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Enermax Liberty 500W Modular Power Supply
Author: Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer: Enermax
Source: Cooler Giant
Purchase: PriceGrabber
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Enermax Liberty 500W Modular Power Supply
November 04, 2005


Performance Testing: - The 500W Enermax Liberty was tested against a few other units in the same power range. An ArrowMax 550W unit, an Ultra Products 500W Xconnect, and Ultra Products 600W Xfinity, and a Codegen 400W unit.

The testing of the power supply will be focused on determining how much the main voltage rails (+5V, +12V, and 3.3V) fluctuate from idle conditions to full load conditions. A Radio Shack multi-meter (Cat. No. 22-810) was used to record all voltage readings.

The idle condition was established by powering the base system at default speeds and voltages with no applications running for a period of at least 30 minutes. The load condition was established by loading the system up with components and fans, while Folding@Home and SiSoft Sandra 2005's Burn-in Wizard ran for a period of at least 60 minutes. In addition to these stressful applications running, the loaded system was overclocked and overvolted to add more demand to the power supply. The table below details the idle and load conditions:

Idle Load
AMD Athlon-64 3200+ processor @ 2000MHz
ASUS A8N-E nForce4 Ultra motherboard
1024MB PC3200 Crucial Ballistix @ 400MHz DDR & 2.6V
1x 500GB Hitachi Deskstar SATA-II hard drive
Gigabyte Radeon X600XT PCIe card
1x IDE DVDRW drive
1x floppy drive
Fans: 1x120mm, 1x80mm
AMD Athlon-64 3200+ processor @ 2200MHz
ASUS A8N-E nForce4 Ultra motherboard
1024MB PC3200 Crucial Ballistix @ 440MHz DDR & 2.8V
1x 500GB Hitachi Deskstar SATA-II hard drive
2x 200GB Seagate SATA hard drives in RAID 0
Gigabyte Radeon X600XT PCIe card
1x IDE DVDRW drive
1x floppy drive
Fans: 2x120mm, 4x80mm
Sunbeam rheobus
1x USB TV tuner (powered by USB bus)
2x USB thumb drives
1x USB hard drive

The first thing we will look at is how the 500W Liberty's voltage rails fluctuated between idle and load conditions. Perhaps a better wording for this would be how the rails didn't fluctuate! The chart below shows the exact same numbers despite the conditions, and this is truly what the multi-meter read. In some tests, the numbers bounce around a bit and you make your best judgement as to what number might represent the best value. This was unnecessary, as the numbers for the 5V and 3.3V rails never moved. The 12V rail would move about once every 10-15 minutes, and even then it would go from 12.17V to 12.16V for less than one second. This performance is quite impressive, and gives me great confidence that this power supply unit could handle a much more demanding system with ease.

The chart below is provided to compare the load voltage readings of all the power supplies used in testing. The values are all within the generally accepted range of +/- 5% of specification, but it can be seen that the Enermax readings are closer to the specified value than most others. What the chart can not reflect properly is how stable these readings were from unit to unit. As mentioned, the Enermax Liberty's numbers were rock solid, but other units saw quite a bit of fluctuation, even if it was generally just a few hundredths of a volt. The next best unit in terms of stability on the voltage rail readings was the 600W Ultra Products Xfinity unit, and even it has 'weakened' a bit since it was initially reviewed a few months back!

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