Power supplies have slowly been getting more and more powerful to cater for the ultra high end graphics subsystems that have become the norm. In my hands I have the Enermax Infiniti 720w which not only powers today’s hardware, but features the new PCI-e 2.0 plug.
Enermax Technology Corporation was founded in 1990 by a group of young professional, enthusiastic, and high-tech oriented people in Taiwan. The Enermax founders left high-profile positions from prestigious computer firms, bringing over 10 years of professional experiences to our own firm.
The main products we carry are switching power supplies, PC cases, industrial PC cases, pedestal and tower server cases, CPU coolers, second fans, mobile racks and other peripherals. Enermax has its own design groups and production line. For convenience and better service to our customers worldwide, Enermax has established branch offices with warehouses in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley in United States, Paris in France, Milan in Italy, Tokyo in Japan, Hamburg in Germany, London in UK and has distributors providing service in nearly every major city around the world. Enermax is always looking for the latest cutting edge technology to offer our clients. Enermax’s own designing engineers work around the clock to come up with the best solution and product to meet the demand of the market. Now, Enermax is engaged in developing more powerful types of products to serve customers in the future. To provide efficient coordination, after sales services and technical support to customers is our primary purpose. The Enermax R&D department is proud of its strong engineering background. We focus on developing new products for both potential and existing markets. We also emphasize on new product types, product functions, design and quality. Each year, we release an average of 4 new series of products. Our R&D equipments are sourced both locally and imported from Japan. Based on our product development procedure, we have developed a team of experts to ensure that our products are manufactured to the most rigorous and highest standards imposed by the industry.
All materials and components are tested at each stage of production. We also conduct random checks on products before and after packaging, and product inspection before delivery. Our QC and testing equipments are mostly imported from Japan.
Our quality control begins at the moment we purchase our materials and components. Vendor survey and sampling inspection will be done while IQC started. The material storage (FI/FO Control), MFG’s in-process quality control, OQA’s visual inspection and finally function test will be completed to fulfil the whole QC process.
To Infiniti and beyond
Packed in a heavy, well designed box you know you’re in for a treat with the Infiniti. The outer box is matt faux brushed metal with the power supply picture (on the front) and other key information highlighted in gloss. Around the sides are diagrams describing the different features in picture form. Most importantly, on the side it shows in simple table form the savings that you will make from using this power supply as it has an above average efficiency (80plus certified)
According to the table, using this power supply over a 75% efficient model, you will save $70.96 a year provided energy prices are $0.1415 per kWh. But that’s nothing compared to the warm feeling you’ll get inside knowing that the forests and their furry inhabitants are being protected. Speaking of the environment, this unit is RoHS compliant as well. Even the box is printed with ‘non-toxic vegetable oil based ink’.
Other features outlined are: PowerGuard – a system that protects you from the PSU fan failing, and tells you (via LED and buzzer) when a short circuit or other abnormality has occurred and CoolGuard which keeps the PSU and case fans on after the PC has been shutdown to increase lifespan.
Once the box is open, you can see why it was so heavy. Supplied with the Infiniti are a range of bits and bobs allowing you to connect the PSU to almost anything. There is the usual manual, power supply itself, kettle lead, screws and modular cables. However, Enermax have gone further and given you an Enermax lanyard, a pouch to keep your unused cables, a product catalogue, case stickers, socket covers, and a twin FDD adapter. The socket covers allow you to protect unused sockets on the back of the Infiniti when not in use.
The Infiniti is dominated by the huge 13.5cm fan which is guarded with a gold coloured grill which holds the Enermax logo in the middle. Surrounding this is the brushed metal of the power supply itself. This finish looks and feels unbelievably expensive and compliments the Infiniti down to a tee. As the metal hasn’t been coated with any paints or enamel the edges are sharper and the unit looks cleaner.
The Infiniti is designed to be compatible with the upcoming DX10 standards, which means that the PSU is shipped with a 6+2 PCI-e plug. This plug is backwards compatible with today’s standards, but with the inclusion of the extra 2 pins, you can use it with your new DX10 GPU.
As the Infiniti 720w has three 12v each pumping out at least 28amps (12v3 is rated at 30amps continuous to power graphics cards) you have essentially three ~200w power supplies in one box; you’ll be making some major heat. To prevent an obvious meltdown, Enermax have gone back to the drawing board and have come up with a 13.5cm fan which sucks air from the case and blows it out the honeycombed back.
The back of the unit also has the power switch which has the mains input socket above it. Directly above this is the PowerGuard LED and reset switch. The reset switch allows you to stop the internal buzzer squeaking. The LED has three different colours, ranging from green (on and working), amber (standby) and red (on and broken).
There are lots of cables supplied with the Infiniti including:
3 x SATA cable with three SATA plugs
3 x molex cable with three molex plugs
2 x 6 pin PCI-e cables
1 x extra +12v for servers
1 x 6+2 PCI-e cable
1 x 24 pin cable (not 20+4 pin)
1 x 12v 2+2 pin cable
All of these cables can be plugged in at once (with the exception of the extra +12v server cable that takes the place of a PCI-e 6 pin cable) which allows you to run 18 drives at once (more if you use pass-thru connectors). The ATX cable isn’t the usual 20+4 pin type as Enermax have decided that if you don’t have a motherboard capable of supporting a 24 pin plug then you won’t buy this PSU. This forward looking attitude has also lead to there not being any modular plugs for a floppy disc drive. Instead you have to use the supplied separate adapter.
As our usual testing wouldn’t even begin to stress the Enermax Infiniti 720w power supply, we had to do something special. Fortunately, we had a Gainward 8800 lying around, and an x1950 XTX. These aren’t going to be best buddies in the same system so we linked the two together… in two separate systems.
The 8800 uses two PCI-e 6 pin plugs which were taken from the red sockets on the back of the Infiniti, while the x1950 was powered using the 6+2 pin PCI-e lead. The 8800 was mounted in a Conroe system:
Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 2.7ghz
Asus P5W DH Deluxe
OCZ Special Ops 2GB PC6400
While the x1950 XTX found a new home in an AM2 system:
AMD AM2 3800+
Asus MSN-E motherboard
1GB OCZ PC6400
The AM2 system was powered using a separate power supply (incidentally an Enermax Liberty) which was connected to the motherboard alone. All the drives and fans in both PC’s were connected to the Infiniti (four hard discs, one card reader, four fans of varying sizes). This should be representative of an extreme PC :D.
The Conroe was started first, and then the AM2 was booted shortly after. Asus Probe was used to monitor voltage levels as it produced the most accurate results compared to a multimeter. Once both systems were in Windows, the Conroe was instructed to run Stress Prime on both cores, ATI Tool with the 3D view window open and RTHDRIBL running full screen (1280×1024). The AM2 only ran RTHDRIBL @ 1600×1200 with ATI Tool open.
This was left for 30 minutes and Asus Probe recorded the results. Once this had finished, all programs were quit and the idle reading were taken for 30 minutes.
It’s at this point that you expect to be shown lots of colourful diagrams and charts. Unfortunately, the ultra stable rails of the Infiniti – even in our redneck testing facility – have made this stage pointless.
The 5v and 3.3v rails literally didn’t change throughout the entire hour of testing. They sat happily at 5.145v and 3.328v. This is unheard of. I have never seen a power supply move at all for such a long time. The 12v rail managed between 12.302v and 12.249v; that’s only 0.053v difference. Chances are that the 3.3v and 5v did vary but not often enough to be picked up my Asus Probe. The multimeter reading backed up Asus Probe’s answers but solid 3.3 and 5v rails is too good to be true.
During the testing, the Infiniti couldn’t be heard over the whine of fans being used, but once the riot of sound had finished, the Infiniti could barely be heard. Seriously, this thing is quiet, thanks to its 13.5cm fan. It runs @ 900~1800RPM and is computer controlled depending on the temperature. The smaller 650w version of the Infiniti is shipped with a fan spinning @ 600~1200RPM .
With 720w under its hood, the Enermax Infiniti is more than ready to face the ordeals of tomorrow’s hardware. That and the new PCI-e 2.0 8 pin connector on board make this a great choice for anyone looking for stable rails, quiet operation and rock solid dependability.
The Infiniti does everything that it sets out to do; produce a lot of stable power with minimal environmental impact. However, this technology comes at a premium and if you can stomach the £155 price tag, you’ll be set up for the next few years with this beast.
|Reassuringly weighty||Not backwards compatible|
|Original chassis finish||Price|
I’d like to thank Enermax for providing us with the PSU.
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