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Enermax Revolution 87+ 1000W 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

DC Output Load Regulation

Combined

DC Load

+3.3V
+5V
+12V
+5VSB
-12V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A V
100W
1.57
3.31
1.77
5.08
6.67
12.21
0.50
5.09
0.20
-12.00
250W
3.46
3.30
4.42
5.06
17.19
12.18
1.00
5.08
0.30
-12.02
500W
7.05
3.28
9.13
5.05
34.65
12.15
2.00
5.06
0.50
-12.03
750W
11.04
3.27
13.71
5.03
52.77
12.11
2.50
5.04
0.60
-12.05
1000W
16.88
3.25
18.97
5.00
71.88
12.09
3.00
5.00
0.80
-12.07

The supply produced solid load regulation across all outputs, even when delivering the full 1000W. All rails held within 2% of the reference voltage, well in excess of the +/-5% threshold.

Enermax Revolution 87+ 1000W Maximum Load
1176W

We managed to get another 176W from the power supply before the protection circuitry kicked in. We are happy to report a safe shut down verifying that the overcircuit protection is doing its job.

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
885W 2.0 3.31 2.0 5.07 72.0 12.07 0.2 -12.05 0.50 5.01
240W 20.0 3.24 24.0 4.99 2.0 12.20 0.2 -12.04 0.50 5.00

The Enermax power supply handled the Cross loading tests very well and we didn’t experience any stability issues.

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 unit complied with the ATX standard.

AC Ripple (mV p-p)
DC Load +3.3V +5V +12V 5VSB
100W 10 10 15 10
250W 15 10 15 10
500W 15 15 25 15
750W 20 30 35 15
1000W 25 20 45 20

The +12V rail shows great ripple control, peaking at 45 mV …well within rated tolerance levels. The +3.3V and +5V rails are just as impressive, peaking at 25 mV and 20 mV respectively.

Efficiency (%)
100W
87.77
250W
89.78
500W
92.83
750W
90.78
1000W
89.23

The efficiency results are very positive, achieving almost 93 percent efficiency at 50 percent load. This drops to just over 89 percent efficiency when fully loaded. Almost 88 percent efficiency at only 10 percent load is a spectacular result.

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)
100W
29.4
250W
29.8
500W
30.8
750W
32.8
1000W 35.9

The Enermax Revolution 87+ 1000W is very quiet throughout the range, basically silent under 500W load. In the last 25 percent of power output the fan becomes audible, rising to a maximum of 35.9 dBa. Still a very good result.

Temperature (c)
Intake
Exhaust
100W
35
38
250W
35
41
500W
38
46
750W
43
54
1000W
46
58

The large fan pushes a high level of airflow, cooling the components underneath. Ambient temperature rises to a 12c above ambient threshold at full load.

Maximum load
Efficiency
1176W
88.27

Pushing the PSU above its rated limits generates an efficiency level of around 88.27%. This is not a viable ‘real world’ situation, but its interesting nonetheless.

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