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Antec HCG Extreme Series 1000W 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.

We test ambient temperatures at 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 test in a single +12V configuration.

DC Output Load Regulation

Combined

DC Load

+3.3V
+5V
+12V
+5VSB
-12V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A V
100W
0.90
3.32
0.90
5.01
7.35
12.02
0.50
5.02
0.20
-12.04
200W
1.60
3.32
1.64
5.00
15.13
12.01
1.00
5.01
0.20
-12.04
500W
3.20
3.32
3.25
4.98
38.60
11.97
1.50
5.00
0.20
-12.05
750W
4.03
3.32
4.16
4.98
58.53
11.94
2.00
5.01
0.30
-12.04
1000W
5.45
3.32
5.51
4.98
78.13
11.92
2.50
5.01
0.30
-12.04

The load regulation of this power supply is stellar, with all rails exhibiting very minor fluctuation under load.

Antec HCG Extreme Series 1000W PSU Maximum Load
1090W

We managed to get another 90W from the power supply before the protection circuitry kicked in. The supply was undamaged and it was ready to fire up again when we were a little more sensible with the load.

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
885W 2.0 3.32 2.0 5.01 72.0 11.94 0.2 -12.02 0.50 5.01
240W 20.0 3.28 24.0 4.94 2.0 12.06 0.2 -12.00 0.50 5.00

The Antec supply handled the Cross load tests without any concerns.

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
100W 5 5 5 5
250W 5 5 15 5
500W 5 5 20 5
750W 10 5 20 10
1000W 10 5 25 10

Ripple noise suppression is impressive, hitting 5mV and 10mV from the +5v and +3.3V rails respectively. The +12V rail peaks at 25mV, which is an excellent result.

Efficiency (%)
100W
88.7
250W
90.6
500W
92.4
750W
91.5
1000W
90.1

The efficiency results are excellent, peaking at 92.4% at close to 50%. This drops to 90.1% efficiency at full load. These are solid results for a 80 Plus Gold certified unit.

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)
100W
<28.0
250W
<28.0
500W
30.1
750W
31.7
1000W 35.5

The large fan does not make much noise until the last 200 watts of power delivery. At full load its fairly active, but its hardly likely an end user will be running this supply at 1000 watt conditions continuously (100%). At 800 watt load, the fan is spinning moderately and will likely be masked by several case fans in a system build.

Temperature (c)
Intake
Exhaust
100W
37
39
250W
38
42
500W
40
51
750W
45
54
1000W
47
60

The large fan works very well in getting rid of heat inside the chassis. Overall results are excellent.

Maximum load
Efficiency
1090W
89.3

Pushing the PSU above its rated limits generates an efficiency level of around 89.3%. This is not a viable ‘real world’ situation, but its interesting nonetheless.

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