Articles: Cases/PSU

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There are some engineering solutions I do have gripes about, though. The first photograph of the interior of the PSU shows that it has as many as three high-voltage capacitors, one of which (it is black) stands upright on the main PCB while the other two (the blue and brown ones) are attached horizontally on additional cards.

The first “horizontal” capacitor is soldered to a small card fastened to two heatsinks. I was surprised to see that this capacitor was connected to the main PCB with one wire (to the “plus” pin) whereas the “minus” pin contacts, via a tinned spot and a self-tipping screw, with a heatsink (the rightmost heatsink in the photo) and then with the PCB. Andyson engineers may have had some thoughts about that, but I don’t think it is a good idea to use heatsinks as conductors.

The second “horizontal” capacitor is located on the active PFC card. It is photographed above with the components facing up. You can see this capacitor hold with its own leads only. It is not fastened in any other way. But the good practice is to fix every massive element of a PSU with at least a generous portion of glue.

I should note that I had two different versions of the ES-800 (I will explain this shortly), and the newer version did have a small drop of glue between the mentioned capacitor and the card. The overall reliability of design didn’t improve much from that, though.

Well, that’s enough about the drawbacks. They are not so substantial after all.

The PSU’s interior shows high mounting density (notwithstanding the use of surface-mounted components and additional cards) and very compact heatsinks that are no taller than the other components.

Some of the heatsinks are hard to see at first glance. There is nothing wrong with that, however. I have already reviewed power supplies from FSP Group in which the developer made the heatsinks smaller by increasing the number of load-bearing elements, transistors and diodes. In the ES-800, there are even two rows of elements on the tallest heatsink!

There are KZE series capacitors from United Chemi-Con at the PSU’s output. These capacitors have a good reputation and are often installed in top-quality power supplies.

A rather large additional card located near the side panel of the PSU carries circuitry for fan speed management and for monitoring the output voltages and currents.

The PSU is equipped with the following cables and connectors:

  • Mainboard cable with a 20+4-pin connector (48cm long)
  • CPU cable with an 8+4-pin connector (48+15cm)
  • Two graphics card cables with one 6-pin and one 6+2-pin connector on each. The latter is compatible with both 6-pin and 8-pin power connectors of graphics cards (48+15cm)
  • Two SATA power cables with three connectors on each (48+15+15cm)
  • Two cables with three Molex connectors and one floppy-drive plug on each (48+15+15+15cm)

There is nothing I can find fault with here. The PSU offers all the connectors you may want. It can power up a SLI/CrossFire graphics subsystem in which each graphics card has two power connectors without any adapters.

The ES-800 is cooled with one 14cm fan (Globe Fan RL4Z B1382012H). There is no celluloid film on the fan. The problem of the dead zone which is solved in some other PSUs by blocking a part of the fan has a different solution here: there are vent holes in the internal panel of the PSU through which the air is blown black into the system case. The fan uses a 2-pin connection without the option of speed monitoring.

According to the label, the PSU can yield nearly all of its power, 780W out of the maximum of 800W, via its four +12V output lines. Like in most other PSUs, these are “virtual” line. There is actually one +12V power rail, with a maximum current of 65A, inside the PSU.

Take note that the different lines have different current limitations. Two of them allow a current of 36A – you can connect graphics cards, the most voracious components of the modern PC, to these lines. It means that each graphics card cable can be attached to a load up to 432W (the combined load on both cables cannot exceed 780 watts, of course) which is higher than the requirements of any existing graphics card, including the latest generation of ATI’s and Nvidia’s chips.

The PSU worked at full load normally, without overheat.

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