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Antec High Current Gamer 900W Power Supply Review

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

DC Output Load Regulation

Combined

DC Load

+3.3V
+5V
+12V
+5VSB
A
V
A
V
A
V
A
V
90W
1.58
3.37
1.76
5.12
6.65
12.13
0.50
5.10
180W
2.80
3.35
3.57
5.11
14.00
12.07
1.00
5.08
450W
6.15
3.35
8.08
5.09
32.32
12.00
1.50
5.05
675W
9.35
3.32
10.20
5.06
52.63
11.96
2.00
5.02
900W
12.59
3.31
12.28
5.04
68.12
11.92
2.50
4.98

Voltage regulation is solid across all the testing , holding to almost reference levels on the +5V and +3.3V output.

Antec HCG 900W Maximum Load
1043.7W

We managed to get over 1000W out of the supply, before it would shut down gracefully.

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
780W 1.0 3.37 1.0 5.08 65.0 11.88 0.2 -11.74 0.50 5.06
165W 15.0 3.26 17.0 4.97 2.0 12.06 0.2 -11.48 0.50 5.04

Cross loading results are impressive, especially considering the heavy 12V in test one.

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
90W 5 5 10 5
180W 5 5 20 5
450W 5 10 20 5
675W 10 10 25 10
900W 10 10 35 10

Extremely good ripple supression from the Delta created Antec High Current Gamer power supply.

Efficiency (%)
90W
83.02
180W
88.32
450W
89.12
675W
87.31
900W
83.23

For an 80 Bronze certified power supply these results are yet again, excellent. Efficiency reaches just over 89 percent around half way through the range and remains above 83 percent throughout the full range.

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)
90W
27.5
180W
28.6
450W
29.7
675W
36.5
900W 40.2

The supply is very quiet until the upper 25% of the power load, when it becomes audible. At full load the fan is spinning very fast to help reduce the ambient temperatures. generally this supply should be operating in the 29-34 dBa range which is not intrusive at all.

Temperature (c)
Intake
Exhaust
90W
35
36
180W
36
38
450W
38
44
675W
41
48
900W
43
53

The 135mm handles the temperatures very well, right up to full load, with only a 10c above ambient intake threshold.

Maximum load
Efficiency
1043.7W
79.3

Pushing the PSU above its rated limits generates an efficiency level of around 79.3%. This is not a viable ‘real world’ situation, but its interesting nonetheless.

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