Winmate DD-24AX DC-DC Module for Silent, Efficient Power

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COMPARISONS

Our usual comparison table showing the noise level of various power supplies at loads starting from 90W just doesn't apply here. The Winmate DD-24AX is silent, and if the adapter used with it is silent, it beats all the ATX12V PSUs acoustically except the fanless ones or those with good semi-passive operation.

A more relevant comparison is for efficiency, against other silent or near-silent power alternatives. The data in the table below is culled from previous SPCR reviews.

Comparison: Silent or near-silent PSU Efficiency in %, 20W~150W
Model
20W
40W
65W
90W
150W
Winmate DD-24AX w/ FSP120-AAP adapter
69
75
80
80
77
(130W)
picoPSU w/ 80W adapter
79
83
85
85
-
Enermax Modu82+ 625
66
78
80
81
84
Coolermaster M700W
66
78
80
83
84
Seasonic X-650
65
77
83
87
88
Seasonic M12D 850W
62
73
78
82
84
Nexus Value 430
62
72
77
81
82
Silverstone ST45NF fanless
61
72
77
81
83
Antec CP-850
55
69
74
82
83
Antec Signature 650
55
67
73
79
82

This table may not be that useful. It puts the Winmate at the top, then orders the rest by highest efficiency at 20W and 40W. The ordering does not jibe if you look at efficiency at higher power points.

The actual watts is also worth considering: 69% vs 79% at the 20W load makes you think "wow!" — but the difference is only 3.7W.

What's clear is that the picoPSU with its little 80W adapter leads in efficiency up to 65W load. It's even smaller than the Winmate DD-24AX, which makes it very useful for SFF and Ultra SFF systems. One reason for its high efficiency is that the 12VDC line is taken directly from the adapter, without any conversion loss within it, and the 12V line dominates the demand in most modern PCs. But this is also the picoPSU's downside, the lack of 12V output regulation, which may be significant in areas with less than ideal AC power service or when very high precision and reliability is sought.

Price favors the Winmate slightly, at least if you're buying from Electrodacus. Plus, if a more efficient power adapter is used, the Winmate might equal the picoPSU's efficiency... although this would be a challenge because the Winmate always loses something in the conversion to 12VDC output, while the picoPSU does not. As with the picoPSU, the Winmate's advantage is also its weakness.

Both the Winmate DD-24AX and the picoPSU have a huge advantage over conventional PSUs if you seek to assemble a silent, fanless, super small low-power PC. They encourage and reward creative modding or system building.

CONCLUSIONS

The Winmate DD-24AX is a high quality DC/DC adapter that meets the specifications claimed by its manufacturer. It's also a bargain at the $30 price Electrodacus is offering., which is half the suggested retail. When combined with a suitable, efficient power adapter, the Winmate can easily power a highly capable desktop or server for home use, adding no noise and very little heat at very modest cost. The ideal use of the DD-24AX is for a system that demands very low power in idle, under 50W, with brief peaks up to 130W under load. This takes advantage of the unit's highest efficiency range, but the 130W peak capability will allow at least a modest discrete graphics card along with a couple of hard drives.

In many ways, the biggest challenge is to find a suitably high efficiency power supply of adequate power output at a reasonable price. To that end, you are directed to Energy Star, which maintains a database of high efficiency external AC/DC adapters, with ratings for power load, output voltage, and efficiency at both 115VAC and 230VAC. As a value added service, here's a pre-sorted compilation from that database, in MS Excel format, of all current adapters which offer 88% or higher efficiency, with output of 19~28VDC, 70~230W; ie, the best of the highest efficiency external adapters.

We'll be scouring that list as well, for an ideal adapter to make use of our review sample in a new system, perhaps a new file/media server that can double as a lab PC or HTPC.

* * *

Thanks to Electrodacus whose efforts made possible this review and the opportunity for PC enthusiasts to obtain an unusual, high quality power product at a modest price.


Winmate DD-24AX

SPCR Recommended Award

* * *

SPCR Articles of Related Interest:
Power Supply Fundamentals
Recommended Power Supplies
SPCR PSU Test Rig V.4
Tiny, Silent and Efficient: The picoPSU
Antec Signature 650
Seasonic M12D-850W
Seasonic X650 80 Plus Gold
Antec CP-850: Unique PSU with Top Performance

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Discuss this article in the SPCR Forums.



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