When it comes to testing a power supply, there are a lot of choices in how to tackle the job. I have found that while a multimeter can give scads of data, most of us don't have a clue what all these facts and figures mean. Even the elite of the enthusiast crowd doesn't always keep up with the inner workings of a power supply. So what do we do?
Since a majority of our readers tend to fall into the enthusiast realm, why not run the power supply in an AthlonFX based system and then stress it out? We'll begin by starting up a burning session on the CD-RW then go ahead and minimize that. Now if we crank up a long-winded demo of Quake 4, we will have strong power draws coming from the hard drive, memory, graphics and the optical device. Now granted, most of us aren't going to be doing these tasks together, but if our test model can manage to produce good numbers under these situations, it will handle our normal daily chores with ease. Oh, and to make sure that the 12v rail is being properly utilized I'm going to have the power supply hooked up to four fans to provide a constant draw from this source.
Nice numbers as a rule here. The 12v rail is pumping above and beyond it's rating and was as steady as a rock. There was absolutely no fluctuation is voltage on this rail. The 5v rail also put out numbers a little over the stated rating and was nearly steady. It would, however, toss back between 5.13v and 5.14v, but nothing out of the ordinary so I'm not worried here. The 3.3v rail is suffering a little bit, but there were no stability issues.
Oh, and just for grins I decided to add some other power drains on the PSU from another system. After all, they didn't just give me 10 Molex for fun, did they? To make a long story short, the numbers above were still holding steady with no drops in any of the voltage rails. This makes a statement for the Enermax product line.