EVGA Bronze 500 W Review 2

EVGA Bronze 500 W Review

Efficiency, Temperatures & Noise »

Test Setup

All measurements were performed using two Chroma 6314A mainframes equipped with the following electronic loads: six 63123A [350 W each], one 63102A [100 W x2], and one 63101A [200 W]. The aforementioned equipment is able to deliver 2500 W of load, and all loads are controlled by a custom-made software. We also used a Picoscope 3424 oscilloscope, a Picotech TC-08 thermocouple data logger, a Fluke 175 multimeter, and a Yokogawa WT210 power meter. We also included a wooden box, which, along with some heating elements, was used as a hot box. Finally, we had at our disposal four more oscilloscopes (Rigol 1052E and VS5042, Stingray DS1M12, and a second Picoscope 3424), and a CEM DT-8852 sound level meter. In this article, you will find more details about our equipment and the review methodology we follow. Finally, we conduct all of our tests at 40°C-45°C ambient in order to simulate with higher accuracy the environment seen inside a typical system, with 40°C-45°C being derived from a standard ambient assumption of 23°C and 17°C-22°C being added for the typical temperature rise within a system.

Primary Rails Voltage Regulation

The following charts show the voltage values of the main rails, recorded over a range from 60 W to the maximum specified load, and the deviation (in percent) for the same load range.

5VSB Regulation

The following chart shows how the 5VSB rail deals with the load we throw at it.

Hold-up Time

The hold-up time is a very important characteristic of a PSU and represents the amount of time, usually measured in milliseconds, that a PSU can maintain output regulations as defined by the ATX spec without input power. In other words, it is the amount of time the system can continue to run without shutting down or rebooting during a power interruption. The ATX spec sets the minimum hold-up time to 16 ms with the maximum continuous output load. In the following screenshot, the blue line is the mains signal and the yellow line is the "Power Good" signal. The latter is de-asserted to a low state when any of the +12V, 5V, or 3.3V output voltages fall below the undervoltage threshold, or after the mains power has been removed for a sufficiently long time to guarantee that the PSU cannot operate anymore.

The small hold-up cap didn't allow the PSU to achieve the minimum allowed hold-up time. These caps don't come cheap so companies prefer to use small ones, especially in budget units.

Inrush Current

Inrush current or switch-on surge refers to the maximum, instantaneous input-current drawn by an electrical device when first turned on. Because of the charging current of the APFC capacitor(s), PSUs produce large inrush-current right as they are turned on. Large inrush current can cause the tripping of circuit breakers and fuses and may also damage switches, relays and bridge rectifiers; as a result, the lower the inrush current of a PSU right as they are turned on, the better.

This unit's inrush current was very low because of the small hold-up cap responsible for its failure in the previous test. This is a good example of even a bad thing bringing about something good.

Voltage Regulation and Efficiency Measurements

The first set of tests revealed the stability of the voltage rails and the efficiency of the 500B. The applied load was equal to (approximately) 20%, 40%, 50%, 60%, 80%, 100%, and 110% of the maximum load that the PSU can handle. We conducted two additional tests. In the first test, we stressed the two minor rails (5V and 3.3V) with a high load while the load at +12V was only 0.10 A. This test reveals whether the PSU is Haswell ready or not. In the second test, we dialed the maximum load the +12V rail could handle while the load on the minor rails was minimal.

Voltage Regulation & Efficiency Testing Data
Test12 V5 V3.3 V5VSBPower
EfficiencyFan SpeedFan NoiseTemp
20% Load6.463A1.983A1.991A1.004A99.77W83.82%1176 RPM40.8 dBA 39.76°C0.924
12.098V5.042V3.308V4.975V119.03W 42.58°C230.2V
40% Load13.317A3.981A4.016A1.210A199.67W86.49%1448 RPM43.7 dBA 40.56°C0.963
12.054V5.017V3.284V4.948V230.87W 43.89°C230.1V
50% Load16.645A4.984A5.043A1.620A249.67W86.44%1613 RPM46.4 dBA 41.65°C0.971
12.030V5.007V3.270V4.928V288.83W 45.22°C230.2V
60% Load19.987A6.000A6.080A2.035A299.70W86.19%1773 RPM49.1 dBA 42.92°C0.976
12.005V4.996V3.256V4.906V347.74W 46.99°C230.2V
80% Load26.883A8.036A8.176A2.459A399.64W85.50%1836 RPM50.2 dBA 44.47°C0.983
11.952V4.974V3.227V4.872V467.42W 49.22°C230.2V
100% Load34.502A9.043A9.273A3.102A499.54W84.54%1836 RPM50.2 dBA 46.19°C0.987
11.879V4.976V3.203V4.833V590.90W 51.87°C230.1V
110% Load38.838A9.034A9.292A3.106A549.50W84.08%1836 RPM50.2 dBA 46.40°C0.988
11.839V4.982V3.196V4.826V653.55W 52.35°C230.1V
Crossload 10.095A14.013A14.004A0.000A111.33W76.59%1858 RPM50.4 dBA 43.27°C0.937
12.482V4.622V3.240V4.946V145.35W 47.06°C230.3V
Crossload 239.969A1.001A1.002A1.002A481.60W84.98%1824 RPM50.1 dBA 46.55°C0.986
11.715V5.172V3.253V4.914V566.72W 52.67°C230.1V
Contrary to the be quiet! L8-500 using the same platform, this unit didn't achieve tight voltage regulation. Its fan was also pretty noisy, especially at higher loads. The registered efficiency was nothing to exceptional for the Bronze standard, and our CL1 test shows that the unit does not meet Haswell's sleep state requirements. The best thing here is that the small 500B managed to deliver more than its normal capacity at above 45°C ambient.
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