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7. TEMPERATURE & COOLING
The thermal performance of the EasyCon XL was somewhat questionable. Thermal
performance under heavy load was quite poor, and the output temperature reached
a scorching 72°C at full load.
Even at more reasonable loads in the 200~400W range, the thermal rise through
the unit was in the 10~20°C range, which is too much for a unit that is
operating at 80% efficiency.
About the best we can say for the thermals is that it didn't seem to affect
electrical performance very much. Yes, the high end efficiency did drop a bit,
but no other signs of overheating ever appeared AC power consumption
was stable, output voltages didn't move, and ripple didn't increase any more
8. FAN, FAN CONTROLLER and NOISE
It's a shame to save the worst for last, but it's hard to call the noise produced
by the EasyCon XL anything else. A baseline noise level of 29 dBA@1m is simply
too loud to consider for a quiet computer, and that's really all there is to
I could go on to comment on the noise character (resonant), fan controller
(too active), or point out that the starting voltage is too high, but there's
little point in considering these fine details when it won't be quiet under
any circumstances. Even a fan swap is made difficult by the unusual dimensions
of the fan. For once, the measure noise level tells you everything you need
to know about how the EasyCon XL sounds.
MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS
Each of these recording have 10 seconds of silence to let you hear the ambient
sound of the room, followed by 10 seconds of the product's noise.
Sound Recordings of PSU Comparatives
HOW TO LISTEN & COMPARE
These recordings were made
with a high resolution, studio quality, digital recording system, then
converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard
to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files
to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during
the review. Two recordings of each noise level were made, one from a
distance of one meter, and another from one foot
The one meter recording
is intended to give you an idea of how the subject of this review sound
in actual use one meter is a reasonable typical distance between
a computer or computer component and your ear. The recording contains
stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness
of the subject. For best results, set your volume control so that the
ambient noise is just barely audible. Be aware that very quiet subjects
may not be audible if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances
are we couldn't record it either!
The one foot recording is
designed to bring out the fine details of the noise. Use this recording
with caution! Although more detailed, it may not represent how the subject
sounds in actual use. It is best to listen to this recording after you
have listened to the one meter recording.
It's too bad that Tagan's reputation for quiet doesn't seem to extend to this
model, because the electronics inside the EasyCon XL are quite good. The dual
transformer design has its advantages, one of which is exceptionally stable
voltage rails, as seen here. This is enough to forgive the questionable thermal
performance (since the hot conditions didn't appear to affect anything), but
it's not enough to forgive poor noise.
The EasyCon XL has a lot to offer the enthusiast market, and, despite stiff
cables and connectors, we have to admit that the spit and polish on the detachable
cables is quite impressive. Although it is functionally no different from any
other modular power supply, it somehow "feels" more finished, and,
in the high end market, "feel" is often as important as raw performance.
It will be interesting to watch what happens to this model line in the future.
140mm fans suddenly seem to be all the rage, and it's quite possible that they
will become dominant, just as 120mm fans supplanted 80mm fans a few years ago.
If that occurs, perhaps Tagan will be able to source a quieter fan for the next
revision of the EasyCon XL.
SPCR Articles of Related Interest:
Power Supply Fundamentals & Recommended
Power Distribution within Six PCs
Corsair HX520W & HX620W Modular Power
Seasonic Goes High End Gaming with the M12
Antec NeoHE 430
Silverstone Element Plus ST50EF-Plus
* * *
this article in the SPCR Forums.
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