A-POWER AK 680 PC POWER SUPPLY

41ox9jg0kpl-_sl500_aa300_The A-Power AK680 is a counterfeit PSU made using a Leadman 8867 350W power supply board. This was then sold at far above its actual capacity which is false pretences. This was also done with the DynaPower brand of PSU which is also falsely labelled.

The A-Power AK 680 power supply is a basic low cost generic ATX 2.1 model that we procured in 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. A-Power is a low-end brand out of China.

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 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 paint is the best feature of the AK680 which does give it a modern look when installed in an older machine.

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. We would have liked a single 12V rail so that the load would be better balanced.

The AK680 is a standard ATX 2.3 class power supply. It features the standard 2×12 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. Ball bearing fans are more costly but they also are less noisy and have a longer service life.

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.

COUNTERFEIT

This is actually a Leadman 8867 350W power supply being labeled as 680W with more than double the actual capacity.

We have seen a similar PSU as Echo Star 680W that appears to be very similar to this unit.

FEATURES

  • 120 mm Fan
  • Cooler and quieter operation
  • Sleeved cables
  • One (1) 16-inch 20+4-pin ATX power connector
  • One (1) 16-inch 4/8-pin +12V power connector
  • Four (4) large Molex 4-pin power connectors
  • Four (4) SATA power connectors
  • One (1) small floppy power connector
  • One (1) 6/8-pin PCI Express power connector
  • RoHS Compliant

CABLES

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. The wires in the cable feel lightweight.

RATINGS

This chart was taken from the label in the side of the power supply,. It’s now known to be fake, the values exceed that actual capacity by a considerable margin.

A-Power AK680 ATX Power Supply
AC Input Rating DC Output Rating
AC Input: 100V – 240V DC Output +3.3V +5V +12V1 +12V2 -12V +5Vsb
Current: 8A Max Load 28A 30A 20A 20A 0.5A 3.0A
Frequency: 50Hz – 60Hz Maximum Combined Wattage 180W 240W 240W
Total Power: 680W

PERFORMANCE

We tested the PSU with a single GTX 260 (200W for the card) 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 the BFG GTX 260 MaxCore 55 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. The Leadman board seems to be very well made.

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. This was likely done to mae the PSU look better than it actually is.

80 PLUS

We connected the power meter to the PSU and the power consumption suggests the AK680 is well below 70%. 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.

Corsair CS Series 450 Watt ATX Modular and Efficient Power Supply CS450M

FAILURE

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 mostly 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.

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 of running hot for a long time. Clearly that 120mm fan is needed to deal with the heat. Realistically it appears that the AK-680 is a 400W model that overstates its real capacity.

Our Corsair PSU tester also showed the AK680 was still alive. We tried the HD 5450 video card and the machine does boot up, so the PSU does still work. The 12V capacity is degraded below what gaming cards need. This is also the reason we have come to dislike multiple rail designs. Its not hard to make a single rail PSU.

EVGA 430 W1 80+, 430W Continuous Power, 3 Year Warranty Power Supply 100-W1-0430-KR

AT LEAST THE OVERLOAD PROTECTION WORKS

Eventually in December 2015, the AK680 failed completely following the installation of a second hard disk. The PSU tester beeped and the LED indicator showed a fault. The total service from this PSU is about 5 years, which is typical for the low-end segment of the market. In 2015 low cost power supplies with 80 PLUS Bronze are widely available and 80 PLUS Gold are now starting to enter the low-end of the market.

Removing the PSU and testing it again, it finally reset. This proves that the PSU load capacity is grossly overstated. We believe that providing the 40A of 12V current in a single rail would have eliminated the problems. Scanning the market in 2015, we found low-end power supplies similar to the AK680 now do offer single rail power, but they continue to lack basic 80 PLUS efficiency.