Enermax Modu87+ 500W 80Plus Gold

Power
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MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS

These recordings were made as 24-bit / 88 kHz WAV files with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own anechoic chamber (11 dBA ambient), then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds in actual use — one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware that very quiet subjects may not be audible — if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

Each recording starts with 6~10 seconds of room ambient, followed by 10 seconds of the product's noise and various settings. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.

Sound Recordings of PSU Comparatives in the Anechoic Chamber

CONCLUSIONS

The best of the high efficiency, quiet power supplies have been truly impressive in our recent reviews. The Enermax 80 PLUS Gold certified 500W models are the most impressive in some ways, with the best noise profile of any power supply tested to date. The acoustic performance is such that the average user will be hard pressed to tell whether the power supply is on, at least not by the sound, because these models remain inaudible even at over 50% of rated power load.

Our experience tells us that unless you run a high power video card, your system is not likely to crest 250W, and at such a power level, the fan in these Enermax power supplies will not speed up past the 330 RPM start speed, where it registers barely 11 dBA@1m. This is inaudible in most rooms for most people. In a computer case where the PSU has its own separate intake vent — like the Antec P180 series, the Silverstone GD05 or the Fractal Define — the Modu/Pro87+ 500W noise may never rise above that 11 dBA level.

Despite the low noise and slow fan speed, self cooling in the Modu/Pro87+ 500W is fine, at least at moderate ambient room temperature. Perhaps if ambient room temperature gets to be tropical summer hot, say 35°C or hotter, you might want to consider speeding up your case fans, but most users in such environs already know what they have to do for PC survival.

Electrically, these Enermax Gold certified PSUs also deliver excellent performance. Perhaps not the very best in any single category, but plenty good enough overall to be considered top tier, and better than any computer really calls for. They won't let you down. They also have a few niceties like a fan that keeps blowing after power off to ensure rapid cooling, and an AC cord clip to prevent accidents.

Alas, it's disappointing to discover that like the SS-550LP, Seasonic's most modestly rated 80 PLUS Gold model, the Enermax Modu/Pro87+ 500W models cannot be found for sale in the Americas at this time. This is despite their official release announcement at the start of the year, some 4-5 months ago. They are available in some EU countries, however, and with the higher 220~240VAC, the efficiency for EU users will be even higher, up 2-3% on average. So as it stands, the Seasonic X-650 remains the most moderately rated 80 PLUS Gold efficiency power supply that's widely available in the US and Canada. We can only hope that Enermax steps up quickly with the 500W models on this continent, as tech geeks are as fickle and flighty as any consumer group.

Enermax Modu/Pro87+ 500W Balance Sheet
Likes

* Almost always inaudible
* Silent in typical use
* Extremely high efficiency
* Rated capacity suits real systems
* Excellent electrical performance
Quibbles

* Slightly buzzy sound at highest loads
* No current market availability
* Price?

Much thanks to Enermax for these review sample.


Enermax Modu/Pro87+ 500W wins the SPCR Editor's Choice Award.

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SPCR Articles of Related Interest:
Power Supply Fundamentals
Recommended Power Supplies
SPCR PSU Test Rig V.4
Seasonic X-650: Seasonic Hits Gold
Seasonic M12D-850W
Enermax Modu82+ 625W
Antec CP-850: Unique PSU with Top Performance
Nexus NX-5000 Silent PSU

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