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ADATA HM Series 1200W Power Supply Review

Additional technical assistance: Peter McFarland and Jeremy Price.

Correctly testing power supplies is a complex procedure and KitGuru have configured a test bench which can deliver up to a 2,000 watt DC load. Due to public requests we have changed our temperature settings recently – previously we rated with ambient temperatures at 25C, we have increased ambient temperatures by 10c (to 35c) in our environment to greater reflect warmer internal chassis conditions.

We use combinations of the following hardware:
• SunMoon SM-268
• CSI3710A Programmable DC load (+3.3V and +5V outputs)
• CSI3711A Programmable DC load (+12V1, +12V2, +12V3, and +12V4)
• Extech Power Analyzer
• Extech MultiMaster MM570 digital multimeter
• SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa)
• Digital oscilloscope (20M S/s with 12 Bit ADC)
• Variable Autotransformer, 1.4 KVA

12V output is combined for our testing.

DC Output Load Regulation

Combined

DC Load

+3.3V
+5V
+12V
+5VSB
-12V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A V
330W
5.50
3.35
5.50
5.02
21.25
12.18
0.87
5.02
0.20 -12.13
620W
11.00
3.33
11.00
5.02
42.50
12.15
1.75
4.97
0.40 -12.15
918W
16.50
3.30
16.50
5.01
63.75
12.07
2.62
4.95
0.60 -12.17
1204W
22.00
3.23
22.00
4.96
85.00
12.01
3.5
4.92
0.80 -12.18
ADATA HM 1200
Maximum Load
1346W

We wrestled 1346W from the unit before it would switch off. The overcircuit protection system works well and just shut off safely until we were more realistic with our figures.

Next we want to try Cross Loading. This basically means loads which are not balanced. If a PC for instance needs 500W on the +12V outputs but something like 30W via the combined 3.3V and +5V outputs then the voltage regulation can fluctuate badly.

Cross Load Testing +3.3V +5V +12V -12V +5VSB
A V A V A V A V A V
1190W 1.0 3.31 1.0 5.01 62.0 11.91 0.05 -12.16 0.05 5.02
195W 22.0 3.22 22.0 4.93 1.0 12.04 0.05 -12.18 0.05 5.00

The ADATA HM Series 1200W power supply handles the Cross Loading tests very well and we experienced no issues during this phase. All voltages remained within stated tolerances.

We then used an oscilloscope to measure AC ripple and noise present on the DC outputs. We set the oscilloscope time base to check for AC ripple at both high and low ends of the spectrum. ATX12V V2.2 specification for DC output ripple and noise is defined in the ATX 12V power supply design guide.

ATX12V Ver 2.2 Noise/Ripple Tolerance
Output
Ripple (mV p-p)
+3.3V
50
+5V
50
+12V1
120
+12V2
120
-12V
120
+5VSB
50

Obviously when measuring AC noise and ripple on the DC outputs the cleaner (less recorded) means we have a better end result. We measured this AC signal amplitude to see how closely the ADATA unit complied with the ATX standard.

AC Ripple (mV p-p)
DC Load +3.3V +5V +12V 5VSB
330W 5 10 15 10
620W 10 10 20 15
918W 10 15 30 20
1204W 15 20 35 25

Ripple results are well within the parameters set down in the ATX12V Ver 2.2 standard. +3.3V and +5V are extremely impressive and the +12V rail is also very stable, never exceeding 35mv.

Efficiency (%)
330W
82.89
620W
86.64
918W
84.89
1204W
83.34

Very solid results generated by the ADATA 80 Plus Bronze Certified power supply, hitting over 86 percent efficiency at 50 percent load. At full load the efficiency drop to just over 83% which is very strong.

We take the issue of noise very seriously at KitGuru and this is why we have built a special home brew system as a reference point when we test noise levels of various components. Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on components we are testing. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.

Today to test the Power Supply we have taken it into our acoustics room environment and have set our SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa) one meter away from the unit. We have no other fans running so we can effectively measure just the noise from the unit itself.

As this can be a little confusing for people, here are various dBa ratings in with real world situations to help describe the various levels.

KitGuru noise guide
10dBA – Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refridgerator
50dBA – Normal Conversation
60dBA – Laughter
70dBA – Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA – City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA – Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA – MP3 Player at maximum output
110dBA – Orchestra
120dBA – Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA – Threshold of Pain
140dBA – Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA – Instant Perforation of eardrum

Noise (dBA)
330W
29.4
620W
32.1
918W
34.4
1204W
39.8

Its not the quietest power supply we have tested, but at 50% load is relatively quiet, becoming more audible in the upper 30% of load. At full load it emits around 40dBa, but we can’t expect many people to be running their system at a constant 1200W.

Temperature (c)
Intake
Exhaust
330W
35
38
620W
38
44
918W
42
49
1204W
46
55

The large Yate Loon fan helps to generate high levels of airflow across the components inside the chassis, with a 9c above ambient intake registered at full load.

Maximum load
Efficiency
1346W
80.5

Pushing the PSU above its rated limits generates an efficiency level of around 80.5%. This is not a viable ‘real world’ situation, but its interesting nonetheless.

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