The A-Power AK680 power supply is a basic low cost generic ATX 2.1 model that we procured in January of 2010 for use with the desktop gaming machine. The old PSU had a single 12 V 20 A circuit which limited the use of advanced gaming grade video cards somewhat.
The AK680 is the standard ATX 86 mm by 150 mm at the back panel to fit the standard ATX screw positions. The AK680 is the standard 140 mm deep which is allows for lots of room for DVD drives and the cable assembly.
The AK680 uses a pair of 12V circuits to reduce costs. Typically one rail is used for the motherboard and the other supplies the PCI Express supplemental power. The overall quality of the components is very basic.
The AK680 is a standard ATX 2.3 class power supply. It features the standard 2x12 motherboard connector with a single strand of Molex and a single strand of SATA connectors.
The PCI Express cable is a 6/8-pin capable of supporting a single display adapter. Better would have been to provide a pair of 6-pin PCI Express cables to support entry level gaming video cards. Video cards only use 8-pin if a pair of 6-pin connectors provide inadequate power.
The 4-pin ATX12V and 8-pin EPS12V connectors are standard for most motherboards. The AK680 uses a separate 4-pin and 8-pin connector separated by 8 inches of cable.
The AK680 uses a 120 mm ball bearing fan to keep the assembly cool.
The AK680 has a gloss black finish with a screen panel on the back to allow the best airflow. The large 120mm fan on the bottom allows for a far greater air flow which is needed when the PSU is loaded.
The AK680 is an older design that uses separate circuits to each of the voltages. More modern designs now use DC-DC converters drawn from the 12 V line.
|AC INPUT||115 V / 230 V - 50 / 60 Hz|
|DC OUTPUT||+3.3 V||+5 V||+12 V||+12 V||-12 V||+5 VSB|
|28 A||30 A||20 A||20 A||0.6 A||2 A|
|Max Combined Watts||680 W|
A total of 3 different connector strands are available with the AK680. The Molex peripheral strand has 3x connectors with a single Berg connector on the end for a floppy drive. The SATA strand has 3x SATA power connectors. A 3rd strand has one Molex and one SATA connector, likely intended for the DVD drive. The AK680 uses sleeved cables which we find desirable.
We tested the PSU with a single GTX 260 which has a pair of 6-pin connectors on it. We used an adapter to connect the second connector to the Molex cable. We have seen some reports that this PSU cannot power a GTX 260 but we use this successfully. We use a BFG GTX 260 MaxCore OC video card fine even overclocked.
Software monitors showed the PSU to be within range even when playing demanding games. The PSU seems to be well within ATX tolerances. We use Asus motherboards and they feature a complete sensor set to monitor all power levels.
We noted the PSU is not exactly as shown on the box suggesting that our PSU is a revised model that was packaged in an old box. The model we have has more SATA and Molex connectors.
We connected the power meter to the PSU and the power consumption suggests the AK680 can barely meet basic 80 PLUS efficiency. This is not bad given the price point of the AK680.
There is no certification on the box or the side sticker as each make of the same OEM model must be certified which adds to the cost. The box claim is 80% at typical loads.
In November 2011 we noted that the BIOS on our gaming machine began to beep. Over time a power supply will lose some of its capacity. This is caused by capacitors aging. Cheaper power supplies like the AK680 cannot be expected to last long. Examination of the components showed the use of cheap low temperature capacitors which are not suited to a PC PSU.
Because of the short service life and failure to deliver the rated power we award the AK-680 with the lemom.
The AK680 still powers up but we suspect the 12V capacity has degraded below what is needed to operate our gaming machine. The AK680 does have a fragrance typical of high power circuits that have been in use for a long time.
Many PSU vendors claim that their model is 680 W but these vendors include 3.3 V and 5 V capacity. Corsair and other respectable vendors only state the important 12 V capacity which is all that matters to a PC gaming rig.
Using the same metrics as Corsair does, the AK680 is really only a 500 W PSU at best. This is what we feel is a serious problem in the industry and worldwide regulations need to be upgraded. This way consumers do not have to be electrical engineers to be able to select a suitable model.
Our Corsair TX850 is rated for 850 W at 50° C which is very realistic. A PC PSU runs hot so anything that is not rated at 50° C is misleading. We use USB thermometers and these can continuously monitor temperatures.
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