Introduction, Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Today we have a new brand crossing the test bench to see what it can handle. This time the power supply is from LEPA. Most of you will not be familiar with LEPA at all, but will easily recognize the parent brand of ECOMASTER. LEPA's power supply offerings are identical to that of its sister company, Enermax. This is because they are simply rebranded and offered to consumers with the LEPA name instead of Enermax. We aren't entirely sure why the same company would offer the same product under a different name, but as long as it performs well, then it doesn't really matter.
The specific unit being tested today is the LEPA G500-MA 500W power supply. LEPA's G series PSU's are rebranded MODU87+ power supplies. The last time we had one of the MODU87+ PSU's on the bench, it was the 800W model and it scored quite well. As such, we expect this unit to have performance and features of the same caliber. Let's start taking a look at the G500-MA to see if it up to spec and find out just how well it performs.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The G500-MA has some very modest outputs for a 500W power supply. Each of the three 12V rails offer up to 25A of power each with a combined total load of 41A. The 3.3V and 5V rails offer up to 20A of power with a combined total output of 100W. This should easily support most single GPU systems so long as there isn't any serious overclocking involved.
This is something that you normally don't see out of a 500W power supply. PSU's in this range are generally deemed for budget builds and thus often lack some of the protections that we find in more enthusiast oriented power supplies. The G500-MA has every feature that we check for including a wide range of protections, modular and sleeved cables, 80Plus certification, and is even rated for 100% continuous output at 50C.
LEPA's G500-MA can be found very easily at a wide range of e-tailers. Newegg lists the G500-MA with an MSRP of $119.99 with $4.99 S&H. With a final price of $124.98, the G500-MA certainly isn't the cheapest 500W power supply on the market, but it does come with plenty of features that you normally don't see.
Oddly enough, LEPA only offers the G500-MA with a three year warranty. This isn't odd because it is only a three year warranty, but because the Enermax MODU87+ 500W that is the same power supply brings a five year warranty with it.
LEPA's black and yellow dominates the external packaging for the G500-MA. On the front we catch a glimpse of the fan grill and the 80Plus Gold logo.
LEPA does a good job on the back of giving you plenty of information without overwhelming you with excessive marketing.
One side of the box shows the number of connectors available for the power supply. The other three sides simply shows the LEPA logo.
Inside the Box
This is how the G500-MA is packed inside the box. There isn't any foam or bubble wrap protecting the power supply and it is free to shift around in the box side to side.
After pulling the G500-MA out of the box, we noticed that it was scratched in several places. We can't help but think that this could have easily been prevented if the power supply was packed better. On top of the PSU is where you will find the I/O specification label.
Both sides of the power supply display the same LEPA G500 logo.
The front of the G500-MA houses the modular connectors.
Taking a look at the back reveals a honeycomb mesh grill that is almost as unobstructed as possible with only the AC input, on/off switch and LEPA logo cluttering up the back.
The gold 140mm fan can be found on the bottom of the power supply with a wire mesh grill protecting it.
After we had handled the power supply a couple times and were putting it back together from taking pictures, we noticed that the power supply also had a broken fan grill. While we can't say that better packaging would have prevented this from happening, it surely couldn't have hurt considering the scratches visible in a few pictures above.
Cabling Arrangement & A Look Inside
LEPA's G500-MA comes out of the box with a great selection of cables and connectors. Both the 24-pin Main and ATX 4+4 cables are native to the power supply. The modular cables consist of a single PCI-E cable that has dual 8-pin connectors and three peripheral cables with six SATA, six Molex and one FDD connectors.
For those that are really paying attention, there are two additional modular connectors for peripheral cables and one additional PCI-E modular connection on the front of the power supply. Should you require more cables and connectors, these can be purchased from LEPA.
As is often the case with Enermax based power supplies, the rail distribution is somewhat unconventional so that the rails are automatically load balanced without the user having to think about it. The first 12V rail provides power to the 24-pin main and ATX 4+4 connectors. The second 12V rail supplies power to half of each of the modular PCI-E connectors. Finally, we have the third 12V rail which supplies the remainder of the PCI-E power and all of the power for peripherals.
A Look Inside
Popping the top off the G500-MA reveals a very open layout with ample cooling for a 500W power supply.
Checking out the primary side, we find a single Matsushita capacitor. For those that are unaware, Matsushita is more commonly known as Panasonic and these are Japanese made capacitors.
Moving on towards the secondary side, we find several Nippon Chemi-con capacitors present.
Cooling off the G500-MA is the 140mm Power Cooler fan, model PD142512W-0AB.
Test Results & Final Thoughts
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 greater than that of the LEPA G500-MA 500W PSU, we can test it to the maximum.
The LEPA G500-MA performed just as we expected and passed all of our tests with flying colors. Starting with the voltage readings, we see some very solid readings throughout all of the tests. Both the 5V and 12V rails showed regulation within 1% of their nominal values. The 3.3V rail showed regulation within 2%. It has been quite a while since we've had the pleasure of seeing regulation this good from start to finish.
Moving on to the noise on the 12V rail, we find the worst values seen from the LEPA G500-MA. While these might be the "worst" values we saw from the unit, they are far from being bad. The power supply started out with a reading of 16mV peak to peak and ended up showing a maximum of 33mV peak to peak. It might not be an exceptional reading, but what we would consider great.
Finally, we have the efficiency of the LEPA G500-MA. The power supply starts out quite strong with an efficiency of 89.3%. As we increase the load, we see a maximum of 90.5% efficiency during the second test and we end up with a full load efficiency of 88.5%. The LEPA G500-MA has great efficiency from start to finish and is well deserving of the 80Plus Gold certification it bears.
The LEPA G500-MA performs excellently for a 500W power supply. As a matter of fact, it performs just as you would expect any rebranded Enermax power supply to perform. Voltage regulation is excellent, noise regulation is great and efficiency is absolutely fantastic. Adding to the great performance is the excellent list of features, wonderful assortment of cables and connectors out of the box, and the ability to add more cables and connectors if needed.
The LEPA G500 isn't without its flaws. Fortunately, most of the flaws are superficial and something that LEPA can easily resolve. The damage that the unit sustained during shipping is simply unacceptable and due to poor packaging. Simply adding some additional foam on one side of the power supply would have prevented a majority of the damage, if not all of it. There is also no reason for the drop in warranty, especially since the rebranded power supply comes from the same parent company. It should share the same five year warranty that the power supply does with the Enermax branding.
LEPA knows that they have a quality product since they are simply rebranding an Enermax product. Now they just have to make sure that the customer gets the quality experience from start to finish so that the quality product can be enjoyed.
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