Enermax Noisetaker EG701AX-VE SFMA 2.0: 600 Watts!

Power
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February 16, 2005 by Mike Chin and Devon Cooke

*POSTSCRIPT added Oct. 22, 2005*

Product
Enermax Noisetaker EG701AX-VE SFMA 2.0
600W ATX12V 2.01 Power Supply
Manufacturer
Enermax Technology

Market Price

~US$170 ($180 with SLI capability)

Over the past 18 months, power supply manufacturers have pushed the maximum output ratings for their top ATX products well beyond the 400W range. Enermax's Noisetaker line is a perfect example of this trend; the current top model is rated for a whopping 600W! This is considerably higher than the 470W Noisetaker that we reviewed last March.

The incentive to introduce such high powered PSUs is perceived need and real market demand among PC enthusiasts and gamers. Gamers, especially, love to tell each other that ever more power is needed for fast processors and video cards, especially with the dual VGA cards used in SLI. There is, indeed, increased power need, but just how much is open to debate; we question the prevailing wisdom in another article. Gamers tell each other that overclocking a powerful system requires even more power, or else instability will result -- which may be true, except they underestimate the role of the power components in a motherboard that get overstressed in overclocking. In any case, there is no substitute, they say, for ever more power. Bigger-&-more-is-better advocates have found eagerly willing acolytes among PC enthusiast / gaming geeks. The power supply companies agree gleefully as they churn out models with increasingly higher ratings and prices. One can't help but see a parallel with the monster gas guzzling SUVs and so-called "mini"vans that choke North American roadways.

So we come to our new top of the line 600W Noisetaker from Enermax, with the unintuitive model number EG701AX-VE (W) SFMA. (Is this a deliberate effort to suggest an even higher power rating that it actually has? Or are we getting too jaded and cynical for our own good?) Our sample is a Noisetaker version 2. The main difference between the Noisetaker revisions appears to be adherence to the newer v2.01 rather than v1.3 of the ATX12V PSU Design Guide. The actual specifications have not changed much for comparable models; according to Enermax's spec sheet, the only differences are a slightly higher rating for one of the 12V rails and the disappearance of a combined maximum wattage for the 3.3V and 5V rails.

The absence of a combined wattage spec for the lower voltage rails suggests that they are now independently regulated. In most power supplies, power for the 3.3V rail is taken from the same source as the 5V rail. This means that the maximum power available on each of these rails is limited by the amount of power being delivered on the other. The practical consequence is a combined maximum rating. A quick e-mail to Enermax confirmed that the 3.3V and 5V lines are now fully independent of each other.

At the time it was reviewed, the 475W Noisetaker had a record-breaking peak efficiency of 82%. While this mark has since been surpassed (the high water mark as of February 2005 is 88%), the original 475W Noisetaker is still an exceptionally efficient power supply. We would expect our new 600W version to at least equal this mark.


Like its predecessor, this Noisetaker comes in an exceptionally colorful, exceptionally LARGE retail box.


All the usual fixings, including a large, detailed manual.

Feature Highlights of the Enermax Noisetaker EG701AX-VE (W) SFMA

FEATURE & BRIEF COMMENT

Supports nVIDIA SLI Technology

Only available as a separate 600W model. We reviewed the non-SLI version.

ATX 12V V2.01 Compliant

Not only that, it's on the Intel-Approved Tested Power Supply List

Dual, Smart Fans

They're thermally controlled, manually controlled, and stay running for 2 minutes after shutdown. They'll be factoring polynomials next...

Manual and automatic fan speed control

The "and" is important; you can't choose one or the other.
Reliable and Well-Protected
Protection from over-current, over-voltage, over-load, over-temperature, under-voltage and short circuits. And that's a lot of protection folks.

Ring Core

Works with PFC to prevent changes in the power supply from affecting the external AC current.
Active PFC function Expected of a top-of-the-line model.
Fan Monitor function Fan header allows the motherboard to read (but not adjust) the PSU fan speed.
Silence That's right, silence is a "feature" of this model. Call me skeptical, but...

SPECIFICATIONS: Enermax Noisetaker EG701AX-VE (W) SFMA

AC Input

90~265V (Adjusted Automatically), 47~63 Hz
Max AC current draw
4~9.5A (Varies with input voltage. Typical in North America is ~8A, Europe is ~4A)

DC Line

+3.3V

+5V

+12V1

+12V2

-12V

+5Vsb

DC Output (Min/Max)

0.5/34A

0.3/34A

0.5/18A

0.5/18A

0.0/0.8A

0.0/2.5A

Total DC Output

600W

Other

Maximum +12V Current: 35A
Inrush Current Limiting: 80A /230V and 40A/115V max during cold start
Hold up Time: 17ms at 115VAC or 230VAC, full load
Operating Temperature: 0°C ~ 40°C
Mean Time Between Failure: >100k hours at 70% of full rated load; 230 VAC / 50Hz input; 25°C ambient
Safety: UL (Level 3), cUL (Level 3), VDE, CB, NEMKO, SEMKO, DEMKO, FIMKO
Dimensions: W150 * H86 * D140 (mm)



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