Onward we march to inevitable doom. But first, we'll take a look at something else surprisingly done well on this unit - power on spike suppression. Not the standby rail, though. That one just blipped a little over the line for the ATX spec at 5.6 volts, so that will be scored on. No, I'm talking about the 12V side of things. Not only is it well controlled on this unit, we're well inside the spec for rise time too. Honestly, given the non PFC design we have here, I was expecting all three of these to fail. Spectacularly. And we barely see anything to talk about at all.
But the hot box should get us talking real quick, and we're doing that now. There isn't a hope of a prayer that this unit will be comfortable. The ambient lab temp is already over what this unit wants to see for full power operation, and the hot box is going way above that mark. Failure is just about guaranteed on this unit, and the only question I have is whether it will shut down and save itself or give me a Michael Bay style light show. Remember, those of you giving the Corsair CX units a hard time... those do shut down when they get too hot.
Let's flip all the hot box fans on and get to it.
Results from EVGA 400W HOT load tests
DC Watts/ AC Watts
Progressive load tests
Oh... no freakin' way. I must be hallucinating or something. Are you kidding me right now? Folks... this thing passed the hot box!!! At almost forty degrees! That's fourteen whole degrees above the number on the side of the unit, and it showed not even a hint of any strain! It should have died or shut down this far above the spec, and it just didn't. Either EVGA is severely underrating this thing, or I got some kind of magic unicorn retail unit that still works when you throw it into the sun.
That said, I do find the lack of overtemp shutdown a little unsettling. If EVGA doesn't think it should be run this hard, it's really a good idea to get that overtemp protection in there. But all the same... holy macaroni, you guys, it's still alive!!!
Efficiency was down just a bit from cold testing on a few of the tests, including test five. So, no pass for 80 Plus Standard again, but that's to be expected. What was unexpected was that efficiency in test five wasn't a hell of a lot lower. Usually, that's one of the big red flags a unit is getting ready to die in the hot box... the power draw starts climbing slowly at first, then shoots up fast right before the unit croaks. This unit simply never did that. At all.
EVGA can probably consider upping that temp spec to thirty-five degrees based on what I'm seeing here. I don't know about you guys, but I kind of like that they played the safe card with the twenty-five degree spec. Especially on a unit with no overtemp protection. This gives them a huge buffer area which should keep too many of these from being RMAd.
Voltage stability. Again, nothing too special considering this is a cheap group regulated design. I get 3.5% on the 3.3V rail, 1.4% on the 5V rail, and 2.8% on the 12V rail. This gives us an average of 2.6%, or... well, average. Not bad for something at this end of the market.
Let's take a look at ripple suppression now.
Oscilloscope Measurements - EVGA 400W
Huh. Yeah, that's about what I expected from such an old design. We have about 25mV and 20mV on the 3.3V and 5V rails, which is excellent, but the 12V rail is way up there at 100mV. That puts it out of the running for my excellent, very good, and average scoring brackets and throws it into "below average." Not "mediocre" - units have to be right at the ATX spec or worse on the 12V to get that many points docked.
Even so, this will be a pretty big scoring hit for this unit in performance. Sorry, EVGA.
Let's take it apart.
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