Enermax Noisetaker II (Rev. 2.2): A New Rev of an Old Fave

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MP3 Sound Recordings of Enermax NoiseTaker II (Revision 2.2)

Enermax NoiseTaker II (Rev. 2.2) @ 90W (24 dBA@1m)

Enermax NoiseTaker II (Rev. 2.2) @ 150W (26 dBA@1m)

There was no need to make recordings at higher power levels; it's simply too loud.
Sound Recordings of PSU Comparatives

Seasonic S12-430 (Rev. A1) @ 150W (19 dBA/1m)

Seasonic S12-430 (Rev. A1) @ 250W (26 dBA/1m)

Antec Neo HE 430 @ 150W (21 dBA@1m)

Antec Neo HE 430 @ 200W (26 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¬į 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 Enermax NoiseTaker has fallen far, from a star on our recommended list two years ago to a sub-par performer today. The change is not Enermax' fault so much as the result of higher expectations and stiffer competition. Two years ago, quiet, highly efficient power supplies of the type that we recommend today were very difficult to find. Now, efficiency and noise have become major selling points, and Enermax has not kept apace of the changes in the marketplace — at least not with the NoiseTaker II.

The best things about the NoiseTaker II are the features that prompted the new revision. The cables are longer and more varied than the previous version, which should please those who want to run multiple processors. The mixed SATA and IDE connectors on the same cable is also a nice feature, as is the inclusion of "plain" cables for those who don't like the mixed cables. The change to the exterior casing also seems to have been for the better, as the new version seems to be better cooled.

Nevertheless, the NoiseTaker is in need of more than just cosmetic changes to bring it up to current standards. We hope to see a NoiseTaker III with better quality fans and a low-noise fan controller. Until then, there are better (and much cheaper) options than the NoiseTaker II.

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SPCR Articles of Related Interest:
Power Supply Fundamentals & Recommended Units
Power Distribution within Six PCs
Seasonic S12-430: Our current low-noise champ
Enermax Liberty EL500AWT & EL620AWT Power Supplies
Enermax NoiseTaker 450 PSU (Original Version)
Enermax NoiseTaker II 600W (The Sequel)

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Much thanks to MaxPoint for the opportunity to examine this power supply.

Discuss this article in the SPCR Forums.



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