Reviews - Enermax Revolution 85+ 850W
Sample Provided by: Enermax USA (By OklahomaWolf on Sun, May-24-2009)

Page 1 -

On this cloudy and dreary spring day, I find myself once more looking at a unit that promises to be anything but dreary. Yes, friends, I'm having me a look at another Enermax unit, this time the lowest powered offering in the Revolution 85+ line. At 850 watts, this unit hopes to bring the awesome performance I've experienced twice before on this platform to those users who don't need a 1050W or 1250W monster of a unit.

You will recall that these units have done exceptionally well in scoring here at the site, but I have a confession: this is not the cheapest platform out there to produce. Quite frankly, I wonder if this unit will perform well enough at 850W to command the high price tag that seems inevitable with a complicated design like this. We're going to find that out, yes we will. But first, some obligatory box shots.

Cables! Connectors! Apparently, this unit has some of each, according to this table. In fact, it gives you the connector count for each model in the Revolution series.

Bragging about efficiency up to 88% at a 115V input, Enermax is all too happy to show off the 80 Plus Silver efficiency numbers for this unit. You may recall that during my test of the 1050W model, I was not able to get an accurate read on the efficiency of the unit due to the test equipment's inability to fully load the 12V rails. Since I now have those delightful auxiliary 12V loads, crossloading will not be a problem for the load testing today. We're going to see just how awesome the efficiency of this platform can really be.

As was the case with the box for the 1050W, this one also has a full spec table for all models in the series printed on the side.

And once more, there are a number of bragging points on the back:

  • 85PLUS ready!
    World's first PSU series with 85-91% efficiency @ 20-100% load. Certified by 80 PLUS® organization (850/950/ 1050W).
  • FUTURE CPU ready!
    Ready for most upcoming CPU generations by 12P sockets for possible connector changes, by complying to latest EPS12V PSU design guides for compatibility & by ZERO LOAD Design for C6 state functions.
  • FUTURE GPU ready!
    Ready for most upcoming CPU generations by 12P sockets for possible connector changes,by six massive 12V rails for perfect load distribution & by ZERO LOAD Design for Hybrid Mode functions.
  • 24/7 @ 50°C ready!
    Non-Stop industrial class performance at 50°C/122°F ambient.
  • 99% 12V Power
    World's first EPS12V PSU with 99% 12V output capability.
  • SERVER ready!
    SSI PSDG 2009 support for latest Intel™ Core Extreme/i7, Xeon™ and AMD® Opteron™ and SLI™ or CrossFireX™ and AMD GAME! or AMD GAME! Ultra systems and downward compatible with SSI PSDG 2008 1.0, EPS12V 2.92, 2.91, 2.8.
  • EMC ready!
    Full-scale electromagnetic filtering protects your system against radiation interferences (CE EMC EN61204 compliance).
  • HeatGuard
    Keeping PSU fan running for 30-60 seconds after shut down to dissipate the remaining system heat and prolong system lifetime.
  • PowerGuard
    PSU status monitor with 4-mode LED (Off / Stand-by / OK / Fail).
  • SafeGuard
    Industry-leading octuple protection circuitry (OCP, OVP, AC UVP, DC UVP, OPP, OTP, SIP)

I hear some of you asking if I just copied and pasted these points in from the 1050W review, seeing as they're all the same. How dare you, suggesting that I'd be so lazy as to... to uh... I'll finish this sentence later.

Once again, opening the big black box reveals two more cardboard boxes. The little one is for the modular cables and other goodies, while the big one holds the power supply itself along with the power cord and owner's manual.

And here we have the entire contents of all boxes. Some modular cables, a manual, some screws, a power cord, some velcro cable ties, and a power supply.

The manual is pretty much what we got used to with the 1050W model, with lots of useful specs and installation hints. "This PSU does not support MB with ISA expansion slot, which might need -5V power." Blast! I was so hoping to break out that old Pentium for this unit.

Really though, if you're buying this unit for a system that old, maaaaaaybe you need to adjust your priorities a little and upgrade the rest of the system too. Seriously, the -5V rail was dropped out of the ATX spec long ago... odds are pretty good you'll win the lottery before you'll need that rail on a modern build.

Speaking of the power supply, here it is. The housing is exactly the same as the Revolution 85+ 1050W model. Same size, same weight, same colors, same "Revolution 85+" on the sides. Same status indicating LED too.

Why, even the modular connector panel is the same. And so is 12V distribution, given in the manual. On the black connectors, the top three in this picture are 12V4 while the rest are 12V6. Going from the top down on the red ones, we have 12V4, 12V5, 12V5, and 12V6.

How do you define overkill? How about six 30A 12V rails on a unit only rated for 850W total. True, the combined 12V rating is a staggering 70A on this unit, but I would say that with six rails with such high limits, you could get rid of two of them and still never run into load distribution issues. Still, this could be a selling point to those of you who don't quite buy into the FUD about single 12V being somehow better, and yet still want the multirail overcurrent protection to be as high as possible "just in case."

For what it's worth, I've said it many times and I'll say it again: a good multirail design is no better or worse than a good single 12V design, except for a very small number of people wanting to run a TEC or a googolplex of hard drives off of one unit. Given the almost absurd level of flexibility of this unit on the modular connector panel, this is a good multirail design. In fact, you'd actually be hard pressed to even run all six 12V rails at the same time on this model, as you'll see when I get into the cable count table.

Enermax
ERV850EWT
3.3V 5V 12V1 12V2 12V3 12V4 12V5 12V6 -12V 5VSB
25A 25A 30A 30A 30A 30A 30A 30A 0.6A 5A
Max Power 160W 840W 7.2W 25W
850W

As mentioned, the combined 12V limit is a very high (for an 850W) 70A. And yet, looking over at the combined 3.3V/5V rating, there's still enough power there at 160W to run an old 5V based mainboard, like that old Asus A7N8X in your closet.

Here's some tentacle goodness for you all. The hardwired cabling is pretty much the same thing as seen on the 1050W model, which makes me pause for a minute. Why does an 850W unit need two hardwired EPS12V connectors? Why does it need two hardwired PCI-E 6+2 pin connectors? What was pretty gosh darned handy on the 1050W model becomes a bit of a hindrance on an 850W model, just because the unit isn't really powerful enough to mandate so many connectors. After all, if you don't use these, you have to go hide them somewhere.

Still, I'm not feeling the need to dock functionality points just yet, because the two hardwired PCI-E cables have 12V3 to themselves, which is powerful enough to run two fairly substantial video cards in SLI already. But, I'm not sure I can get past the second hardwired EPS12V connector either.

And here are the modular cables. Again, the same thing we saw with the 1050W. Only this time, there are less of them. Here's a table:

Type of connector: Enermax
ERV850EWT
ATX connector (560mm) 24 pin 12V1
8 pin EPS12V (600mm) 1 12V1/
12V2
4+4 pin EPS12V/ATX12V (600mm) 1
6+2 PCIe (610mm) 2 12V3
3-pin Fan Monitor (520mm) 1
N/A
Modular Cables
5.25" Drive (450mm+100mm+100mm) 6 12V4/12V6
3.5" Drive connectors (+100mm) 1
SATA (450mm+100mm+100mm+100mm) 12 12V4/ 12V6
6+2 PCIe (500mm) 4 12V4/12V5/12V6
Unit Dimensions(L x W x H)
190mm x 150mm x 86mm

Let's figure this out here: how are we going to use all six 12V rails on this unit?

12V1 is easy... you need to plug in the ATX connector, or you get nothing when you hit the power button on the case. 12V2 is somewhat harder, because you need one of the EPS12V connectors fully engaged to access it. Assuming you have an 8 pin connector on your board, you now have two 30A 12V rails powering just the board and CPU. 60A combined - that's massive overkill right there already.

So, now we want 12V3 working for us. Let's slap a 4870X2 on it, using both hardwired connectors. Now you have around a 20A load on a 30A rail, and yet there are three more 12V rails to load.

12V4 is easy once again... we can put some hard drives on there. In fact, we can put them all on there because the limit is, again, 30A. Heck, let's put the opticals on there too. You could run 12 hard drives and 4 opticals on that one rail with creative use of splitters and never see the top end of it, so that's what I'm going with on my imaginary build here.

Moving on to 12V5, hmm... let's go with another 4870X2, plugged into both connectors on one of the PCI-E modular cables. That's another 20A or so.

Let's see... 12V6, 12V6... nope, I think I ran clean out of stuff to plug in.

Now, give yourself a prize if you spotted the flaw in my little setup there. Ding, ding ding! I just about maxed out the whole capacity of an 850W unit, without even using that sixth 12V rail. See what I mean by six way 12V rails being way overkill on an 850W unit? It might as well be a single 12V design for all the good the individual OCP is on this puppy. I can't decide if the 6 way distribution is a nice feature or a useless one.

It's like building a 7000 watt home theater for a 20x20' room. Sure you could do it, but... why? You'd barely get into the gain on the amps before the house jumped off its foundation and your ears started bleeding.


 

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