Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Enermax Platimax 1200W Power Supply Review

Enermax is one of our long time favorite brands when it comes to PSUs. Enermax has proved over and over again that it is one of the world's premier PSU builders. Today it steps into a realm that is tough to compete in and in fact has not ever been seen by any other PSU builders as of yet. 1200 watts that is 80 Plus Platinum certified.

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Conclusions

The Enermax Platimax 1200W is the first 80Plus Platinum power supply we have seen from Enermax and of the handful of 80Plus Platinum units we have seen so far, the largest in capacity. As is true with many things, scaling things up can introduce many issues, problems, and limitations that do not occur on a smaller scale that, when not properly addressed, can ruin a product. To date, the largest 80Plus Platinum unit we have seen was 550W so Enermax is not just going a little bigger, but a lot bigger, so Enermax' ability to conquer these unseen hurdles will be at the forefront. As they say, "Go Big or Go Home". Did Enermax "Go Big?"


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

As we said with the MaxRevo 1350W, the Platimax 1200W is perhaps the best built Enermax unit we have ever seen. Indeed, this unit is almost a carbon copy of that unit except for minor details on the exterior, fan, and a few minor massages to the unit's components. The fit and finish are once more excellent with the incredibly durable and sharp looking powder coat we have seen a few times before making another appearance today. The two points of note on the exterior build quality that do change here are the accent color changing to Platinum and the change in the logo to that of the Platimax logo. Otherwise, we see the same cabling, form factor, layout, etc that we have come to recognize immediately as a high end Enermax offering.

As with the exterior, when we move to the interior of the unit we find the cleanest layout and integration from Enermax to date. Indeed, the topology and the majority of the components are the same as with the MaxRevo, fan and newer model transformer notwithstanding. When it comes to the unit's actual internal build quality, we once more find few faults with the unit as the soldering and modular interface are well done with this unit, which has not always been the case with Enermax units. In addition, the unit is stocked with Matsushita, Rubycon and Nippon Chemi-con capacitors which are excellent. Capping off this excellent build quality, is the fact that all of this is backed up by solid documentation and a Enermax 5 year warranty.

Load Testing

The load testing results for the Enermax Platimax 1200W were passing. Probably the best thing about the unit's load testing performance was the voltage regulation we saw on the minor rails which was on par with the EXCELLENT Antec HCP-1200. The problem after that was the 12v voltage regulation kind of checked out for the day and was not even in the same league as the minor rails or the HCP-1200. Indeed, with its peak drop of 0.39v the Platimax 1200W posted three times the change that the HCP-1200 did when using the exact same loads. This is not a very favorable comparison for the Platimax and its nearest competitor. The efficiency of the Platimax, however, was very good and a bit better than the older 80Plus Gold rated Antec HCP-1200. At 120v, the Platimax 1200W posted an efficiency range of 88.25% to 91.32% while at 100v it ranged from 86.63% to 90.50%. On top of that, when we replicated 80Plus’ tests for the unit, we got a range of 88.75% to 91.66% which is on the border of, to a touch below, the 80Plus Platinum category. However, given the differences inherent in replicating 80Plus’ testing it seems plausible that retail examples of these unit could meet the 80Plus Platinum certification. Though, as this unit's entire identity is wrapped up in its 80Plus rating, it would have been nicer to see this unit clear this hurdle with a bit more ease. Even the 80Plus test report has this unit barely making its Platinum certification.

The Transient Load Testing results for the Platimax 1200W are within specification, and a pass, but like the tests above they mimic or trail the MaxRevo 1350W and the Antec HCP-1200. Compared to both of those units the 12v rail’s peak change ranged from ~350mV to 380mV with the Platimax 1200W and the 5v ranged from ~110mV to ~140mV when loaded. While the 5v rail’s loaded value does come in at the high end of the Antec HCP-1200 value’s in this regard, and that is the closest it ever comes to that unit in these tests. As such, while a pass, the Platimax 1200W really isn’t pulling away from the most recent excellent Antec HCP-1200 flagship 1200W unit we reviewed recently.

DC Output Quality

So far today, the Platimax 1200W has performed very similarly to the MaxRevo 1350W. However, in the DC Output Quality portion of today’s review that was again true, but this time it was a very good thing. The Platimax 1200W started out testing with very small trace amplitudes and throughout testing this changed very little. In fact, the 12v rails had ripple/noise of value of ~45mV and minor rails peaked at ~25mV on the 5v rail and ~20mV on the 3.3v rail. In addition to being comparable to the MaxRevo 1350W (though a touch behind on the 12v rails), these values compare very favorably to, but slightly behind, the Antec HCP-1200. All in all though, these are very good result for the Platimax 1200W and perhaps its highest point so far today.

Noise

The Enermax Platimax 1200W is supposed to be an 80Plus Platinum rated power supply with a large (139mm) overhead fan and one of the cleanest layouts we have seen to date. As with the MaxRevo 1350W, these items should allow it to be a reasonably quiet power supply. However, also like the MaxRevo 1350W the Platimax 1200W once we moved into the 75% load and up range the unit was clearly audible in our test environment. However, this unit did seem to be a step behind the MaxRevo the entire time, so, while audible, it never was quite as loud as that unit. Generally, I like to point out that units in this range are not typically quiet, but recently we reviewed the In Win Commander II 1200W and while not the best unit we have ever reviewed, it was the quietest 1200W unit we have reviewed. Indeed, the In Win Commander II 1200W was quiet to the point of actually being plausibly called a quiet-ish unit even when running at 1200 watts. With this in mind, the noise output for these 1200W and up units seems a bit higher than what is truly possible.

Paul's Thoughts:

"Thanks for the 1350W MaxRevo rebadged as the 1200W Platimax?" I guess that is what this unit really is since, at this time, only the MaxRevo 1350W seems to be available and there is supposed to be a MaxRevo 1200W as records show it being 80Plus "certified" the same day as the MaxRevo 1350W and the yet-to-surface MaxRevo 1500W. Seriously though, this product feels exactly like it is the MaxRevo 1200W due to its performance metrics all coming in inline with the MaxRevo 1350W. It seems that Enermax tweaked the MaxRevo 1350 to get an 80Plus Platinum certification and are dropping it on the market as the first available large 80Plus Platinum power supply. As it seems that 80Plus Platinum is plausible with retail Platimax units, we have to congratulate Enermax on being the first one to market with an 80Plus Platinum unit in North America that is bigger than 1000W. This is no small accomplishment.

At the same time, there is certainly a trend worth noting here. The 80Plus efficiency game seems to have turned into the old MHz race in that companies are continually increasing efficiency, but not developing the other aspects of its products at the same rate, if at all, because that 80Plus Silver, Gold, or Platinum badge is something that they can stick on the side of a box just like clock speed used to be. Even the capacity race itself among power supply manufacturers that kind of slowed after Andyson's Ultra 1600W and Topower's OCZ made its HyperXStream 2000W unit. This is not to say that efficiency is unimportant. In HardOCP's world however, efficiency is around the fourth most important feature of a power supply, but it is the feature with coolest sticker, most marketing dollars behind it, and the easiest to sell users on while actually having nominal impact in a modern PSU sense. Not to pick on Enermax, but this does come a bit into focus today as the Platimax 1200W is 80Plus Platinum power supply that bests the older Antec HCP-1200 by only ~1.3% in efficiency even by 80Plus' own numbers! Check out the 80Plus reports the HCP-1200 and Platimax 1200W at these links. While the Platimax leads in this one category, it trails the Antec HCP-1200 in many other aspects. Perhaps now that we have a 1200W unit hitting 80Plus Platinum we will see a shift back to some other aspects of power supply development that have not received quite as much attention in recent years?

The Bottom Line

The Enermax Platimax 1200W is the largest 80Plus Platinum rated power supply we have seen. This is a testament to Enermax and its products. It does however very much compare evenly to Enermax recent MaxRevo 1350W. Both units feature the very best build quality we have seen from Enermax, excellent regulation on the minor rails, and extremely good DC Output Quality. The Platimax 1200W pulls a bit ahead of the MaxRevo 1350W in efficiency and noise output but it still has the same loose 12v regulation that we have seen previous Enermax units. Ultimately, the Platimax 1200W is a very solid 1200W unit that by the numbers is the most efficient on the market at this output level.

However, the competition is steep as Antec’s much older HCP-1200 is perhaps this unit’s closest current competitor and it packs a potent punch matching, and occasionally besting, the Platimax 1200W at a price point of $279.99 with Free Shipping compared to the Platimax 1200W’s reported MSRP price of $329. To make a buying decision even a bit more convoluted, you can purchase the Enermax MaxRevo 1350W for $269.99 after a $30 MIR with Free Shipping, which is simply a hell of a buy. In the end, it is up to users to decide which of these heavy weights has the right mix of performance metrics, price, and features for them but the Platimax 1200W certainly makes what was a one horse race now much closer to a dead heat when strictly looking for a 1200 watt unit.

Enermax expects to see e-tail/retail availability on the Platimax 1200W unit around the 19th of this month along with three other models that are also Platinum rated; a 1000W - $279, a 850W - $249, and a 650W - $179. We of course cannot wait to get our hands on these other Platimax units.

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Enermax Platimax 1200W

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