ANTEC EARTHWATTS 650 – WORKING TO SAVE THE PLANET

Posted Sep 11, 2010
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Antec is a well recognized American brand that makes many PC components including power supplies, cases and computer fans. They are famous for their 900 series of computer cases and True- and Neo- power series of PSUs.

Today we’ll be looking at the Antec Earthwatts 650 power supply unit. This is aimed at the mainstream/ casual PC market.

THE FACTS

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PACKAGING

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The unit comes in a purple toned box. The top of the box displays the power supply, the 80plus standard certification and the slogan for Earthwatts series.

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The back displays the salient features of the power supply as well as a list of connectors.

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Inside the box lie the power supply, the power cord, 4 screws and an information leaflet.

EXTERNAL IMPRESSIONS

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The power supply is silver in color, which is an oddity considering that every other power supply I have seen recently is black. The “retro” look isn’t bad; it’s just not that common these days to see a silver power supply.

The bottom of the unit has a 120mm fan manufactured by ADDA

The back is covered by perforations and bears the power input and switch.

The front of the case has a out let for all the connectors.

Externally the unit appears just like any other non-modular power supply, with the exception of the silver body. The rest is pretty much a standard affair for today’s power supply units

INTERNAL IMPRESSIONS

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The power supply is manufactured by Delta Electronics, which also manufacture the Antec “signature” series of power supplies. The center of the unit bears two transformers, a larger one at the top and a smaller one at the bottom

The transformers are flanked by large black heatsinks on either side. These are used to cool down the voltage rectifiers. At the bottom left is another silver heatsink (for voltage rectifier).

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On the primary side the main capacitor is manufactured by Aishi, which is a Chinese company. The coils are covered in white goo (silicon?) which prevents the humming noise that is characteristic of many a power supplies.

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The secondary side shows the multiple rails and a large bunch of wires which eventually continue on to form the connectors for motherboard and other peripherals.

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The cooling comes in the form of a 120mm ADDA fan.

The PCB itself is black, which is again odd as the external unit is plain silver.

The unit appears to be well built. The inclusion of goo on coils will help eliminate the annoying hum that can be heard from many power supply units.

CONNECTORS AND RAILS

RAILS

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CONNECTORS

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Though the power supply is based on a split rail design, the power to PCIe graphics is via a single dedicated rail i.e. 12V3. The CPU gets its power from 12V1, while the rest of the peripherals get their power from 12V2. There is no need to load “balance” the power supply unit. However care must be taken to make sure that the load on the PCIe rail doesn’t exceed 25 amps. This should not be much of a problem as 25 amps are ample to drive almost all graphics card in a single card configuration. It is also possible to use two mid range cards in dual configuration, using 12V2 to provide power to the secondary card. To do this molex to PCIe converters will be required.

CONNECTOR LENGTHS

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All the power connector cords are of decent length.

FEATURES

These are taken from Antec’s webpage for Earthwatts 650

    • 80 PLUS® certified: reduces operating costs and protects the environment 

    • ATX12V version 2.2 and EPS12V version 2.91 compatible

    • 120mm low noise cooling fan

    • Three 12V output circuits provide added system stability

    • Industrial grade protection: OVP (Over Voltage Protection), SCP (Short Circuit Protection), and OCP (Over Current Protection)

    • 6 SATA connectors

    • One (6+2) PCI-E connector

    • Safety approvals: UL, CUL, FCC, TÜV, CE, CB, C-tick, CCC, BSMI

    • Universal Input

    • Active Power Factor Correction (PFC)

    • PF value up to 99%

    • Unit dimensions: 3.4″(H) x 5.9″(W) x 6″(D) 8.6cm x 15.0cm x 15.2cm

    • Weight: Net: 5.6 lbs / 2.5 kgs

TESTING

Testing power supplies is inherently a very difficult job without proper equipment. Ideally the power supply should be tested under variable standard loads and under varying temperatures, while measuring noise and rail stability. So in order to save time We’ll quickly test the power supply by providing a maximal load and test rail stability using a multi-meter while running OCCT V3.1.0

TEST BED

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RAIL STABILITY

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The rails are within tolerance limits.

CONCLUSION

Earthwatts is targeted at the mainstream user and as such performs well. In fact it will be perfectly at home in more advanced users’ cases as well.

Using a dedicated split rail system is a good idea. It takes away the headache of load balancing. The more expert user may well be able to utilize the 12V2 rails for a mid range secondary graphics card for a dual GPU configuration.

The unit is not modular, not many in its price range are. Purists don’t believe in modular units any hows. I am not going to dunk points as the unit’s cables are neatly arranged despite not being modular.

The only caveat is that the cables aren’t sleeved. The modders amongst you will see this as an opportunity to sleeve the cables as they desire.

I have no trouble recommending Antec Earthwatts 650 power supply. It does what it’s supposed to do at a very attractive price. Antec Earthwatts 650 power supply are available on iamextreme for PKR 9000/

PROS

  • Good solid construction
  • Dedicated split rail system
  • Stable outputs

CONS

  • Cables not sleeved

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