Enermax Eco80+ 500W PSU

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The finish for the Eco80+ is matte black, which is pretty common these days. It's accented by a gold grill and the bright orange-red fan blades. In other words, it has enough paint to look passable but it's nothing too special. But then, appearance isn't really the best way to judge a power supply anyway.

The color scheme shows why the fan is named after Magma.

Sealed except for the intake and exhaust.

The standard hex-stamped grill.

MAGMA FAN (Twister bearing, Batwing blade, Buzzword loaded)

Despite the buzzwords, the fan is actually worth a closer look. The "twister" bearing appears to be a variant of the magnetic bearing used in Enermax' Marathon fans. The technology piqued our interest when we looked at it before because it was generally extremely quiet and exhibited very little increase in noise as the fan speed increased. The double-ridged "Batwing" blades are new to us, and it's hard to say how effective or ineffective they are. The thermal results should tell us whether the fan is adequate when we get to that part of the review later.

The fan is also available individually from Enermax, and anecdotal feedback from SPCR forum members has generally been positive. As with the Marathon fan that we looked at, the fan blade assembly can be removed and cleaned, though we would caution most users from opening their power supply unless they feel comfortable working with high power electronics. Enermax also touts a long lifetime (100,000 hour MTBF @ 85°C) as one of the benefits, but it's nearly impossible to verify such a claim. Power supplies are high heat environments though, so it's good to know the fan is specified for a high temperature.

When sold individually, the model number is UCMA12.

The double-ridged "Batwing" design is claimed to improve airflow by 30% — a claim we are very skeptical of.

The metal frame is tapered to minimize the gap between the fan and the frame.

Enermax' attention to noise extends beyond just the fan itself. The edges of the frame around the intake are tapered downwards to minimize the gap between the frame and the fan. The idea is to reduce turbulence, but given how many other closely spaced components there are in the air path, it seems unlikely to have a major effect. Still it's nice to see this level of attention to noise.

Strangely enough, Enermax has managed to obtain a patent for this simple concept (eliminating gaps to reduce turbulence noise), though the relationship between gaps and turbulence is hardly a secret.

When the fan was running, there was a significant amount of backdraft leaking out from around the edges of fan blades. With the fan going full tilt, it was easier to feel the air being forced backwards around the edges of the fan than it was to feel the main current through the intake.

A clear plastic baffle masks off the front half of the airflow to prevent "short-circuit" airflow in which the air would flow directly from intake take exhaust without passing over the hot internal components.

The fan is a four pin PWM controlled model, making it impossible for us to measure fan voltage.

We have high hopes for the fan, but those who like fan swapping should note that the Magma fan is a 4-pin PWM controlled model that cannot be replaced by just any fan. This type of fan allows very precise speed control, but, as always, it will be the quality of the fan controller that determines how noisy or quiet the power supply is in actual use.

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