When it comes to the world of computing, one of the components that is sometimes given little thought or research when upgrading or building a new PC has to be the power supply. As an avid reader of many forums, I constantly see people trying to run systems that the top overclockers run powered by inadequate and poor quality power supplies.Many will also try to run 2 optical drives, 5 hard drives, a high-end graphics card, 10 led fans, and a multitude of other items on a 250watt power supply ! Many times, those inquiring about why their system is unstable will get an answer from a seasoned veteran who tells them they need a better power supply, but people tend to disregard advice like this. While it is not always necessary to have a 500+ watt power supply. More importantly than the total power is the quality of that power. I have a friend that runs a decently overclocked system on a 350 watt Antec power supply and he is completely happy with it. Today, we have a look at a company new to Legit Reviews that manufactures quality power supplies: ePower Technology. We pulled the following information off of their web site about who ePower Technology is as a company:
"Founded in 1990, E-Power Technology is a leader in high performance PC power supply technology. Headquartered in City of Industry, California, the company has grown from a small supplier of PC power supply into a diversified manufacturer of high technology products including PC gaming, server, workstation and industrial power supply. E-Power Technology products are currently used in a variety of professional and consumers markets including industrial server, PC gamer and general computing applications. The Silent Engine Power Supply is evident in every product we deliver - from superior development, to product availability, product reliability, value, and 24/7 customer's support."
You can also visit their website at epowertec.com for more information, a listing of their products and where to purchase their products.
As you will see on their site, they have a full line of power supplies, of which we have one here to look at, the Jaguar 450.
As you can see from these specs (taken from their web page), this power supply packs plenty of punch! As you look at the +3.3v, +5v and the +12v lines, you can see that this power supply should have plenty of juice available for anything you throw at it. These specs are verified on the power supply itself as you can see in the following picture.
You really do not buy a power supply for the "bundle" that comes with it. I mean, what is there besides the box, instructions and a black power cord? Nothing! And it is no different here. The instructions were only a couple pages long, but it was enough to handle the installation and the type of connectors that were included on this power supply. Speaking of the connectors, let's look and see what you get on this bad boy!
As you can see in the first picture, you have the typical 20pin connector for the motherboard as well as the 4 pin 12v connector. You also get a total of six 4-pin molex connectors and two floppy connectors. In the second picture, you also see that this power supply comes with two SATA power connectors, a more than welcome addition for anyone who is running SATA hard drives.
The last two connectors on this power supply are rather unique! First off, in the picture on the left you can see two leads that are fan connectors. While that is not unique, there is a feature on this power supply that is. This feature is called ECASO™ (Enhanced Cooling After System Off) Technology. Basically, what ePower has done with this feature is allow the power supply to cause the fans that are connected to it to continue spinning for three minutes after shutdown in order to cool the system down. I would have to admit, that I did not even look at the User's Manual when I got this supply (typical male problem!), so when I turned off my rig and the fans kept spinning, I was caught a little off guard to say the least! The fans do not spin at full speed though, so this would not be enough to power anything like a water cooler after shutdown. This really is a great idea and is something that we are likely to see implemented in other power supply manufacturers.
The second picture is a shot of a special connector designed for the AGP or the Hard Disk Drive housing. We used it on our AGP card for this review. ePower calls this technology REMI Control TechnologyT, and from their site, we see this description: "REMI Control TechnologyT is a patented technology developed to comply with the increasing needs in the high end graphics and gamming market. It provides filtered current specifically for the advanced graphics adaptors. With the REMI Control TechnologyT our power supplies has the ability to eliminate the monitor's 'Snow' and 'Water Wave' phenomenon and therefore protect the eyes of the users." Once again, we would say this is a great idea and shows the creative thinking that went into the design of this power supply.
This power supply has a shiny and reflective aluminum finish. In fact, it was hard to take pictures of this thing without getting myself in the picture! Let's look at some shots of this 450 Watt beauty!
Here we can see the front of the power supply (front as in, goes inside the case). Notice the fan here is clear. There is a reason for that, and we will see that reason in a moment.
The back of the power supply also has a clear fan. Here you can also see the power connector and the power switch.
The bottom of the power supply sports an attractive little window. This window does serve a purpose, just like the clear fans!
Here we see the side of the unit. It also has a window for your viewing pleasure!
Just a quick peek at the unit installed in the CoolerMaster case: I would assume that this unit would have no issues being installed in any case that you are able to put a typical size power supply in.
Ok, here it is! SURPRISE! This thing has lights! Yup, that's right, the clear fans and windows are for the lights! This makes this unit very attractive to those case modders out there! The first picture is the back of the power supply, and the second is a picture of the inside of the rig. A nice touch!
Our test system:
- Intel Pentium 4 3.2C 800mhz fsb
- Abit IC7 Max3
- Thermalright SP-94
- BFG 5900 flashed to 5950 Ultra
- 2 x WD 36.7gb 10,000rpm Raptor Hard drives in Raid 0
- 2 x 512MB Mushkin 3500 Black Level II
We measured all of the voltages with a Multimeter that was purchased at Radio Shack. A picture of the tester we used is below:
We took measurements at default speeds and settings on the Abit Max3 and then we took the same measurements on the Abit Max3 overclocked to 225fsb with streetracer enabled and our ram timings set to 2-3-2-5. We measured idle reading by letting the system set for 5 minutes without anything running. We then measured the load settings by playing a DVD, an audio CD, running Super PI and 3dMark 2001 at the same time. Let's see what we got!
As you can see, this unit did very well for itself. There was not a whole lot of variation between idle and load voltage readings. This unit does very well in its stability with a drop of only .01 on the +3.3 and a drop of .18 on the +12. What was VERY interesting to us was the fact that the +5 rail actually went up! Now it was only an increase of .01, but still, you would think by drawing power from the unit that this would go down. Let's see how this thing did on an overclocked system.
After the readings were taken, we could say that we were impressed with this unit. Once again, we saw a .01 drop on the +3.3, a respectable (and well within specs) .24 drop on the +12v and to our amazement we saw the +5 rail increase once again, only this time it was an increase of .04! This unit held its own very well, even on an overclocked system!
This unit also boasts what ePower calls "Silent Technology." By saying that, ePower boasts of having the quietest power supply on the market. They say that this unit only produces 23dBA at 60% loading. We did not have anything to measure the noise production other than our ears, but we can say that this was one quiet unit!
Jason Petermann's Thoughts
This power supply just impressed me from the get-go! It was stunning in its appearance, with the shiny chrome finish to the illuminated blue fans and windows to show it off. But for me, when I shop for a power supply, I am not looking for a "pretty little box of juice." Instead, I am looking for something that screams raw-man-power! I want a power supply that is rock stable for my overclocking, and this power supply fits the bill. ePower did a fantastic job in appearance and performance on this unit. They have several others available with most, if not all, of the same features as this unit. One unit, the Cheetah, even boasts a whopping 520 watts of power! The features on this unit are very nice. The ECASO cooling after shutdown is very nice. Also, the dedicated AGP power line was a nice touch. This unit also is very quiet when running. In fact, I could not hear it over the other fans in my case.
Legit Bottom Line
ePower, though new to us here at Legit Reviews and to the enthusiast crowd, has a quality product on their hands here. With this type of quality in both appearance and performance, they stand to become one of the leaders of quality power supplies for enthusiasts.
If this power supply unit does not suit your needs check out and see if ePower has another unit that meets your individual needs!