Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W Power Supply Review

paulktreg - 2011-02-10 12:41:57 in Power Supplies
Category: Power Supplies
Reviewed by: paulktreg   
Reviewed on: March 9, 2011
Price: $110.00

Introduction:

Mushkin Enhanced, founded in 1994, are located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Denver, Colorado and are probably best known for their range of high performance memory modules. In addition to their headquarters in the USA they have offices in Kandel, Germany and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to cover Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Pacific Rim.

Whilst memory modules remain their core business they also offer a range of flash drives, solid state drives and high end power supplies for the PC do-it-yourself builder and enthusiast. OCC have already reviewed two of their power supplies, the Volta 600W and Joule 1000W, which performed very well and earned themselves an OCC Gold and Silver award respectively. This time around it’s the turn of the Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W power supply, a fully wired unit with 80 Plus Silver accreditation for its efficiency, a thermally controlled cooling fan and active power factor correction. Let’s have a closer look and see how well it performs.

Closer Look:

Green and black are once again used as the main theme on the Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W power supply packaging. The top face of the box shows a photograph of the unit with an electrical storm raging in the background along with the power supply type and wattage with a Mushkin Enhanced, 80 Plus Silver and ROHS logo completing the picture. The bottom face of the box carries a comprehensive feature list along with conformance marks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The front and rear side panels show connector types and quantities along with photographs and a rather large specification table that’s hard to miss.

 

 

The side panels are blank and are in fact the side panels of a plain gloss black box that resides inside a removable cardboard sleeve.

 

The plain gloss black cardboard box.

 

Lift the lid and the owner’s manual sits on top of the bubble wrapped power supply with the wired cables and accessories tucked neatly down the sides.

 

 

The bubble wrapped power supply along with the accessories that include the owner’s manual, power cord, two black cable ties, five Velcro straps and a set of power supply mounting screws.

 

 

The Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W power supply is adequately packaged with a good set of accessories. Let’s move on and have a closer look at the power supply.

Closer Look:

The Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W power supply is finished in a slightly metallic, textured satin black paint that looks well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The exhaust on the rear of the power supply is made up of a large diamond shaped grill with a fine mesh framework for maximum airflow; mains on/off switch, IEC mains input connector and Active PFC label complete the picture. The cable set is sleeved all the way into the power supply which always improves the appearance and exits the unit via a plastic grommet lined port which prevents damage to cables.

 

 

One side panels sports a comprehensive specification and serial number label with a couple of factory test labels and the opposite side is left blank.

 

 

The large 120mm cooling fan is covered with a black wire grill that is mounted internally with the base of the unit left blank

 

 

The wired cable set is fully sleeved with cable ties and heat shrink sleeving used to securely fix it in position. Blue connectors are used for the PCI-E with everything else in black. Mushkin have opted for chained PCI-E connectors with two 6+2-pin connectors on the same wires which isn’t something you’ll see on most other high end power supplies.

 

The cooling fan of choice here is the A1225L12S by BTec rated for 12VDC at 0.30A. This fan uses Nano Bearing Technology which is lubricant free and by all accounts reduces friction and noise. The printed circuit board is well laid out and on the whole tidy. A quick search on the internet at the units UL number cites Topower has the manufacturer of this unit. The large primary electrolytic capacitors are by Teapo, not the best but certainly not the worst, and rated at only 85°C working temperature, higher specified 105°C devices are almost expected in high end power supplies these days.

 

 

The secondary side capacitors are also by Teapo but of the more welcome 105°C variety. There are a few solid state capacitors used in the Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W; two of these devices can be seen side by side on the vertically mounted boards which I believe are the 3V3 and 5V regulator boards.

 

 

All in all the Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W would appear to be a solid well made unit with a good set of accessories. The packaging could be better with only a layer of cardboard and a layer of bubble wrap between it and the outside world. Let’s move on and see how well it performs.

Specification:

 

Review Sample: Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W Power Supply, Part Number MKNPSJL800.

 

Ratings Table:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W (MKNPSJL800) Power Supply Specification Table
AC Input
115 – 230V     12 – 6A     50 – 60Hz
DC Output
+3V3
+5V
+12V1
+12V2
-12V
+5VSB
Maximum Load
26A
26A
32A
32A
0.8A
3A
Maximum Combined Wattage
150W
768W (64A)
20W
780W
20W
800W

 

System Protection:

Protection Features:

If the power supply latches into a shutdown condition due to over-current, over-voltage or short-circuit, the power supply will return to normal operation only after the fault has been removed and the power supply is turned off for 30 seconds or the AC power cord has been removed for 30 seconds.

Over-Current Protection:

The power supply DC outputs are protected from supplying current above the maximum ratings and when output power is between 100-150% of rated specification. With the exception of the +5VSB output, all DC outputs are latched of in the event of an over-current condition.

Over-Voltage Protection:

The over-voltage sense circuitry and reference reside in packages that are separate and distinct from the regulator control circuitry and reference. No single point fault is able to cause a sustained over-voltage condition on any or all outputs. The power supply provides latch-mode over-voltage protection as follows:
+3.3V output is between 3.6-4.2V
+5V output is between 5.8-6.3V
+12V output is between 14.0-17.0V

Short-Circuit Protection:

The power supply DC outputs are protected from damage due to faults, when any output shorts to ground. In the event of a short-circuit on any output , all outputs shall be disabled and remain disabled until the short condition is removed and the power supply is powered off and back on.

 

Safety & Agency Approvals:

TUV, UL, CE, CB, FCC and BSMI.

 

Power Supply Physical Characteristics:

 

Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W (MKNPSJL800) Power Supply Physical Characteristics
Weight
Length
Width
Height
5.3lbs/2.4kg
6.3in/160mm
5.9in/150mm
3.4in/86mm

 

Power Supply Connectors:

 

Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W (MKNPSJL800) Power Supply Connectors
Connector Type
Qty
Motherboard 20/24 Pin
1
EPS12V 8 Pin
1
ATX12V/EPS12V 4+4 Pin
1
PCI-E 6+2 Pin
4
SATA Power 15 Pin
8
Peripheral 4 Pin
4
FDD 4 Pin
1

 

Power Supply Cable Lengths:

 

Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W (MKNPSJL800) Power Supply Cable Set
Cable Type
Cable Length/Connector Spacing’s
Qty
Captive
PSU > 20" > Motherboard 24 Pin
1
Captive
PSU > 21" > EPS12V 8 Pin
1
Captive
PSU > 22" > ATX12V/EPS12V 4+4 Pin
1
Captive
PSU > 22" > PCI-E 6+2 Pin > 6" > PCI-E 6+2 Pin
2
Captive
PSU > 22" > SATA > 6" > SATA > 6" > SATA > 6" > SATA
2
Captive
PSU > 22" > Periph. > 6" > Periph. > 6" > Periph. > 6" > Periph. > 6" > FDD
1

 

Features:

Exactly as printed on the box.

Testing:

For more information on how we test our power supplies, please browse our testing methodology.

 

Short Circuit Protection:

I short circuited the 3V3, 5V0 and the 12V rail(s) in turn. The power supply did shut down, and once the short was removed and the unit switched off for at least one second, resumed normal operation. Although listed here at the beginning of the testing section, I tend to leave this test until the very end, in case it doesn't quite go to plan.

 

DC Output Voltage Load Regulation:

 

Mains Input Voltage 110VAC

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W (MKNPSJL800) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 110VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Measured Voltage(V)
3V3
3.39
5V0
5.07
+12V1
12.27
+12V2
12.27
-12V
12.12
5VSB
5.22
Total PSU DC Loading = 0W (0% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W (MKNPSJL800) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 110VAC/50Hz
PSU
DC Rail
Rail Loading Amps (A)
Rail Loading Watts (W)
Measured Voltage (V)
ATX12V V2.2 Limits (V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.19
10.72
3.36
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V
4.75
23.89
5.03
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V1
5.10
62.37
12.23
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V2
5.17
63.18
12.22
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V
0.33
3.79
11.48
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
2.16
10.71
4.96
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total PSU DC Loading = 175W (22% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W (MKNPSJL800) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 110VAC/50Hz
PSU
DC Rail
Rail Loading Amps (A)
Rail Loading Watts (W)
Measured Voltage (V)
ATX12V V2.2 Limits (V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.23
10.82
3.35
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V
4.80
24.10
5.02
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V1
16.22
198.21
12.22
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V2
16.27
198.01
12.17
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V
0.34
3.94
11.60
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
2.15
10.58
4.92
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total PSU DC Loading = 446W (56% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W (MKNPSJL800) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 110VAC/50Hz
PSU
DC Rail
Rail Loading Amps (A)
Rail Loading Watts (W)
Measured Voltage (V)
ATX12V V2.2 Limits (V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
8.31
27.26
3.28
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V
9.69
47.96
4.95
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V1
29.36
357.02
12.16
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V2
30.06
363.73
12.10
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V
0.34
4.02
11.83
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
2.10
10.14
4.83
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total PSU DC Loading = 810W (101% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Mains Input Voltage 230VAC

 

 

Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W (MKNPSJL800) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 230VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Measured Voltage(V)
3V3
3.39
5V0
5.07
+12V1
12.27
+12V2
12.27
-12V
12.17
5VSB
5.22
Total PSU DC Loading = 0W (0% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W (MKNPSJL800) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 230VAC/50Hz
PSU
DC Rail
Rail Loading Amps (A)
Rail Loading Watts (W)
Measured Voltage (V)
ATX12V V2.2 Limits (V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.20
10.75
3.36
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V
4.80
24.19
5.04
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V1
5.13
62.74
12.23
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V2
5.20
63.49
12.21
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V
0.33
3.79
11.49
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
2.16
10.65
4.93
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total PSU DC Loading = 176W (22% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W (MKNPSJL800) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 230VAC/50Hz
PSU
DC Rail
Rail Loading Amps (A)
Rail Loading Watts (W)
Measured Voltage (V)
ATX12V V2.2 Limits (V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
3.23
10.82
3.35
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V
4.80
24.14
5.03
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V1
16.10
196.74
12.22
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V2
16.20
197.31
12.18
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V
0.34
3.95
11.61
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
2.15
10.56
4.91
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total PSU DC Loading = 444W (55.5% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W (MKNPSJL800) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 230VAC/50Hz
PSU
DC Rail
Rail Loading Amps (A)
Rail Loading Watts (W)
Measured Voltage (V)
ATX12V V2.2 Limits (V)
Pass/Fail
+3V3
8.25
27.06
3.28
3.135 – 3.465
Pass
+5V
9.58
47.42
4.95
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
+12V1
29.25
351.00
12.00
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
+12V2
29.69
355.67
11.98
11.4 – 12.6
Pass
-12V
0.34
3.97
11.68
10.8 – 13.2
Pass
+5VSB
2.10
10.16
4.84
4.75 – 5.25
Pass
Total PSU DC Loading = 795W (99% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

The Mushkin Joule 800W power supply produced good results in this section. All the rails remained well within the limits set down by the ATX12V V2.2 specification from zero to full load. No problems here so let's move on.

Testing:

Efficiency and Power Factor:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The efficiency of the Mushkin Joule 800W power supply with a 110VAC supply is particularly good when taken in context with other power supplies I’ve tested following the OCC power supply testing methodology. The 80 Plus Silver certification requires efficiencies of 85%, 88% and 85% at 20%, 50% and 100% DC loading and although not quite there it does manage a respectable 84%, 88% and 83% efficiency at 22%, 56% and 101% DC loading. Power factor levels aren’t a problem and are easily maintained above the 0.9 level required by 80 Plus Silver.

 

 

 

Efficiency levels with a 230VAC supply are a little higher and power factor levels a little lower which is usually the case. The 80 Plus Silver certification is only applicable at 115VAC so it doesn’t apply here but a maximum efficiency of 89% at 55% DC loading is still very good.

 

AC Ripple On DC Outputs:

 

I have consistently found the AC ripple levels on the DC rails to be more or less equal with an 110VAC or 230VAC mains supply. The results given below are for 230VAC only but I will continue to check the levels at 110VAC during testing and publish them below if there are any significant differences.

 

AC ripple/noise on the +3V3 rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 2mv/div, Timebase = 20uS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the +5V0 rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 2mv/div, Timebase = 20uS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the +12V rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 2mv/div, Timebase = 20uS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the -12V rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 2mv/div, Timebase = 20uS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the +5VSB rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 2mv/div, Timebase = 20uS/div

 

Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W (MKNPSJL800) AC Ripple/Noise
Supply = 230VAC/50Hz DC Loading = 795W
DC Rail
+3V3
+5V0
+12V
-12V0
+5VSB
ATX12 Max (mV p-p)
50
50
120
120
50
Ripple (mV p-p)
10
12
18
11
8
Pass/Fail
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass

The Mushkin Joule 800W produced some excellent results in this section with peak to peak levels of AC noise/ripple well within the limits set down by the ATX12V V2.2 specification. The measured level of 18mV on the +12V rail is really excellent when you consider it’s loaded to nearly 60A.

Testing:

Temperature, Noise Levels and Fan Speeds:

I am not going to give a pass or fail in this section, as the ATX12V V2.2 does not really have any references on which to base a decision.

Temperatures are purely for information only, as there are too many variables involved when installed in a case, which, by the way, it wasn't. Ambient temperature, processor cooling efficiency and case cooling fans all play their part on the temperature of the air entering the power supply, and consequently the temperature of the air leaving it. No valid conclusions can be made from this test.

 

Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W (MKNPSJL800) Temperature & Fan Speeds
Supply = 110VAC/230VAC
DC Loading(W)
Temp In (°C)
Temp Out (°C)
Δ Temp (°C)
Fan Speed (RPM)
0
N/A
N/A
N/A
986/984
175/176
20.1/21.1
23.2/24.2
3.1/3.1
989/986
446/444
21.2/21.3
30.2/31.8
9.0/10.5
1001/997
810/795
20.2/20.9
39.9/37.7
19.7/16.8
1709/1749

The Mushkin Joule 800W power supply cooling fan, at approximately 1000 RPM, remained quiet up to 50% DC loading as is normally the case and 1750 RPM at full load which is a little slower than other power supplies in this class. The slightly slower full load fan speed is a reflection of its high efficiency and although noise levels are somewhat subjective the Mushkin Joule 800W is a little quieter than most when fully loaded but who runs a power supply at full load for prolonged periods of time?

Conclusion:

 

Price Per the Watt:

Power Supply Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W at $110.00 = $0.14/Watt (02-2011)

 

The Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W power supply proved to be a very capable power supply following the OCC power supply testing methodology. The power supply itself is really hard to fault; satisfactory build quality, good DC voltage load regulation and very low AC noise/ripple in combination with high efficiency are everything the enthusiast needs in a power supply.

If I had to find fault then it would have to be some minor inaccuracies in the information provided, the packaging and a poor user manual. Let’s start with the packaging which is definitely basic and offers little protection against impact damage; one layer of cardboard plus a single layer of bubble wrap are all that’s between the power supply and the outside world and it doesn’t compare with the quality of the packaging of other high end power supply manufacturers. There are also some minor inaccuracies in the information provided, quad +12V rail and an AC input voltage of 90-264VAC in the feature list on the rear of the box when it’s clearly a dual +12V rail power supply with according to the specification table a AC input of 115-230VAC - which is correct? What about the user manual? It’s basically a single sheet of folded paper that has nothing more than the power supply type and model number on the front face, “for Mushkin Enhanced Volta and Joule Series Power Supplies”, fair enough. What I find really puzzling is the first paragraph on the second page telling the user to make sure the 115/230VAC switch, if fitted, is in the right position! Come on Mushkin you can do better than that if you want the PC enthusiast to take you seriously!

Minor inaccuracies aside the Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W is a great power supply at a great price that will easily power any dual graphics card configuration and I have no hesitation in awarding it the OCC Gold award but it could have been better!

 

Pros:

 

Cons: