Our load tests utilize a couple of FAST ATE active load testers and a variety of other equipment such as an oscilloscope, power conditioner, temperature probe and a power consumption meter. You can read more about our standard testing approach here.
The tests performed are based around six conceivable setups that are out there and progressively load down the PSU up to the power supply's limits or 1000W, whichever comes first. Since our test equipment's limits are equal to that of the Enermax Triathlor FC 650W power supply, we can test it to the maximum.
The above tests represent typical loads that we have measured from various systems and are meant to give a rough idea of where your computer might fall in line with our tests. Please keep in mind that each system is different and actual loads can vary greatly even with similar hardware.
Let's start by taking a look at the voltages to see how well this unit did during testing. Starting with the 12V rail, we see 2% regulation from start to finish with a total drop of .18V. The 5V rail managed to stay within 2% of specification with a total drop of .09V from start to finish. Moving towards the 3.3V rail, we see that regulation was within 2% of specification with a total voltage drop of .11V.
DC Output quality for the Triathlor 650W was great and well within specification. During Test 1, we saw 17mV of noise on our scope. When we increased the loads in Test 2, the ripple climbed to 24mV at around half load. During Test 4 under a load of 650W, the oscilloscope showed a maximum of 42mv on noise on the 12V rail.
The Enermax Triathlor FC 650W is rated for 80 PLUS Bronze efficiency. This means that the power supply must perform at 82%/85%/82% efficiency at 20%/50%/100% loads respectively. As you can see, the Triathlor FC 650W passed on our bench, and wasn't close to failing at any point.
As was stated at the beginning of this review, the Triathlor FC is meant to replace the Modu82+ series of power supplies. These units are meant to sit somewhere in between entry level units and enthusiast units in terms of features, build quality and performance. The Triathlor FC 650W power supply that we tested has done just that.
As far as features are concerned, there isn't much that the Triathlor FC doesn't have. All the protections you'd hope for are present and the unit provides great cable management with the exception of the PCI-E cables. Build quality and performance are spot on with several enthusiast grade units that we've taken a look at, so there isn't much pick at on the surface.
One of the key features that is missing from an enthusiast grade power supply is that the unit isn't rated for 100% continuous output at 50C. On top of this, the unit's efficiency is rather low considering this day and age of 80 PLUS Gold/Platinum units that are everywhere. This is exactly what this unit should have since it is meant to fill the void between entry level and enthusiast grade units.
What the power supply does have is a high price tag and that is something that just doesn't make sense. The $119.99 MSRP puts it right in the line with other units that have more features and better performance at the same price. It just doesn't make sense to spend the same amount of money to get less and that is the one area that the Triathlor FC 650W fails to fill the void between entry level and enthusiast grade power supplies. As soon as we see the price slip a little or it go on sale, the Triathlor is sure to make a much better deal and a lot more sense.