Enermax Liberty EL500AWT & EL620AWT power supplies

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CABLES AND CONNECTORS

There are a total of ten cable sets in the 620W model. The main ATX cable and the +12V AUX cable are not detachable. All cables are sleeved up to the first connector, except for the lower half of the AUX cable.

  • 22" cable for main 20+4-pin ATX connector
  • 22" auxiliary 4+4-pin 12V AUX connector
  • 26" cable for monitoring the internal fan speed
  • 3 x 28" cable with two 4-pin IDE drive connectors and two SATA drive connectors
  • 2 x 33" cable with two 4-pin IDE drive connectors, two SATA drive connectors, and one floppy connector
  • 2 x 21" 6-pin auxiliary power connector for PCI Express

The 500W model has one less cable, a 28" cable with two 4-pin IDE drive connectors and two SATA drive connectors. According to the web site, the 400W model has two less.


Eight cable sockets: Six Multipurpose, and two reserved for PCIe cables.

All of the detachable cables use a six-pin socket that is physically but not electrically compatible with the standard PCIe connector. This is a little dangerous, since the PCIe cables do use standard PCIe sockets and it is possible to hook the cables up incorrectly. Fortunately, the two PCIe sockets are well labeled and color coded, so conscientious users should have no problems hooking things up correctly. There is still a chance for absentminded mistakes, but no amount of labeling can force everyone to actually read the labels...


The two different types of connectors are color coded.


Top to bottom: +12V AUX, fan monitor, ATX, 2 x PCIe, 5 x Accessory cables.

The individual cables are of average length, but there is no shortage of spare connectors. Because the SATA and IDE cables have been combined, there are a total of 10 SATA and 10 IDE connectors (8 each for the 500W model). It is difficult to imagine running out of connectors.

The mysterious "convertible" cables mentioned in the features description refer to the ATX and AUX connectors, which can accommodate different headers. The ATX connector has 24 pins by default, but can be taken apart to maintain compatibility with the 20-pin connectors found on older motherboards. The AUX12V connector starts out as an 8-pin EPS connector meant to be used with dual-CPU workstations, but it can be separated into two 4-pin pieces, one of which is compatible with the common 4-pin AUX12V connector that desktop boards use.

The most unusual feature of the Liberty is what Enermax calls eternity. Sort of...

The icon above is actually a good description of how it works. The "E" is actually Sigma, the mathematical symbol for sum, which is immediately followed by the SATA logo and an image of the standard connector for IDE drives. Hence: SATA and IDE connectors together on a single cable. (Editor's Note: Eternity cables for no-limits Liberty PSU? The marketing boys must have decided big ideas are the way to sell this thing.)

Because the main use for these connectors is powering hard drives, it makes sense to have only a single cable that can power either interface. So, instead of having two sets of cables, one of which is unused most of the time, the two connectors come in pairs, so that every cable can be useful. Systems with a mix of PATA and SATA drives also benefit, since the same cable can be used to power either kind of drive.


IDE and SATA connectors are side by side on the same cable.
There is a "squeeze tab" on one side of the IDE connector for easy removal.

CABLE COUNTERPOINT
by Mike Chin

Devon likes the mixed 4-pin and SATA power connector arrangement that is summed up by Enermax's marketing term " Eternity". I don't. The very close spacing of the two different connector types means they can't all be used simultaneously. That means some connectors will be left dangling in spite of the cable management that's promoted by making them detachable. Even if the spacing was more appropriate, dangling unused connectors would be inevitable if only drives of one interface type are used.

Since the cables are detachable, I'd prefer to have one cable that's all SATA and another that's all 4-pin Molex, and perhaps one that is mixed. I'd also want the option to assemble my own custom cable sets, which is something the Antec Neo Power 480 offered. That concept seems to have fallen by the marketing wayside.



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