Antec Earthwatts EA 650W green Review

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Additional technical assistance: Peter McFarland and Jeremy Price.

Correctly testing power supplies is a complex procedure and KitGuru have configured a test bench which can deliver up to a 2,000 watt DC load. Due to public requests we have changed our temperature settings recently – previously we rated with ambient temperatures at 25C, we have increased ambient temperatures by 10c (to 35c) in our environment to greater reflect warmer internal chassis conditions.

We use combinations of the following hardware:
• SunMoon SM-268
• CSI3710A Programmable DC load (+3.3V and +5V outputs)
• CSI3711A Programmable DC load (+12V1, +12V2, +12V3, and +12V4)
• Extech Power Analyzer
• Extech MultiMaster MM570 digital multimeter
• SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa)
• Digital oscilloscope (20M S/s with 12 Bit ADC)
• Variable Autotransformer, 1.4 KVA

We are combining 12V output into a single result.

DC Output Load Regulation

Combined

DC Load

+3.3V
+5V
+12V
+5VSB
-12V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A V
152W
2.07
3.33
2.02
5.09
10.03
12.03
0.50
5.04
0.20
-12.05
270W
3.02
3.33
3.01
5.07
19.05
12.02
0.50
5.02
0.30
-12.04
400W
4.04
3.32
5.01
5.06
29.21
12.01
1.00
5.01
0.30
-12.04
523W
6.00
3.30
7.08
5.03
38.14
11.97
1.50
4.99
0.30
-12.02
652W
8.03
3.29
9.02
5.03
48.31
11.94
2.50
4.97
0.30
-12.02

Output load regulation is good from this supply, holding all primary rails within 2.5% of the nominal voltage.

ANTEC Earthwatts 650W Maximum Load
713.4W

The power supply would shut down at 713.4W, gracefully. We found the protection circuitry to work very well.

Next we want to try Cross Loading. This basically means loads which are not balanced. If a PC for instance needs 500W on the +12V outputs but something like 30W via the combined 3.3V and +5V outputs then the voltage regulation can fluctuate badly.

Cross Load Testing +3.3V +5V +12V -12V +5VSB
A V A V A V A V A V
590W 1.0 3.31 1.0 5.04 48.0 11.89 0.2 -12.05 0.50 5.02
145W 12.0 3.27 15.0 5.01 2.0 12.03 0.2 -12.03 0.50 5.00

The Antec supply did a pretty good job during our intensive cross loading test, and the supply remained stable within the stated tolerances.

We then used an oscilloscope to measure AC ripple and noise present on the DC outputs. We set the oscilloscope time base to check for AC ripple at both high and low ends of the spectrum. ATX12V V2.2 specification for DC output ripple and noise is defined in the ATX 12V power supply design guide.

ATX12V Ver 2.2 Noise/Ripple Tolerance
Output
Ripple (mV p-p)
+3.3V
50
+5V
50
+12V1
120
+12V2
120
-12V
120
+5VSB
50

Obviously when measuring AC noise and ripple on the DC outputs the cleaner (less recorded) means we have a better end result. We measured this AC signal amplitude to see how closely the Antec unit complied with the ATX standard.

AC Ripple (mV p-p)
DC Load +3.3V +5V +12V 5VSB
152W 10 5 15 10
270W 10 10 25 15
400W 15 10 35 15
523W 20 15 45 15
652W 25 15 55 20

Ripple results all fall within the tolerance guidelines above, with the +12V hitting a maximum of 55mV under full load. +5V hits 15mV and +3.3V peaking at 25 mV.

Efficiency (%)
152W
83.78
270W
87.56
400W
88.13
523W
87.32
652W
83.76

These results are strong for an 80 Plus Bronze rated power supply, peaking at just over 88 percent at 50 percent load. At full load the efficiency drops to around 84 percent.

We take the issue of noise very seriously at KitGuru and this is why we have built a special home brew system as a reference point when we test noise levels of various components. Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on components we are testing. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.

Today to test the Power Supply we have taken it into our acoustics room environment and have set our SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa) one meter away from the unit. We have no other fans running so we can effectively measure just the noise from the unit itself.

As this can be a little confusing for people, here are various dBa ratings in with real world situations to help describe the various levels.

KitGuru noise guide
10dBA - Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA - High Quality Computer fan
40dBA - A Bubbling Brook, or a Refridgerator
50dBA - Normal Conversation
60dBA - Laughter
70dBA - Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA - City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA - Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA - MP3 Player at maximum output
110dBA - Orchestra
120dBA - Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA - Threshold of Pain
140dBA - Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA - Instant Perforation of eardrum

Noise (dBA)
152W
27.8
270W
28.4
400W
30.6
523W
32.4
652W 34.8

This is a really quiet power supply, becoming audible only in the last 20% of its rated power output. Generally it is difficult to hear, rating under 30 dBa at 50 percent load.

Temperature (c)
Intake
Exhaust
152W
35
38
270W
35
39
400W
38
45
523W
42
50
652W
45
54

The large 120mm ‘magic’ fan helps to maintain fairly decent internal temperatures, rising to a 9c above ambient intake threshold at full load.

Maximum load
Efficiency
715.8W
82.3

Pushing the PSU above its rated limits generates an efficiency level of around 82.3%. This is not a viable ‘real world’ situation, but its interesting nonetheless.

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Antec Earthwatts EA 650W green Review, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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  • Dotith

    Seems like a decent product. pricing is briliant. ideal for a second machine. I dont see the big deal about the cable missing. not sure how thats helping the earth? but yeah ive loads of spares./

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  • Jarranst

    Nothing wrong with Delta designs, ive had a few older antec psus with them in them, still working like troopers.

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  • Kanned H3at

    65 bucks is great. might check it out on newegg later.

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  • Oliver

    cant be bad at the price. i think id rather have the ADATA one at 10 more for the modular support. I cant deal with all those cables anymore hanging around the case. also im surprised these arent sleeved. seems a bit penny pinching.

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  • Terrance Gallid

    I wont buy antec again I had one blow up on me last year. took out my motherboard too :(

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  • 082938212

    Too cheap for me, I want a 80 plus gold from corsair, but I guess for cheapo kids it fine.

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  • Haggard

    I dont know why people complaing about PSUS in some threads. ive had enermax, antec and ocz, and I never have a problem. I must be lucky.

    I like this one, but ill wait on 750w review, 650w wont give me much room to upgrade this year. my old ocz is still hanging in there, but Id like a 200W+ increase

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  • Vtkacy@Gmail.com

    WHY don’t STATE input Voltage…????!! What’s goin on…? Where are the input voltages…?? 110 VAC – 230 VAC ….???? Who are you “kitguru” amateurs..?? :(

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