Enermax Revolution85+ 950w Modular PSU Page: 1
Introduction
 
EnermaxEnermax is one of those few companies in the PC scene that requires no introduction. With products such as the Galaxy 1000w and Infiniti range under their belts, Enermax has on several occasions made a profound impact on the PSU market and helped shape it into what it is today. Back in our 5-way High-End 1KW PSU roundup a short while ago I got a chance to take an early look at Enermax's successor to their ever popular Galaxy range dubbed the Revolution. With 90% efficiency, stable voltages and low noise levels it certainly lived up to its name and managed to walk away with our "Editors Choice" award.
 
However, being a pre-production model it was hard to shake off the feeling that some elements of the unit might 'change' before it hit the mass market. With this in mind we requested that Enermax send us over a Revolution unit from their 'Retail' batch when they were available, and today that's exactly what I'm going to be taking a look at in the form of the 950W model. Below are the specs....
 
• 85PLUS ready! - World's first modular cable PSU series with 85-91% efficiency @ 20-100% load. Certified by 80 PLUS® organizations.
• AMD GAME! Ready and ATI CrossFireX certified - AMD® AMD GAME! Ready and ATI CrossFire X™ certified. (ENERMAX REVOLUTION85+ 950W, ERV950EWT-01, © 2007 Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., ATI, The ATI logo, CrossFireX, and Radeon are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.)
• FUTURE CPU ready! - Ready for most upcoming CPU generations by 12P sockets for possible connector changes, by complying to latest EPS12V PSU design guides for compatibility & by ZERO LOAD Design for C6 state functions.
• FUTURE GPU ready! - Ready for most upcoming GPU generations by 12P sockets for possible connector changes, by six massive 12V rails for perfect load distribution & by ZERO LOAD Design for Hybrid Mode functions.
• AHD² Topology - Industry-leading “Asymmetric Hybrid DC-to-DC” topology with the world’s highest efficiency & most stable performance.
• 24/7 @ 50°C ready! - Non-Stop industrial class performance at 50°C/122°F ambient.
• HeatGuard - Keeping PSU fan running for 30-60 seconds after shut down to dissipate the remaining system heat and prolonging system lifetime.
• PowerGuard - PSU status monitor with 4-mode LED (Off / Stand-by / OK / Fail).
• SafeGuard - Industry-leading octuple protection circuitry of OCP, OVP, UVP AC, UVP DC, OPP, OTP, SIP & SCP protects your system.
• AirGuard - Patented air-inlet with optimal aero-dynamical design reducing noisy air turbulences.
• SILENT ready! - Ultra-quiet 13.5cm fan with intelligent RPM control guarantees cool performance and silent operation.
• 99% 12V Power - World's first EPS12V PSU with 99% 12V output capability.
• SERVER ready! - SSI PSDG 2009 support for latest Intel® Core™ Extreme/i7, Xeon™ and AMD® Opteron™ and SLI™ or CrossFireX™ and AMD GAME! or AMD GAME! Ultra systems and downward compatible with SSI PSDG 2008 1.0, EPS12V 2.92, 2.91, 2.8.
• DXX ready! - For PCI Express 2.0/DXX next-generation graphic cards with 6+2P (8P) PCI-E connectors.
• EMC ready! - Full-scale electromagnetic filtering protects your system against radiation interferences (CE EMC EN61204 compliance).
 
Cutting away some of the SomethingGuard this and Something Ready! that marketing bull, we can see that the Revolution 85+ has quite an impressive list of features. Already we know from experience that the unit is capable of ~90% efficiency from the pre-production testing, but Enermax actually state that this is potentially obtainable at load levels from  20-100%. The Revolution has also been designed to handle a 'ZERO LOAD' state correctly for standby situations, which may not sound like a great feat, but believe me when I say that there are some high-end PSU's out there that handle zero load situations very poorly with voltages going well outside of ATX spec.
 
Support for all the latest (and upcoming) hardware is also a predominant feature, with the unit supporting all of the latest EPS, SSI, CrossfireX and SLI standards. Of course Enermax are forbidden from mentioning the latter two standards in the same breath, so for this reason you will find two different revisions of the unit on their product pages. One labelled Revolution85+ Crossfire, and the other Revolution85+ SLI. A certain amount of future proofing has also been applied to the modular connector system, but we'll take a closer look at that over the next few pages.
 
Enermax Revolution85+ 950W Rail Layout
DC Output +3.3V +5V +12V1 +12V2 +12V3 +12V4 +12V5 +12V6 -12V +5VSB
25A 25A 30A 30A 30A 30A 30A 30A 0.6A 5A
Max Power 170W 948W 7.2W 25W
950W (1140W Peak)
 
Enermax have decided to split the +12v output over a total of six rails with each rail rated at 30A and a maximum load of 948W (78A) across all rails at any one time. This is often considered by enthusiasts to be a less favourable configuration than having a single +12v rail with all power directly available. Of course there are good reasons for Enermax arranging the rails in this way, and if you've ever seen a device with 78A going through it short circuiting, you'll know exactly why.
 
In fact safety is another area where the Revolution85+ seems to score highly. In addition to the usual over/under volt/current and short circuit safety features that are collectively named as 'SafeGuard' by Enermax, the Revolution also boasts an LED status system (PowerGuard) that gives a visual way to diagnose any PSU issues and a cooling system (HeatGuard) that continues to run the PSU fan for 30-60 seconds after system shutdown to help increase the PSU's lifespan.
 
Now let's take a good look at the unit...


Enermax Revolution85+ 950w Modular PSU Page: 2
Packaging & External Appearance
 
Dark and sinister is the name of the game on the Revolution85+ with Enermax packaging the unit inside a matte black box with only the PSU name and a few certification stickers finding their way on to the front of the packaging. In fact, there is so little information available at the front of the box that if it wasn't for the "950w" sticker, you'd be hard pushed to guess that a PSU was actually contained inside.
 
Enermax Revolution85+ Box Front Enermax Revolution85+ Box Back
 
Moving around to the back of the box, Enermax has printed an efficiency chart for the Revolution85+ at both 230v and 115v mains voltages. This is accompanied by a chart that gives a detailed comparison on how much energy could be saved by using the Revolution85+ instead of any other generic PSU. A list of PSU features is also printed down the right-hand side in English and German languages, but strangely there are still no images of the actual PSU to be seen.
 
Enermax Revolution85+ Box Side Enermax Revolution85+ Box Side
 
The sides of the packaging contain yet more charts, with a specification list detailing the  power output of the 850w, 950w, 1050w and 1250w models across all of their rails. Interestingly all of the units feature six +12v rails with maximum loads of 70A, 79A, 87A and 104A respectively. On the other side of the packaging is a list of cables and connectors provided with the various models.
 
 Enermax Revolutiomn85+ Box Open  Enermax Revolution85+ Accessories
 
Enermax Revolution85+ Accessories Enermax Revolution85+ Contents
 
On opening the outer box you are presented with two brown cardboard boxes printed with the Enermax Logo. The larger of the two contains the PSU, Manuals and a mains power lead, whereas the small of the two contains a selection of modular cables and several velcro cable ties. The PSU its self is protected from scratches by a white cardboard sleeve. If it wasn't for the plastic bags used on the velcro ties, the entire packaging would be completely biodegradable!
 
Enermax Revolution85+ Bottom Enermax Revolution85+ Rear
 
Sliding the Revolution85+ out of its sleeve, it's clear to see that Enermax have made a LOT of appearance changes to the unit since we saw it last. The entire unit is coated in a thick granite textured powdercoat with the main body of the PSU finished in an off-black/grey colour and the fan area contrasted in light red. Aside from the red touches, the Revolution85+ does look strikingly similar to the Cooler Master UCP with the finish feeling so robust that you could almost take a chisel to it with no negative effect.
  
Enermax Revolution85+ Side Enermax Revolution85+ LED
 
The Revolution85+ logo is emblazoned across both sides of the unit with one side being flip-reversed, so no matter whether you install the PSU in the top or bottom of your case with the fan facing up or down, the logo writing will always be legible without having to do a hand-stand!
 
At the rear of the unit is a standard kettle lead style AC inlet with a rather beefy power switch and the LED component of Enermax's 'PowerGuard' function.
 
Enermax Revolution85+ Bottom Enermax Revolution86+ Front
 
Round at the front of the unit is the modular connector system along with several hard-wired cables which we will take a closer look at over on the next page. Hidden away at the top is the obligatory specification sticker with a chart detailing rail outputs and warning of your impending doom should you attempt to remove the PSU cover. We're obviously going to totally ignore that though, so let's move on to the next page where we check out the cables, connectors and internal components...   


Enermax Revolution85+ 950w Modular PSU Page: 3
Cables, Connectors & Internal Layout
 
Much like its predecessor the Galaxy and many other of Enermax's modular PSU's, the Revolution85+ is hybrid-modular in design. This means that several of the essential cables required to power a basic PC system have been hard wired into the unit. This reduces the chance of poor connections or increased resistance due to an ill fitting modular plugs, but can come at the cost of having additional cables to 'hide' should you be a neat PC freak. As we can see from the images below, the 950w version of the Revolution85+ is fitted with 1x 24-Pin ATX, 2x 6+2Pin PCI-E, 1x EPS12v and 2x 4-Pin P412v connectors.
 
Enermax Revolution85+ Modular Enermax Revolution85+ Modular Plugged In
 
On the modular side, the Revolution85+ is fitted with a total of 10 connectors: six Black in 5-pin format and the remaining four Red in 10-pin format. Enermax claim that the 10-pin modular connectors will be useful for future changes in hardware, but in all honesty I've yet to see a manufacturer release updated cables for their modular PSU's to support new standards.
 
As you may have already guessed the black connectors positioned nearest the middle of the unit  are a used for powering Molex/SATA devices, while red connectors are used solely for PCI-E graphics cards. 
 
Enermax Revolution85+ Cables Enermax Revolution85+ Weird Join
 
Given the Red + Black colour scheme of the Revolution85+ I would have put money on Enermax updating their cable sleeving with Red weaving instead of the traditional Gold. Unfortunately that's a bet I would have soon lost as Enermax have unfortunately cheaped-out and used the same sleeving as on all of their other units.
 
Another thing which is quite unsightly is the splitting of some of the connectors half way down the cables. It's almost like Enermax initially only designed the unit with a single hard-wired PCI-E and EPS12v connector, but changed their minds as it hit production and decided to bodge things with a cable splicing exercise. 
 
Enermax Revolution85+ ATX Cables Enermax Revolution85+ Cables
 
Enermax Revolution85+ PCI-E Enermax Revolution85+ PCI-E
 
Included in the modular cable bundle is two PCI-E cables that extend out into four 6+2 Pin connectors. This in addition to the hard-wired connectors brings the Revolution85+ 950w PCI-E connector count up to six - perfect for almost all graphics card configurations. However, bearing in mind that the Revolution85+ has four plugs on the PSU side for PCI-E cables, and each cable has two PCI-E plugs, there is the potential to have a whopping TEN PCI-E connectors plugged in at any one time! Now where's my Quin-SLI motherboard got to!
  
Enermax Revolution85+ 950W Connectors
 ATX Connector Native 1x 24 Pin
 EPS-12v / P4-12v Connector(s) Native 1x 8 Pin / 1x 4+4 Pin
 Molex Connectors Modular 6x
 Floppy Disk Connectors Modular 1x
 SATA Connectors Modular 12x
 PCI-E Connectors Modular 6x 6+2 Pin
  
One final point to note about the modular cables is just how heavily weighted in favour of SATA the Revolution is, with our 950w model kitted out with a whopping 12 SATA plugs spread over 3 cables. This is double the number of Molex connectors on the unit, which seems a somewhat strange decision considering most enthusiasts are unlikely to use more than 2 - 4 SATA connectors in an average PC system.
 
Enermax Revolution85+ Open Enermax Revolution85+ Internals
 
Enermax Revolution85+ Internals Enermax Revolution85+ Transformers
 
Moving on to the internal components we can see that Enermax have managed to cram quite a lot of components into a small space. Sitting pretty in the middle of the unit are three beefy transformers (yellow), with the two larger ones responsible for both the +3.3v, +5v and +12v rails. A logical guess would say that each transformer powers three of the six +12v rails, with the remaining +3.3v and +5v rails also being assigned a transformer each. The smaller single transformer is more than likely used solely for powering the +5vSB rail while the unit is in standby. 
 
Enermax Revolution85+ AC Filter Enermax Revolution85+ Shoddyness
 
Although the general arrangement of components inside the unit is quite tidy, the soldering and appearance of some of the hard-wired cables entering the unit is actually quite shabby. As we can see from the image top-right, there is also a large gap around these cables as they enter the unit, possibly indicating that Enermax were either expecting to hard-wire more cables into the unit, or simply didn't make any alterations to their casing design to reflect the small number of hard-wired cables.
 
Rather than going for a separate AC filtering circuit, Enermax have installed an EMI filter as part of the AC plug its self. This should help to keep any internally generated noise from the MOSFET's and other components contained within the device, while also preventing any external AC line noise from entering the PSU.
 
Enermax Revolution85+ Capacitors Enermax Revolution85+ Small Caps
 
Over on the high-voltage side of the unit the three primary capacitors are manufactured in Japan by Panasonic Corporation have been neatly tucked below one of the units black aluminium finned heatsinks .Each of the capacitors carries a specification of 220uF / 400V at a max temperature of 85°C.
 
Moving over to the low voltage side we can se a collection of six much smaller capacitors also manufactured by Panasonic. These carry very few visible markings other than 105c, but have the job of performing one final smoothing of the voltages before they exit the unit and find their way into your PC hardware. 
  
Enermax Revolution85+ Fan Enermax Revolution85+ Fan
 
Finally we arrive at the 135mm clear bladed fan manufactured by GlobeFan. This fan is rated at 0.28A when running at 12v and is capable of moving 95.62CFM at a very respectable 28.2dBA according to manufacturer specs.
 
Now that we've got acquainted with the Revolution85+ let's get on to the testing...


Enermax Revolution85+ 950w Modular PSU Page: 4
Simulated Load Testing

To provide our readers with the most accurate results, Overclock3D uses a professional grade SunMoon SM-268+ ATE load tester capable of placing a sustained load of 1690w across a total of six rails (including +5vsb and -12v) on the PSU. Unlike our previous resistor-based load tester, the SM-268+ gives us the ability to adjust amperage loads in increments as small as 0.01A while also measuring voltages and wattage readings on-screen.

During today's tests, we will be placing the Revolution85+ 950w under 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% load levels at both room temperature and inside a hot box regulated to a temperature of around 50°C. Additional cross load tests will also be performed under these conditions to simulate how the PSU would perform with a heavily uneven distribution of load. It should also be noted that the all +12v rails on the Revolution85+ will be combined during the testing, allowing us to make best use of the load testers configuration.
 
Enermax Revolution 950w Results @ Room Temp
   +3.3v  +5.0v  +12v  +5vSB  -12v  AC Watts /
 DC Watts
 Efficiency  Intake /
 Exhaust
Δ Temp
Test 1
(Low)
6.25A  4.25A 16.25A  1.25A  0.15A  282w /
249w
 88.29%  19.0°C /
 20.3°C
 1.3°C
3.34v 5.05v 12.22v 5.04v  -11.40v
Test 2
(Med)
 12.50A  8.50A  32.50A  2.5A  0.30A  544w /
495w
 90.99%  19.2°C /
22.5°C
 3.3°C
3.30v 5.02v 12.16v 4.99v  -11.39v
Test 3
(High)
18.75A 12.75A 48.75A  3.75A  0.45A  809w /
737w
 91.10%  19.8C /
25.5°C
 5.7°C
3.26v 4.98v 12.08v 4.93v  -11.43v
Test 4
(Full)
 25.00A  17.00A  65.00A  5.00A  0.60A  1079w /
976w
 90.45%  20.4°C /
28.4°C
 8.0°C
3.23v 4.94v 12.00v 4.87v  -11.49v
Test 5
(x-load)
20.00A 20.00A 1.00A 0.00A 0.00A  213w /
178w
83.56% 21.0°C /
27.3°C
 6.3°C
3.29v 5.02v 12.24v 5.06v -11.73v
Test 6
(x-load)
 1.00A  1.00A  70.00A  0.00A  0.00A  902w /
850w
94.23%  20.7°C /
28.7°C
 8.0°C
3.32v  5.01v 12.02v 5.02v  -12.04v

Looking first at the voltage output in standard Tests 1-4 both the +3.3v and +5v rails put up a fairly good fight with only 0.11v and 0.07v fluctuation from the Low and High level tests on the +3.3v and +5.0v rails respectively. The +12v rail takes the biggest hit of the group by dropping from 12.22v down to 12.00v, but this is obviously nothing to be ashamed of given that all rails are well within ATX spec and the unit was actually loaded to 976w in Test 4 - 26w above the units stated output. One area of slight concern is the -12v rail which sits at around -11.4v at most load levels. Thankfully this rail has little to do with the stability and operation of a PC system, so we can almost forgive Enermax for letting things slip a little here.

The crossload results on the other hand are simply amazing! With 40A spread across the +3.3v and +5v rails and only 1A on the +12v rail during Test 5, the Revolution85+ managed to keep voltages well under control with results better than some of the non-crossload tests. This trend also continues into Test 6 with a massive 70A load on the +12v rails but only 1A on each of the +3.3v and +5v rails and all voltages once again remaining almost perfect. This is a first for any PSU tested here at OC3D, so well done Enermax!
 
Enermax Revolution 950w Results @ 50°C
   +3.3v  +5.0v  +12v  +5vSB  -12v  AC Watts /
 DC Watts
 Efficiency  Intake /
 Exhaust
Δ Temp
Test 1
(Low)
6.25A  4.25A 16.25A  1.25A  0.15A  282w /
249w
 88.29%  51.1°C /
48.6°C
 -2.5°C
3.34v 5.05v 12.22v 5.04v  -11.47v
Test 2
(Med)
 12.50A  8.50A  32.50A  2.5A  0.30A  544w /
495w
 90.99%  51.8°C /
48.8°C
 -3.0°C
3.31v 5.01v 12.14v 4.98v  -11.47v
Test 3
(High)
18.75A 12.75A 48.75A  3.75A  0.45A  806w /
736w
 91.31%  50.5C /
48.3°C
 -2.2°C
3.26v 4.98v 12.06v 4.91v  -11.51v
Test 4
(Full)
 25.00A  17.00A  65.00A  5.00A  0.60A  1079w /
976w
 90.45%  52.0°C /
51.5°C
 -0.5°C
3.23v 4.93v 12.00v 4.85v  -11.56v
Test 5
(x-load)
20.00A 20.00A 1.00A 0.00A 0.00A  215w /
178w
82.79% 51.2C /
48.2C
 -3.0°C
3.29v 5.02v 12.24v 5.06v -11.75v
Test 6
(x-load)
 1.00A  1.00A  70.00A  0.00A  0.00A  902w /
850w
94.23%  51.2°C /
49.2°C
 -2.0°C
3.32v  5.01v 12.02v 5.02v  -12.04v

With the temperature cranked up to 50°C and a re-run of all the previous tests, the Revolution85+ proved to be one tough cookie. Throughout most of the results the voltage didn't budge in the slightest from the room temperature tests, showing that the unit is easily capable of delivering its full 950w (and more) in hot environments. Even more impressive than this was the efficiency levels, which stayed above 90% in Tests 2,3 and 4 and hit a whopping 94% in Test 6.
 
Enermax Revolution 950w Scope Results @ 50c
   +3.3v  +5.0v  +12v
Test 1
(Low)
T1_3.3V T1_5V T1_12V
Test 2
(Med)
t2_3.3v t2_5v t2_12v
Test 3
(High)
t3_3.3v t3_5v t3_12v
Test 4
(Full)
t4_3v t4_5v t4_12v
Test 5
(x-load)
t5_3.3v t5_5v t5_12v
Test 6
(x-load)
t6_3.3v t6_5v t6_12v

Finishing up with the scope readings taken during the 50°C tests, it's easy to see that the Revolution85+ did extremely well. Ripple on the +3.3v and 5v rails stayed below 15mV throughout the testing with the +12v rail also performing well and keeping ripple below 20mV at all times, While I've certainly seen results like this before in tests 1-4 for some other PSU's tested recently, the fact that the Revolution85+ can keep ripple in check when in a heavy cross-load scenario is extremely good.
 
Now let's move on to the conclusion where I attempt to sum up the previous few pages.


Enermax Revolution85+ 950w Modular PSU Page: 5
Conclusion
 
Enermax Revolution85+In the world of PSU's its very rare to come across a unit that 'does it all'. Some have extremely solid rails, but tend to be based on industrial units and are therefore noisy. Others are extremely cool and quiet, yet fail to achieve tight voltage regulation when placed under heavy loads. Some look the part, but don't play the part. And others simply fail at everything.
 
However, glancing back over the previous few pages it's really quite hard to find fault with the Enermax Revolution85+. Not only does the unit look the business, but it means business too. 90%+ efficiency was effortlessly achieved across almost all load levels with 94% efficiency even being seen during one of the cross-load tests. Noise output was minimal with the unit managing to stay whisper quiet even when placed in our 50°C hot box and made to deliver more than its rated output, and the operation temperature of the unit was so low that in most cases it barely added to the ambient temperature.
 
Voltage regulation was also extremely good with the Revolution85+ exhibiting no signs of crumbling under the strain of our load tests, even when placed in extreme and unrealistic cross-loading situations. In fact much to my astonishment, the Revolution actually seemed to thrive on these tests, putting out better results than in some of the normal load tests! This combined with the exceptional ripple results seen on the scope certainly shows that Enermax's 19 years of experience has been put to good use.
 
There are however just a few small things that prevent the Revolution85+ from being absolutely perfect...
 
First of all, and probably most annoying for those who dabble in the dark art of cable tidying, is the crude and rather ugly splitting of some of cables a good 15cm after they have exited the unit. Should you for example only want to use one of the hard-wired PCI-E or EPS12v connectors then the other cannot simply be bundled up and hidden under/behind the unit. This may sound trivial in the grand scheme of things, but unless Enermax made a cock-up in the design of the hard wired connectors, there should be absolutely no reason for this cable split .
 
Of course, matters are only made worse by the use of the gold woven sleeving. Granted Enermax probably have stockpiles of the stuff coming out of their ears, but for a unit that costs just shy of £200, is some sleeving that matches the Red and Black theme used on the rest of the unit too much to ask?
 
And finally...still on the subject of cables, we come to the Molex conspiracy! Why on earth Enermax thought it necessary to include 12 SATA and only 6 Molex connectors is beyond me. Molex is still very much the predominant standard, especially considering that it has a much wider range of uses. 8 of each would have been a much more sensible choice.
 
 
The Good
- 90%+ Efficiency at most load levels.
- Silent operation. Even when running at 50°C with a 976w load!
- Cool running temperature. Exhaust temps were often equal to or below intake temps.
- Great scope results.
- Red + Black colour combination looks the business!
- Plenty of PCI-E cables with scope for plugging in even more.
- Safety features galore!
- Stable voltages.
 
The Mediocre
- Price. Higher than most (all?) other units on the market.
- Gold woven cable sleeving. Needs to be Red damnit, RED!
- Negative 12v rail quite low.
- Too much SATA, not enough Molex.
 
The Bad
- Some cables look like they've been shoddily spliced.
 
 
OC3D Editors Choice Award 
 
Thanks to Enermax for providing the Revolution85+ for review. Discuss this review in our forums.