Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK Power Supply Review
By Gabriel Torres on March 7, 2011


Introduction

Today we are getting this USD 20 power supply called “Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK” that is offered by Apevia and is available at Newegg.com to see if it is a good option for users on budget. Let’s check it out.

The first thing that caught our eye is that nowhere on the power supply is written that this is a 450 W unit. This is the oldest trick in town to deceive users, and we thought nobody was still doing this: the manufacturer can simply say that “450W” is part of the product name, not its real wattage. Therefore, we are almost sure to be facing a unit with a fake wattage.

It looks like this unit is manufactured by Solytech.

Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK power supply
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Figure 1: Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK power supply

Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK power supply
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Figure 2: Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK power supply

The Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK is 5 ½” (14 cm) deep, using an 80-mm sleeve bearing fan on its rear (Apevia DFS8025). This unit doesn’t have an active PFC, being based on the outdated half-bridge topology.

The cables included are:

The cable configuration is awful. This unit has only one SATA power connector, which is not enough even for an entry-level PC, since even basic computers will require two SATA power connectors, one for the optical drive and one for the hard drive. Plus this unit doesn’t have a video card power connector. All wires are 20 AWG, i.e., thinner than the minimum recommended.

Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK 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 Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK

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.

On this page we will have an overall look, and then in the following pages we will discuss in detail the quality and ratings of the components used.

Here we found something interesting. On the power supply printed circuit board is written that if the unit uses a 6.3 A fuse, which is the case, it is a model between 230 W and 300 W…

Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK power supply
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Figure 4: Top view

Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK power supply
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Figure 5: Front quarter view

Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK power supply
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Figure 6: Rear quarter view

Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK 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. 

The Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK has only two Y capacitors.

Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK power supply
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Figure 8: Transient filtering stage

In the next page we will have a more detailed discussion about the components used in the Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK.

Primary Analysis

On this page we will take an in-depth look at the primary stage of the Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK. For a better understanding, please read our Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies tutorial.

Instead of a using a ready-made rectifying bridge, the reviewed unit uses four discrete diodes. This is another evidence that we are dealing with a very low-end power supply. Four 2A05 diodes are used, each one supporting up to 2 A at 55° C. Therefore, this unit would be able to pull up to 230 W from a 115 V power grid; assuming 80% efficiency, the diodes would allow this unit to deliver up to 184 W without burning themselves out. Of course we are only talking about these components and the real limit will depend on all other components from the power supply. Here you can tell that it is simply impossible for this power supply to be a 450 W unit.

Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK power supply
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Figure 9: Rectifying bridge

The electrolytic capacitors used in the voltage doubler circuit are from a company called Anodia and labeled at 85° C.

The Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK uses the obsolete half-bridge configuration, using two  power NPN transistors labeled “D4206,” which we assume to be “2SD4206” parts. Unfortunately we couldn’t find their datasheet.

Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK power supply
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Figure 10: Switching transistors

The switching transistors are driven by an ATX2005 PWM controller (relabeled to “2005Z,” which is Solytech’s “trademark”), which is physically located in the secondary.

Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK power supply
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Figure 11: PWM controller

Let’s now take a look at the secondary of this power supply.

Secondary Analysis

The +12 V output uses two PR3002 diodes instead of using a single rectifier with two diodes inside. No kidding, the last time we saw this kind of configuration was more than 15 years ago! Each diode supports up to 3 A at 90° C, so the +12 V output has a maximum theoretical current of 6 A or 72 W. Yes, you read it right. This diodes are “fast” not “Schottky,” meaning they have a high voltage drop (1.2 V), i.e., low efficiency.

The +5 V output uses one S16C45C Schottky rectifier, which supports up to 16 A (8 A per internal diode at 125° C, 0.55 V maximum voltage drop), giving us a maximum theoretical current of 16 A or 80 W for the +5 V output.

The +3.3 V output uses one S10C45C Schottky rectifier, which supports up to 10 A (5 A per internal diode at 125° C, 0.70 V maximum voltage drop), giving us a maximum theoretical current of 10 A or 33 W for the +3.3 V output.

All these numbers are theoretical. The real amount of current/power each output can deliver is limited by other components, especially by the coils used on each output.

Here you can clearly see three things. First, the +5 V output is “stronger” than the +12 V output, which is a typical scenario for power supplies projected more than 10 years ago. Nowadays the most current/power is pulled from the +12 V output (because there is where the CPU and the video cards are connected to) and, therefore, this output should be the “strongest.” Second, the +12 V output uses regular diodes, also showing how obsolete this unit it. And, third, if we add up all the maximum theoretical powers we get 185 W, so it is simply impossible for this power supply to be a 450 W model.

Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK power supply
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Figure 12: +3.3 V, +12 V and +5 V rectifiers

To complicate the situation of this power supply, it simply doesn’t have any filtering coil in its secondary, see Figure 13. This will surely make this unit to present noise and ripple levels above the maximum allowed.

Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK power supply
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Figure 13: No filtering coils in the secondary

The ATX2005 integrated circuit, shown in Figure 11, besides being a PWM controller, also monitors the power supply outputs, presenting overvoltage (OVP) and undervoltage (UVP) protections.

We couldn’t discover the manufacturer of the secondary capacitors.

Power Distribution

In Figure 14, you can see this power supply label containing all its power specs.

Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK power supply
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Figure 14: Power supply label

The label is, of course, a complete lie. The manufacturer lists two +12 V rails, but this unit has only one.

Let’s now see how much power this unit can really deliver.

Load Tests

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

Since with very low-end power supplies we can’t tell beforehand whether they will be able to deliver their labeled wattage or not, we test them using a different methodology. We increase load little by little, until we find out the maximum the power supply is capable of delivering. As usual, we pull more current/power from the +12 V outputs, as this better reflects the usage of a modern PC, since the CPU and the video cards are connected to these outputs.

If you add all the powers listed for each test, you may find a different value than what is posted under “Total” below. Since each output can have a slight variation (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. In 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, the +12VA and +12VB input were connected to the power supply single +12 V rail (the ATX12V connector was installed on the +12VB input of our load tester).

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

+12VA

3 A (36 W)

3.5 A (42 W)

4.5 A (54 W)

5.5 A (66 W)

+12VB

2.5 A (30 W)

3.25 A (39 W)

4 A (48 W)

5 A (60 W)

+5V

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1.5 A (7.5 A)

1.5 A (7.5 A)

+3.3 V

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1.5 A (4.95 W)

1.5 A (4.95 W)

+5VSB

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

-12 V

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

Total

83.3 W

97.6 W

122.3 W

144.9 W

% Max Load

18.5%

21.7%

27.2%

32.2%

Room Temp.

42.4° C

41.4° C

39.0° C

39.6° C

PSU Temp.

43.4° C

42.7° C

42.2° C

42.1° C

Voltage Regulation

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Ripple and Noise

Fail on +5 V, +3.3 V and +5VSB

Fail on +5 V, +3.3 V and +5VSB

Fail on +5 V, +3.3 V and +5VSB

Fail on +5 V, +3.3 V and +5VSB

AC Power

114.1 W

132.6 W

165.0 W

196.6 W

Efficiency

73.0%

73.6%

74.1%

73.7%

AC Voltage

118.7 V

118.7 V

119.1 V

119.7 V

Power Factor

0.599

0.598

0.598

0.603

Final Result

Fail

Fail

Fail

Fail


Input

Test 5

Test 6

Test 7

Test 8

+12VA

6.25 A (75 W)

7.5 A (90 W)

8.25 A (99 W)

9.25 A (111 W)

+12VB

6 A (72 W)

7 A (84 W)

8 A (96 W)

9 A (108 W)

+5V

2 A (10 W)

2 A (10 W)

2.5 A (12.5 W)

2.5 A (12.5 W)

+3.3 V

2 A (6.6 W)

2 A (6.6 W)

2.5 A (8.25 W)

2.5 A (8.25 W)

+5VSB

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

-12 V

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

Total

169.1 W

194.1 W

217.7 W

239.2 W

% Max Load

37.6%

43.1%

48.4%

53.2%

Room Temp.

40.0° C

40.2° C

41.7° C

43.9° C

PSU Temp.

42.5° C

42.4° C

43.7° C

45.5° C

Voltage Regulation

Pass

Pass

Pass

Fail on +12VB

Ripple and Noise

Fail on +5 V, +3.3 V and +5VSB

Fail on +5 V, +3.3 V and +5VSB

Fail on +5 V, +3.3 V and +5VSB

Fail on +12VA, +5 V, +3.3 V, -12 V and +5VSB

AC Power

231.7 W

271.7 W

314.5 W

368.2 W

Efficiency

73.0%

71.4%

69.2%

65.0%

AC Voltage

119.4 V

118.9 V

118.6 V

118.0 V

Power Factor

0.610

0.619

0.623

0.623

Final Result

Fail

Fail

Fail

Fail

As expected, the Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK can’t deliver its labeled wattage: it burned when we tried to pull more than 240 W from it. The component that burned was one of the +12 diodes.

Efficiency was always below 80%, between 65% and 74%.

Voltages were inside the proper range all the time, except during test eight, where we saw +11.36 V at the +12VB input of our load tester (the minimum allowed is +11.40 V). The ATX12V specification allows voltages to be up to 5% from their nominal values (10% for the -12 V output).

Noise and ripple levels were always above the maximum allowed, as we expected, since this unit doesn’t have the required filtering coils in its secondary. During the test eight, the noise level on the +12VA input was 122.6 mV, on the +12VB input was 120.2 mV, on the +5 V input was 91.8 mV, on the +3.3 V input was 59.4 mV, on the -12 V input was 122.2 mV and on the +5VSB input was 63.8 mV. The maximum allowed is 120 mV for the +12 V and -12 V outputs, and 50 mV for the +5 V, +3.3 V, and +5VSB outputs. All values are peak-to-peak figures.

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK include:

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

Conclusions

We are amazed to discover that power supplies with fake wattages are still being sold in the United States and, of all places, at Newegg.com. We thought it was illegal to sell this kind of junk in America.

The Apevia Turbolink ATX-TL450W-BK is sold as a 450 W unit, but it can only deliver 240 W. Having a fake wattage is the smallest of its problems: it is a piece of junk that can damage your computer, since it provides noise/ripple levels above the maximum allowed, as it doesn’t have the required filtering coils in its secondary. Efficiency was between 65% and 74%, which will make your computer to spend more electricity than necessary (higher electricity bill). And the cable configuration is a joke, with only one SATA power connector and no video card power connector (if it had, users would fry the power supply as soon as they run a game).

This is an excellent review to understand that trying to save by buying a USD 20 power supply makes no sense.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Apevia-Turbolink-ATX-TL450W-BK-Power-Supply-Review/1212


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