LEPA MX F1 600W Power Supply Review

LEPA does not have much to say in terms of marketing about its new MX F1 power supply line. Outside of "Racing car style coating" and "Extremely Silent fan," we have very little to go on, except one thing. 600 watts of good PSU power priced at $49.99 with Free Shipping with be a very good value, if it's "good" power.

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Conclusions

Previously in our testing, Lepa power supplies have been split between good and decent power supplies with none of the units we have seen blowing our socks off or making us run for the exits. So, while not spectacular, LEPA has at least been somewhat consistent in its products which has its own value and place in the market. Today, we are looking at our 5th example of a product from LEPA but this unit is the first we have seen where it has used CWT to actually produce the unit. While the positioning of this product is not such that we would expect Enermax quality like on LEPA's higher end previous products, we would imagine that LEPA would keep the ball rolling with solid units. That said, if we knew the results of testing before testing, then there never would be a reason to test products. So, did this unit "keep on keeping on" or does LEPA have a surprise for us today?


HardOCP’s testing methodology is intended to very much push power supplies to their advertised wattage rating in temperatures that will represent some of the hottest computer enthusiast cases. So if a unit passes all our testing it is definitely not something to take lightly. In fact we expect more power supplies to fail our testing than make it through unscathed.

Build Quality

Starting things off today I will say, the LEPA MX F1 600W looks VERY nice (it is a sharp looking unit) and that is where the good part of this unit ends. After we get past the good lucks we start to notice the things that just aren't quite right. For instance, there is the lack of APFC, then there is the ancient topology, then the integration, and then the horrible quality of the components selected for this unit. Between the poor mucked up single layer PCB and the criminally bad capacitors from FHY and Asia-X there is literally nothing about this build quality that should have gone into a branded product, or even a reasonable unbranded generic product. In total, it is probably best to say that the MX F1 has managed to wreck without even being in gear and that is not an unexpected outcome it would seem when we look at the warranty support being somewhere from non-existent to just 2 years. Then again, 2 years might be ambitious for this unit given the quality of the components used.

Load Testing

Every race needs a winner and a loser, today though, the LEPA MX F1 600W was not so much the winner or loser but more of the car that caught fire on pit row before the race started and then was scratched from the race due to it being a flaming pile of scrap metal. Perhaps that is not fully accurate as the MX F1 600W did start testing, we just wish that it had been DOA. Indeed, the unit was only able to complete Test #1 and Test #2 but it could not complete Test #2 in specification. So, how bad was the voltage regulation? On the 12v rails this unit saw a peak change of 1.6v! That isn't a misplaced decimal point, the change peaked at 1.6v and hit an absolute low value of 10.43v! Not to be outdone, the 5v rail actually did worse by relative value as its peak change was 0.8v with the result being it bottomed out at 4.38v! It is also important to remember that these values occurred over just 50% of this unit’s claimed output capacity, so it is not even like we were pushing it to its supposed maximum output capacity like we did with the recent CX750 (it might be time to start apologizing to the CX750). Now, when we flip over to the efficiency we see that this unit had efficiency values which ranged from 77.78% to 78.00% at 120v and 67.83% to 76.80% at 100v which, in this time frame, are Bugatti Veyron level bad but without that whole "performance" thing that the Veyron has going for it.

Next up, I would love to tell you that the LEPA MX F1 600W pulled out some sort of miraculous finish but, sadly, it didn't. In fact, the results got worse. How so? Well, the peak change on the loaded 12v rail was ~790mV while the peak change on the loaded 5v rail was ~300mV, although it did rise by ~150mV also when the load switched off. Results like this are impressively bad, but more so when you think about the fact that these results occurred in Test #1 when this unit was just being pushed to 25% of its rated capacity. Overall, we have seen a lot of bad units over the years but this unit beats out all of those units by a margin not seen since Jackie Stewart beat Bruce McLaren in the 1969 Spanish grand prix!

DC Output Quality

As we come upon another set of tests, we find that the LEPA MX F1 600W continues to try and outdo itself. Unfortunately, it does indeed succeed in those efforts which is, in a way, impressive. As we already know, this unit was only able to sort of complete Test #2. However, while the voltage regulation in Test #2 100v looked bad it did not tell the entire story. No, what it doesn't show you is that this unit also had ripple/noise values of ~600mV on the 12v rails and ~250mV on the 5v rail! The upside is the 3.3v rail only hit ~80% of the ATX12v limit when it peaked at 40mV in Test #2. If this unit had been able to complete testing, the 3.3v may also have gone of the specification limits, but at this point the MX F1 600W was so far gone it really wouldn't matter if 3.3v rail had 0mV of ripple/noise because the MX F1 600W is just an abject failure in this portion of testing.

Noise

Noise level and audio perception in general are extremely subjective things. There are absolute values that can give you an idea of where things will fall but they never tell the whole story except in extreme examples. The LEPA MX F1 600W was loud and obnoxious. It was indeed an extreme example, but, the thing is, the noise was not even the fan necessarily (though it too was making a good bit of noise). Rather, it was the high pitched screech that the unit continuous emitted once we started Test #2 at 100v and whenever we attempted any of the Transient Load Tests. It would go away if we shut the unit down, but as soon as we retried any of the above mentioned tests it came back. It was awful, it was painful, it was miserable, it was fitting for this unit.

Paul's Thoughts:

After all of that I feel as if I have to justify why this unit was purchased. The MX F1 600W was purchased because it looked decent, it was on sale during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period, and it came from a brand we had seen good things from even on "value" placed units. It had all of the things going for it that you can have when a product is completely unknown and still make you say "I'll give it a chance." On top of that, this unit had not been reviewed anywhere yet so, we were curious about what this unit was all about. As it turns out, giving this unit a chance was about as good an idea as it was to give Mary Mallon a job cooking for your family. Along those lines, I think Typhoid Fever might be preferable to working with this CWT design again, and I rather hope that no one else is using this CWT design other than LEPA in this product because it is bad on a scale that is hard to make apparent without sounding like it is being blown out of proportion. It isn't being blown out of proportion, however.

The LEPA MX F1 600W is the WORST power supply we have ever seen and I can not for the life of me figure out how this product made it through Lepa/Enermax's project managers and was released. Lepa/Enermax used to be a real manufacturer of power supplies so it has to still have at least one person there that should have caught this wreck before it was sent to the starting line. If I were to call this product a turd or crap that would be an offense to real turds and crap products like the Diablotek PHD650, Ultra X2 750W Exploding Edition, VisionTek 700W, etc because those units even outclass this one. That isn't a joke, and one of those units was a 550W unit that someone put a 750W label on!

The Bottom Line

The LEPA MX F1 600W is an example of something that quite simply should never have been sold. From the very start, the MX F1 600W was hampered by a build quality and component selection that essentially made this look like someone was entering a 1971 Ford Pinto in the Austrian Grand Prix. Given the shoddy construction, design, and component selection it was without much surprise that this unit failed every one of our tests today. What was surprising is just how badly this unit failed those tests. The LEPA MX F1 600W posted voltage regulation so bad, while it was running, that the qualifier of "while it was running" would not have applied to the system it was attempting to power. That is impressive. The ripple/noise values and Transient Load Test results were so bad that there are mountains in the Alps outside the Austrian Grand Prix with smaller elevation changes. Then there is the price. If you want to know the price, you will have to go look that up yourself as we will not be linking to that as we think that make us accessories to a crime of some kind.

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LEPA MX F1 600W PSU

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