The Bottom Line
Introduction & Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Hot on the heels of our review of the Enermax Revolution X't 630W power supply is another unit from Enermax. As we saw with their last example, they strive to build quality into their units from the start. In everything that we've seen from Enermax, they have achieved this. We don't expect this unit to be any different.
The Triathlor Eco series of power supplies does sit closer to an entry-level unit than the other units that we've looked at. That being said, we do expect it to be missing a few features and possibly having lower build quality than their other units. In order to bring a price down, something has to give and that is always the case. The Triathlor Eco doesn't give up everything though as it still features modular cables, so that's a start. Let's dig into this thing and find out what all it has to offer.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The Enermax Triathlor Eco 650W features a single 12V rail rated for 50A or 600W. The 3.3V and 5V rails are each rated for 20A with a combined maximum output of 120W. The 5VSB rail is rated for 2.5A or 12.5W. Maximum combined output for the Enermax Triathlor Eco 650W power supply is 650W.
The Enermax Triathlor 650W power supply is meant to be an entry-level unit with just enough to get by. This helps keep the price down, but as I said at the start, this means you'll get a few less features. This holds true with the Triathlor Eco 650W. The protections included include SCP, OVP, OCP, and OPP, but it does not include over-temperature protection (OTP). The unit is semi-modular and features flat ribbon cables for both the native and modular variety. The unit is rated for 80 PLUS Bronze efficiency. Finally, the unit is not rated for 100% continuous output at 50C, but is rated for it at 40C.
The Enermax Triathlor Eco 650W has an MSRP of $99.99. This is a bit on the expensive side for an 80 PLUS Bronze rated power supply, especially consider it is priced the same as the Enermax Revolution X't that we just reviewed before rebate. Enermax backs the Triathlor Eco 650W power supply with a three-year warranty.
Package & Inside the Box
The packaging for the Triathlor Eco 650W gives us a faint view of the unit on the front. Aside from wattage and efficiency ratings, there is nothing else to be had here.
Moving around to the other side, we find a vast amount of information. One thing that I did not expect to see is the inclusion of HeatGuard which keeps the fan running after the system is turned off to remove residual heat.
The bottom half of the back shows the I/O specifications as well as the modular cables.
Three of the four sides of the box do not contain any information, but this side lets you know how many connectors are available for the unit.
Inside the Box
The Triathlor Eco 650W is packed just like this inside the box. The accessories take up any spare space in the box and the power supply is protected by the air sleeve around it.
The top houses the I/O specification label for the unit and shows off semi-gloss black finish of the unit.
Both sides feature the same Triathlor Eco logo with the opposite being inverted.
The front has all of the modular connections labeled so that they can be easily discerned.
Moving around back, we find the AC input with on/off rocker switch. Ventilation is achieved by the honeycomb mesh grill.
Turning the unit over so that we can see the bottom reveals the black 120mm fan with wire grill to protect it.
There are five modular cables included with this unit, all of which are of the flat ribbon type.
Accessories included in the box are the user's manual, AC input cord, mounting screws, and two Velcro cable ties.
Cabling Arrangement & A Look Inside
Enermax gives you a bit more than you'd expect out of an entry-level power supply. The 24-pin Main and ATX 4+4 connectors are natively wired to the unit, while everything else is modular. The big surprise here is that there are varying lengths of SATA cables to help reduce cable clutter. The odd ball here is the Molex + FDD cable though as it is simply cray long. I can't say I've seen any use for a Molex connector for several years and many more for the need of an FDD connector.
Rail distribution is as simple as it gets with a single 12V rail. There is no need to worry about load balancing here.
A Look Inside
Inside the Triathlor Eco 650W, we find a pair of heat sinks that provide the passive cooling for the unit. The PCB for this unit is incredibly compact, so much so that it could almost be slipped onto an SFX power supply, but not quite. That would also necessitate the use of a smaller fan which would mean more noise.
A single Panasonic capacitor sits on the primary side of the power supply.
The secondary side is riddled with Taiwanese and Chinese capacitors.
Enermax uses the Yate Loon D12BH-12 120mm fan to provide the active cooling for this unit.
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 higher than that of the Enermax Triathlor Eco 650W, 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 .19V. The 5V rail managed to stay within 2% of specification, with a total drop of .10V from start to finish. Moving towards the 3.3V rail, we see that regulation was within 3% of specification, with a total voltage drop of .11V.
DC Output quality for the Enermax Triathlor Eco 650W was good and well within specifications. During Test One, we saw 18mV of noise on our scope around 35% load. When we increased the loads in Test Two, the ripple climbed to 26mV at around half load. Increasing loads even further showed that the noise on the 12V rail climbed to 49mV at 630W.
The Enermax Triathlor Eco 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 Enermax Triathlor Eco 650W performed exactly as would be expected to reach these levels of efficiency.
The Enermax Triathlor Eco 650W is an interesting power supply. On one hand, we have a great entry-level power supply. The unit doesn't necessarily feature perfect build quality, especially considering the utilization of Chinese capacitors, but this doesn't seem to affect its performance too much.
Voltage regulation for the Enermax Triathlor Eco 650W fairs well, within 3% or better depending on the rail. DC output quality fairs well too, with a maximum of 49mV of noise on the 12V rail at full load. The efficiency is great for being an 80 PLUS Bronze rated unit. Normally this would be great.
Unfortunately things get a little messy when you start looking at the price of the unit. It is priced exactly the same as the Enermax Revolution X't 620W power supply we just reviewed. The performance between the two is incredibly similar, however, the Revolution X't offers more features. The build quality is slightly better, the unit features a 139mm fan instead of a 120mm one, and also has over-temperature protection.
This makes it quite difficult to recommend the Triathlor Eco when Enermax has already provided us a better unit for the same price. The only reasons that I can find that one might choose the Triathlor Eco over the Revolution X't would be the cable selection and the absolute need for the extra 30W that you get with the Triathlor Eco 650W.
|Quality including Design and Build||85%|
|Bundle and Packaging||90%|
|Value for Money||80%|
The Bottom Line: Enermax's Triathlor Eco 650W power supply is a decent entry-level unit. The problem lies in that Enermax offers a unit with more features and nearly identical performance and there is almost no reason to choose the Triathlor Eco over it.
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