Enermax Liberty ECO 500 W Power Supply Review

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Introduction

The new Liberty ECO series from Enermax comes to replace their popular Liberty DXX series, featuring a modular cabling system, 120 mm fan, active PFC and labeled at 40° C – i.e., the manufacturer guarantees that the unit can deliver its labeled power at this temperature. The main problem with the Liberty DXX series was efficiency, which dropped below 80% if you pulled more than 60% the unit’s maximum load. Since we had already reviewed Liberty DXX 500 W it will be really interesting to review Liberty ECO 500 W to see how this new version compares to the old version. Is Liberty ECO 500 W a good product or has the same efficiency issue as Liberty DXX 500 W? Can it really deliver 500 W? Check it out.

Enermax Liberty ECO 500 WFigure 1: Enermax Liberty ECO 500 W.

This power supply is small, being only 5 1/2” (140 mm) deep, featuring a 120 mm fan on its bottom and active PFC circuit, allowing Enermax to market this product in Europe. According to the manufacturer this unit has efficiency between 80% and 86% and we are going to measure this, especially because it was the main flaw with Liberty DXX series.

As mentioned Liberty ECO 500 W comes with a modular cabling system, which can be seen on the pictures below. The connectors used here are completely different from the ones used on Liberty DXX, being identical to the ones used on MODU82+ series from the same manufacturer.

Enermax Liberty ECO 500 WFigure 2: Enermax Liberty ECO 500 W.

The connectors used on the modular cabling system are flawed. If you pull any cable attached to the modular cabling system without pressing its lateral latches the plastic part from the connector comes off, as you can see in Figure 3. You can easily put this part back in its place, the problem is that this plastic part fits the pins in two different positions! If this happens to you, pay close attention to the other connectors to make sure to insert the plastic part using the same orientation, i.e., matching the location of the squared and trapezoidal holes with the one used by the other connectors.

Enermax Liberty ECO 500 WFigure 3: The plastic part from the connector comes off if you pull the cable without pressing its latches.

Enermax Liberty ECO 500 WFigure 4: Cables from the modular cabling system.

The motherboard cables come from inside the power supply and are protected by a nylon sleeving that also comes from inside the unit. The main motherboard cable uses a 24-pin connector and this unit comes with two ATX12V connectors that together form an EPS12V connector.

Cables for peripherals are available on the modular cabling system, and the product comes with four cables: One cable with two 6/8-pin video card auxiliary power connectors (even thought this connectors are available on the same cable, they are connected to the power supply using individual wires), one cable with three SATA power plugs, one cable with two SATA power plugs and two standard peripheral power connectors and one cable with three standard peripheral power connectors and one floppy disk drive power connector.

The number of plugs is satisfactory for a mainstream PC.

All wires are 18 AWG, which is the correct gauge to be used nowadays.

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

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Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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