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ExeGate ATX-500PPX

This section of my review is going to be short. After a long period of testing without any casualties, the ExeGate ATX-500PPX has joined our collection of dead PSUs. I had recorded its cross-load specs and almost finished testing its fan (the fan speed test is quite long and can be considered a test of the PSU's ability to work continuously under high load), but about 100 seconds into the test I heard a loud clap with all the consequences that might be expected. Well, I had been given a clue about this outcome as the PSU had smelled suspiciously after reaching a load of 400 watts.

Exterior Design

Tightly wrapped into transparent plastic, this PSU comes without any accessories like a user manual or fasteners.

The exterior design looks familiar already: compact dimensions and a 120mm fan shifted towards one side. The only new feature we can see here is that the back vent grid has a square rather than honeycomb mesh.

Also on the back panel you can see a mains connector, an On/Off switch, and a passive PFC choke fastened with screws.

Circuit Design

The interior of the ExeGate ATX-500PPX doesn’t provoke any apprehensions.

Everything is neat and tidy. There is no sign of the manufacturer having tried to use as cheap components as possible.

The only suspicious thing is that the capacitors are made by an obscure firm BH. I could only find one reseller of such capacitors but not their actual manufacturer on the Web. They were not the reason for the death of the PSU, though.

The ExeGate ATX-500PPX can match the Cooler Master model in ancestry. Its circuit design looks like the ancient InWin IW-ISP300A3-1. It’s even got the same PWM controller chip – SG6105 (but the chip is ADZ rather than D modification). The component layout is almost identical.

You can find the name of the PCB maker next to the fuse, beneath the passive PFC choke. As a matter of fact, Foshan Shunde City XinHuiDa Electronic Co., Ltd. even offers 80+Gold products in its EPS (12V2.92) series, but the ExeGate ATX-500PPX is not one of them. It is based on a simple 400-watt XHD-400T model from the ATX 2.3 series which has both of its two distinguishing features: the passive PFC choke screwed to the back panel and the square-shaped vent holes. The electrical specs of the XHD-400T are close to those of the ExeGate ATX-500PPX, too.

Specifications

The max output power of 500 watts is quite a lot, but the PSU can only yield 370 watts (only 74% of the total) across the +12V rail. The load capacity of the +3.3V and +5V rails combined is 130 watts, which is more than necessary in real life and seems to be higher than the PSU’s real capabilities (the original manufacturer’s 400- and 500-watt PSUs promise only 120 watts on those two rails combined).

Interestingly, the mean time between failures for this PSU series is specified to be only 10 thousand hours at the ExeGate website. This is only one tenth of what most other PSU makers promise, including the original XinHuiDa products. This may be just a typo, but I hope that ExeGate is objective in estimating the perspectives of a Chinese 400-watt PSU rebranded as a 500-watt unit with a peak output power of 550 watts and equipped with capacitors from an obscure firm.

Cross-Load Stability

The +12V and +5V rails deflect by 3% within the typical load range, which is acceptable for an inexpensive PSU. They deflect the most when there is a very high or a very low load on the +5V and +3.3V rails.

The +3.3V voltage is even more stable. It deflects by 3% only when there is high load on both the +3.3V and +12V rails concurrently.

Temperature and Noise

The ExeGate ATX-500PPX is cooled by a 120mm fan from BaoDiKai (the part number is BDM12025S). More than one third of the fan is covered with a piece of plastic. The part number corresponds to a 2000RPM model at the manufacturer's website but that model has a current of 0.23 amperes whereas this one, 0.15 amperes.

The fan doesn’t cope. It accelerates right from the start (an audible 1300 RPM even at minimum load) but then works at 1400 RPM or somewhat higher, allowing the temperature to rise up.

The natural outcome was the clapping sound of the PSU's suicide.

Summary

Perhaps somewhat paradoxically, I wasn't displeased with the ExeGate ATX-500PPX despite its failure during my tests. The problem is that the manufacturer put a wrong wattage rating on it. The PSU failed under continuous load but passed the cross-load test with short-term high loads.

On the other hand, even if ExeGate lowers the wattage rating to the realistic 400 watts, the ATX-500PPX can hardly make a worthy opponent to the far more efficient and quiet Enhance ATX-0240GA, for example, at its current price. So, the price should be lowered as well.

 
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