy. It's like a Corvette cruising at 65MPH, it's still awesome.

    Big thumbs up to this power supply. Expensive junk is bad, but really good stuff for $300.00 is alright by me. Not for me, but if you own it... I'm kind of jealous.

    The people at the top end have to have a power supply, and I think this is it for them.
  • The0ne - Friday, November 7, 2008 - link

    The 9800GX2 video card alone already requires a minimum of 580W. How am I out of my mind for paying heed to the requirements? Do you mean to implied that I'm a sucker for believing all power supply ratings and I should instead do my own measurements when finding a power supply? Tell me, do you do this when selecting your own components?

    The only reason I bought the 700W was because my Nfinity 600W was not efficient enough to run the system after I installed the video card. So while the power efficiency might be low, I still need a ADVERTISED power supply of 700W+

    Maybe you're psychic?

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now