Enermax EPF500AWT Power Supply Review
Enermax is one of the oldest PSU OEMs around, and perhaps the only one that preferred selling designs under its own brand, rather than selling them to other companies. Only Sapphire has been allowed to use Enermax's platforms.
A series of unfortunate events forced Enermax to eventually shut down its manufacturing line, so now it relies on the work of other OEMs, including Channel Well Technology (CWT) and Yue-Lin. With its Platimax D.F. family, Enermax partnered up with Fortech Electronics, a division of Colorful Group (CFG). Chaintech and Segotep belong to CFG, the first brand dealing with graphics cards and mainboards, while the second sells cases and PSUs.
The subject of today's review is the Platimax D.F 500W. It's a mid-capacity PSU with interesting features like Dust Free Rotation (DFR) technology. According to Enermax, DFR allows the fan to automatically remove dust from its blades by spinning in reverse and at full speed during the PSU's start-up phase. Another catchy feature is the Sleemax cable design, which describes the individually sleeved cables and nice braiding that Enermax uses. Unfortunately, this feature is probably why the EPF500AW costs as much as $140, making it one of the most expensive 500W PSUs out there.
Enermax's second-gen Twister Bearing fan is notable as well, as it's rated for an exceptionally long 160,000-hour life. Most sleeve bearing fans are close to 30,000 hours, while good double ball-bearing and FDB/HDB fans exceed 50,000 to 60,000 hours. Besides its extra-long lifetime, this bearing type makes it easy to detach the fan's rotor thanks to the "Click Mechanism." This means you can clean the rotor and remove any dust that does accumulate.
The EPF500AWT is 80 PLUS Platinum-certified, and is able to deliver full power at up to 50°C, continuously. Most protection features are present with the exception of OTP, which we feel is essential to every PSU. We can't help but wonder why manufacturers find it so difficult to incorporate this protection capability in their designs. It really saves the day when a fan goes out, for example. Heat is a PSU's worst enemy, affecting its short-term stability and long-term reliability. The general rule is that a 10°C increase in a capacitor's operating temperature reduces its lifetime by 50%.
A seemingly odd-diameter 139mm cooling fan is used because 140mm fans are patented. This might sound unbelievable, but indeed someone was smart enough to patent the use of 140mm fans in PSUs. Of course, there's a workaround for everything. Despite the EPF500AWT's high efficiency, Enermax doesn't implement a semi-passive mode. This is absolutely fine with us. In fact, we prefer to keep the fan spinning at all times so at least some air is moving over heat-sensitive components.
Finally, the dimensions are normal for a 500W PSU. We would like to see a longer warranty given Enermax's premium price tag. The individually sleeved cables aren't cheap, but $140 for 500W of capacity is incredibly steep. That's going to negatively affect the EPF500AWT's performance per dollar score, to be sure.
|Total Max. Power (W)||500|
The minor rails have sufficient capacity, given the PSU's overall capacity, while the +12V rail is strong enough to support any high-end graphics card. Lastly, the 5VSB rail is rated for a maximum current output that's fairly typical nowadays.
Cables And Connectors
|Description||Cable Count||Connector Count (Total)||Gauge|
|ATX connector 20+4 pin (545mm)||1||1||18AWG|
|4+4 pin EPS12V (700mm)||1||1||18AWG|
|6+2 pin PCIe (550mm+150mm)||2||4||18AWG|
|Four-pin Molex (450mm+150mm+150mm)||2||6||18AWG|
|FDD Adapter (+100mm)||1||1||18AWG|
The number of EPS and PCIe connectors is sufficient for a 500W power supply. You also get more than enough SATA and four-pin Molex connectors. Cable length looks good, and the distance between connectors is ideal.
Since this PSU features a single +12V rail, we do not have anything to say about its power distribution.
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The sleeved cables are a nice touch. It'll be cheaper than buying a different power supply and separate sleeved cables.
11 years is plenty of time for a company to have since dropped an amount of build quality.
I like that cable pattern, it reminds me of the cables on my Enermax revolution 85+ 850W. (a great PSU despite its lower efficiency and age.)
How are poorly trimmed leads going to cause shorts if everything is locked inside a case? I only see that as an issue if you go dropping screws in there.
There is a purpose behind the proper trimming of excessively long leads in every PCB that is installed into a metallic chassis. The use of a plastic shield under the PCB doesn't automatically solves all possible problems.
I would rather see something like the amazing Seasonic Prime supplies in a 400W flavor than 600W and over...
Before I go on, I realize that if you run two GPU's or you really like to OC, obviously you need more and want more.. Great.. you already have a ton of great choices for those use-cases... I just wonder why we don't have more great quality choices in the lower Wattage ranges where probably a good 75% of even the enthusiast group could live comfortably.
I also realize that TDP - Thermal Design Power is NOT the same as power consumption, but it is easy to find TDP numbers, and a part that is designed to deal with e.g. 100W TDP is likely to consume around 100W (or less) even in peak. As such it becomes a handy metric for back of the envelope power budgeting that still ends up being fairly conservative.
With CPU's now more often in the lower half of 45W, 65W, and 95W TDP and the more recent GPU's all sitting at 300W or less in TDP, I'd argue that for non-OC'ed systems with one GPU and 1 or 2 HDD's and maybe an SSD, a great high efficiency 350W to 400W PSU will be a great choice. Feeling like that is pushing it? Fine, go 500W... but I don't see why you'd shop higher than that (for this use-case). Yet, good quality Titanium, Platinum, or Gold efficiency PSU's seem so hard to find in the sub 500W range. :(
On a side note, since I'm here complaining anyway: A looong time ago I heard Tom's mention the Seasonic Prime 600W fanless PSU, anyone know if/when that will become available in the US? (Or anywhere?)???
Enermax was my favorite PSU maker when they made their own, but unfortunately they've chosen OEMs that are "adequate" not "great" to replace their manufacturing facility. I've paid their premium in the past, but right now EVGA is on the top of my list. Super Flower makes their top-of-the-line PSUs and build quality is superb, as are test bench results.
Seasonic is also on my list of "will buy", and several other brands use Seasonic or Super Flower, so I wouldn't be opposed to buying one from someone like Corsair - as long as it tested well on reputable hardware sites.
Never buy a PSU that doesn't review well. I've learned that the hard way. Build quality matters.