ePower Lion EP-450P5-L1 Semi-Fanless Power Supply

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PHYSICAL BASICS

The casing of the Lion is a glossy, highly reflective, titanium colored finish. This is the kind of power supply that computers marry while vacationing in Vegas: Showy, glitzy, and a bit trashy (kind of like CES). The Lion should be right at home in a pimped-out showpiece. Those of us without case windows... well, having an well made-up power supply certainly can't harm anything, can it?


The Lion is 1.5" longer than a standard power supply, with a small cage extending out the back.

At 7", the casing of the Lion is significantly longer than the usual 5.5" for a standard ATX power supply. The protective cage that hangs off the rear of the power supply adds another inch, bringing the total length to an unwieldy 8". The cage contains a black heatsink that is meant to dissipate heat into the air outside the case.


Two long vents run most of the length along the bottom.

The 80mm fan is located on the end of the casing. In a conventional case, the fan will end up situated in the center of the case, which should cut down on direct noise paths to the user. The fan grill is stamped but is still quite open, and shouldn't impede airflow too much.

There are also two long vents on the bottom that run most of the length of the power supply. It's not clear whether these are intended to be intakes, exhausts, or both. Their exact function probably depends on the specific system it is installed in. A system with a hot CPU may risk heating up the power supply, since the CPU is typically located directly below the power supply. Allowing air to flow through the bottom of the power supply provides could draw the waste heat from the CPU through the power supply, heating it up in the process.

INSIDE THE LION

The interior of the Lion doesn't look especially different from a fan-cooled power supply. In fact, the heatsinks look identical to the ones in the OCZ Modstream and the Raidmax RX-520XPW, both of which are made by Topower.


Tightly packed components along the side. The two main capacitors get their own heatsink.


The heatsinks are segmented to allow air to circulate through them.


The main heatsinks are a decent size.


An aluminum plate transfers heat from the internal heatsinks to the rear heatsink.
Note the vertical channels in the rear heatsink that allow heat to rise between the fins.

Whatever extra cooling efficiency the Lion has comes from a small black plate is screwed to the main heatsink.


The external heatsink has 112 individual fins.
The thermistor that is visible behind the grill was added for testing purposes, and is not a part of the power supply.

The plate is connected to an external heatsink that hangs off the back of the power supply. The heatsink, about the size of a standard 80mm fan, is divided into 112 individual fins. The separation between the fins should prevent warm air from being trapped under the fins.

By moving the heatsink outside of the case, the effective ambient temperature for at least the external heatsink is room temperature, not the temperature inside the computer case. The difference between room temperature and case temperature is typically 10-15°C, so the difference is significant.

The cooling efficiency of the Lion will probably depend on how well the external heatsink is coupled to the internal heatsinks, and how well it dissipates heat into the surrounding air.



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