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The Triathlor FC is the latest power supply series with the 80 Plus Bronze certification from Enermax, coming to replace the MODU82+ series. So far, three models were released: 550 W, 650 W, and 700 W. Let’s see if the 650 W model is a good buy.
The members of the Triathlor FC series are really manufactured by Enermax.
The Enermax Triathlor FC 650 W is 5.5” (140 mm) deep. It uses a 120 mm twister-bearing fan on its bottom (Enermax ED122512S-DD, a.k.a. T.B.Silence).
The modular cabling system from this power supply has seven connectors: two for video cards (each connector allowing for two independent cables) and five for peripheral and SATA connectors. This power supply comes with the following cables:
- Main motherboard cable with a 20/24-pin connector, 21.3” (54 cm) long, permanently attached to the power supply
- One cable with two ATX12V connectors that together form an EPS12V connector, 23.6” (60 cm) long, permanently attached to the power supply
- Four cables, each with one six/eight-pin connector for video cards, 19.7” (50 cm) long, modular cabling system
- Two cables, each with three SATA power connectors, 19.7” (50 cm) to the first connector, 5.9” (15 cm) between connectors, modular cabling system
- One cable with three SATA power connectors and one peripheral power connector, 19.7” (50 cm) to the first connector, 5.9” (15 cm) between connectors, modular cabling system
- One cable with four peripheral power connectors and one floppy disk drive power connector, 19.7” (50 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.
This is an excellent configuration for a 650 W unit, allowing the installation of two high-end video cards that require two auxiliary power cables each without the need for adapters. The number of SATA power connectors (nine) is also excellent.
Let’s now take an in-depth look inside this power supply.
[nextpage title=”A Look Inside the Enermax Triathlor FC 650 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 the transient filtering stage, this power supply is “flawless.” It also includes a CM02X integrated circuit (not shown in the pictures) to discharge the capacitors and reduce power consumption when the power supply is in standby mode. This integrated circuit is a competitor to the CAPZero chip found on some power supplies.
On the next page, we will have a more detailed discussion of the components used in the Enermax Triathlor FC 650 W.
[nextpage title=”Primary Analysis”]
On this page, we will take an in-depth look at the primary stage of the Enermax Triathlor FC 650 W. For a better understanding, please read our “Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies” tutorial.
This power supply uses one GBU2006 rectifying bridge, which is attached to an individual heatsink. This bridge supports up to 20 A at 100° C. In theory, you would be able to pull up to 2,300 W from a 115 V power grid. Assuming 80% efficiency, the bridge w
ould allow this unit to deliver up to 1,840 W without burning itself out. Of course, we are only talking about this particular component. The real limit will depend on all the components combined in this power supply.
The active PFC circuit uses two MOSFETs marked as “K18A60V.” Unfortunately, we couldn’t identify these transistors.
The output of the active PFC circuit is filtered by one 470 μF x 400 V Japanese electrolytic capacitor, from Matsushita (Panasonic), labeled at 85° C.
In the switching section, another two “K18A60V” transistors are present, employed using the traditional two-transistor forward configuration.
The primary is controlled by a CM6800 active PFC/PWM combo controller.
Let’s now take a look at the secondary of this power supply.
[nextpage title=”Secondary Analysis”]
The Enermax Triathlor FC 650 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 CEP6056 MOSFETs, each one supporting up to 100 A at 25° C in continuous mode, or up to 360 A at 25° C in pulse mode, with a maximum RDS(on) of 6.2 mΩ.
As explained, the +5 V and +3.3 V outputs are produced by two DC-DC converters, each one located on an individual daughterboard. Each converter is controlled by an APW7073 integrated circuit and makes use of three CEB75A3 transistors, each one supporting 69 A at 25° C in continuous mode or 276 A at 25° C in pulse mode, with a 13 mΩ maximum RDS(on).
The outputs are monitored by a WT7527 integrated circuit, which supports over voltage (OVP), under voltage (UVP), and over current (OCP). There are two +12 V over current protection (OCP) channels, matching the number of +12 V rails advertised by the manufacturer.
This power supply uses a mix of solid and electrolytic capacitors in its secondary. The electrolytic capacitors are Japanese, from Chemi-Con, and labeled at 105° C, as usual.
[nextpage title=”The +5VSB Power Supply”]
The +5VSB (a.k.a. standby) power supply is independent of the main power supply, since it is on continuously.
The +5VSB power supply uses a TOP265EG integrated circuit, which incorporates the PWM controller and the switching transistor into a single chip.
The rectification of the +5VSB output is performed by an MBR10B60CT Schottky rectifier, which supports up to 10 A (5 A per internal diode). Unfortunately, the datasheet for this component is not available yet.
[nextpage title=”Power Distribution”]
In Figure 22, you can see the power supply label containing all the power specs.
This power supply is advertised as having two +12 V rails, which is correct, since the monitoring integrated circuit has two +12 V over current protection (OCP) channels, and we clearly saw two “shunts” (current sensors). See Figure 23. Click here to understand more about this subject.
The two +12 V rails are distributed as follows:
- +12V1: The main motherboard cable, half of the two red connectors for video card cables, and two of the connectors on the modular cabling system for peripheral and SATA connectors (the ones closer to the red connectors)
- +12V2: The ATX12V/EPS12V connector, the other half of the two red connectors for video card cables, and three of the connectors on the modular cabling system for peripheral and SATA connectors (the ones farther from the red connectors)
This distribution is interesting, as when using one video card with two power connectors, each connector will be connected to a separate +12 V rail.
Let’s find out how much power this unit can deliver.[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’s +12V1 rail, while the +12VB input was connected to the power supply’s +12V2 rail.
|Input||Test 1||Test 2||Test 3||Test 4||Test 5|
|+12VA||5 A (60 W)||10 A (120 W)||14.5 A (174 W)||19 A (228 W)||23.5 A (282 W)|
|+12VB||5 A (60 W)||10 A (120 W)||14 A (168 W)||19 A (228 W)||23.5 A (282 W)|
|+5 V||1 A (5 W)||2 A (10 W)||4 A (20 W)||6 A (30 W)||8 A (40 W)|
|+3.3 V||1 A (3.3 W)||2 A (6.6 W)||4 A (13.2 W)||6 A (19.8 W)||8 A (26.4 W)|
|+5VSB||1 A (5 W)||1.5 A (7.5 W)||2 A (10 W)||2.5 A (12.5 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||140.4 W||271.3 W||391.4 W||521.8 W||649.4 W|
|% Max Load||21.6%||41.7%||60.2%||80.3%||99.9%|
|Room Temp.||45.6° C||45.0° C||45.6° C||49.3° C||49.3° C|
|PSU Temp.||45.4° C||45.3° C||45.7° C||48.3° C||49.3° C|
|Ripple and Noise||Pass||Pass||Pass||Pass||Pass|
|AC Power||169.9 W||317.2 W||458.8 W||623.0 W||789.0 W|
|AC Voltage||118.0 V||116.5 V||115.4 V||112.9 V||111.7 V|
The 80 Plus Bronze certification promises efficiency of at least 82% under light (i.e., 20%) and full loads, and 85% under typical (i.e., 50%) loads. During our tests, the Enermax Triathlor FC 650 W presented efficiency above these numbers at high temperatures, which is excellent.
Let’s discuss voltage regulation on the next page.
[nextpage title=”Voltage Regulation Tests”]
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. We consider a power supply as “flawless” if it shows voltages within 3% of their nominal values. In the table below, you can see the power supply voltages during our tests and, in the following table, the deviation, in percentage, of their nominal values.
The main positive voltages (+12 V, +5 V, and +3.3 V) were within 3% of their nominal values when we pulled up to 80% of the unit’s labeled wattage, but when we pulled 650 W, the voltages at +5 V and +3.3 V got outside this tighter range, but still within the allowed margin.
|Input||Test 1||Test 2||Test 3||Test 4||Test 5|
|+12VA||+12.14 V||+12.10 V||+12.06 V||+12.02 V||+11.96 V|
|+12VB||+12.14 V||+12.09 V||+12.02 V||+11.96 V||+11.90 V|
|+5 V||+5.02 V||+4.98 V||+4.92 V||+4.88 V||+4.84 V|
|+3.3 V||+3.29 V||+3.26 V||+3.21 V||+3.19 V||+3.15 V|
|+5VSB||+5.00 V||+4.93 V||+4.85 V||+4.81 V||+4.75 V|
|-12 V||-11.32 V||-11.43 V||-11.54 V||-11.66 V||-11.86 V|
|Input||Test 1||Test 2||Test 3||Test 4||Test 5|
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 Triathlor FC 650 W provided extremely low ripple and noise levels, as you can see below.
|Input||Test 1||Test 2||Test 3||Test 4||Test 5|
|+12VA||16.6 mV||19.2 mV||23.6
|30.6 mV||41.2 mV|
|+12VB||16.4 mV||18.6 mV||24.6 mV||30.8 mV||44.0 mV|
|+5 V||8.8 mV||9.2 mV||9.8 mV||14.6 mV||12.2 mV|
|+3.3 V||8.8 mV||9.6 mV||11.0 mV||12.8 mV||14.2 mV|
|+5VSB||13.2 mV||15.6 mV||16.6 mV||17.6 mV||22.0 mV|
|-12 V||14.2 mV||17.8 mV||21.6 mV||29.4 mV||32.4 mV|
Below you can see the waveforms of the outputs during test five.
Let’s see if we can pull more than 650 W from this unit. [nextpage title=”Overload Tests”]
Below you can see the maximum we could pull from this power supply. The objective of this test is to see if the power supply has its protection circuits working properly. This unit passed this test, since it shut down when we tried to pull more than what is listed below. During this test, noise and ripple levels were still low, but voltages got outside the allowed range (the +5 V output was at +4.73 V, the +3.3 V output was at +3.06 V, and the +5VSB output was at +4.70 V).
|+12VA||29 A (348 W)|
|+12VB||29 A (348 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||123.1%|
|Room Temp.||49.8° C|
|PSU Temp.||50.3° C|
|AC Power||1,040 W|
|AC Voltage||106.9 V|
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main specifications for the Enermax Triathlor FC 650 W power supply include:
- Standards: ATX12V 2.31
- Nominal labeled power: 650 W continuous, 715 W peak at 40° C
- Measured maximum power: 800.4 W at 49.8° C
- Labeled efficiency: Between 82% and 88%, 80 Plus Bronze certification (82% at light/20% load, 85% at typical/50% load, and 82% at full/100% load)
- Measured efficiency: Between 82.3% and 85.5% at 115 V (nominal, see complete results for actual voltage)
- Active PFC: Yes
- Modular Cabling System: Yes, partial
- Motherboard Power Connectors: One 20/24-pin connector and one cable with 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 four cables, modular cabling system
- SATA Power Connectors: Nine on three cables, modular cabling system
- Peripheral Power Connectors: Five 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), over temperature (OTP), and short-circuit (SCP)
- Are the above protections really available? Yes.
- Warranty: Three Years
- More Information: https://www.enermax.com
- MSRP in the U.S.: USD 120.00
The Enermax Triathlor FC 650 W is a very good power supply with the 80 Plus Bronze certification, with good voltage regulation, extremely low noise and ripple levels, and efficiency above the values promised by the 80 Plus Bronze certification at high temperatures. It comes with a great number of cables for a 650 W unit, with four six/eight-pin video card connectors on separate cables and nine SATA power connectors.
On the negative side, the voltage regulation at full load could be better, and its suggested price is high, at USD 120. You can buy an excellent power supply with the 80 Plus Gold certification, such as the Corsair HX650 Gold, for the same price. However, this is the suggested price, and online stores usually sell power supplies below the manufacturer’s suggested price. If it is offered at USD 100 or less, it can be an option if you are looking for a mainstream power supply with the 80 Plus Bronze certification and a modular cabling system.