Death of a Gutless Wonder III: The Labors of Hercules

REVIEW INFORMATION
SUPPLIED BY: Hercules
MANUFACTURER: Hercules
PRODUCT: HRC512F 500W
PROD LINK: N/A
PRICE: $19.95 @ eBay
Price is at the time of testing!

On we go on our continuing journey towards the inevitable. Next, we’ll do the power on transient tests, and see if this unit can suck any harder than it already has.

HRC512F 500W – Overshoot Transient Tests
VSB On VSB to 100%, 12V Off to 100%, 12V
O-Scope Shot FAIL FAIL

Oh, look. One, two, three more fails. The 5VSB rail fails here on TWO counts, even. First, it exceeds the maximum allowed voltage for the power on spike at about 5.6 volts. It’s supposed to hit no more than 10% of mean value, which is 5.5 volts. Then, because that rail can’t take its label rated 3A maximum, it immediately heads south to the 1V level again.

As for the 12V shots… well, the unit has to power up at full power to pass those. It’s just a total, outright failure there. The unit didn’t even try. Power on, instant overpower protection shutdown. Suck, suck, suckity, suck.

It’s time, guys. The unit’s going into the hot box. And because this is just a little guy that shuts down just past 200 watts, I’m turning off all the fans.

HRC512F 500W – Hot Load Tests
Test # +3.3V +5V +12V DC Watts/
AC Watts
Eff. Intake/
Exhaust
Progressive Load Tests
1 4.5A 6A 4.5A 106W/
139W
76.3% 26°C/
28°C
3.27V 5.08V 12.37V
2 9A 12A 9A 208W/
286W
72.7% 30°C/
35°C
3.20V 4.94V 12.50V
3 11A 15A 11A FAIL N/A FAIL
3.17V 4.83V 12.60V
4 17.5A 24A 17.5A FAIL N/A FAIL
FAIL FAIL FAIL
5 22A 30A 22A FAIL N/A FAIL
FAIL FAIL FAIL
Crossload Tests
CL1 22A 30A 1A FAIL N/A FAIL
FAIL FAIL FAIL
CL2 1A 1A 22A FAIL N/A FAIL
FAIL FAIL FAIL

With a whimper, the unit expired roughly in the middle of test three. I hate it when they do that… at least they could give me the decency of a good light show when they go out.

As predicted, the sucky performance from the cold tests continued here. The efficiency was dreadful. The regulation is awful… it did a little better this time around, but not much. I got 3.1% for the 3.3V rail, 4.9% on the 5V rail, and 1.8% on the 12V rail. That’s an average of 3.3%, which is below average, but really… the unit up and died in the middle of test three, so it loses all its scoring points for regulation. Never mind the fact that it still didn’t get anywhere near the full power mark.

This is not a 500 watt power supply. It’s not even a 250 watt power supply. It might… MIGHT be safe as a 150-175 watt power supply, but let’s wait until the scope shots before we make that call, shall we?

HRC512F 500W – Oscilloscope Tests
Test # +3.3V +5V +12V
LLT O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot
1 O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot
2 O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot
3 O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot
4 FAIL FAIL FAIL
5 FAIL FAIL FAIL
CL1 FAIL FAIL FAIL
CL2 FAIL FAIL FAIL

Uh… nope. Not safe. This unit has no redeeming qualities. None. Man, I thought the last gutless wonder was bad, but this one’s sunk to a new low. As soon as I got the low load test started, this wonder of wonders went right out of spec on both minor rails. 80mV on the 3.3, 100mV on the 5. They were supposed to be under 50mV, but this unit saved that for the 12V rail…

By the time test three comes around, things look absolutely… you know, I don’t have a word for it. I’ll have to make something up. This thing is recrapulistically regurgisuckulentiffic. 150mV on the 12V, out of spec by 30mV. 140mV on the 5V, out of spec by 90mV. And finally, the 3.3V rail is about 138mV. Again, way way way out of spec. Surprisingly, this did not extend to the -12V and 5VSB rails. Those stayed in spec.

I’d like to know what cheap factory this wonder of vomitude came out of. Let’s go to the next page and take it apart. We’ll see if I can figure out how many points to take off for build quality.