Enermax Revolution Duo 700W Power Supply Review
Two is always better than one, right? Two fans in your new PSU is a win-win? That is the theory behind the Enermax Revolution Duo series of Power Supply Units. Enermax has a long history of producing PSUs ranging from good to excellent. Where will the new Duo fall in line today?
While the Enermax Revolution Duo 700W is the latest in a long line of power supplies that we have seen from Enermax, it is also a bit of a throwback. Years ago, power supplies for enthusiasts featured vastly different layouts when it comes to fans than they do today. Often, you would have a single 80mm fan. Other times, there would be two fans in a push pull configuration or, occasionally, you would have an overhead fan paired with a rear mounted fan. In those days, Enermax was one of the kings among enthusiast power supplies. So, today, with the Revolution Duo 700W being a throwback to that by gone era we have to ask; is Enermax going to be king of the enthusiast power supply realm again today with the Revolution Duo 700W? Let’s see.
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.
The build quality of the Enermax Revolution Duo 700W starts things off today on a mixed note. Externally, the Revolution Duo 700W is generally well done for its design. The fit and finish is very much like we have seen from some of the nicer Enermax offerings rather than those that cut corners, save for the fan adjustment mechanism which could be stouter. When we move to the interior of the unit, things look a bit more "mixed" on the not good side than on the exterior where the "mixed" leaned towards the good side. The topology is modern and the unit sports Enermax "Twister Bearing" fans. After those two points, however, things are not quite as good. The capacitors appear to all be Teapo and the single layer PCB has only "OK" soldering and it is a bit warped. In general, the integration does not seem to have the same quality or attention to detail as when Enermax was OEM-ing units themselves. Nor does this feel, or look, like a premium unit like the product page indicates. Now, this is all backed up by documentation that is, again, not what we are used to seeing from Enermax in the past and a somewhat shorter than now "industry standard" 3 year warranty.
Today, the load testing results for the Enermax Revolution Duo 700W seem to almost pull a complete 180 compared to the above build quality. The voltage regulation saw the 12v rail drop by up to 0.04v during testing while the minor rails dropped by 0.05v. Relative to the competition, well, we don't have much competition to compare this unit too. As has happened before, that means we have pulled together a group that is as close to comparable as possible but some of these units are not the greatest matches for the Revolution Duo 700W, so keep that in mind. The Revolution Duo 700W is mixed compared to the Rosewill VALENS-700, bests the SilverStone SX700-LPT, bests the Enermax MODU87+ 700W, and is mixed compared to the LEPA G700-MA. These values, therefore, make this unit not only "competitive" but down right good in a relative sense. Now, part of the problem with that is the relative units are not the best bunch, but I would still say that with those voltage regulation numbers this unit should do well against more comparable units as we see them. When we look at this unit’s efficiency, we see that it was 86.69% to 90.23% efficient at 120v AC input and 84.68% to 89.26% efficient at 100v AC input during our tests today. Then, when we ran the 80 Plus tests, we saw efficiency values of 87.87%-90.88%-87.41% for the Revolution Duo 700W. This puts this unit right in its claimed 80 Plus Gold category. Beyond that, the Revolution Duo 700W passes the Torture Test which is good.
The Transient Load Test results for the Enermax Revolution Duo 700W are passing but they, essentially, see the results from the voltage regulation flipped. When directly loaded, the 12v rail showed a peak change of ~520mV and the 5v rail had a peak change of ~140mV. The unloaded 5v peak change during the 12v load was ~130mV. Now, in the first line it says that these results are flipped when compared to the voltage regulation because this unit trails the Rosewill VALENS-700, trails the SilverStone SX700-LPT, ends mixed compared to the LEPA G700-MA, and ends mixed compared to the Enermax MODU87+ 700W. So, this time, while "competitive" this unit has moved to the trailing portion of the competitive pack.
DC Output Quality
Moving on to the DC Output Quality today, we see that the Revolution Duo 700W is shifting gears yet again. During our testing, the peak 12v trace amplitude was ~50mV while the peak 5v and 3.3v trace amplitudes were ~10mV on the 5v rail and ~20mV on the 3.3v rail. Each of these results are well within the ATX12v specification limits, but the 12v rail is pushing towards ~1/2 of the ATX12v specification limit. Now, when we look at that competition, we see that this unit bests the SilverStone SX700-LPT (barely), trails the MODU87+ 700W, bests the LEPA G700-MA, and bests the Rosewill VALENS-700. So, the Revolution Duo 700W is back to the positive side of the pack of "comparable" units making it more than just competitive here.
If someone handed you a power supply with two "small" fans in it, would you expect it to be quiet? I mean, seriously, would you? Probably not. So, the Enermax Revolution Duo 700W is starting off in a kind of bad place today from a perception standpoint. That said, Enermax has seeming tried to do all they can to overcome that as the unit is very efficient, features low power "Twister Bearing" fans, and lets users adjust the fan as they wish. So, how has this worked out? Well, it depends on how you fiddle with that post/knob on the rear of the unit. If you leave that post/knob in the "low/AUTO" setting then it actually works out decently. If you crank that post up to the "Maximum" setting, well, what do you think happens when you turn a fan up to maximum? It gets louder. Now, not mindlessly loud like some of the power supplies and fans of 10 years ago but definitely louder than the "low/AUTO" setting. In fact, that "low/AUTO" setting worked well as the unit did not significantly contribute to our load testing environment until later into testing. If this unit was isolated in its own section of your case as Enermax envisions, this unit would make a solid choice. Now, lots of other units do as well but the dual fan setup did not do as bad as I had expected.
There are a number of things I could go on about with the Enermax Revolution Duo 700W, as I have a few questions about it, but I am going to stick with two conceptual things I like about the unit. The first is the manual fan speed adjustment. This is a very simple thing to do that other vendors should be doing for a couple of reasons. First up, users increasingly say they want control over noise and fan profiles. This solution gives that to them without resorting to software. Software that, to date, we have not found to be particularly great and the manual adjustment is not as prone to buggy implementation as software. So, this is a win-win. The second thing about this unit I think merits a bit of mention is the alternative fan form factor. Over the last few years, we have gotten stuck in this rut where every unit has an overhead fan. This layout does, generally, work very well. However, one size never fits all so if you had a situation where you needed something else, for whatever reason, you have been kind of up a creek without a paddle. Now, today's Revolution Duo 700W does still have one overhead fan but, the point is, diversity in form factors gives vendors a chance to experiment with new product and perhaps develop new niches and it gives users more options to customize their setup to their liking. I think all of us can agree that more choices are better. For those reasons, I am glad that this unit passed through here today and, maybe, Enermax will play around with some other concepts (either retro or new) and toss them enthusiasts' ways as well if this unit pans out well for them.
The Bottom Line
The Enermax Revolution Duo 700W is a power supply that performs well even though it seems like an anachronism. Certainly, this unit has it faults, and it seems as if it is doing better than we would expect........, but how much of that is due to the old school vibe? It is hard to say. However, what we can say is that the Revolution Duo 700W showed us very good voltage regulation, passing Transient Load Test results, excellent efficiency, fairly quiet performance (depending on what USER does to the unit), and very good DC Output Quality. These items stand out a bit ahead of the build quality as that was definitely mixed/not great overall with our unit today and the support for this unit is not exactly what we have come to expect from Enermax over the years. However, since the raw performance metrics of this unit have it constantly competitive (either at the head of the competitive pack or at the back) then we know we have a passing unit that has some value, but how much value?
When we look at this unit's pricing we see that it is coming in at $96.66 with Free Prime Shipping. That price is not bad per se. However, the tough part is we don't see a lot of 700W units and users looking at 700W unit are probably going to look at 650W and 750W units also. In those realms, there is a lot of competition with aggressive price points. If this unit was coming in today with a bit of a discount it would certainly make a more compelling case for itself. As it stands though, the Enermax Revolution Duo 700W is a unit that users are going to simply need for the form factor as we have seen a few other units in the 650W to 750W realm that make as compelling a case for themselves as this unit does for itself. In this case of needing this unit for the form factor, the case for the Revolution Duo 700W is there but it is not bullet proof.