Reviews - Athena Power AP-TFX40 400W
Sample Provided by: Athena Power (By OklahomaWolf on Mon, Apr-09-2012)

Page 1 - First Look

Sigh. Nobody on Mount Olympus listens to me anymore. I specifically asked for a powerful woman the very image of Athena herself with tanned, bronzed skin; and this is what I get. Another power supply. Athena Power, 80 Plus Bronze.

Ha, ha, ha. Great joke, Olympians. Don't make me send Percy Jackson after you.

I suppose I'll make the best of this unfortunate situation and show you some box pictures. As you saw in the first picture, this is a TFX form factor unit, intended for those with little cases that require such an animal. On this side of the box, there are a few specifications printed.

Athena Power is new to me, a company whose units I have never tested before. I must admit that I have some trepidation going into this review, as their products have never struck me as being much better than bottom shelf in the past. That said, I am happy to give any company a chance to impress me, and I'll be as fair as I can be toward this unit. And there is one specification in this picture that does impress me, namely the one that says this unit can do full power at fifty degrees.

Ok, Athena, fifty it is. I'll see what I can do to test that. But I do have to note that because of the small size of this unit, I may not be able to get this unit that hot. We'll see later on.

Key features are found on this side of the box. I'm disappointed with this. There is no mention whatsoever of this key being able to open any locks. You'd think... oh. That's right, they don't mean a literal key, do they? Low ripple and low noise... we'll let Mr. Tektronix be the judge of that, won't we?

Remote on/off function? Do they mean the mainboard can turn this unit on as per the ATX specification, or are they talking about something else, there? A quick look into the future at the rest of the review reveals that, in fact, they are indeed talking about the PS_ON capabilities of standard ATX units.

High efficiency, true wattage, eh? I wonder if that's better than high wattage, true efficiency.

Here we find some connector pictures detailing what comes with this unit.

Time to do away with the cardboard pictures and start unpacking. In this picture, you can see that the only user guide you get is actually attached to the box itself. If you want to get at the full manual, there is a link you can follow; along with a QR code you can scan with a smartphone. Athena's really gotten behind those QR codes - the front of the box even has one.

Here we have the contents of the box: a power cord, a power supply, and an Athena Power case badge.

Ooh, shiny. I like shiny things.

The unit is even shinier from this angle. As you can see, it is not a modular unit.

The obligatory side panel shot.

Here's the fan and label for you. The fan used is an 80mm unit, 15mm thick.

No power switch for this little guy - all you get is an AC receptacle and lots of grille area.

The front of the unit. No modular connectors, but there are some screw holes for an optional bracket.

And now, the label. I'm feeling a bit nervous about this, because there are no combined ratings for any part of the unit. No combined 3.3V/5V rating, no combined 12V rating. This despite the label having space for these ratings. And that's not all... though this is a 400 watt unit, it appears that I will have to max out all rails to get that much power out of it.

This doesn't bode well for it in the load testing phase, to be honest. Other units I've tested that were rated like this have blown up on me.

But you know what? I should look at the box again. Maybe the combined ratings can be found there.

Oh fiddle-dee-dee. Not only are the combined ratings not present on the box, the ratings on the box are totally out of line with what's on the label of the unit. Every single rail has a different load spec. Someone over in Athena Power's marketing department made a major whoopsie, here. This makes me even more nervous about load testing this unit to full power, because if a unit blows up while I'm testing it, my power meter is directly in the line of fire for some damage. It's actually happened before, back when I was still using the Brand meter. But enough about that for now.

In cases like this, I always go by the label on the actual unit with the assumption that the box printing is erroneous. So, here you go. This is what I'll be load testing to:

Athena Power

+3.3V +5V +12V1 +12V2 -12V +5VSB
8A 9A 13.2A 13A 0.4A 2A
Max Power
@ 50°C

A quick look at the cabling before we move on. While the ATX and EPS cables are sleeved (to the first connector in the case of the latter), the other cables are not. The other cables are merely twisted together. While this does help them stay relatively neat, I don't really care for units only sleeved on two cables. Aside from the obvious aesthetic drawbacks, twisting the wires up like this does help keep them tidy. That said, it's not really a substitute for full sleeving. Especially on the end of the ATX12V/EPS12V cable, which is not twisted.

Type of connector: AP-TFX40
Modular Cables
ATX connector (350mm) 20+4 pin
5.25" Drive (360mm+150mm) 2
3.5' Drive (+150mm) 1
SATA (350mm+150mm+150mm) 3
8 pin EPS12V connector (350mm) 1
4+4 pin EPS12V/ATX12V connector (+150mm) 1
6 pin PCIe (360mm+150mm) 2
Unit Dimensions (L x W x H)
175mm x 85mm x 65mm

You're probably wondering why I didn't provide the 12V rail allocations in the above table. Well, I couldn't tell what rail goes to what connector... all the 12V wires are the same color with none of the funny colored stripes that usually denote separate 12V rails. So, for the load testing, I'm going to assume this puppy goes by the SSI spec, and load it down accordingly. 12V2 will be the EPS/ATX12V cable, and 12V1 will be everything else.

And yes, I will make sure I check to see if there really is multi-rail overcurrent protection in there. I will do this by loading 12V2 to the full combined 12V capacity of the unit, which is 26.2A. I guess. I have to guess, because the label has a blank space where that number should be.


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