Unless you subscribe to the theory of a second ice age, you’ll know that humans are slowly warming our planet up due to CO2 output. While computers – probably – play a small part in this global change, there is still an impact. Step in 80+ power supplies which promise above 80% efficiency throughout their output wattage range (20%, 50% and 100%). Today I have two such units, both rated @ 500w but from two different manufacturers.
The Akasa Group of companies was founded in 1997 with offices in Taipei and London. Our management team are all experienced in Electronic and Electro-mechanical product development. We currently have offices in London, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Specs – Akasa Greenpower
This hi-engineered power supply unit combines performance, reliability, and silent operation with significant energy saving – good for PC, good for environment and saves you money. Hi-efficiency means less energy waste. Greater than 80% hi-efficient even under extreme conditions. This also means this PSU saves money without loss of performance – putting money back in your pocket.
Designed for all AMD and Intel based technology including dual GPU and dual core CPU. Dual 12V rails ensure stable power distribution. These hi-efficiency 80+ PSUs are super quiet, using 12cm silent fan and intelligent auto-thermal fan control. They take the cutting edge of the efficiency revolution to a new greener level.
Greater than 80% efficiency even under extreme conditions
80-plus qualified by EPRI solutions (USA)
Meets EPS and Blue Angel conservation standards
Compliant with Intel ATX 12V version 2.2
Active PFC energy saving
Dual 12V rails give safe optimised power distribution
Enhanced 3V to 5V standby (+5Vsb)
Two CPU 12V connectors
PCI-E connectors for multiple dual GPU
Intelligent auto-thermal fan control for ultra quiet operation
Super quiet 12cm fan
Full safety approvals and protections
|Application||Full range 500W PSU|
|Designed for||AMD and Intel|
|Efficiency||80% under extreme conditions|
|Fan||120 x 120 x 25mm dual ball bearing|
|Thermal control||Intelligent auto-thermal fan control|
|4-pin molex connectors||6|
|4-pin floppy connectors||1|
|Motherboard connector||1 x 24/20-pin|
|4/8-pin connectors||1 (2 x 4-pin)|
|Dimensions||150 x 180 x 86mm|
|AC power input range||100V to 250V|
|Cable wrap||Black mesh|
|Safety||UL, TUV, CE, FCC, CB, N, D, FI, S|
|Product code|| AK-P050FG8_BKUKV1 (UK)
The power supply is packed in an eye-catching glossy afair. You’ll find intense green tiling leaves accents with a hovering PSU on the front. The box is covered with large, almost childish writing that gives it to you straight; buy this product and it’ll be green (just read the slogan on the top – ‘good for PC … and environment’).
The Greenpower is a matt black affair with a matching 120mm black fan.
This power supply isn’t modular so you get a clump of cables, with a little bag of screws, a power lead and instruction manual. Also with the Akasa there are Spire-esque Velcro cable ties proudly displaying the Akasa brand.
The Akasa comes complete with not one, but two well-nigh useless FDD connectors. The Akasa has daisy-chained PCI-e cables which is a much neater way of connecting SLI/Crossfire up (or powering one energy-hungry 8800). It has 4 SATA plugs on two cables, and 3 molex’s on another two cables, the molex cables are quick-release for extra easy of install.
The PSU is ATX 12v 2.2 standard compliant meaning that it will work with the current systems out there (although it doesn’t have the 8-pin PCI-e plug). It features the regular 20+4pin ATX plug offering compatibility with older systems as well as cutting edge rigs. All the cables are sleeved in black which matches the main unit colour.
The Akasa offers a split 4+4pin additional CPU plug (most people only use one) which can be used as one big 8 pin for servers
The back of the Akasa is the usual honeycomb affair although the switch and AC input socket are in odd positions. The large 120mm fan should help keep temperature and noise to a minimum.
The Akasa is ncie to the environment in another way, its RoHS compliant. This means that there won’t be any hidden chemical nasties contained within.
As with any non-modular power supply, installation is going to be a pain. The Akasa did look great once installed, not only due to the paint job but the sleeved cables gave it the edge.
To test the power supply I used the same tests to keep all the results fair and accurate. I ran the tests twice and recorded both results and if they were different I retested.
Using a Conroe based system:
Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 2.7ghz
Asus P5W DH Deluxe
OCZ 2gb Special Ops PC6400 @ 900mhz
I set the power supply to feed the system whilst it was running full screen RTHDRIBL (stress GFX card) and folding@home with Stress Prime on both cores. This was set running for an hour and the mean voltages was recorded. The results were all checked using a multimeter to ensure motherboard inaccuracies weren’t an issue.
The Akasa Greenpower was put head to head with the equally powerful and efficient Antec Earthwatts which you can read here.
After the load portion of the test, the computer was left to idle for another hour and the mean voltages were taken. Below are the results:
Both power supplies performed fantastically. The Akasa Greenpower proved to be the more stable and the more accurate as far as voltages go. The load test didn’t even begin to phase the unit and it stuck with its idle voltages. The 3.3v rail is better than the Antec but we are talking 0.04v. The 5v rail can’t be faulted at 4.99v but the 12v rail is a little high @ 12.32v.
The Antec however varied slightly in the 5v stage with a difference of 0.03v between idle and load. The 3.3v rail isn’t as accurate as the Akasa but still WAY within ATX spec. The 12v rail is better than the Akasa and just as stable.
While testing I did a little human noise measuring. Remember the days when one computer would sound like a disgruntled vacuum? Well thankfully those days are gone and the Greenpower PSU is not only anti-pollution but also anti-noise; you’ll struggle to hear it over your normal fan noise.
With the Akasa coming in at £10 more expensive than the Antec, you can see where the money was spent. A little better paint job, a larger fan and sleeved cables. The Antec feels and looks like a cut down model in comparison. That said, who stares at the power supply when they can have an SLI setup that these are capable of handling?
Not only does this power supply pack a punch in regards to energy, but its efficiency should drive down the overal cost of ownership. Good to the environment, good to your wallet.
The Antec is a perfectly good unit that provides you with stable rails and adequate connectivity (although I’m missing that FDD plug). If you have an extra tenner lying around, grab the Akasa. A cool black paint job, performs marginally better, sleeved cables and quick-release plugs cement this as the winner out of two top-class power supplies.
|Looks great||Not modular|
I’d like to thank Akasa for providing us with the power supply.
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