Atrix 500T Extreme 650W Review

paulktreg - 2008-05-26 14:06:20 in Power Supplies
Category: Power Supplies
Reviewed by: paulktreg   
Reviewed on: June 11, 2008
Atrix
Price: $42.00

Introduction:

Why this power supply? I’ll tell you why. This is my first power supply review and my testing method and more importantly my custom built load, is largely untested. This power supply was purchased for just under £30.00 and is perfect as my first victim. If I toast it, either due to some error on my part, or it not being able to meet its output specification, it won’t upset me too much. This is my spare power supply used for emergencies only and the occasional bench testing of motherboards and components. I would never consider using one of these supplies in a PC build. Atrix is not well known and there is very little information available on the internet regarding their products. It would appear this power supply is a mass-produced low-budget unit from China, with possible links to Colours-it. It may prove to be a fine example of what not to buy for enthusiast/high performance rigs, but let’s not jump to any conclusions until we see how it performs.

Closer Look:

The packaging is fairly basic, but that is to be expected in this price range. None of the box sides contain any information of note and the underneath of the box is completely blank. Why didn't the manufacturer use this space to "sell" the power supply? Notice anything unusual about the power supply picture on the packaging? Yes, that's right, it's upside down ... or is the text the wrong way up? (Could it be a demonstration of how powerful the cooling fan is?!)

 

 

 

 

The first things you see upon opening the box, are the sleeved cables tucked neatly between the power supply and mains lead box. The power supply itself is protected with a cardboard wrap and the IEC mains lead is tucked to one side in its own cardboard box. I was disappointed not to find an instruction leaflet, whether this was missed at the packing stage, or there just isn’t meant to be one, I don’t know.

Closer Look:

My initial impressions of the power supply are of a tidy, well built unit. The unit came with a glossy black paint finish, large 120mm cooling fan with chrome guard, front hexagonal holed exhaust grille, mains on/off switch and IEC mains input socket. I should point out the addition of a 230VAC sticker under the IEC mains input socket. Whether this is indicating it to be 230VAC only or a maximum voltage, it contradicts the claim on the outer packing of a 95 to 250VAC mains input range.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

The power supply has a good selection of connectors, all with sleeved cabling, which I will mention again later.

 

Internal Layout showing:
 
A: Bridge rectifier & input filter capacitors.
B: Off-board case mounted transformer.
C: Heat sinks.
D: Output transformers.
E: Mains input filter board.
F: Cooling fan header.
G: Output filter capacitors (hidden) and DC output cables.
H: Mains on/off switch.

 

The fan is a 12V 2.5W DC Brushless type, manufactured by Young Lin (Model 2512M). This large 120mm seven bladed fan appears capable of moving large amounts of air into the power supply, over the heat sinks and out through the large hexagonal holed grille.

 

While I was inside the unit, I was curious to see what brand electrolytic capacitors are used, but they are unknown to me (SC or CS manufacturers mark) and a quick look on the internet proved fruitless.

 

This picture shows the DC cables leaving the board. I have included this picture in order to illustrate what I consider misleading information given by the manufacturer (and others). The box clearly states “Separate 12V rail supply to main board and drives”, but as you can see, all the 12V (yellow) cables come from the same point and therefore the same rail. I have had a look on the underside of the board to verify this. Some of you may say I am being a bit picky but I think it is a perfectly valid point to make. The small white connector is the fan header.

Specifications:

These specifications give no power limits for combined rails and as previously mentioned, I have no instruction manual for this power supply. Attempts at finding any further information on the Internet proved fruitless, but I did get the impression, as the model number suggest and based on other Atrix variants, that this power supply could very well be only 500W continuous with a 650W peak. If total power is calculated based on the above specifications, the result is 621W. It would be very unusual, on a power supply of this type, to have the full 30A available on the +3V3 and 5V0 rails simultaneously. I have therefore decided to treat this power supply as 500W continuous and presume the peak to be 650W. I may very well be able to revise my decision after testing.

 

 

  

 

 

Input 95 – 250VAC
+3V3
+5V0
+12V0(1)
+12V0(2)
-5V0
-12V0
+5VSB
30A
30A
14A
15A
0.5A
0.8A
2.5A
650W

 

Power Supply Weight
Manufacturer/Model
Weight
Atrix 500T
2.2kg
4.8lbs

 

 

Atrix 500T Connectors
ATX 24 Pin & 20 Pin Compatible
1
EPS/ATX12V 8 & 4 Pin
2
Molex 4 Pin
6
PCI-E 6 Pin
1
SATA Power
2
Floppy Disk
2

 

 

Features:

 

The power supply comes with a good selection of connectors Listed below are the cables and their lengths.

 

Testing:

The old way of testing Power supplies with a wing and a prayer, is no longer sufficient in the tech savvy world we live in. People want to know just what kind of power a supply can actually deliver and still conform to the ATX specifications. With a new testing methodology, OCC will move into the future to provide a more current testing regime, to accurately show how a power supply performs. For more information on our testing methodology, please browse our testing methodology.

NOTE: The -5V0 line is no longer required in the ATX12V V2.2 standard and will be totally disregarded during testing.

Electrical Safety

Electrical Safety Test Class 1
Manufacturer/Model
Pass/Fail
Atrix 500T
Pass

 

DC Output Voltage Load Regulation

Total Load = 107.29W (21.46% of rated maximum)

DC Line
Load Current
Load Power
V Limits
Actual Voltage
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.09A
10.32W
3.135V – 3.465V
3.34V
Pass
+5V0
4.63A
23.10W
4.75V – 5.25V
4.99V
Pass
+12V0(1)
2.49A
29.58W
11.4V – 12.6V
11.88V
Pass
+12V0(2)
2.50A
29.75W
11.4V – 12.6V
11.90V
Pass
-12V0
0.34A
3.84W
10.8V – 13.2V
11.30V
Pass
+5VSB
2.18A
10.70W
4.75V – 5.25V
4.91V
Pass
Total Power Supply Load
107.29W
 

 

Total Load = 262.08W (52.42% of rated maximum)

DC Line
Load Current
Load Power
V Limits
Actual Voltage
Pass/Fail
+3V3
7.66A
24.82W
3.135V – 3.465V
3.24V
Pass
+5V0
9.09A
44.72W
4.75V – 5.25V
4.92V
Pass
+12V0(1)
7.65A
88.28W
11.4V – 12.6V
11.54V
Pass
+12V0(2)
7.70A
89.32W
11.4V – 12.6V
11.60V
Pass
-12V0
0.35A
4.08W
10.8V – 13.2V
11.65V
Pass
+5VSB
2.18A
10.86W
4.75V – 5.25V
4.98V
Pass
Total Power Supply Load
262.08W
 

 

Total Load = 362.77W (72.55% of rated maximum)

DC Line
Load Current
Load Power
V Limits
Actual Voltage
Pass/Fail
+3V3
11.52A
35.83W
3.135V – 3.465V
3.11V
Fail
+5V0
13.42A
63.48W
4.75V – 5.25V
4.73V
Fail
+12V0(1)
10.79A
124.73W
11.4V – 12.6V
11.56V
Pass
+12V0(2)
10.75A
123.41W
11.4V – 12.6V
11.48V
Pass
-12V0
0.36A
4.38W
10.8V – 13.2V
12.17V
Pass
+5VSB
2.23A
10.94W
4.75V – 5.25V
4.91V
Pass
Total Power Supply Load
362.77W
 

You can see the 3V3 and 5V0 lines have dropped below the ATX12V V2.2 lower limit and 12V0 lines are approaching it. I considered loading the power supply closer to its maximum but due to problems I’ll explain later I decided to stop at this level.

 

Efficiency and Power Factor

Output And Efficiency
DC Load (W)
AC Load (VA)
AC Load (W)
PF
Efficiency (%)
Pass/Fail
107.29
183
146
0.79
73.5
Pass
262.08
526
387
0.73
67.7
Fail
362.77
879
629
0.71
57.7
Fail

Testing (Continued):

AC Ripple On DC Outputs

The noise levels at the AC mains frequency of 50Hz and after rectification at 100Hz, are well within acceptable levels. The maximum noise level occurred at the switching frequency of the power supply, which is approximately 63kHz. (Frequency=1/T. The cycle time of the waveform above is 16uS from peak to peak. Frequency=1/16uS or 1/0.000016 = 62.5kHz). I thought I would include two screen shots of the oscilloscope to show how the noise increased with load. The oscilloscope settings are unchanged and I hope you can see the noise has increased by 100%. (For those of you interested the volts/division is set at 20mV/div and time/division set at 10uS/div). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noise on the 12V0(1) line with the total power supply load at 107W.

 


Noise on the 12V0(1) line with the total power supply load at 363W.

 


This photograph shows 60mV noise on the 3V3 line with the total power supply load at 363W.

 


This photograph shows 80mV noise on the +5VSB line with the total power supply load at 363W.

 

Atrix 500T AC Ripple/Noise Measurements
DC Output
+3V3
+5V0
+12V0(1)
+12V0(2)
-12V0
+5VSB
Ripple (mV p-p)
60
35
120
120
50
80
Pass/Fail
Fail
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Fail

The Atrix 500T exhibited good AC ripple suppression at 50Hz and 100Hz, but did not perform well at the switching frequency of 63kHz. The ATX12V limits are exceeded on the +3V3 and +5VSB lines and are borderline on the 12V lines.

Temperature, Noise Level And Fan Speeds

DC Loading
Temp In (°C)
Temp Out (°C)
Δ Temp (°C)
Fan Speed (RPM)
107.29W
20.8
27.6
6.8
998
262.08W
19.4
33.6
14.2
1450
362.77W
20.1
44.6
24.5
1914

I am not going to give a pass or fail in this section, as there isn’t really an ATX12V standard to compare against. I will however say the power supply did show signs of stress which I will mention later.

The noise level from the fan was at all times very low. The fan was quiet at the low and medium loads, but did speed up noticeably as the load increased, but this is to be expected.

Conclusion:

Environmental Factors

The use of packaging materials is basic, but adequate and can more likely be explained by budget constraints, rather than a concern for the environment. The power supply is however, according to the packaging, RoHS, EcoSmart and Energy Star compliant. The use of active power factor correction to strengthen the environmentally friendly claims made by the manufacturer, would have been a more welcome addition.

Price Per Watt

Power Supply Atrix 500T at £29.99 = £0.06/W (February 2007)

If you are in the market for a power supply in the 650W range, I certainly could not recommend this one for a high performance system. Like its name suggests (Atrix 500T), 500W is probably a more realistic maximum than the stated 650W. The efficiency and power factor are very poor and the failure of the unit to maintain the 3V3 and 5V0 lines at heavy loads, just reinforces my case. I should also bring to your attention a really irritating noise coming from the unit at high load - a sure sign of a stressed out low-end power supply. I am convinced this unit would fail within a short period of time if constantly loaded above 500W. The casing of the power supply got far warmer than the temperature of the air leaving the enclosure suggested, but with such a poor efficiency of 57.7%, this is not surprising. If you are after a power supply for a P4 system for office and Internet use, this unit may do, but do not put one of these in a high performance dual core system.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: