Enermax Platimax D.F 500W PSU Review

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Enermax has been making PSUs since 1990. Their mission statement for the past 25 years has been “Power, Innovation, and Design”. Power stems from  Enermax being the first manufacturer to break the barrier of  1kW, Innovation for the continuous development of new technologies like “Twister Bearing Technology“, and the many awards won for design. I will be looking at a new PSU product with high-quality parts called the Platimax D.F series. I will be looking at their 500W model (EPF500AWT). This PSU has some neat new features like Dust free Rotation, so let’s see how this PSU stands out among the crowded market of PSUs and what parts make this a quality PSU.

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Shipping

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The product was shipped with no damage on arrival. The packaging goes over the most important features like the 80 Plus Platinum certification and its new fan feature called Dust Free Rotation. 80 Plus certification is a voluntary program that promotes efficient energy usage among manufacturers. If your interested in learning more check out this link. The other new feature they are promoting is their new sleeved cables, which Enermax calls “Stylish and smooth.” Also, this wouldn’t be a good PSU without 100% high-quality Japanese Caps, which is also properly labeled on the back  of the box.

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The accessories include are:

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At first look, the items were all packaged well, but I have to say I am not a fan of how the cables look or feel. I personally feel a plain black sleeved cable would have been more appropriate. I can say though that the addition of zip ties and cable combs are really thoughtful and appreciate the cables straps as well.

Design

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Enermax’s vision for the D.F. series is extending its current flagship line into this one. The D.F. series was “created to be the best solution for core gamers and graphic workstations.” With 80Plus Platinum certification and newer technologies the D.F. series hopes to have a cleaner power and a longer lasting PSU. The fully modular system with the “SLEEMAX” cables offers further protection and flexibility for installing PSUs and Enermax offers a 500W and 600W variant in the current D.F. product line.

Product highlights:

  • Dust Free Rotation
  • 80Plus Platinum efficiency
  • DC-toDC Power design
  • SLEEMAX cables
  • Zero Load compatibility
  • 139MM cooling with Twister Bearing Technology
  • 5 year Warranty

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The unit is designed all black with the Platimax logo on each side of the PSU and offers all your modular connections on the front. This PSU was designed as a Single rail system up to 41A. I’m not going to get into the ongoing battle of the single rail or multi-rail  debate, but if you’re interested in this you can read about ti more here. Basically, multi-rail offers a bit more OCP protection across the multiple rails and single rail PSUs offer one large rail with higher amperage. With this 500W unit being single rail and has a 41A limit on the 12V rail, the OCP protection is a moot point. it all depends on the load your system will have.

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The Dust Free Rotation technology, in my opinion, is relly useful, and a neat new feature implemented in the D.F. Series of PSUs.  I will be showing a video, later on, to show how it works, but its main purpose is to spin up backwards at first to blow away any settled dust, and then after 10 seconds rotates the fan again in the proper direction for normal operation.

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Taking apart the PSU we can see the fan model is  ED142512W-CA and a PWM fan with Enermax’s “Twister bearing Technology.” The fan is 139mm and offer ultra silent cooling and a long lifespan according to the Twister bearing used. The fan was designed for a workload of up to 80% at a fan speed of 500RPM. The maximum this fan can get is 1000RPM when you go over 80%. My PSU never surpassed 80% in the testing phase and the fan stayed constant at 500RPM. I did find the fan was rather loud even at the 500RPM speed.

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The PSU on the inside offers 100% 105°C Japanese capacitors. The capacitors are Nippon Chemi-Con and the PSU uses a DC-to-DC design with LLC conversion and active clamp technology. The DC-to-DC converter helps ensure stable output voltage with high efficiency. This is also referred to as Zero load ready. In standby mode, the PUS has high efficiency. The single rail is capable of up to 41A and the D.F. uses active PFC(Power Factor Correction) for a stable environment. The DC-to-DC bridge has solid capacitors and is perfect for the high efficiency. The Power supply also offers Enermax SafeGaurd technology which offers multiple protection for the single rail. SafeGaurd offers OCP, OVP,UVP,OPP,SCP, and SIP system protection. You can see more about this terminology here. These technologies are set in place to shut down the PSU in case of a short circuit or essive power is used.

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I am not a fan of the new sleeved cables or the design of them with the yellow specs. They refer to these as the “SLEEMAX” cables. In my opinion, the cables would look much better as plain black sleeved cables. The use of cable combs is a nice addition that does offer a better cable management solution. You can see how the cables above become separated from each other and how it would be hard to organize, but the cable combs are perfect for keeping the cables together. I do have to say though that this is a step in the right direction and much better than the previous modular cables Enermax included with their Platimax PSUs. The old cables are the multi-colored ones above. Previous Enermax cables have been found to not be long enough to reach certain motherboard connectors. The cables are all fully modular and the cables have been lengthened to about 28 Inches to improve compatibility. You also get full support for DX12 graphics cards with the four 6+2P (8P) PCI-E connectors.

Cables included are:

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The D.F. series offers a 5-year warranty to back up its high-quality components. With your SafeGaurd technology and warranty, you can feel at ease with your investment. The D.F. advertises 100% load @230V to be 91.7% efficient, the 80Plus Platinum efficiency rating is rated for 89% at 100% load. , so it is well within that regulation.

Testing

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Before I even started with hooking it up to my test bench, I wanted to use my new PSU tester to see if the voltage was in spec, and the PSU was still good after disassembling it. The voltages across the PSU managed to all stay within about 3% of the specification for each rail. There is sometimes minimal drop in voltage as with power regulations.

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Testing power supplies is a complex procedure and can vary for several reasons. I am one reviewer and limited to what tools I have. I will be testing loads on the power supply with idle and overclocking speeds. I have it set so that under idle conditions my CPU speed drops as well as voltage. I will also test the Watts used by using a KILL A WATT.  I will test the average noise level of the 500RPM fan using a high gain microphone. Please keep in mind that each system is different and actual loads can vary greatly even with similar hardware. I also will test the temperature the PSU gets under max load conditions and  will be testing the system on 100% full load with ROG RealBench. The temperature tool used is an IRT207 infrared thermometer. I will list the noise level and show the Dust Free Rotation in a video below to best see and hear what the D.F. series has to offer.

My test bench is as follows:

  • ViewSonic XG2703-GS Monitor
  • Motherboard- EVGA Z170 Classified K
  • CPU: Intel Core I7 6700K
  • Network Card- Netgear AC 1200 USB
  • Cooler- Enermax Liqmax II 240
  • Memory- Anarchy X 16GB DDR4 2800MHz
  • Video Card: Nvidia GTX 1060
  • Storage- PNY CS2210 480GB (Boot) / Seagate 3TB/ Zotac Sonix 480GB
  • Power Supply- Enermax Platimax D.F. 500W
  • OS: Windows 10 x64 Pro
  • Headphones- Creative H7

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The CPU was overclocked to 4.6 GHZ  for benchmark purposes, and my memory was set to its XMP profile.

 

The PSU measured a temperature of 68°F under full load. The average noise level was 56dB and  I measured the noise level using a high gain microphone a few centimeters away. This is equivalent to a noise level of a normal conversation.

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The load on the PSU is measured to get a general idea across various systems in respect to Watts consumed. I tested the voltages using a standard multi-meter. The voltages across the PSU managed to all stay within 3% of the specification for each rail. System standby managed to stay really low and we have zero load compatibility to thank for that. This became important with Haswell CPUs due to their extreme power states. The load is a great example of what we can expect a normal system under load to hit. I don’t have SLI or multi-GPU  setups. I do overclock and this does draw more power, but I didn’t even come close to hitting 500W. There is often a miss conception you need a high wattage power supply for certain parts. As you can see I have a GTX 1060, an overclocked CPU at 4.6 GHZ, and have a lot of headroom before even coming close to the limit.

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Enermax I’m sure has its own method of testing noise, and here is their claim of sound levels for the Pure Power under specific loads.

Conclusion

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I did find a few flaws with the D.F. series. Personally, I don’t like the “SLEEMAX” style of cables, this doesn’t affect the performance of the PSU just aesthetically I do not like them. I prefer a plain black sleeving. I also hope Enermax plans to be compatible with CableMod or PrimoChill in the near future. This would eliminate any sleeving problems and would allow complete customization. I also found at 500RPM that the fan was still loud, even with my system background noise.

The Platimax D.F. PSU does offer great build quality for the price. The included cable combs and organizers are a great addition to cable management. I may not like the design of the cables but they are a step in the right direction. This power supply had steady voltages and really looks great. The PSU was able to provide continuous clean stable power for my overclocking needs, and would highly recommend this PSU for any enthusiasts or gamer. The Enermax Platimax D.F. 500W is available in November 2016 and have an MSRP of $139.99.

 

 

 

 

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Enermax Platimax D.F 500W PSU Review

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