Enermax has been making PSUs for consumers and enthusiasts for long time. They are known for their quality and long-living products. As with many other PSU manufacturers; Enermax has jumped on the 80 Plus bandwagon in an effort to stop the ever growing wattage numbers and to offer a more efficient product. We at the Florida Bright Lab have been able to play with one of these, The Modu 82+ for the past couple of weeks and now the time has come to tell you how well it works.

Packaging

The packaging was a disappointment. While the external elements like images of the product, helpful information and graphs were well done the quality of protection for the product was awful.

  

The cardboard the box was made of felt thin and flimsy. After opening the box I found that the PSU itself was only protected by a thin layer of bubble wrap. If this were dropped during shipping I have no doubt that it would have been damaged.

  

Inside the box we did find everything we would need to use the Modu 82+ but is was cramped and had a feeling of being shoved in.


Design and Features

The Modu 82+ is a nice looking PSU. It features a nice matte finish that is actually finger print resistant. This is in contrast with many companies that like to give you a glossy surface that attracts dust, dirt and oil from nowhere.

The top of the PSU features the product specification label that shows what you should be able to get from the Modu 82+. While most companies are pushing 800+ Watts the Enermax is listing a nice and lean 625 Watts of rated total power output.  There are three 12 Volt rails inside with each handling a healthy 25 Amps with a combined total of 50 Amps and 600 Watts of power output. The 5 and 3.3 Volt lines can each take up 24 Amps and have a combined power output of 140 Watts. The -12 and +5 Vsb lines have 0.6 Amps [7.2 Watts] and 3 Amps [15 Watts] respectively.

Now, I am not sure if you were following along at home but I just rattled off 762 Watts of combined power. Yet the Modu 82+ is only rated for 625 Watts Total power. Something is not quite right here with the numbers listed.  

The bottom of the Modu 82+ has the now typical large slow fan to keep the innards cool. Enermax does include a fan connector for this fan. To me I think that is a bad idea PSU fans should be controlled internally in the PSU. They should not rely on mainboard headers for their power in my opinion. I have had quite a few fan headers go out on different mainboards over the years and speaking as a person that has lost a complete system due to a PSU overheating I would not trust a mainboard fan header with the cooling on my PSU.

Moving on to the back side of the Modu 82+ we see again the typical honey comb grill for air flow, the power switch and the adapter socket.  Nothing really to see here so let’s move on.

Moving on to the business end we see some interesting departures from traditional PSU design. Where many modular PSUs have the PCI-e cables hard wired with the 24-Pin cable [and eight and four pin Aux connectors] Enermax has opted to make those optional as well.
 

    

They instead make the PCI-e connectors their own plugs. These are the two larger Red sockets you see in the picture. According to the hard-sell on the box these are for Future PCI-e power requirements.

In reality, they are for a pair of dual-4+2 pin cables that can handle multi-GPU setups [tri SLI and Crossfire-X]. The other five sockets are for your more mundane devices like HDDs, case fans, floppy/multi-readers, and CD/DVD-ROM drives.

The cables themselves are sleeved with a tough mesh material that unfortunately makes them less bendable. Now this issue with the cables has me in two minds. On the one hand they were very difficult to move around and get into place; on the other once I did get them into place they tended to stay put and not “relax” back into places I did not want them. So the stiffer cables are a mixed bag for me.

In all Enermax did a good job on the design with only a couple of bad choices [powering the fan from the mainboard and stiffer cable sleeving].


Performance

For performance testing we like to test real power draw from the wall as well as the individual lines ability to handle the power needs of a high-end system. To measure draw from the outlet we use a Kill A Watt Model P4400. For internal power readings we use three Fluke 87V Digital Multimeters. These are connected to the 12v, 5v and 3.3v lines. Since the Modu 82+ has three separate 12v rails I needed to move the third 87V for each test run to make sure I was reading the proper draw.

These numbers are then combined into the table you see below. We run four distinct types of load on the system and PSU to determine if it will handle your power needs and maintain stability.

Load-1 – This is really nothing more than a full 32MB run of Hyper Pi 0.99b. HyperPi uses the CPU, memory and hard drives causing a good amount of power usage. I will test for 3.3, 5, and 12 volt stability as well as seeing what the wattage use from the wall is. I will take a wattage measurement at each loop and then average this for the final wattage score. I will also take the Voltage reading at each loop and this will result in my average. Final numbers will be high, low and average for each reading.
Load-2 - For this test I will run a full render in LightWave 09 [x64] I will use Moonbase as the sample for rendering. I will take readings for Wattage, and voltage every 10 minutes and average these out. The same High, low and average will be recorded. Final numbers will be high, low and average for each reading.
Load-3 - Load test 3 will consist of a full defragmentation using O&O Defrag Professional Edition [Space] of the system drive. Again voltage readings will be done every 10 minutes.
Load-4 - Finally, the gaming tests. For this test I will run Cryostasis and then Call of Duty World at War for 1 hour each. Readings will be taken every 10 minutes and every level load. Final numbers will be high, low and average for each reading.

The Victim

  • Intel Core i7 Extreme 975
  • GIGABYTE X58 Extreme Mainboard
  • 2x Zotec AMP! Edition GTX 280s [SLI]
  • 3 GB Kingston KHX1600D3K3/3GX
  • LSI MegaRAID SAS 8344ELP
  • 2x Seagate 147GB 15k RPM SAS HDDs [RAID 0]
  • Generic DVD-RW, SATA
  • Swiftech H20 220 Apex Ultima [With Apogee GTZ]
  • Microsoft Windows 7 RC1 x64 [Build 7100]

The Modu 82+ did an excellent job of keeping up with our test system. The voltages being sent to the system remained stable and we saw no fluctuations at all despite the loads we placed on it.


Value

You can grab the Modu 82+ 625 Watt modular PSU from NewEgg for about $170.00 if you are in the US. This is a little more than I would expect to pay for a 625 Watt PSU that only carries a bronze rating. Looking around I found Gold and Silver 80 plus Certified PSUs for around the same price and that offered a higher power rating there were even a few Bronze certified that offered more power at a lower price.  If I were pricing a PSU out this price difference would put me off of the Enermax Modu 82+. After having tested the Modu 82+ I would say that you do get what you pay for.

For RMA you would simply head to Enermax’s Support site and open a ticket. From there their automated system will walk you through the steps needed to get your issues taken care of.

Conclusion

The Modu 82+ is an impressive PSU. The well thought out modular design makes it easy to work with when installing and to prevent the spaghetti cable mess that can happen with many other power supplies. The removal of the PCIe Power connectors to a modular cables is an excellent feature, also allowing for two 6+2 Pin connectors on each line will help to keep things nice and clean. The noise level from the Modu 82+ was almost non-existent yet the built in fan was able to keep things nice and cool. The Modu was also able to keep our power hungry i7 system well fed with power during our testing. My biggest complaints with this PSU are the external fan connector and the price. I do not like having to depend on a mainboard fan header to keep my PSU cool and I think that the price may cause many to overlook this PSU when shopping.

It does deliver but in the end might be left on the shelf in favor of higher rated [80Plus silver and Gold] power supplies that cost the same or less.