Introduction, Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Every now and then, something big comes along. You know it's big just by looking at the box. The sheer size and heft of the package in your hands dictates respect. It is a contender, a challenger and determined to be king.
This is exactly what we have for you today as we take a look at the latest offering from Lepa. For those unfamiliar with the brand, you'll be pleased to know that Lepa is simply a re-branded Enermax brand power supply. It really is that simple and knowing that, it should be no shock to you that we are taking a look at the only power supply to compete with the king of wattage, the Ultra X4 1600W.
For the first time in over two years, we finally have a power supply that is capable of challenging the power offered by the Ultra X4 1600W. Lepa has launched the G1600, capable of 1600 watts itself. It has full modular cabling and supports up to five GPUs, but that is just about where the similarities stop. Lepa promises an efficient, quiet and lightweight behemoth at an "affordable" price. Both Lepa and Enermax have shown us in the past that they mean business and they must uphold their reputation if they are to pull this off. If they don't, you could quite literally find yourself burning down the house. OK, maybe not that far, but you get the idea.
This unit also comes at a time when massive PSUs are needed for some enthusiasts. EVGA just released their new SR-X, a dual Xeon flagship workstation motherboard and an ASUS model will soon follow. I'm working as hard as I can to get both in my lab as the processors provided by AVADirect are already sitting on my shelf.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
There's been quite a push over the past few years towards a single 12V rail power design, but that just isn't going to cut it here with the Lepa G1600. Combined 12V amperage offered by this unit is 133 amps and that would simply be insane.
Lepa breaks things down to a total of six 12V rails that put out a combined 1596 watts. Both of the minor rails are rated for 25A each with a combined total output of 140 watts or enough to power a mainstream computer. This is a bit lower than we expected out of this unit, though. It does come with a larger than usual 5VSB rail and is rated for 4A.
Almost everything you could want in a power supply is here. Full modularity, full sleeving, full protection... Lepa doesn't miss a beat until you get to the 50C power rating. Unfortunately, the Lepa G1600 is only rated for 100% continuous output at 40C and thus gets a red mark. Our experience with Enermax / Lepa units shows that they are more than capable of handling the 50C mark, but we just can't give it the check based upon past experiences.
Lepa takes a huge swing at the crown with an MSRP of $329 which is about $50 less than what you can find the Ultra X4 1600W for. Not too many e-tailers are carrying the unit yet, but it is readily available by searching Google. Those that do have it aren't budging from the MSRP and the cheapest you'll be able to get your hands on the G1600-MA is $335.98 after shipping from Newegg.
Lepa backs the unit with a rather short three year warranty, something that caught us by surprise given the quality of PSU, the cost and other high wattage units available today that ship with a five year warranty.
The G1600 is seen coming out of the shadows on the front of the box and it proudly displays the 1600W in gold. Lepa says that the unit is capable of peaking at 1700W as well, not that you have a snowballs chance in hell of ever getting there without putting some serious thought and money behind the project.
Almost everything you want to know is on the back of the unit. Features, specifications, connectors...it is all here.
The top of the box is similar to the front and doesn't offer anything extra.
The bottom is identical to that of the top.
Lepa has certainly missed some opportunities to offer up some extra information on the unit such as cable quantities and lengths.
Once again, we have another blank side that could have been utilized to offer some more information.
Inside the Box
Opening things up, we find things packed into three separate boxes. The left box contains all of the PCI-E cables and second EPS12V cable. On the right are all of the peripheral cables plus the 20+4 pin main connector. In the middle we find the power supply protected by extra foam and the AC power cord.
Pulling the unit out of the box, we find that the I/O specification label can be found on the top. It utilizes the same finish found on the Enermax MaxRevo 1350.
Nothing fancy here, just the G1600 silk screened onto the side.
The other side is the same, only inverted.
The back has your standard honeycomb mesh vent. Note the C19 style power connector. You'd be foolish to try and pull this much power using a standard C13 style connector. You're going to want this one going straight to the wall. Note that there is no on/off rocker switch.
The front of the power supply reveals a fully modular unit. All connectors are labeled, but unfortunately not with rail identification.
Moving to the bottom we find the 135mm fan that cools the Lepa G1600-MA PSU.
All modular cables are fully sleeved with shrink wrap to secure it on both ends. There is sure to be a tangled mess if all the cables are put to use.
Rounding out the package contents are the user manual, AC power cord, mounting screws and two pieces of information. The one on the left advises you to only use the included power cord and to make sure that it is plugged directly into the wall, not through a power strip. The other one has the layout for the six 12V rails.
Cabling Arrangement and A Look Inside
Lepa provides an excellent selection of connectors, but their cable choice lacks a little bit. All of the cables are a bit short, especially the PCI-E cables. They will be hard to hide and route on the back side of the case and still reach where you want them to. The FDD connectors are also forced upon as and not offered as adapters as they should be.
You most certainly are reading that chart correctly and it is not an error. There are in fact ten PCI-E connectors, giving you the ability to power five GPU's. There are also three CPU connectors and you can utilize all three of them at the same time. Rounding out the list are fourteen SATA connectors, eight Molex and two FDD connectors.
Rail distribution is well thought out and prevents you from creating an imbalance on the rails of the power supply. 12V1 takes care of your main connector and 12V2 feeds the first EPS12V connector. 12V3 and 12V5 each handle two of the GPU/CPU/RAM connectors. 12V4 and 12V6 each handle one of the GPU/CPU/RAM connectors as well as three of the peripheral connectors.
A Look Inside
Lepa isn't messing around on the inside and makes sure that there is plenty of passive cooling on the unit to aid in removing heat from critical areas.
A trio of Japanese made Panasonic capacitors adorns the primary side of the power supply.
Rubycon capacitors can be found on the secondary side of the PSU.
Active cooling for the Lepa G1600-MA is provided by the ADDA AD512UB-A90 135mm fan.
Test Results and 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 lower than that of the Lepa G1600-MA, we can only test it to 1000W. Also, our test equipment is only capable of creating four simultaneous loads. As a result, in the graphs below, 12V3 will indicate combined loads for 12V3 and 12V5 on the power supply. 12V4 will indicate combined loads for 12V4 and 12V6 on the power supply.
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 12V1 rail, we saw 2% regulation with a total drop of .17V from start to finish. Looking towards 12V2, we saw 2% regulation with a total drop of .19V. 12V3 faired the best out of all the 12V rails as it stayed within 2% regulation and saw a total drop of .14V. 12V4 was also within 2% regulation and displayed a total drop of .16V. The 5V rail also stayed within 2% voltage regulation and displayed a total drop of .04V. Moving towards the 3.3V rail, we see that regulation was again within 2% with a total voltage drop of .04V.
DC output quality was absolutely amazing from start to finish. Starting out, we were barely able to see a ripple on the scope during Test 1 where we measured noise at a low 7mV peak to peak. This steadily, but marginally, increased as the loads also increased. By the time we had reached around 50% load, the unit ripple had crept up to 16mV. Under Test 6, we saw that the noise on the 12V rail had crept up to 18mV. This is representative of 62% of the total output of this power supply.
The Lepa G1600-MA PSU is rated for 80Plus Gold efficiency. This means that the power supply must perform at 87%/90%/87% efficiency at 20%/50%/100% loads respectively. As you can see, the G1600-MA had no trouble achieving this while on our test bench.
There is little to say about the Lepa G1600-MA outside of "wow" or "amazing". When pulling off a power supply of this calibre, you must do it with pure perfection. Lepa has come so close to doing just that and most certainly taken the crown away from Ultra on every single level. The build quality on the Lepa G1600-MA is perfect, both inside out and. You simply couldn't ask for a better built unit. Most impressive is the soldering on the inside of the unit, something most will never see, but we were able to pop the top. The only real comparison I have is high dollar electronics that are used in race applications like Indy Car or even Formula One. I've taken apart a PI Research component before costing upwards of 20K and that is the level of quality Lepa has achieved.
Performance for the G1600-MA is amazing too, as you might expect. Voltages are tight and steady all the way across the board. Perhaps what is most amazing in this area is the DC Output Quality of the unit. The G1600-MA has the lowest noise of just about any power supply we have ever tested and has plenty of room to spare. The unit also does a fantastic job of surpassing the requirements for 80Plus Gold certification.
There are a few things that do hold the unit back from being perfect that we have to bring up. The short three year warranty is just unacceptable from such a quality unit. We feel Lepa could do better even if it is just for consumer peace of mind. There are also the issues of short cables along with forced FDD connectors. Lepa could easily vary the length of the PCI-E cables and include the FDD connectors as adapters to solve this issue, but they didn't. This is an enthusiast product so advanced features with well thought out execution is a must. At this point we are really just looking hard for ways to find something to nit-pick on as the rest of the unit is without fault.
Few will ever need a power supply capable of delivering such power, but for those that will, it is comforting to know that they will find a quality unit. This quality will come with a bit of a hefty price tag, but it's also significantly less than it has been in the past. The performance of this unit proves that it is well deserving of our performance award. It could easily snag the Editor's Choice award with just a few small tweaks here and there. That being said, it is still safe to say the Lepa 1600-MA is the new king of the power supply market. We look forward to abusing it further in our upcoming dual Xeon build.
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