Introduction

We first received a sample of the Revolution 85+ about two months ago. Enermax was going to launch the product much earlier, but a sudden change in plans created some delays. During the past couple weeks, we've had a chance to play around with final hardware, which has been quite fun. There are some new innovations inside this PSU, and in fact the inside looks totally different from what we've seen in the past. Enermax now includes DC-to-DC circuitry to create all of the lower voltage rails, something normally done with a transformer. DC-to-DC technology is nothing new since we've already seen it in several other units, but the approach Enermax took isn't quite the same as other vendors, which we will see later. Note that some of the images for this article come from Enermax marketing, including photos of the packaging material since that wasn't ready in time for this review.


The appearance of our first sample was similar to previous tested models like the Infiniti or Galaxy. In fact, this power supply was originally going to be branded Galaxy 2 before Enermax chose the Revolution moniker. The original came in a gunmetal color with a golden fan-grille installed over the huge 135mm fan; all of that changed with the latest version, which will finally hit the market.

In typical Enermax fashion, the company equipped this power supply with a massive modular cabling system that can satisfy pretty much any need. Some critics will say that modular cables can cause problems with high-performance power supplies, but during testing Enermax still manages to reach very high efficiency with stable voltages.

The Revolution 85+ series comes in four different wattages: 850W, 950W, 1050W, and 1250W -- although the last will only be available for 230VAC (i.e. Europe). Today we will be looking at the 1050W model, the ERV1050EWT. The feature list is impressive, with six 12V rails, no-load operation (which will be important for future hybrid power GPUs), power saving modes for upcoming CPUs, high efficiency, and all outputs rated at 50°C.


The six 12V rails are each rated at 30 amps, although Enermax has almost certainly set the OCP a little higher, i.e. 35 amps. There is more than enough power to connect the most demanding graphics cards, a highly overclocked processor, plenty of hard drives, and still have room to spare. 12V1 delivers power to the 24-pin ATX connector; 12V2 powers both the 4/8-pin and 8-pin EPS connectors; 12V3 is for the first and second graphics card connectors; 12V4 handles the first 12-pin socket and peripheral sockets 1, 2, and 3; 12V5 gets the second and third 12-pin sockets; and last, 12V6 is for the fourth 12-pin socket and the remaining peripherals. The distribution is very good and nobody should experience any overloads with today's hardware. The 3.3V and 5V are both rated at only 25A, although this is still more than sufficient for modern systems. The standby 5V rail is stated at 5A, which is massive compared to many other power supplies, but it's necessary in order to comply with the EPS12V regulations in version 2.92.

Packaging and Appearance
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  • takumsawsherman - Thursday, November 06, 2008 - link

    Forgive me for my ignorance, but isn't it the 5V rail that takes care of hard drive power? The reason I ask is that I have a Enermax Whisper 350 that is about 5 years old, and it has 32A on the 5V rail. I can use 4 Hard drives max before the power supply starts to have issues.

    Does this mean that this power supply could only handle 3? My 3.3 rail is also 30A, and this unit seems to only provide 25. Why so little?

    Again, I am looking to be educated, I'm not yet criticizing because I realize that my assumptions are probably incorrect. I've been window shopping for Hard drives for a while now (750GB is not enough any more) and I know i can't add more to my current setup unless I get a better power supply.
    Reply
  • Trippytiger - Friday, November 07, 2008 - link

    I believe 3.5" hard drives receive power on both the +5V and +12V rails. That the power supplies for external hard drive enclosures provide both voltages suggests this.

    I'm guessing, given how old your PSU is and how much juice it has on the +5V and +3.3V rails, that its +12V rail is on the weak side and that's the reason it has issues with large numbers of hard drives. It sounds like it was designed to ATX 1.3 specs and was intended for system with a CPU running off of the 5V rail. Since all modern (and not so modern) processors take power from the +12V rail these days, the +5V rail just isn't as critical as it used to be.

    You'd probably be much better off with a newer PSU with more power on the +12V rail. Of course, if your system does happen to be ancient... good luck finding something suitable. I went shopping for a PSU for my old AXP+ system several years ago and had a hell of a time finding a unit with a beefy +5V rail back then!
    Reply
  • xaris106 - Thursday, November 06, 2008 - link

    I`m not sure i understand that "syncronized transformers". But if they work in parallel I am a bit concerned for the approach as variations in the resistance, impendance and coupling factors between the two can lead to unbalanced loading. And it could get worse as components burn in and age.

    As for the kill a watt measurements I would like to point out that the number is not what the pc components need in power. It includes the psu loses. that means a 300W kill-a-watt measurement means the parts draw 240W (and the psu load) with a 80% efficient psu
    Reply
  • JonnyDough - Thursday, November 06, 2008 - link

    Try learning words like "kilowatt" and "losses" and then post. Reply
  • xaris106 - Thursday, November 06, 2008 - link

    yeah I see why you said that... with "kill-a-watt" i was referring to the wattmeter device that people use in their electric outlets to measure power consumption. I wasn't referring to killowatts...I also misspelled "losses". again sorry for my english. Reply
  • The0ne - Friday, November 07, 2008 - link

    You don't need to apologize for your grammar or misspellings on here. People need to understand that there are other members of different race and from different countries to not STUPIDLY assume that they are the only one that matters in the world. If the person is going to make such stupid comments lets see him/her try it on a non-english topic and then report back. Chances are, he/she is probably to lazy in the first place to pick up a second language to even consider trying.

    That aside, it's the web. Even I don't care about my grammar or spelling here and I write technical reports on a daily basis where I work (to a certain extent of course hahah).
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, November 07, 2008 - link

    The power loads in our PSU reviews are *not* measured using a Kill-A-Watt or similar device; see the page on the Chroma testing equipment. When we say there's a 500W load on a PSU and that PSU is 89% efficient at that load, it means the PSU is drawing 562W at the outlet. Our other articles use wall power (because we don't have the equipment elsewhere to measure actual loads). Reply
  • xaris106 - Friday, November 07, 2008 - link

    Yes, I know you didn't use a simple wattmeter. Your equipment and test is impressive I would say. I was referring to a comment in page 1 that mentioned a kill-a-watt.
    As a suggestion, in reviews that you do use outlet power, it would be nice to make a note of it and that the numbers include power losses (and even the approximate efficiency if you use a tested psu) so people can have it in mind.
    Now just an idea.Wouldn't it be nice for you to make a set of connectors that plug between the psu connectors and the motherboard/devices that can go through ampmeters? So we can see all those dc currents. Although that might me a lot of ampmeters...and a bit risky. Just a thought.
    My regards.
    Reply
  • The0ne - Friday, November 07, 2008 - link

    I don't see why you can't hook up a current probe connected to a O-scope to measure the current. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, November 07, 2008 - link

    Christoph did something like that in his http://www.anandtech.com/casecoolingpsus/showdoc.a...">Power Supply Myths article... not really something to do in every review if we can avoid; they take long enough already! ;) Reply

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