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Enermax EG701AX-VE-SFMA24P 600W PSU Enermax EG701AX 600W PSU: A SLI ready PSU? Interesting marketing aside, the latest from Enermax packs plenty more features that power users should take note of.
Date: February 16, 2005
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Written By:
Price:

Most of you are probably familiar with Enermax. Long time makers of some high quality power supplies, they've also been offering cases and front panels for quite some time. Power supply units (PSUs) are their bread and butter though, and their latest not only packs in a lot of power, but it also addresses the issue of noise, as well as cooling your system after the power is turned off.

The Enermax EG701AX-VE-SFMA24P we'll be looking at today features a number of items that enthusiasts will be happy to see. Along with fan control, PCI Express and the latest power requirements by Intel and AMD are supported. The PSU is an Active PFC supported unit, and has Over Voltage/Load/Current/Temperature protection. You can read the rest of the specifications by on Coolergiant Computers Inc.'s website. For those of you who did not already know, Coolergiant are an US subsidiary of Enermax.

Enermax EG701AX-VE-SFMA24P 600W PSU

The EG701AX arrived in what I would imagine is Enermax's standard rectangular packaging. One item that caught my eye was Enermax's proclamation of SLI ready. The EG701AX is the first PSU we've come across with two 6-pin PCI Express connections for the latest video cards. Along with the PSU, there is a user manual, power cord, case badge, and four installation screws included in the package.

Despite the 600W power rating, the EG701AX is a standard sized ATX PSU. Unless you're using one of those low profile cases, you shouldn't have any problems with the power supply. Compared with some other PSUs I've handled recently, the Enermax is one of the heavier ones we've handled. The PSU fully supports ATX 12V V 2.0, and is approved under Intel's and AMD's power specifications.

To improve reliability to your PC operation, the EG701AX features two independent 12V rails; one for your motherboard and processor, and the other for fans and drives. Each DC Output maxes out as 18A, which may seem average but keep in mind that they are dedicated on each rail.

Cooling is handled by a couple of Smart Fans that continue to run for 2 minutes after shut down. The idea of course is to vent out any heat buildup, and extend the life of your parts (referred to as SFMA by Enermax). Since I do not have quantitative proof that parts dies quicker without this, it's hard to give it a ringing endorsement, but it's a nice feature just in case you have poor heat dissipation in general.

The PSU is equipped with one 80mm on the rear, and one 92mm fan on the bottom of the unit. The 80mm fan is controlled either automatically based on your BIOS settings, or manually via a rheostat control on the rear of the unit.

The EG701AX features a braided system of protecting and shielding the power cables. According to Enermax, their "Ring Core" prevents electromagnetic pulses leaking from the power supply to appliances that are being attached to the same power source such as an AC wall plug.

We've already mentioned the dual PCI Express connections on the PSU, and in addition to those cables, there is a 24-pin main power connector, as well as a 4-pin +12V power connector. Rounding things out are; 4 SATA power connectors, seven 4-pin Molex, 2 floppy, one fan monitor and a 24 to 20 main power adapter (according to the Coolergiant website, but no such adapter was included with our unit).

Testing

MSI 915P: Intel Pentium 4 560, 2GB Corsair DDR2, 2 x Seagate 160GB, Seagate 120GB, MSI X800XT, MSI 16X DL, AOpen CDRW 52X, Koolance PC3-720SL.

To load up the system, we run Prime95 run for 60 minutes, with Folding @ Home running in the background, as well as ripping Jet Li's Hero DVD to the Seagate RAID setup. We also ran a continuous loop of VirusScan and a looping demo of 3DMark05. Voltages were monitored with ABRA DM-9700 multimeter. The comparison PSUs are the Ultra X-Connect 500W PSU and Cooler Master's RealPower 450W. The P4 560 will be clocked at 18x215 for all testing. All the power supplies were plugged into a Belkin UPS (separately for each test) for the first set of tests.

Most PSUs have an ideal operating temperature of about 40°C, so we turned up the thermostat to 30°C (max in our house), disabled the case fans and set the Koolance liquid cooler to a low enough fan setting to keep the system stable at 3.87GHz. According to MBM, the internal case temperature got to about ~51°C, and a thermal probe attached a heatsink inside the PSUs read 53°C for the Enermax, 51°C on the Cooler Master and 55°C on the X-Connect.

Idle

+3.3v
+5v
+12v
+12v
Enermax EG701AX
3.31
5.09
12.08
12.07
Ultra X-Connect
3.23
5.01
12.02
N/A
CM RealPower
3.28
5.02
12.02
12.02

Load

+3.3v
+5v
+12v
+12v
Enermax EG701AX
3.29
5.03
11.99
11.99
Ultra X-Connect
3.21
4.96
11.76
N/A
CM RealPower
3.28
5.01
11.97
11.98

While the Belkin regulated the power drawn from the wall outlet, you'll still need a decent PSU to provide clean and reliable power to your PC. Both Enermax and Cooler Master provided enough juice to the system, while the X-Connect struggled a little more with the 12v rail, but not enough where the system was unreliable.

Wall Socket Test

Living in a new home, most of our wires are in pretty good shape. I did want to see how the PSUs would react plugged into a wall socket though (no power bar or UPS) and the other socket with a second PC equipped with a 21" CRT drawing power from a power bar. I managed to pack two additional 17" monitors to the power bar, as well as a 4.1 Logitech speaker set. I turned on a second 19" monitor plugged into another socket which shares the wiring circuit and ended with these results.

Load

+3.3v
+5v
+12v
+12v
Enermax EG701AX
3.26
5.01
11.94
11.95
Ultra X-Connect
3.12
4.94
11.43
N/A
CM RealPower
3.24
5.00
11.91
11.90

Both the Enermax and Cooler Master lost a bit of power, but not enough to cause any problems at all. We've changed our testing methodology since we've last looked at the X-Connect and it seems that it is having some problems with the increased load and interference we're putting on it.

Final Words

Enermax PSUs have always been personal favorites of mine prior to opening up VL. We haven't had to use too many since then as I never had a shortage of PSUs coming through the door. When Coolergiant offered up the EG701AX, I figured, "Yeah, I could use a 600W unit eventually," but I was pleasantly surprised with the number of features that came with it.

Under ideal circumstances, the 600W might seem like overkill as according to our power reader, we only drew about 360W under full load, and that was at peak. Still, more power available never hurts and the PSU will only pull the amount of power it needs to operate.

Feature-wise, the EG701AX has security measures in place to protect your system, as well as some noise control and shielding. In terms of noise, I found the EG701AX about as noisy as the Cooler Master when listening right behind the PC. From 3' away, neither PSU was audible over the water-cooling fans. For LGA775 P4 owners, the 24-pin power connection is a nice touch (an adapter for 20-pin mobos is included) and for nForce 4 SLI owners and future owners of VIA's DualGFX motherboard, having a couple PCI Express connections built right into the PSU is a nice touch.

If there's one problem we had with the EG701AX was that the sheath covered cables were very stiff. We had some difficulty installing the PSU into our Lian Li V1000 case as the cables were not as easy as non-covered cables to route through the cable management system of the V1000.

Cooling was in line with other PSUs we've used, but we would have preferred 120mm fans as they could be quieter while moving as much if not more warm air. That's really only nitpicking though as the EG701AX was good enough to earn a full-time spot in our test PC.

Pros: Dual +12v rails, reliable power, SFMA fans, Active PF, plenty of voltage related protection measures, SLI ready.

Cons: 120mm fans would have been our choice.

Bottom Line: While the Enermax EG701AX-VE-SFMA24P does not have modular cables, many reputable PSU makers will probably tell you that ideally, you'll want cables drawn directly from the PSU to your components for the best reliability. The EG701AX was just that; a solid and reliable PSU with plenty of power when you need it.

Hit us up in the Forums if you have any questions.

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