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Switching Power Supplies A - Z, Second Edition
Switching Power Supplies A - Z, Second Edition, by Sanjaya Maniktala (Newnes), starting at $57.07
Home » Power
Enermax Liberty DXX 500W Power Supply Review
Author: Gabriel Torres
Type: Reviews Last Updated: April 13, 2008
Page: 1 of 10
Introduction

Liberty DXX 500 W, a.k.a. ELT500AWT, is one of the most popular power supplies from Enermax, featuring active PFC, high efficiency, modular cabling system, 120 mm fan and two video card auxiliary power cables for you feed your SLI or CrossFire system. We completely disassembled this unit and also tested to see if it can really deliver its labeled 500 W. Check it out.

Enermax Liberty DXX 500 W
click to enlarge
Figure 1: Enermax Liberty DXX 500 W Power Supply.

Enermax Liberty DXX 500 W
click to enlarge
Figure 2: Enermax Liberty DXX 500 W Power Supply.

As you can see, this power supply uses a big 120 mm ball bearing fan on its bottom (the power supply is upside down on Figures 1 and 2) and a big mesh on the rear side where traditionally we have an 80 mm fan. We like this design as it provides not only a better airflow but the power supply produces less noise, as the fan can rotate at a lower speed in order to produce the same airflow as an 80 mm fan.

This power supply has active PFC, which provides a better usage of the power grid and allowing Enermax to sell this product in Europe (read more about PFC on our Power Supply Tutorial). As for efficiency, Enermax says that this product has 80% efficiency. Of course we will measure this to see if what the manufacturer claim is true. The higher the efficiency the better – an 80% efficiency means that 80% of the power pulled from the power grid will be converted in power on the power supply outputs and only 20% will be wasted. This translates into less consumption from the power grid (as less power needs to be pulled in order to generate the same amount of power on its outputs), meaning lower electricity bills.

The main motherboard cable uses a 20/24-pin connector and this power supply has two ATX12V connectors that together form one EPS12V connector.

On this power supply you can monitor the speed of its fan through your computer, a feature not commonly available. If you want to use this feature, you have to install the fan cable that comes from inside the power supply (shown in Figure 2) on any unused three-pin fan power connector on the motherboard.

As mentioned this power supply uses a modular cabling system, with the cables coming inside a pouch, shown in Figure 3. We like modular cabling systems as you need only to attach the cables you will really use, improving the internal PC airflow by having fewer cables inside the computer.

Enermax Liberty DXX 500 W
click to enlarge
Figure 3: Peripheral cables.

This power supply comes with six peripheral power cables: one auxiliary power cable for video cards with a 6-pin connector attached, one auxiliary power cable for video cards with a 6/8-pin connector attached, two cables containing two standard peripheral power connectors and two SATA power connectors each and two cables containing two standard peripheral power connectors, two SATA power connectors and one floppy disk drive power connector each. As you can see this an unusual configuration, as usually manufacturers don’t put SATA power connectors and standard peripheral power connectors on the same cable.

So this power supply has a total of eight SATA power connectors and eight peripheral power connectors, which is far more than any average user will ever need. The problem, though, is that is hard to use the SATA power connectors and the peripheral power connectors that are installed on the same cable at the same time, since they are too close to each other. For example, if you have two SATA hard drives and one optical unit that still uses the standard peripheral power connectors, you will need to use at least two cables, as the cable used to feed the two hard drives isn’t long enough to feed the optical drive at the same time.

It is interesting to note that Enermax sells additional cables for this power supply, if you need a different cable configuration.

On this power supply all wires are 18 AWG, which is perfect for this power supply power range.

On the aesthetic side Enermax used nylon sleeving on all cables, coming from inside the power supply housing on the motherboard cables.

Now let’s take an in-depth look inside this power supply.

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