Reviews - Enermax Liberty Eco 620W
Sample Provided by: Enermax USA (By OklahomaWolf on Sun, Feb-22-2009)

Page 1 -

In the months since I took over the power supply reviewing duties here at jonnyGURU.com, there has been one thing consistently bothering me: I never had a chance to look at an Enermax unit. Sure, the site's reviewed Enermax units before, but that was back before I got started here when jonnyGURU himself most recently reviewed the Galaxy DWW 850W, Galaxy 1kW, and the Infiniti 720W.

Today, the dry spell ends. My latest object of torture is the brand new Liberty Eco series at 620W, an update of the original Liberty series to add 80 Plus certification.

As is often the case, the box has quite a bit of info on it. This particular shot features load tables for no less than three Eco models, ranging from 400W to the 620W I have in front of me.

Another side of the box features this handy dandy connector and cable diagram which tells you what cables and connectors are present on, again, all three Eco models.

We start getting into the marketing on this side of the box, where Enermax brags about the unit:

  1. 115% output Transformer
    Ensure maximum output quality @ 40°C/104°F extreme environment - why stop there? I'm going higher than that in the hot box, I think. Muahahahaha!
  2. Symmetric Double Forward topology
    For high efficiency performance - nothing new here, everyone uses this design lately
  3. Enhance EMI filtering
    Protect nearby appliance against EMI interference
  4. Dual surge protection
    To protect PSU and system against lightning and inrush current strokes
  5. Japanese heavy-duty Main Capacitor
    For reliable power output - not that the main filter cap is that critical for reliability compared to the secondary filtering caps
  6. SafeGuard + PWM combo control IC
    For best safety
  7. Dual anodized aluminum heatsink with array splitting
    For rapid heat dissipation
  8. 105°C Secondary capacitors
    For best durability

Still another side of the box features some fancy graphs on how the advanced fan controller will keep this unit quiet, how well the EMI filtering works (too bad I can't test for that), and how the fan is designed to cut down on noise from turbulence.

Finally, here's the back. With some more bragging points in six languages:

  • 80PLUS ready!: 80-86% efficiency @ 20-100% load. Compliant with ENERGY STAR® and Blue Angel and 80PLUS® efficiency requirement - I'll be checking this on the next page
  • FUTURE ready!: 12Pin modular design for possibly upcoming new CPU's and graphics 10 and/or 12Pin connectors - Huh? Has Intel been at it again without telling me? Are they inventing CPU's that could possibly need more power than an 8 pin EPS connector can already provide? Seems a bit unlikely, but stranger things have happened.
  • 24/7 @ 40°C ready!: Non-Stop industrial class performance at 40°C/104°F ambient - I hate to say it, but the majority of industrial class units are good for 50°C. The hot box will tell all.
  • DXX ready!: For PCI Express 2.0/DXX next generation graphic cards with 6+2P (8P) PCI-E connectors
  • GAMING ready!: Support for Intel® Core 2 Duo™/Quad/Extreme™, AMD® Athlon™ 64X2/X4 & Phenom™ X3/X4 & SLI™ or CrossFireX™ - basically, it supports any CPU that requires power instead of Austin Powers'® mojo™ to work, is what they're saying here®™©¶
  • EMC Ready!: Full-scale electromagnetic filtering protects your system against radiation interferences. (CE, EMC, EN61204 compliance) - in other words, the unit has a transient filter on the AC input side like any other good unit
  • AirGuard: Patented air-inlet with optimal aero-dynamical design reducing noisy air turbulences
  • SafeGuard: Industry-leading sextuple protection circuitry of OCP, OVP, UVP, OPP, OTP, & SCP protects your system - I'm not sure I'd call this "industry leading" for there are many other units featuring such inclusive protection. Still, I'm glad to see the overtemp protection here, as a lot of units at this power level don't employ that. I'm going to see if the hot box can shut this unit down a bit later on.
  • SpeedGuard: Advanced fuzzy logic 12cm fan speed control for optimal cooling and minimum noise. (Patented)
  • DUAL 12V rails: The best rail design for this PSU class for maximum safety and compatibility - "best design?" We'll see about that, too. If the cables and connectors are lopsided towards one rail or another, this could actually be a disadvantage.

Opening the box, we get our first look at the neatly packed contents. I'll just pull all this out here so you can get a better look.

And here you go. One power supply, some modular cables, a pouch in which to put those modular cables, a user guide, a nice thick power cord, and a bag with a case label and some screws.

This is the user guide. It's got enough information in it to get by, in several different languages.

The Liberty Eco 620W isn't bad looking at all, what with that matte black finish and gold colored fan grille. That sticker above the AC receptacle tells us that the unit features active PFC and universal voltage input. PFC... that's almost like PFK. PFK is the french version of KFC, which is the Canadian version of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Mmmmmm... active KFC...

Sorry about that. I'll... just be right back.

These moist towlettes are never big enough. Where was I? Right. Looking at the Eco 620W from another angle, it becomes plain that Enermax chose a wire sleeving scheme based on Grandma's old Kirby vacuum cleaner. But, while it does go right up into the case the way I like, the sleeving ends roughly three thousand kilometers from the connectors. Thanks a bunch, Enermax, now I can have the cleanliness of wire sleeving and the tangled variety of rainbow colored wires all in one handy package.

Here's the label, with the 620W number highlighted in red. Wait, does that mean Enermax doesn't want you to use the whole 620W, or just go to 620W and no further? Well, I'll go to 620W as planned on page two and see what happens. Combined 12V rating for this unit is a respectable 48A, divided up into two 30A 12V rails. I have to wonder... with the individual OCP set a mere 18A from the combined 12V capacity of the unit, why didn't they just go single 12V? It maketh no senseth. Still, if the connector distribution is adequate, there shouldn't be any unnecessary shutting down due to the OCP being tripped with these two 12V rails sitting there at a 30A OCP limit.

Enermax
ELT620AWT-ECO

+3.3V +5V +12V1 +12V2 -12V +5VSB
24A 24A 30A 30A 0.6A 3A
Max Power 140W 576W 7.2W 15W
620W

The combined 3.3V/5V rating, however, is a bit on the low side at 140W. This makes it a very poor choice for that old Duron rig in the basement whose motherboard requires 5V to power the CPU. Granted, rigs like that are just about as uncommon as Count Chocula cereal in a Canadian supermarket, but I still see the odd forum post now and then where people ask for a PSU recommendation to power such rigs, which is then immediately followed by a barrage of half baked suggestions for modern units not intended for them. So, I thought I would mention it.

Here be the modular cable connectors on the unit. What's the 12V distribution on these, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. From left to right, the black connectors are: 12V1, 12V1, 12V1, and 12V1. The red twelve pin connector is a bit of an odd duck. The bottom half is all ground wires. The top half is split up thus: the three pins on the left are 12V1, and the three pins on the right are 12V1. Yes, folks, all the modular cables are on the same 12V rail. I wonder if it's this red connector Enermax was referring to with the "future ready" bullet point on the box. In the words of Scooby Doo, rye don't roe.

Good grief... could they have stopped sleeving much further away from the connector do you think?

In an illogical twist, two of the hardwired cables are 6+2 pin PCI-E connectors, while the red modular cable also carries two 6+2 pin connectors. I have to ask... why? How many 620W units do you know of are able to power the cards that would need so many 8 pin PCI-E connectors? Still, I probably can't be too hard on Enermax, they were probably just trying to predict the future, but I have to wonder if maybe they're putting the cart before the horse here just a bit.

Just watch - tomorrow, nVidia will release a GTX Ultra 2000 Extreme with liquid nitrogen cooling that will require twenty 8-pin PCI-E connectors and a nuclear reactor and I'll have to come back in here and eat my words.

Enough complaining. I do have to say that I like one of these modular cables, for it combines traditional Molex connectors with SATA connectors. That way if you're like me and have only a couple devices needing each type of connector, you only need to use that one cable and can avoid some clutter.

Type of connector: Enermax ELT620AWT-ECO
ATX connector (550mm) 24 pin 12V2
4+4 pin ATX12V/EPS12V (570mm) 1 12V2
6+2 pin PCIe (570mm) 2 12V2
Modular Cables
5.25" Drive (450mm+95mm+95mm) 3 12V1
3.5" Drive connectors (+150mm) 1
SATA (450mm+95mm+95mm) 8
5.25" Drive (+95mm+95mm) 2
6+2 pin PCIe (490mm) 2
Unit Dimensions(L x W x H)
140mm x 150mm x 86mm

As you can see, 12V rail distribution is pretty simple. As mentioned earlier, all the modular cables are 12V1. All the hardwired cables are 12V2.


 

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