Pros, Cons, And Final Verdict
The first thing you'll notice about the EPF500AWT is that it costs way more than most 500-550W PSUs. We strongly believe that the main reason for this is Enermax's individually sleeved cables, which have a big impact on production cost. If you care (a lot) about cable quality and you don't mind spending so much money on a 500W PSU, the EPF500AWT might make sense.
The fact is, however, that there are a lot of higher-capacity alternatives in the same price range. To its credit, the EPF500AWT is both efficient and incredibly quiet. It also features fairly good ripple suppression and satisfactory transient response (even if turn-on transient response isn't so good). Unfortunately, the build quality inside isn't up to the competition's levels. Apparently, Fortech's manufacturing lines and QC are in need of improvement, since we spotted many components with leads that weren't trimmed properly. Quality control should caught this problem, but obviously didn't set high-enough standards. As we keep repeating, that's a shame given a premium price.
If Enermax sold the EPF500AWT for $90 to $100, it'd score a much better performance per dollar score. Up around $140, though, it's way overpriced. The platform Enermax uses is highly efficient and offers good performance overall, while the Japanese electrolytic caps and twister bearing fan ensure a long lifetime. However, we don't know why the company chose to spend big on the Sleemax cables, adding so much production cost. It should probably offer these high-end cables as an option.
Otherwise, you can find higher-capacity PSUs offering better performance and longer warranties for the same amount of money. As a result, it's simply not possible to recommend this unit, especially if you aren't already passionate about nice cables. Enermax should revise its strategy and find a way to push the price below $100 if it wants the EPF500AWT to succeed. The competition is very tough and costs way less, making it hard for the EPF500AWT's main advantage, efficiency, to shine.
We want to see Enermax back on track since it used to be one of the best PSU OEMs. But with overpriced products like the EPF500AWT, this will be very difficult.
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