Enermax Galaxy: A KiloWatt power supply

Power
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March 18, 2007 by Arthur Armstrong and Mike Chin

Product
Enermax Galaxy EGA1000EWL-DXX02
EPS12V 2007 compliant 1000W power supply
Manufacturer
Enermax
Sample Supplier
Maxpoint USA
Market Price
US $310 - $340

Please welcome Arthur Armstrong to SPCR's Vancouver, BC editorial / lab team. Arthur is enrolled in the robotics undergraduate program at the BC Institute of Technology, and dreams of working in this field in China one day soon.

- Mike Chin, Editor

It is with some reluctance that we accepted the Enermax Galaxy for review. Let's face it, a 1kW power supply isn't aimed at a quiet system for your living environment. SPCR remains interested primarily in examining products that have good potential for quiet performance. If sometimes we come across products that don't quite make the grade, that's OK, but a kilowatt PSU does not really have much of a chance. How could it cool itself quietly at even half power? Nonetheless, the Bonefish edition of our power supply testing platform was constructed specifically to accommodate this level of power delivery. The reality is that kilowatt power supplies for computers are becoming amazingly visible in the market today.

The perceived need for such high power comes entirely from the computer gaming world. nVidia maintains a list of components that are certified for systems using their SLI dual-video card technology. In mid-March 2007, among the 13 PSU models certified for Dual GeForce 8800 GTX graphics cards systems, there are four rated at 1000W or higher from PC Power & Cooling, Tagan, and Topower. There are no models rated less than 750W in this category.

The need for such power is dubious. The simple fact is that conscientious testing by performance-oriented hardware web sites do not actually show any clear evidence of such high power demand from real systems. In Tech Report's Jan 2007 comparison of several high end graphics cards, their Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 based, highest power, dual ATI Radeon X1950 XTX Crossfire system pulled only 400W peak AC from the wall. Based on the ~80% efficiency of the PSU used in that system, this translates to 320W in DC power delivery, less than half of the 750W rating of the smallest PSU on the aforementioned nVidia certified list. All indications are that the X1950 XTX remains about the most power hungry of all the graphics cards. So unless you're using four of them in some ungodly setup, these >750W recommendations by nVidia and others are meant to spur those who feel inadequate unless they have more horses under the hood: "My computer has two Uber-X Graphics Cards and a kilowatt power supply!" We think it's silly and wasteful.

But never mind. There have been the odd calls for reviews of kilowatt PSUs by SPCR. Ye ask and ye shall receive. We'll do our best to determine how well the Galaxy meets up to its own expectations and ours.

PACKAGING, ETC.

The box is a typical design showing off power specs on the back and a few other tidbits intermixed with spiffy art.


Unit may or may not generate ooze.

Upon opening the box, our first impression is one of... bounty, as in bountiful or even excessive. They have provided an armful of cables sufficient to connect 24 drives from this single unit! The next most obvious trait is its hefty dimensions. There are some heavyweights, but this one may take the cake.


Super wire carrying case for the off chance you don't use all your connectors

The Galaxy is about 50% longer (or deeper) than specified by the ATX12V form factor. This will cause problems with a lot of cases. Height and width are within standard range so it will slide into the case without complaint. At 220mm lengthwise (not including cables), the case must be substantially longer (or deeper) than the standard tower or midtower to accommodate. Any case that uses only four screws on the back panel to hold the PSU in place is not recommended. This baby needs support beneath it; otherwise, the cantilever force of its weight hanging off the back panel could damage it, especially with any kind of physical shock.

Some effort has gone into the appearance. The metal case is a stamped black gloss patterned with large Galaxy prints on either side. Fan grills are made a shiny gold color. On our unit the fan was clear showing off the innards, although, there is also a version with solid black fans. A functional LED adorns the back side next to the power switch and a warning reset button. All the wires are surrounded by a yellow and black mesh.


80mm + 135mm fan: Probably needed at max speed at full power.



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