Aerocool E80-600 Power Supply Review
By Gabriel Torres on November 4, 2010


Introduction

Let’s see if this 600 W entry-level power supply from Aerocool is a good buy.

Like other power supplies from Aerocool, the E80-600 is manufactured by HEC (Compucase), being in reality the model HEC-600TE-2WX from this manufacturer. The Thermaltake PurePower 600 W (W0318RU) is based on the same power supply, meaning that the Aerocool E80-600 and the Thermaltake PurePower 600 W are internally identical (the Thermaltake model has more connectors).

The HEC-600TE-2WX has the standard 80 Plus certification, but, despite the name of the series (“80+”), Aerocool decided not to certify their E80-600. So, even though this power supply is in theory 80 Plus-certified, Aerocool didn’t pay the license to allow them to print the 80 Plus logo on this unit.

Aerocool E80-600 power supply
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Figure 1: Aerocool E80-600 power supply

Aerocool E80-600 power supply
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Figure 2: Aerocool E80-600 power supply

The Aerocool E80-600 is 5.5” (140 mm) deep and comes with a 120 mm sleeve bearing fan on its bottom (Aerocool DFS122512L).

The reviewed product doesn’t have a modular cabling system, but all cables are protected with nylon sleeves. It comes with the following cables:

The SATA and peripheral cables use 20 AWG wires, which are thinner than the minimum recommended (18 AWG). All other wires are 18 AWG.

The number of connectors is not good for a 600 W product. It should have come with at least one additional cable for video cards. If you have a video card that requires two power connectors, you will need to use an adapter to convert a peripheral power plug into a PEG connector, which definitely is not the best solution.

The reduced number of connectors and the thinner wires clearly show that we are facing an entry-level power supply.

Aerocool E80-600 power supply
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Figure 3: Cables

Let’s now take an in-depth look inside this power supply.

A Look Inside The Aerocool E80-600

We decided to disassemble this power supply to see what it looks like inside, how it is designed, and what components are used. Please read our Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies tutorial to understand how a power supply works and to compare this power supply to others.

This page will be an overview, and then in the following pages we will discuss in detail the quality and ratings of the components used.

Aerocool E80-600 power supply
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Figure 4: Top view

Aerocool E80-600 power supply
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Figure 5: Rear quarter view

Aerocool E80-600 power supply
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Figure 6: Front quarter view

Aerocool E80-600 power supply
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Figure 7: Printed circuit board

Transient Filtering Stage

As we have mentioned in other articles and reviews, the first place we look when opening a power supply for a hint about its quality, is its filtering stage. The recommended components for this stage are two ferrite coils, two ceramic capacitors (Y capacitors, usually blue), one metalized polyester capacitor (X capacitor), and one MOV (Metal-Oxide Varistor). Very low-end power supplies use fewer components, usually removing the MOV and the first coil. 

This power supply has all the minimum required components plus two additional Y capacitors and two additional X capacitors. The MOV is located behind the first X capacitor in Figure 9 (CX3) and, thus, can’t be seen in this picture.

Aerocool E80-600 power supply
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Figure 8: Transient filtering stage (part 1)

Aerocool E80-600 power supply
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Figure 9: Transient filtering stage (part 2)

In the next page we will have a more detailed discussion about the components used in the Aerocool E80-600.

Primary Analysis

On this page we will take an in-depth look at the primary stage of the Aerocool E80-600. For a better understanding, please read our Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies tutorial.

This power supply uses a PBU1005 rectifying bridge, which is attached to an individual heatsink. It supports up to 10 A at 100° C so, in theory, you would be able to pull up to 1,150 W from a 115 V power grid. Assuming 80% efficiency, the bridge would allow this unit to deliver up to 920 W without burning itself out. Of course, we are only talking about these components, and the real limit will depend on all the other components in this power supply.

Aerocool E80-600 power supply
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Figure 10: Rectifying bridge

The active PFC circuit uses two FDP18N50 MOSFETs, each one capable of delivering up to 18 A at 25° C or up to 10.8 A at 100° C (note the difference temperature makes) in continuous mode, or up to 72 A in pulse mode at 25° C. These transistors present a 265 mΩ resistance when turned on, a characteristic called RDS(on). The lower this number the better, meaning that the transistors will waste less power and the power supply will achieve a higher efficiency.

Aerocool E80-600 power supply
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Figure 11: Active PFC transistors and diode

The output of the active PFC circuit is filtered by a capacitor from CapXon, labeled at 85° C.

In the switching section, another two FDP18N50 MOSFETs are used, and the basic technical specs for these transistors were already published above.

Aerocool E80-600 power supply
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Figure 12: Switching transistor

The primary is controlled by the omnipresent CM6800 active PFC/PWM combo controller.

Aerocool E80-600 power supply
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Figure 13: Active PFC/PWM combo controller

Now let's take a look at the secondary of this power supply.

Secondary Analysis

This power supply comes with four Schottky rectifiers attached to its secondary heatsink.

The maximum theoretical current each line can deliver is given by the formula I / (1 - D) where D is the duty cycle used and I is the maximum current supported by the rectifying diode. Just as an exercise, we can assume a typical duty cycle of 30%.

The +12 V output uses two SBR30A50CT Schottky rectifiers connected in parallel (30 A, 15 A per internal diode at 25° C, 0.55 V maximum voltage drop), giving us a maximum theoretical current of 43 A or 514 W for the +12 V output.

The +5 V output uses one STPS30L45CT Schottky rectifier (30 A, 15 A per internal diode at 135° C, 0.74 V maximum voltage drop), giving us a maximum theoretical current of 21 A or 107 W for the +5 V output.

The +3.3 V output uses another STPS30L45CT Schottky rectifier, giving us a maximum theoretical current of 21 A or 71 W for the +3.3 V output.

All these numbers are theoretical and the real current/power limits of the power supply will depend on other factors.

Aerocool E80-600 power supply
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Figure 14: +5 V and +12 V rectifiers

Aerocool E80-600 power supply
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Figure 15: +12 V and +3.3 V rectifiers

The secondary is monitored by a WT7525 integrated circuit. This chip over voltage protection (OVP), under voltage protection (UVP), and over current protection (OCP) with four channels (two for +12 V, one for +5 V, and one for +3.3 V). We could clearly see the presence of two current sensors (“shunts”) on the +12 V outputs, creating the two +12 V virtual rails supported by this power supply.

Aerocool E80-600 power supply
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Figure 16: Monitoring circuit

Electrolytic capacitors of the secondary are from Teapo and labeled at 105° C, as usual.

Power Distribution

In Figure 17, you can see the power supply label containing all the power specs.

Aerocool E80-600 power supply
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Figure 17: Power supply label

This power supply has two +12 V virtual rails, as we could confirm by the presence of two “shunts” inside the power supply (see Figure 18).

Aerocool E80-600 power supply
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Figure 18: Two “shunts” (current sensors)

The two rails are distributed like this:

This distribution is perfect, as it separates the video card cables and the CPU in different rails.

Let’s now see if this power supply can really deliver 600 W.

Load Tests

We conducted several tests with this power supply, as described in the article Hardware Secrets Power Supply Test Methodology.  

First we tested this power supply with five different load patterns, trying to pull around 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100% of its labeled maximum capacity (actual percentage used listed under “% Max Load”), watching how the reviewed unit behaved under each load. In the table below we list the load patterns we used and the results for each load.

If you add all the power listed for each test, you may find a different value than what is posted under “Total” below. Since each output can vary slightly (e.g., the +5 V output working at +5.10 V), the actual total amount of power being delivered is slightly different than the calculated value. On the “Total” row we are using the real amount of power being delivered, as measured by our load tester.

The +12VA and +12VB inputs listed below are the two +12 V independent inputs from our load tester. During our tests, +12VA was connected to the power supply +12V1 rail, while +12VB was connected to the power supply +12V2 rail (EPS12V connector).

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

4 A (48 W)

9 A (108 W)

13 A (156 W)

17.5 A (210 W)

22 A (264 W)

+12VB

4 A (48 W)

9 A (108 W)

13 A (156 W)

17.5 A (210 W)

22 A (264 W)

+5V

1 A (5 W)

2 A (10 W)

4 A (20 W)

6 A (6 W)

10 A (60 W)

+3.3 V

1 A (3.3 W)

2 A (6.6 W)

4 A (13.2 W)

6 A (19.8 W)

10 A (33 W)

+5VSB

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1.5 A (7.5 W)

2 A (10 W)

3 A (15 W)

-12 V

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

Total

113.5 W

238.2 W

347.3 W

470.6 W

599.2 W

% Max Load

18.9%

39.7%

57.9%

78.4%

99.9%

Room Temp.

45.5° C

45.7° C

46.8° C

43.5° C

46.8° C

PSU Temp.

50.8° C

50.6° C

51.2° C

51.0° C

53.6° C

Voltage Regulation

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Ripple and Noise

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

AC Power

134.6 W

279.3 W

413.8 W

577.6 W

772.0 W

Efficiency

84.3%

85.3%

83.9%

81.5%

77.6%

AC Voltage

115.3 V

114.2 V

113.2 V

111.8 V

109.8 V

Power Factor

0.990

0.970

0.983

0.989

0.992

Final Result

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

The Aerocool E80-600 can really deliver its labeled wattage at high temperatures.

Efficiency wasn’t bad at all when we pulled up to 80% of its labeled wattage (480 W), between 81.5% and 85.3%, especially when you keep in mind that this is a low-cost product. At full load, however, efficiency dropped below the 80% mark, at 77.6%.

Voltages were always inside the allowed range.

Noise and ripple levels were always inside the allowed range, even though they were high at +12 V outputs with the power supply delivering 600 W. Below you can see the results for the power supply outputs during test number five. The maximum allowed is 120 mV for +12 V and -12 V outputs, and 50 mV for +5 V, +3.3 V, and +5VSB outputs. All values are peak-to-peak figures.

Aerocool E80-600 power supply
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Figure 19: +12VA input from load tester during test five at 599.2 W (100.4 mV)

Aerocool E80-600 power supply
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Figure 20: +12VB input from load tester during test five at 599.2 W (89.8 mV)

Aerocool E80-600 power supply
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Figure 21: +5V rail during test five at 599.2 W (23.4 mV)

Aerocool E80-600 power supply
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Figure 22: +3.3 V rail during test five at 599.2 W (32.2 mV)

We couldn’t pull a lot more from the E80-600. If we tried to pull more than 22 A from any of the +12 V inputs of our load tester, the unit shut down, and we could only increase +5 V and +3.3 V to 12 A each, and the total power we could pull from the reviewed unit was 608 W, with results not much different from the ones presented above. This shows that this unit has its protections tightly configured, which is good to see in a low-end power supply.

Main Specifications

The specs of the Aerocool E80-600 include:

Conclusions

Performance-wise, this is not a bad entry-level 600 W unit, with voltages inside the allowed range all times and noise and ripple levels always below their maximum allowed values. We saw efficiency peaking 85%, which is not bad at all for a low-cost power supply, but at full load efficiency dropped to 77.6%. One funny thing is that at the manufacturer’s website they say the maximum efficiency is of 80% or 82%, depending on the part of the text you are reading.

The main problem with this power supply is the reduced number of connectors. With only one video card power connector, you won’t be able to directly install a video card that requires two power connectors. Of course this installation is still possible if you install an adapter to convert a standard peripheral power plug into a video card power connector (PEG). The presence of four SATA power connectors on a single cable is another major problem.

Of course there are better 600 W power supplies out there (e.g., OCZ ModXStream Pro 600 W), but they cost more.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Aerocool-E80-600-Power-Supply-Review/1125


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