The 80 Plus Platinum certification is the next level in energy efficiency, promising 92% minimum efficiency at typical load (i.e., at half of the power supply’s labeled power). The Enermax Platimax is one of the first power supply series carrying this new certification level to reach the market, with 600 W, 750 W, 850 W, 1,000 W, and 1,200 W versions. Let’s see if it is worthwhile buying the 600 W model, which will be released in the U.S. in January 2012.
The Enermax Platimax 600 W is 6.3” (160 mm) deep, using a 140 mm twister bearing fan on its bottom (Enermax EA142512W-OAB).
This unit has a modular cabling system with seven connectors, two for video cards (red) and five for SATA and peripheral power connectors (black). It is really important to understand that each red connector has separate pins for two power cables, so each connector acts as if it were two separate connectors. The motherboard cables come permanently attached to the power supply, and they are protected with nylon sleeves that come from inside the unit. This power supply comes with the following cables:
- Main motherboard cable with a 24-pin connector, 22.4” (57 cm) long, permanently attached to the power supply
- One cable with two ATX12V connectors that together form an EPS12V connector, 24” (61 cm) long, permanently attached to the power supply
- Four cables, each with one six/eight-pin connector for video cards, 20.5” (52 cm) long, modular cabling system (each pair of cables uses a single red connector of the power supply)
- One cable with four SATA power connectors, 18.1” (46 cm) to the first connector, 5.9” (15 cm) between connectors, modular cabling system
- Two cables, each with two SATA power connectors and two standard peripheral power connectors, 18.1” (46 cm) to the first connector, 5.9” (15 cm) between connectors, modular cabling system
- One cable with three standard peripheral power connectors and one floppy disk drive power connector, 17.7” (45 cm) to the first connector, 5.9” (15 cm) between connectors, modular cabling system
All wires are 18 AWG, which is the minimum recommended gauge, except the main motherboard cable, which uses thicker 16 AWG wires.
The cable configuration is outstanding for a 600 W power supply, allowing you to install two high-end video cards that require two power connectors each at the same time without the need of adapters, and with eight SATA power connectors.
Let’s now take an in-depth look inside this power supply.
[nextpage title=”A Look Inside the Enermax Platimax 600 W”]
We decided to disassemble this power supply to see what it looks like inside, how it is designed, and what components are used. Please read our “Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies” tutorial to understand how a power supply works and to compare this power supply to others.
On this page we will have an overall look, and then in the following pages we will discuss in detail the quality and ratings of the components used.
[nextpage title=”Transient Filtering Stage”]
As we have mentioned in other articles and reviews, the first place we look when opening a power supply for a hint about its quality, is its filtering stage. The recommended components for this stage are two ferrite coils, two ceramic capacitors (Y capacitors, usually blue), one metalized polyester capacitor (X capacitor), and one MOV (Metal-Oxide Varistor). Very low-end power supplies use fewer components, usually removing the MOV and the first coil.
In this stage, this power supply has two Y capacitors more than the minimum required, but no X capacitor before the rectifying bridge. On the other hand, there are two X capacitors right after the bridge.
On the next page, we will have a more detailed discussion about the components used in the Enermax Platimax 600 W.
[nextpage title=”Primary Analysis”]
On this page we will take an in-depth look at the primary stage of the Enermax Platimax 600 W. For a better understanding, please read our “Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies” tutorial.
This power supply uses one LL25XB60 rectifying bridge, which is attached to an individual heatsink. This bridge supports up to 25 A at 113° C, so in theory, you would be able to pull up to 2,875 W from a 115 V power grid. Assuming 80% efficiency, the bridge would allow this unit to deliver up to 2,300 W without burning itself out (or 2,587.5 W at 90% efficiency). Of course, we are only talking about this particular component. The real limit wil
l depend on all the components combined in this power supply.
The active PFC circuit uses two SiHG22N60S MOSFETs, each one supporting up to 22 A at 25° C or 13 A at 100° C in continuous mode (note the difference temperature makes), or 65 A at 25° C in pulse mode. These transistors present a 190 mΩ resistance when turned on, a characteristic called RDS(on). The lower the number the better, meaning that the transistor will waste less power, and the power supply will have a higher efficiency.
The active PFC is managed by a CM6502S active PFC controller.
The output of the active PFC circuit is filtered by a 470 μF x 400 V Japanese electrolytic capacitor, from Matsushita (Panasonic), labeled at 105° C.
In the switching section, another two SiHG22N60S MOSFETs are employed using a resonant configuration. The specifications for these transistors were already discussed above.
The switching transistors are controlled by a CM6901 resonant controller.
Let’s now take a look at the secondary of this power supply.
[nextpage title=”Secondary Analysis”]
As one would expect in a high-efficiency power supply, the Enermax Platimax 600 W uses a synchronous design, where the Schottky rectifiers are replaced with MOSFETs. Also, the reviewed product uses a DC-DC design in its secondary. This means that the power supply is basically a +12 V unit, with the +5 V and +3.3 V outputs produced by two smaller power supplies connected to the main +12 V rail. Both designs are used to increase efficiency.
The +12 V output uses four IPP041N04N G MOSFETs, each one supporting up to 80 A at 100° C in continuous mode, or 400 A at 25° C in pulse mode, with a 4.1 mΩ RDS(on).
As explained, the +5 V and +3.3 V outputs are produced by two DC-DC converters. Each is located on two small daughterboards soldered to the main printed circuit board. In Figures 16 and 17, you can see the physical aspect of one of these converters. They are controlled by an APW7073 integrated circuit, using three APM2556NU MOSFETs, each supporting up to 160 A at 25° C or 90 A at 100° C in continuous mode, up to 60 A at 25° C or 48 A at 100° C in pulse mode, and 7.5 mΩ RDS(on).
This power supply uses a PS231S monitoring integrated circuit, which supports over voltage (OVP), under voltage (UVP), and over current (OCP) protections, with three +12 V channels, correctly matching the number of +12 V rails announced by the manufacturer.
The electrolytic capacitors that filter the +12 V output are also Japanese, from Chemi-Con, and are labeled at 105° C, as usual. Some solid capacitors are also used.
[nextpage title=”Power Distribution”]
In Figure 19, you can see the power supply label containing all the power specs.
This power supply is advertised as having three +12 V rails, which is correct, since the monitoring integrated circuit has three +12 V over current (OCP) channels, and we clearly saw three current sensors (“shunts”) on the solder side of the printed circuit board. See Figure 20. Click here to understand more about this subject.
The three +12 V rails are distributed like this:
- +12V1: ATX12V/EPS12V connector and main motherboard cable
- +12V2: Half of the red modular cabling connectors and two of the black modular cabling connectors (the ones closer to the red connectors)
- +12V3: The other half of the red modular cabling connectors and the other three black modular cabling connectors
This distribution is perfect.
How much power can this unit really deliver? Let’s find out.
[nextpage title=”Load Tests”]
We conducted several tests with this power supply, as described in the article, “Hardware Secrets Power Supply Test Methodology.”
First we tested this power supply with five different load patterns, trying to pull around 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100% of its labeled maximum capacity (actual percentage used listed under “% Max Load”), watching the behavior of the reviewed unit under each load. In the table below, we list the load patterns we used and the results for each load.
If you add all the powers listed for each test, you may find a different value than what is posted under “Total” below. Since each output can have a slight variation (e.g., the +5 V output working at +5.10 V), the actual total amount of power being delivered is slightly different than the calculated value. In the “Total” row, we are using the real amount of power being delivered, as measured by our load tester.
The +12VA and +12VB inputs listed below are the two +12 V independent inputs from our load tester. During this test, the +12VA input was connected to the power supply +12V1 and +12V3 rails, while the +12VB input was connected to the power supply +12V1 rail.
|Input||Test 1||Test 2||Test 3||Test 4||Test 5|
|+12VA||4 A (48 W)||9 A (108 W)||13 A (156 W)||17.5 A (210 W)||20.5 A (246 W)|
|+12VB||4 A (48 W)||9 A (108 W)||13 A (156 W)||17.5 A (210 W)||21 A (252 W)|
|+5 V||1 A (5 W)||2 A (10 W)||4 A (20 W)||6 A (30 W)||10 A (50 W)|
|+3.3 V||1 A (3.3 W)||2 A (6.6 W)||4 A (13.2 W)||6 A (19.8 W)||10 A (33 W)|
|+5VSB||1 A (5 W)||1 A (5 W)||1.5 A (7.5 W)||2 A (10 W)||3 A (15 W)|
|-12 V||0.5 A (6 W)||0.5 A (6 W)||0.5 A (6 W)||0.5 A (6 W)||0.5 A (6 W)|
|Total||117.4 W||247.3 W||362.8 W||489.4 W||602.8 W|
|% Max Load||19.6%||41.2%||60.5%||81.6%||100.5%|
|Room Temp.||45.8° C||45.3° C||45.7° C||46.9° C||48.8° C|
|PSU Temp.||48.0° C||47.9° C||48.0° C||48.5° C||49.8° C|
|Ripple and Noise||Pass||Pass||Pass||Pass||Pass|
|AC Power||129.8 W||268.1 W||395.9 W||543.8 W||682.0 W|
|AC Voltage||117.3 V||114.0 V||113.7 V||112.3 V||110.3 V|
The Enermax Platimax 600 W passed our tests with flying colors.
As expected, efficiency was very high, between 88.4% and 92.2% during our tests. The 80 Plus Platinum certification promises minimum efficiency of 90% at light load (i.e., 20% load), 92% at typical load (i.e., 50% load), and 89% at full load. This power supply was able to meet these numbers at high temperatures, except at full load, where we saw 88.4% efficiency. Having this occur during our tests is normal, since the 80 Plus certification tests are conducted at 23° C, and we tested this particular power supply at almost 49° C; efficiency drops with temperature.
Voltages were closer to their nominal values (3% regulation) during all tests, except during test five, when the +5 V output was below this tighter range, at +4.82 V, but still inside the allowed margin. The ATX12V specification states that positive voltages must be within 5% of their nominal values, and negative voltages must be within 10% of their nominal values.
Let’s discuss the ripple and noise levels on the next page.
[nextpage title=”Ripple and Noise Tests”]
Voltages at the power supply outputs must be as “clean” as possible, with no noise or oscillation (also known as “ripple”). The maximum ripple and noise levels allowed are 120 mV for +12 V and -12 V outputs, and 50 mV for +5 V, +3.3 V and +5VSB outputs. All values are peak-to-peak figures. We consider a power supply as being top-notch if it can produce half or less of the maximum allowed ripple and noise levels.
The Enermax Platimax 600 W provided extremely low ripple and noise levels, as you can see in the table below.
|Input||Test 1||Test 2||Test 3||Test 4||Test 5|
|+12VA||18.4 mV||22.6 mV||29.0 mV||25.6 mV||28.6 mV|
|+12VB||17.6 mV||21.4 mV||27.4 mV||23.6 mV||26.8 mV|
|+5 V||6.6 mV||8.6 mV||10.8 mV||12.8 mV||16.4 mV|
|+3.3 V||7.6 mV||9.8 mV||13.8 mV||15.2 mV||22.2 mV|
|+5VSB||12.6 mV||15.2 mV||17.2 mV||19.4 mV||24.4 mV|
|-12 V||27.4 mV||31.2 mV||34.4 mV||41.2 mV||49.2 mV|
Below you can see the waveforms of the outputs during test five.
Let’s see if we can pull more than 600 W from this unit.
[nextpage title=”Overload Tests”]
Below you can see t
he maximum we could pull from this power supply. We couldn’t pull more than that because the power supply shut down, showing that its protections were working well. During this test, the +5 V and +3.3 V outputs were outside the tighter 3% regulation, at +4.81 V and +3.11 V, respectively. As you can see, the +3.3 V output was below the minimum allowed (+3.135 V). Ripple and noise levels were still very low, and efficiency was still very high.
|+12VA||27 A (324 W)|
|+12VB||27 A (324 W)|
|+5 V||12 A (60 W)|
|+3.3 V||12 A (39.6 W)|
|+5VSB||3 A (15 W)|
|-12 V||0.5 A (6 W)|
|% Max Load||127.1%|
|Room Temp.||48.2° C|
|PSU Temp.||49.8° C|
|AC Power||867 W|
|AC Voltage||108.4 V|
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main specifications for the Enermax Platimax 600 W power supply include:
- Standards: NA
- Nominal labeled power: 600 W continuous, 660 W peak at 50° C
- Measured maximum power: 762.4 W at 48.2° C
- Labeled efficiency: Between 89% and 94%, 80 Plus Platinum certification
- Measured efficiency: Between 88.4% and 92.2%, at 115 V (nominal, see complete results for actual voltage)
- Active PFC: Yes
- Modular Cabling System: Yes
- Motherboard Power Connectors: One 24-pin connector and two ATX12V connectors that together form an EPS12V connector, permanently attached to the power supply
- Video Card Power Connectors: Four six/eight-pin connectors on separate cables, modular cabling system
- SATA Power Connectors: Eight on three cables, modular cabling system
- Peripheral Power Connectors: Six on two cables, modular cabling system
- Floppy Disk Drive Power Connectors: One
- Protections (as listed by the manufacturer): Over voltage (OVP), under voltage (UVP), over current (OCP), over power (OPP), and short-circuit (SCP) protections
- Are the above protections really available? Yes.
- Warranty: Five years
- More Information: https://www.ecomastertek.com
- MSRP in the US: USD 180.00
As expected, the Enermax Platimax 600 W proved to be a top-notch power supply, with outstanding efficiency between 88.4% and 92.2%, voltages closer to their nominal values most of the time, very low noise and ripple levels, and a terrific cable configuration for a 600 W unit.
The only real negative point of this power supply is its price, USD 180. We know that this is the manufacturer suggested retail price and online stores usually sell power supplies for less than the MSRP, but it will still cost more than twice the price of good 600 W units with the 80 Plus Bronze certification. Therefore, for the average user there are products with far better price/performance ratio out there. For the user who demands only “the best in its class,” however, the Platimax 600 W may be a nice fit.
The product is scheduled to be released in the United States in the beginning of January 2012.