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    ePower PCMCIS Fanless 450 LION
    Author: JonnyGuru
    Date Posted:01/05/2005 13:34.10
    SLRating: SLRating: 8.5/10
    Bottom Line: This power supply does what it's supposed to do although it's a shame it's not more efficient. All and all, it's a really nice unit. And at $150 it is expensive, but delivers on performance and minimal noise.

    Find the lowest price for this product
    Pages: 1 2 3 4
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    Observations

    The documentation states that the fan doesn't kick in until the power supply is under a 250W load.  This isn't true.  When I hooked the power supply up to the load tester, I immediately put more than a 300W load on it and it the fan did not turn on.  It's apparent that they fan actually kicks in based on the power supply's internal temperature.

    Likewise, the fan headers' voltage increases as the temperatures, as read by a small thermistor attached to the power supply, increases.  Unfortunately, we don't know what any of these temperatures are because the box and documentation state the fans turn on a "250W" and a graph on the side of the box only shows that the increase of RPM, rightfully displayed as the increase of noise, increases with the percentage of load on the power supply.


    Our gratuitous inside shot.


    The thermistor that controls the 12V Fan Only connectors.

    It's now been 10 minutes since the 300W load has been placed on the power supply.  Still no fan noise.

    The power supply looks very much like your typical Topower unit, except for a large heatsink sticking out of the back. This large heatsink also has a large cage around it, probably to keep curious fingers from getting burned.  This heatsink is attached to the usual heatsinks with some thermal compound and a few screws.  The externally mounted heatsink is actually an excellent idea and very important to low noise power supplies.  Move the heat to the outside of the power supply housing where it can be cooled by outside air.  This works very much in the same way heatpipes in laptops work.  In fact, I would have liked to have seen some sort of heatpipe moving the air from the inside to the out, but alas we have just heatsinks on top of heatsinks which means:  If you think that heatsink coming out of the back of the power supply is hot, imagine how hot the one it's attached to is!


    You can see where the externally mounted heatsink is glued and screwed to the main internal heatsink.


    Here's the cage that houses the semi-external heatsink.

    20 minutes at 300W.  Still no fan.

    There is a button on the back of the power supply one can press to turn the fan on.  Unfortunately, this doesn't turn the fan on at it's lowest or even middle RPM setting.  It turns the fan on full blast and IT IS LOUD. I would have liked to see this button NOT completely over-ride the thermostatic characteristics of the cooling system.  On that same note, I think it would have been nice to have the fan start spinning at it's lowest RPM from initial power up.  Because right now, this power supply is pretty warm.  And it's only going to take that much air to cool it back down once the fan does kick in.  That means a longer duration of fan noise at a higher RPM than if the fan had been moving air across the inside of the power supply all along.


    The button that turns the fans on full-blast is easy to find.  Sort of like an "Oh Shit!" panic button.

    35 minutes at 300W.  The Compu-Nurse so scientifically attached to one of the power supplies heatsinks reads 45C and voila!  A blue glow emits from the power supply and the fan starts spinning.  I chuckled a bit at the blue LED's.  Why have them there at all?  I mean, this isn't a bling power supply.  Is it there to tell you the fans are spinning?  I think I can hear that.  The lights not even on most of the time!  It's not a big deal... I just thought it was funny.



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    1. Introduction
    2. Observations
    3. Specifications
    4. Conclusions

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