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Enermax Digifanless 550W Power Supply Review

High Performance And No Noise, But At Significant Cost

Enermax PSUs have always been on the expensive side, mostly because they never entered the OEM market. This leads to smaller production volumes compared to FSP, Seasonic, Super Flower and CWT. The fewer units you sell, the harder it is to get components at better prices. This inevitably increases the production cost and, unfortunately for Enermax, led to the closing of the company's factory. The folks at Enermax still design their PSUs, but they use another OEM to build them now. Hopefully this strategy will prove to be good for the company, especially if it allows Enermax to offer the same quality products at better prices.

Enermax worked for quite some time on the Digifanless PSU, though the delay in bringing it to market was probably due to the closing of its factory. It is a completely new design that has little in common with the other digital platforms currently available. It is also the only passive digital PSU. However, its digital control is restricted to the +12V rail, which is a good start. Besides that, the provided software allows for the control of interesting functions like the OCP/OVP setting and the multi/single-rail mode configuration, along with all necessary monitoring options.

Enermax decided not to go with a complex software suite, and developed a simple and easy-to-use interface instead. The purpose of a PSU control/monitoring software is to provide the user with clear information and to allow access to some basic control functions, which won't compromise the system's or the PSU's proper operation. In this area, Enermax's software scores high, though some users might like a more elaborate interface.

In the performance area, the PSU scored well overall, though we expected an even better showing in the +12V load regulation and efficiency metrics. Our guess is that the mix of analog and digital circuits needs some fine-tuning. The other advantages of this unit include the high tolerance to operating temperatures exceeding 40 degrees C, zero noise output without any coil whine issues, as well as the fully modular cabling design. For some users, the individually-sleeved cables, which look nice, are also a pleasant feature. They do increase the product's price significantly, though.

Speaking of price, this is without a doubt the most notable drawback of the Digifanless PSU. Available for roughly $230, the Enermax Digifanless faces ruthless competition, and its price/performance ratio is severely crippled. All passive PSUs are more expensive, and the same goes for digital units. Combining those two technologies results in a more expensive product. In our opinion, only with a lower price will the Digifanless have a chance to compete with the other passive platforms. On the other hand, while competing passive platforms offer equally good performance, they still lack the digital features, such as the ZDPMS software included with the Digifanless.


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Aris Mpitziopoulos is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware, covering Power Supplies.

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  • blackmagnum
    If you think buying a mid-range PSU that costs as much as an enthusiast gaming CPU or graphics card, then you have more money than sense.
    Reply
  • PaulBags
    Why'd my commented get deleted? "This is a passively-cooled PSU, so you should install it with the top exhaust grille facing downward." is totally wrong advice, if you don't believe me read the warnings in the picture YOU took.
    Reply
  • Calculatron
    Ironically, I have yet to try an Enermax PSU, although I really like their other products; I have an ETS-T40-TB, a whole myriad of their fans, and the Ostrog Pink case.
    Reply
  • uglyduckling81
    "This is a passively-cooled PSU, so you should install it with the top exhaust grille facing downward. If you don’t follow this advice, hot air will be trapped inside the PSU"

    Hot air rises. If you have the opening facing down you will be trapping hot air inside. Read your own comment "top exhaust". 'Top' means on top, 'exhaust' means expulsion of air not intake.
    The PSU clearly has vents on the back and sides so I think it's a moot point either way but it's clearly a better idea to install it with the top opening facing upwards.
    Reply
  • nukemaster
    15875927 said:
    Why'd my commented get deleted? "This is a passively-cooled PSU, so you should install it with the top exhaust grille facing downward." is totally wrong advice, if you don't believe me read the warnings in the picture YOU took.
    I think your post got lost(forum bug maybe), not removed. I would see if it was removed and it was not.

    I think this would depend on the case you are using to be honest.

    System air will cool it.

    If the power supply is at the top of your system putting its vent up will cause heat to have no place to go in many cases. Power supplies in the bottom of the case would be better served with the power supply vent face up.

    The power supply has software to let you see the temperatures anyway so you can test. Tom's tests in a hotbox so it is not an actual case.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/how-we-test-psu,4042.html
    Reply
  • Aris_Mp
    guys sorry for this mistake. It is with the fan grill facing upwards and not down. This is how a single word can bring doom!
    Reply
  • Blueberries
    These are solid! I'd take a SeaSonic SS-520FL2 for $140 over this any day, though!
    Reply
  • PaulBags
    These are solid! I'd take a SeaSonic SS-520FL2 for $140 over this any day, though!
    I have the seasonic, I love it. I prefer the modular connector layout on it too, this emermax only offers a few oddly placed plugs by comparison. The cables arn't as good though, and you don't even get enough to populate all the plugs, although it's sufficent for most scenarios for a 520w PSU.

    I'd very much like to see AC cable clips become standard, I've had the ac work loose on me before when I turned a case slightly to plug something in, glad I didn't have anything important up at the time.


    To anyone who _would_ want the enermax over the seasonic I'm genuinely curious as to why. It's always good to learn and/or gain perspective.
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    i just realized my 7 year warranty for my corsair hx750 expires this year QQ
    Reply
  • f-14
    15875927 said:
    Why'd my commented get deleted? "This is a passively-cooled PSU, so you should install it with the top exhaust grille facing downward." is totally wrong advice, if you don't believe me read the warnings in the picture YOU took.
    I think your post got lost(forum bug maybe), not removed. I would see if it was removed and it was not.

    I think this would depend on the case you are using to be honest.

    System air will cool it.

    If the power supply is at the top of your system putting its vent up will cause heat to have no place to go in many cases. Power supplies in the bottom of the case would be better served with the power supply vent face up.

    The power supply has software to let you see the temperatures anyway so you can test. Tom's tests in a hotbox so it is not an actual case.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/how-we-test-psu,4042.html

    page 2 second set of pictures picture number 5 what does it specifically say? where does hotair go, where does cold air go, in a fanless case your argument is excellent advice on how to waste money and start a fire. if you are running an antec 1200 with all the fans unless this psu is mounted at the top with the vents down and all the other fans are set to intake into the case you are in great shape, however that mitigates the point of having a fanless psu, you go fanless because you don't want there to be any noise, much less a hoover vacuum for a case.

    i haven't read the warranty card, but i am sure it says something about keeping the psu vents facing up when mounted at the bottom of the case, when mounted on the side that would be interesting.

    nice psu, i will keep it in mind for the next time a customer wants a zero or low noise build.

    someday there will be a liquid cooled PSU, i laugh because of water conduction electricity, but where there is a will, there is a way to circumvent conductivity and deal with all that heat i am sure.
    Reply