Enhance ENP-5136GH 360W PSU: A New 80 Plus Brand

Power
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March 8, 2006 by Devon Cooke

Product
Enhance ENP-5136GH
360W ATX12V 2.2 Power Supply
Manufacturer
Enhance Electronics

Most regular reader of SPCR are aware of 80 Plus, a voluntary certification program for PSUs that meet at least 80% efficiency from minimum to maximum load. The program is supported by US power utilities who have found that spending money to encourage energy demand reduction is more cost effective than investing in increased electricity generation capacity. The incentive for PSU manufacturers is a rebate system that rewards system integrators $10 or $15 for each server or PC they sell powered with an 80 Plus PSU. The expectation is that this rebate system makes 80 Plus certified models attractive to system integrators.

The use of higher efficiency PSUs will have at least some small impact on energy consumption over time, and it involves the PSU makers, the PC makers, and eventually, the end users. Because the rebate program only applies to commercial system builders, most PSUs that have been submitted for 80 Plus testing are OEM models. For DIY silent PC enthusiasts seeking the highest efficiency PSUs, this is a bit of a disappointment, as the 80 Plus certified models are next to impossible to find in the retail market. High efficiency is one of the key performance criteria that allows the use of slower, quieter fans ? less heat is generated within the PSU, so less cooling (and its concomittant airflow noise) is required.

Enhance is far from a household name even among PC DIY geeks, but that's only because Enhance does not have a retail line. It's a long established PSU maker. As of early March 2006, Enhance has the distinction of having more 80 Plus certified models than any other manufacturer. One of these is the ENP-5136GH, coming soon to an industrial supplier near you.

Aside from being 80 Plus certified, it has all the makings of a top-notch power supply: Active PFC, ±3% voltage regulation, and a RoHS-compliant lead-free manufacturing process. It also boasts of a noise level below 25 dBA, but we know from experience that noise specifications can be a little... unpredictable.

You'll notice that unlike most products we review, no price has been listed for this Enhance. That's because the product will be sold by Enhance only in bulk to system integrators and industrial distributors. We'd guess the possible range to be $65~85, should the model be made available for retail purchase by one of these industrial distributors.

OUTPUT SPECIFICATIONS

SPECIFICATIONS: Enhance ENP-5136GH (from Enhance's spec sheet)
AC Input
100~240 VAC Auto Switching / 47~63 Hz
AC Input Current
8A @ 100VAC / 4A @ 240VAC
DC Output
+3.3V
+5V
+12V1
+12V2
-12V
+5VSB
Load Regulation
±3%
±3%
±3%
±3%
±10%
±3%
Minimum Output Current
0.5A
0.3A
1.0A
1.0A
0.0A
0.0A
Maximum Output Current
22A
21A
12A
15A
0.3A
3.0A
Maximum Combined
130W
324W
3.6W
15W
360W

For some reason, the electrical ratings on the power supply itself did not quite match up with the ratings on Enhance's web site. The label on our sample is shown below.


More conservative ratings on the unit itself.

Overall, the numbers were not that different. The maximum output load and the combined +3.3V & +5V load remained the same. The biggest difference was on the +5V line, which dropped from 21A to 12A, but there were also minor reductions on the +3.3V and +12V2 lines. For the purposes of this review, we will treat the more conservative ratings on the unit itself as correct.

If this assumption is correct, the ENP-5136GH is not suitable for powering older systems that place a heavy load on the +5V line; 12A may not be enough for some systems. This fault is not unique to Enhance ? if anything, it can be attributed to the changes that Intel made to the ATX12V specification that moved the bulk of the load from +5V to +12V.

One non-electrical rating is worth mentioning: The rated operating temperature is 5~50°C. The maximum temperature is much higher than the 25°C spec of most low and mid-grade power supplies, and is evidence of a realistic testing approach.



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