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Reviewed by: Norman Tan [04.06.05]
Manufactured by: Clever Power, Enermax, Silverstone, Skyhawk, Ultra Products

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One final thing...

Remember earlier when I said that the Skyhawk was EPS12V compliant? Well, not quite. The EPS12V standard (section 6.1.1) calls for the 12V rails powering the CPUs to be seperate from those powering the rest of the system (IE, a minumum of 2 rails).

Looking at the picture below, you see the yellow lines coming out from the baseboard to daughter board which has all the connectors as well as to the main system connector.

Flipping the powersupply over, we see that in fact, all the 12V rails come from the same place and are not physically seperated.

In short, the box does not tell the truth and the powersupply, though it has the appropriate EPS12V connectors, does not meet the standard at all. We contacted Skyhawk about this and this was their reply.

"We already found out the problem and we spoken to our Asia factory already. On the function, we has meet the requirment, but on the box we didn't. However, We will be aware of this problem and we will change the design of the box."

Further clarification from them indicated that they would be doing the following things.

"First, we are changing the design into 2x2 power connectors. Secondly, we will re-mark on our retail box said it's compatible only."

Ultimately, this results in the removal of the EPS12V standards compliance off the box which means, those looking for a cheap PSU to power their dual systems need to look elsewhere. Of course, if you have the money for a dual system, you would be able to buy a high quality EPS12V power supply.

There you have it, five power supplies compared. Now what can we get out of all that? With this round-up, we saw that industry leader Enermax is continuing to be the category exemplar whereas relative new comers such as Silverstone can provide high quality powersupplies. 

In terms of recommendations, the Enermax is the winner overall, although the Silverstone is not trailing far behind. Both power supplies offered a plethora of connectors, high current rails and an excellent MBF. Where the Silverstone fell short however, was with the one year warranty. It was however, the only powersupply in this round up that was EPS12V compliant so those looking for a quality power supply for your dual CPU system need not look any further. Furthermore, its rating was at an operating temperature of 0-50C whereas the Enermax was calculated at 0-40C.

For the entry level products, the Skyhawk is a very capable performer. Though the box was misleading, the product nevertheless worked well. I would hesistate to recommend it for dual CPU systems, but for moderately powered systems, this PSU should provide you with the stability you need. Additionally, the response from the company regarding this problem was dealt with as a company should and I would expect that this would not happen again.

Finally, we have the Ultra and the CleverPower. The CleverPower was perhaps the weakest of the products in this roundup with an outdated supply, low MBF and poor warranty. It simply could not match the other powersupplies in terms of rail current, features and heck, even looks. The Ultra I have to admit was a little disappointing as well. The performance was similar to that of the inexpensive Skyhawk and the low currents as well as a lack of a secondary 12V+ rail really hurt its score.

Final scores:

CleverPower - 60%
Enermax - 94%
Silverstone - 89%
Skyhawk - 80% (due to the claims on the box)
Ultra - 70%

  • Enermax, Silverstone: Very solid rails
  • Silvertone, Ultra: Nice finish, good construction
  • CleverPower: Innovative fan solution
  • Skyhawk: Great bang for buck
  • Enermax, Skyhawk: 3 year warranty

  • Ultra, Skyhawk: Too few SATA connectors
  • CleverPower: Outdated design, poor performance
  • Ultra: Lack of secondary 12V+ rail
  • Silverstone, CleverPower, Ultra: 1 year warranty