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Enermax Pro82+ 625W Power Supply Review

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SKYMTL

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PRO82-27.jpg


Enermax Pro82+ 625W Power Supply Review





Product Number: ERP625AWT
Price: Click Here to Compare Prices
Manufacturer’s Product Page: Enermax Technology Corporation
Fan Size: 1x 120mm
Warranty: 3 Years
Availability: Now



If you have been living under a rock for the last few years you are probably completely oblivious to a company called Enermax and the weight their name bears in the power supply industry. Since you are reading this I would guess that you have some knowledge of who Enermax is and what they represent to enthusiasts all over the world. They have long been known for releasing high quality power supplies which cater to both novices and seasoned veteran computer builders. Indeed, when they release a new line of power supplies, ears perk up and people begin searching high and low for where they can find their latest Enermax fix. Welcome to a day that Enermax fans have been waiting for: the debut of not one but two new power supply lines in the guise of the Pro82 and Modu82+ series. In this review we will be putting the Pro82+ 625W under the microscope.

We said two new lines of power supplies but in reality the Pro82+ and Modu82+ are both basically the same power supply with and without a modular interface. Both of these power supplies come in a wide range of outputs from 385W all the way up to 625W and promise to be extremely efficient and quiet. Actually, let’s talk a bit about this claim to efficiency since market trends have really begun to show that with increasing energy costs and a greater focus on the environment; green sells. So, Enermax is hoping to get in on the ground floor of this green revolution by offering good efficiency numbers in a power supply that is well priced and will appeal to almost everyone. It used to be that efficiency, well priced and the name Enermax were mutually exclusive but it seems with these new power supplies Enermax is going a different route this time around.

It seems that with the Pro82+ 625W, Enermax is firmly targeting the more budget-minded consumer who is looking for a no-frills power supply which is easy on their wallet while offering the legendary stability Enermax has been known for. By pricing this unit around the $120 mark, they have ensured that it is well-placed to compete directly with power supplies like the OCZ GameXstream 600W and the Silverstone Olympia 650W. While this is some stiff competition, Enermax is hell-bent on breaking into this lucrative market niche.

At the risk of editorializing, I have to say that I am a firm believer in a consumer’s right to fair and just warranty practices by a company whose product they are buying. In the past, Enermax’s warranty support here in Canada was lacking to the point where we were stunned by the numbers of RMA issues customers were experiencing. After a very frank discussion with Comtronic (who handles all of Enermax’s RMA requests here in Canada) we have determined that the RMA process has been streamlined and is now working like a well-oiled machine. With RMA depots spread around Canada, you can rest assured your 3-year warranty will be well covered by Comtronic.

So, it seems like the ball is in Enermax’s court on this one. Let’s see how they do.


PRO82-6.jpg
 

SKYMTL

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Features & Specifications

Features & Specifications



PRO82-26.jpg

PRO82-25.jpg
 

SKYMTL

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Packaging and Accessories

Packaging and Accessories




The box which the Pro82+ comes in is quite unique compared to some of those we have been seeing with most other manufacturers of late since this one actually opens from a “top” panel. Other than that, the front of the package shows a top-down view of the power supply along with PCI-E connector info, an 80Plus certified sticker and output specifications. Meanwhile, the back of the box holds some brief marketing blurbs in more languages than we can possibly mention in the scope of this review.


Once the box is opened we are first greeted by the various accessories which come with this unit and then by a top-down view of the Pro82+ wrapped in bubble wrap. Other than the bubble wrap, there isn’t anything protecting it but we find that in the close confines of the box, this is sufficient protection against bumps and bruises.


Other than the usual power cord mounting screws and instruction manual, Enermax also includes a case sticker and a quartet of Velcro tie-wraps. The tie-wraps are definitely a great addition and something any non-modular power supply just cannot do without.
 

SKYMTL

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Exterior Impressions

Exterior Impressions




The first thing that you will notice about the Pro82+ is the fact that it’s extremely compact power supply which will take up hardly any space once it is installed. Considering that nearly every single power supply (with a few exceptions) we have reviewed within the last few months has been longer than the ATX-spec’d norm, Enermax’s new unit is like a breath of fresh air.

The top of the unit is dominated by a single 120mm fan with a gold-painted grille which is a telltale signature of an Enermax power supply. This top-down view of this power supplies really does well to illustrate its overall size; yes, that really is a 120mm fan and not a 135mm or 140mm fan. Its overall design is capped off by a stunning black luster paint job that is extremely prone to scratches and fingerprints so make sure you handle it with care.

Mention also has to be given to a patented air inlet system which Enermax calls “Air Guard”. Basically, this consists of slightly beveling the edges around the fan opening in order to facilitate airflow into the housing. This will in turn reduce noise caused by the turbulence generated by the 120mm intake fan.


As with all of the better power supplies on the market, Enermax protects their sleeving and the wires held within by adding a plastic grommet to the sometimes-sharp edges of the aluminum housing.

All of the logos on the Pro82+ are placed in such a way that they will be facing right-side up regardless of what kind of mounting points your chosen case provides. On each side of the power supply there is a somewhat large white Pro82+ logo (which stands out in stark contrast to the black housing) along with a raised and very subtle Enermax logo.
 

SKYMTL

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Cables and Connectors / 9800GX2 Compatibility

Cables and Connectors



- Molex: 6 Connectors
o 1x 26” length (3 Connectors each)

- SATA: 6 Connectors
o 1x 26” length (3 connectors each)
- PCI-E 6+2 pin: 2 Connectors
o 2x 20” length

- PCI-E 6-Pin: 2 Connectors
o 2x 20” length

- Floppy: 2 Connectors (@ end of 21”Molex cables)
o 1x 28” length

- 24-pin ATX Connector: 21” length

- 4+4 Pin CPU Connector: 23” length


While the ATX and CPU connectors on the Pro82+ are of a good length, there are a few notable exceptions such as the PCI-E connectors. We found these cables in particular to have issues reaching where we wanted to in the Gigabyte Aurora case after we tried routing them through the back panel. The SATA cables also had a tough time reaching the bottom hard drive in the Aurora. However, there are a few more serious issues we had with the cable layout which we will touch upon a bit later in this section.


As you can see in the picture above, the cable layout is very much a mixed bag of tricks with the usual Enermax quirkiness. The last time we saw an Enermax power supply we scratched our heads over the layout of the odd Infinity Cables but with this power supply it is a bit different. Why in the world would they bundle all four PCI-E cables TOGETHER?


Even though it is obviously done to save money, this business of sleeving the PCI-E cables together does not sit well with us at all. It makes routing the cables next to impossible and if you have one graphics card you will have no choice but to bring all of the PCI-E cables to it in order to use just one or two. Thank God Enermax has included the Velcro tie wraps. To add insult to injury, the whole bottom half of every PCI-E cable isn’t sleeved at all.

The SATA and Molex cables are also bound together but not to the same extent as the PCI-E cables we just saw. Thankfully, these are sleeved….partially.


Once again we see that Enermax took the easy way out and only sleeved the Molex and SATA cables up to the first cable and then the sleeving disappears into thin air. Unfortunately, the 4+4 pin CPU cable gets the same slap in the face and only gets partially sleeved as well.


Enermax has included a pair of 8-pin PCI-E connectors which means that this power supply has the connectors necessary for a pair of high wattage cards like 9800 GX2s. Even for Enermax this is overreaching and we feel it gives potentially inexperienced customers the wrong idea about what kinds of components this power supply can safely power. Tons of connectors are great but in the end it is better err on the safe side and only provide customers with what they can safely use rather than what they WANT to use.

The Pro82+ also comes with a connector used for fan speed monitoring as long as your motherboard as a header which supports this feature.


9800GX2 Compatibility

As some of you may know, the Nvidia 9800GX2 requires a particular layout of the 8-pin PCI-E connector in order for a power supply to be compatible with it. If your power supply does not have the right kind of 8-pin PCI-E connector, you will either have to modify the connector or the fan shroud of the card which would void your warranty in both cases. In this section we will be looking at this power supply’s compatibility with Nvidia’s new dual-GPU monster.


Much like we saw with the PC Power & Cooling Silencer a few days ago, in order to get the 6+2 pin PCI-E connector from the Pro82+ to fit into the receptacle of the GX2, you must first insert the 2 extra pins. Then you are able to wedge in the other 6 pins to complete the connection.
 
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SKYMTL

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Output Specifications / Interior Impressions

Output Specifications




One area where the Enermax Pro82+ really shines is in the +12 output department where it has 50A (600W) available. This is more than we could have possibly hoped and with a whole 96% if its available continuous power on the all-important +12V rails, this power supply is ready for just about anything a 625W unit should be used for.

Enermax has broken up the single +12V rail into three 25A “rails” which means your overclocked components won’t be bumping into any pesky OCP circuits anytime soon. Other than that, the Pro 82+ gets the usual cursory amperages on the other rails.


Interior Impressions




Past lower-end units from Enermax did not really leave us with a great first impression when looking at their interior component choices but the Pro82+ bucks that trend. As we can see from this top-down view, both primary and secondary filtering stages are well-appointed for a 625W unit. The heatsinks are on the small side but as power supplies increase in their efficiency, there is less and less power loss transferred into heat which means companies can start moving to slower-running fans and smaller heatsinks. It is also good to see the cables sleeved all the way into the housing.

It should also be noted that Enermax makes their own power supplies and doesn’t outsource their production to an OEM manufacturer.


Where Enermax units of years gone by had somewhat dubious capacitor selections, the Pro82+ 625W goes a different route with a pair of Matsushita 85°C units on the primary side along with a good number of Nippon Chemi-Con units on the secondary. Both of these capacitors are extremely good choices and are known for their quality and longevity.


Looking a bit further into the bowels of this power supply, there seem to be some capacitors which are wrapped in protective sleeving. It looks like this is done in order to insulate them from the soldered traces on the back of the AC input PCB.

There is also a single gold-plated heatsink onto which a diode pack is affixed (not seen in the picture). Why Enermax chose to paint this one heatsink a different color is beyond us but it surely draws the eye in that direction.
 

SKYMTL

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Efficiency / Voltage Regulation Testing

Efficiency Testing



Single GPU Efficiency Testing

PRO82-28.jpg


SLI Efficiency Testing

PRO82-31.jpg

Well, there you have it. Without a doubt the Enermax Pro82+ is quite an efficiency power supply since it was able to trade blows with two other 80Plus certified power supplies without any problems. Efficiency does tend to fluctuate a bit but that is only normal with non-linear loads generated by the tests we run. However, it is great to see that Enermax is able to make good on their claim of an efficient product.


Voltage Regulation Testing



A Note About +5V and +3.3V Regulation

While both the +5V and the +3.3V rails were monitored, our present test system puts so little load on each of these rails that we are not going to bother posting the charts. This practice has been going on since we started 400W to 700W power supply testing on the present test system but with our upcoming revised system we will begin showing these charts like we do in the 700W and higher power supply reviews.

That being said, the Enermax’s +5V and +3.3V rails performed as every other power supply we have ever put through these test did: it passed with flying colors.


+12V Regulation

PRO82-29.jpg


In the realm of power supplies, +12V performance is key and this power supply has that performance in spades. While it is not quite as stable as the other two power supplies we put it up against, we were nonetheless extremely pleased with the results it achieved.
 

SKYMTL

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+12V Ripple / Heat & Acoustical Properties

+12V Ripple



PRO82-30.jpg

The Enermax Pro82+ finishes our tests with flying colors by doing extremely well in the +12V ripple test. With a maximum ripple of 31mV, it stays well within ATX specification while performing on par with two of the more highly-regarded power supplies in this wattage category.


Heat & Acoustical Properties



If we were impressed by the results posted by the Pro82+ in our load tests, we were downright stunned by how quiet it was throughout the testing period. This is actually the first power supply I actually had to check on to make sure the fans was actually spinning. To us, the word “silence” isn’t something to be brought into the open very often since there are hardly and computer components that can truly be called silent. Quiet yes, silent no but damn be if this isn’t the closest thing to silent I have come across with a fan on it. The 120mm fan which Enermax uses here seems to make excellent use of the Air Guard feature we saw earlier in order to produce the quietest power supply we have had the pleasure of reviewing.

Amazingly, the low RPMs the fan is able to operate at does not equate overly high interior temperatures. Even after an hour of the SLI OC test, the Pro82+ 625W didn’t exhibit any overly large increase in temperature.
 

SKYMTL

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Conclusion

Conclusion



It isn’t hard to rave about the Enermax Pro82+ after its stellar performance in each and every single one of our tests. To begin with its efficiency was right up there with some of the best we have tested in the past months and seemed to completely live up to its 80Plus certification. Voltage regulation was also top notch as was ripple suppression but where this power supply really shines is in the noise output department. Not once did the noise produced by the Pro82+ rise above a faint whisper so we can definitely see this unit or its modular brother being a favorite with both quiet PC aficionados and HTPC enthusiasts. Add to this a price of about $120 and Enermax’s new 625 watter looks all the more appealing to even people on a shoe-string budget.

While the performance of the Pro82+ wins us as undying fans, a power supply isn’t all about performance and it is in other critical areas where this unit falls flat. Indeed, the love affair with this new budget Enermax unit ends with the completely unintuitive way which Enermax has laid out the cables. We have seen our fair share of sleeving jobs gone awry here at Hardware Canucks so the lack of sleeving all the way to the connectors is somewhat forgivable. What isn’t forgivable is sleeving all four PCI-E cables together in one giant piece of mesh so there isn’t any way of hiding the unused cables discretely in your case. If you want to use only one PCI-E connector, the other three have to come along for the ride. It is a pain in the butt yet believe it or not, this is the only major caveat we had with this power supply.

Special mention also has to be given to the warranty available with Enermax’s power supplies since quite a bit has changed in the last year or so. With the backing of a streamlined customer service department, Markham-based Comtronic is now handling all Canadian RMA requests for Enermax power supplies. Let’s be honest here; nothing brings piece of mind like knowing us Canadians can RMA a product without worrying about shipping to and from the States. Gone are the exorbitant customs charges that are sometimes accompanying a shipment and we can only applaud Enermax for giving us a local option for product service. While a 3-year warranty certainly isn’t ground breaking, I’d gladly trade in a few years of warranty coverage for potentially quick RMA turn-around times.

The Pro82+ has proven that you don’t have to spend megabucks to get a stable, quiet and efficient power supply and because of this it gets our Dam Good Value Award.


Pros:

- Good performance
- Extremely quiet at all loads
- 80Plus certification
- RMA stays within Canada


Cons:

- PCI-E cables sleeved together
- Glossy black finish is prone to fingerprints and scratches



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