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Antec Earthwatts Gold Pro 750W PSU Review

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
• Extech digital sound level meter
• Digital oscilloscope (20M S/s with 12 Bit ADC)
• Variable Autotransformer, 1.4 KVA

DC Output Load Regulation

Combined

DC Load

+3.3V
+5V
+12V
+5VSB
-12V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A V
75W
0.95
3.33
0.93
5.00
5.13
12.05
0.50
5.03
0.20
-12.04
150W
1.65
3.33
1.66
5.00
10.61
12.05
1.00
5.02
0.20
-12.03
375W
3.00
3.32
3.02
4.98
28.11
12.03
1.50
5.01
0.30
-12.04
565W
4.05
3.31
4.07
4.98
42.94
12.02
2.00
5.00
0.30
-12.03
750W
4.90
3.31
5.24
4.97
57.48
11.98
2.50
4.99
0.50
-12.03

Load regulation is good holding within 1%.

Antec Earthwatts Gold Pro 750W
Maximum Load
833W

We managed to reach around 833W before the unit would shut down gracefully, after the protection kicked in. This is around 85 watts more than the rated output, quite a good result.

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
734W 1.0 3.33 1.0 5.00 60.0 11.96 0.2 -12.03 0.50 5.02
154W 15.0 3.30 15.0 4.96 2.0 12.05 0.2 -12.03 0.50 5.01

The unit passes our Cross Load testing without any problems. When hit with 60 AMPS the +5V rail held at 4.96.

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 unit complied with the ATX standard.

AC Ripple (mV p-p)
DC Load +3.3V +5V +12V 5VSB
75W 5 5 10 5
150W 5 5 15 5
375W 5 5 15 5
565W 10 10 25 10
750W 15 10 30 10

Noise suppression results are impressive, hitting a peak of 15 and 10 on the +3.3V and +5v rail respectively. The +12V rail peaks at 30mV under full load conditions. Very good results overall from this Seasonic OEM design.

Efficiency (%)
75W
88.2
150W
90.4
375W
92.2
565W
91.7
750W
90.3

Power efficiency rates as very good indeed, hitting a peak over 92% at 50% load. At full load it drops to 90.3%, another stellar result.

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 Digital Sound Level Noise Decibel Meter Style 2 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 Refrigerator
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)
75W
<28.0
150W
<28.0
375W
<28.0
565W
31.7
750W 34.7

The large fan doesn’t make much noise at all, its only when tasked with over 500 watts that it starts to spin up noticeably. At full load we measured just under 35dBa noise levels.

Temperature (c)
Intake
Exhaust
75W
36
40
150W
38
44
375W
39
51
565W
45
56
750W
47
61

The large fan helps move a lot of air internally and at full load we measured an exhaust temperature of 61c.

Maximum load
Efficiency
833W
89.7

For those interested, we measured efficiency when stressing the unit to breaking point. 89.7 percent efficiency at 833W … hardly practical, but interesting regardless.

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