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Review: Antec High Current Gamer 900W PSU

by Tarinder Sandhu on 28 November 2011, 09:00 4.0

Tags: Antec

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qa77w

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Results

Efficiency

Load 10pc 25pc 50pc 75pc 100pc
Efficiency 81.4pc 87.2pc 87.8pc 86.6pc 85.3pc

The 10pc load equates to around 90W of load. You may think that's too low for a modern computer, but understand that our Intel Core i7 2600K platform, constituting a complete PC, idles below 60W. The Antec HCG-900 needs about 110W of AC power to deliver to the components some 90W of DC juice. Efficiency is reasonable across the board, jumping up nicely if pulling at least 200W from the supply.

The numbers show that the supply comfortably attains the requirements for 80-PLUS Bronze certification - though we duly note their testing is a little different to ours.

Regulation

In terms of regulation, we're looking at just how well the supply is able to hold to the various lines. The ATX spec. has a +/- 5 per cent leeway on all but the -12V line.

Line/Load 3.3V 5V 12V
10 per cent +2.9pc +3pc +1.9pc
50 per cent +1.8pc +1.8pc +1.0pc
100 per cent 0pc +0.4pc -0.7pc

Numbers are shown with a percentage rating of just how close the Chroma reading is to the ideal. Figures are solid throughout, with a worst-case 'miss' of 3 per cent.

Regulation - cross-load

How about providing uneven loads that stress particular voltage rails? In the first attempt, we've put 70A on the 12V rails, and 1A on the 3.3V and 5V rails. This can actually be typical for a system heavy on graphics and CPU power. In the second, we've turned the tables and gone for 20A on both the 3.3V and 5V rails - highly unlikely in a real-world environment - and just 2A on the 12V - even more unlikely!

Line/Load 3.3V 5V 12V
Cross-load 12V focus +3.3pc +3.2pc -0.2pc
Cross-load 3.3V/5V focus -0.4pc +0.1pc +1.6pc

The numbers are pretty good for cross-load, too, and well within specifications.

Ripple

Line/Load (mv - p-p) 3.3V 5V 12V
10 per cent 20mV 19mV 25mV
50 per cent 30mV 30mV 29mV
100 per cent 32mV 35mV 51mV

The ATX v2.2 spec states that the maximum permissible ripple is 120mV for the 12V line and 50mV for others. The 12V's ripple is actually proportionally lower than the other two, but the absolute value, and the one that matters in terms of specification, is higher, though well within spec.

We've already tested a few other PSUs and noted that the HCG's ripple rating is average. Still, it's easily good enough to meet ATX spec.

Temperatures

Temperatures Intake Exhaust
10 per cent 33°C 38°C
50 per cent 37°C 44°C
100 per cent 41°C 49°C

No untoward observations for the temperature tests.

We'd normally report the noise rating, but such is the din produced by the Chroma machine - ears are still ringing - that doing so would be completely pointless. However, by pushing the supply as far as possible away from Chroma and giving a subjective opinion, it can be considered quiet at anything under 75 per cent load. Thereafter, it quickly spins up and becomes fairly loud at 100 per cent. We'll look for a better way of reporting this in the future.

Results recap

Understanding that the Antec HCG-900 is a mid-range power supply whose focus is on smooth 12V power, the numbers paint a positive picture.