LAB501

A visit to the Enermax Lab in Hamburg – 6 PSU tested

Final thoughts

Every power supply tested today impressed us in its own way:

The NAXN 450W impressed us with its very robust power reserves, but also with its very good efficiency, its cable length and design.

Although it is based on an OEM platform, Triathlor ECO 650W shows its muscles and manages to exceed 800W in the Overload test while maintaining stable voltages and unexpectedly good ripple noise for this price range. Oh, and the PSU efficiency is very close to the 80PLUS Silver standard…

Revolution87+ 850W couldn’t disappoint, being based on the Modu87+ series which is a solid, proven platform. Effortlessly delivering 1180W, 330W more than it’s rated for, while providing rock solid regulation, coupled with an ultra quiet fan at light and medium loads, certainly makes a compelling argument for a recommendation targeted at enthusiasts.

Revolution X’t 530W is not really worth the Revolution name, mainly because of the limited power reserve but also the ripple noise which is a little disturbing considering that we are not dealing with an entry level PSU. Well, we have the 80PLUS Gold efficiency and quiet operation but still, knowing the results of the Revolution87+ I expected more from the X’t.

The Lepa G1600 and Platimax 1350W are based on the most advanced platform in terms of build and electronics quality. Both PSU’s are a demonstration of power, being capable of high quality output, noise and ripple levels low enough to make most 600-700W power supplies die of spite. It’s a monster power supply intend for extreme overclocking, it won’t say no to anything, the Overload test further certifying that. Maybe a Gulftown in conjunction with a GTX 480 4-way SLI setup could push it beyond its limits, I can’t think of anything else that would make it sweat.

The tested power supplies weren’t the only ones to impress us today – visiting the Enermax lab was a very pleasant experience, the opportunity to work with such testing equipment isn’t something many people can boast about. Like with a good motherboard which isn’t undermining your overclocking efforts, allowing you to push the CPU or the memory to their limits, a stable and well calibrated testing platform makes possible a scrupulous and in-depth PSU review. While testing, I’ve noticed that the only varying parameter under a certain maintained load was the efficiency, which dropped slightly as the PSU was getting hotter. Beyond that, the voltages, loads and everything else, were extremely stable, even if the Chroma was getting hot..

If our budget would ever allow it, this is the exact setup we would use for power supply reviews at LAB501. We find other load testers (ready-made or home made) unacceptable from a result perspective, as well as limited in terms of absolute load values and ability to maintain stable loads for relevant time intervals.

Until then however, we prefer to stick to our current methodology, which has the advantage of offering relevant results from an end-user perspective, with testing being done on an actual system. Maybe the methodology presented today can tell us everything about a PSU in terms of numbers, but in the end the home user will drop the PSU in an actual system, and as we’ve seen in the past, a well though out practical methodology is much more relevant for the actual user than a synthetic methodology executed using less precise, less accurate and generally less capable equipment than the one shown by us today. Don’t get me wrong, it would be a pleasure to test each and every unit using such a setup, but since the cost is still prohibitive for us, and we find anything below it an unacceptable compromise, we’d rather not do it at all.

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