Raidmax RX-520XPW Power Supply

Power
Viewing page 5 of 5 pages. Previous 1 2 3 4 5

MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS

SPCR's high fidelity sound recording system was used to create MP3 sound files of this PSU. As with the setup for recording fans, the position of the mic was 3" from the exhaust vent at a 45° angle, outside the airflow turbulence area. All other noise sources in the room were turned off while making the sound recordings.

Raidmax RX-520XPW @ 90W (21 dBA/1m)

Raidmax RX-520XPW @ 150W (24 dBA/1m)

Raidmax RX-520XPW @ 200W (30 dBA/1m)

Reference Files:

Nexus 92mm case fan @ 5V (17 dBA/1m)

Seasonic Tornado 400 @ 65W (19 dBA/1m)

Seasonic Tornado 400 @ 200W (24 dBA/1m)

HOW TO LISTEN & COMPARE

These recordings were made with a high resolution studio quality digital recording system. The microphone was 3" from the edge of the fan frame at a 45° angle, facing the intake side of the fan to avoid direct wind noise. The ambient noise during all recordings was 18 dBA or lower.

To set the volume to a realistic level (similar to the original), try playing the Nexus 92 fan reference recording and setting the volume so that it is barely audible. Then don't reset the volume and play the other sound files. Of course, tone controls or other effects should all be turned off or set to neutral. For full details on how to calibrate your sound system to get the most valid listening comparison, please see the yellow text box entitled Listen to the Fans on page four of the article SPCR's Test / Sound Lab: A Short Tour.

CONCLUSIONS

The Raidmax RX-520XPW is a good example of what happens when an existing design is coupled with fans running at low speed without careful consideration of thermal consequences. Raidmax has obviously made an effort to produce a low-noise power supply, and to a certain extent has succeeded. We have no complaints about the choice of fans or the design of the fan controller. However, this power supply doesn't seem weill suited for low airflow. It runs hot all the time. The temperature rise through this PSU is about the highest we have seen, especially at 50% or higher loads.

We doubt that the Raidmax can sustain its real rated maximum output (465W) for much longer than we allowed; the heat it produces under full load is simply not exhausted fast enough to counter the falling efficiency of overheated components. Expecting this unit to perform at its advertised rating of 520W rather than its actual rating of 465W is, in our opinion, unwise and unsafe. Of course, this is a bit of a pointless criticism, since sustained power draw anywhere near 465W is almost impossible for a desktop system.

The users who might come closest to pushing this PSU to such power levels are, ironically enough, precisely those to whom the product is marketed. A serious gamer with a real hot rod overclocked system based on a hot CPU with gobs of RAM, high power dual VGA card and multiple drives can probably push the Raidmax RX-520XPW beyond its comfort zone.

Performance aside, the Raidmax does have some unusual features. The external AC outlet is a genuinely useful for a low-powered system whose only accessory is a monitor, although better documentation of this feature would have been nice. Additionally, there are many EMI reducing features (including titanium plating!) for those who need or want it. Since most systems run fine without additional EMI shielding we're not sure of the need for such features, but they probably can't hurt.

The Raidmax is aimed at the gaming market where purchasing decisions are made based on aesthetics and novelty features. It may sell reasonably well in this market, but more powerful, higher performance alternatives are available at similar prices. It is not bad as a quiet component, but again, there are better alternatives. Raidmax may have better offerings; we find the RX-520XPW a dubious product that is difficult to recommend.

Our thanks to Raidmax for this RX-520XPW sample.

* * *

Discuss this article in the SPCR Forums.



Previous 1 2 3 4 5

Power - Article Index
Help support this site, buy from one of our affiliate retailers!
Search: