ANTEC VP450P PSU Review – Power on a budget

Posted May 10, 2011
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Antec is an American company that came into existence in the mid 80s. Since then it has produced, among other equipment, casing and power supplies for the personal computers. Their claim to fame is their 900 series of cases and a plethora of power supplies that cater to all value tiers.

What we have for review today is the no frills (from Antec’s Basiq range) power supply the VP450P.

Packaging

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The power supply comes in a very standard flip top Antec box. The top of the box has a image of the power supply together with its most prominent features pictorially displayed; power, cooling and active PFC.

The slogan for this power supply pretty much sums its capabilities. “No bells. No whistles. No nonsense”. This is probably the most humbling slogan I have ever seen. Coming clean is one thing but this one might be just too honest!!

The sides of the box list power rail specifications & connector information (left side) while the other (right) side lists its specifications.

The power supply lies snugly within two protective foamy supports that suspend the unit in the box. It is wrapped in thick paper.

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Along with the power supply the box also contains a power cable, 4 screws and a product flyer. The screws are standard silver and not the black ones shipped in most power supplies. This is kind of odd as the power supply itself is black in color.

PSU Externals

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This is a standard ATX sized all black power supply.

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

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

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

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Externally the unit appears just like any other non-modular power supply. A power specification label is stuck to the side of the power supply.

Cables

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The 24pin power cable is sleeved while the rest are not. This is something that Antec needs to work on. Corsair for example has an all sleeved value unit. Managing sleeved cables is much easier as compared to non-sleeved ones.

The following tables list the cable’s lengths together with their connectors

CONNECTORS

#

20+4 pin ATX Power

1

4+4 pin CPU

1

SATA

5

4pin Molex

3

4pin Mini molex (Floppy Power)

1

PCIe 6pin

1

Connector Length

CONNECTOR

LENGTH in(mm)

20+4 pin ATX Power

17 (430)

4+4 pin CPU

20 (508)

4 pin Molex x3 on one cable

16 (400)/22 (550)/ 27 (685)

SATA x3 on one cable

16 (400)/22 (550)/ 27 (685)

SATA x2+ Floppy x2 on one cable

16 (400)/22 (550)/ 27 (685)

PCIe 6pin

17 (430)

The cables are not the longest that you will see on a power supply, but are not short either. It should be relatively easy to manage cables in a mid-tower casing apart from the 4+4 pin power cable. You are going to need a cable extender to get this around the back of the case or the board.

There are a decent number of SATA connectors. You can plug up to 5 devices without resorting to converters. There are x3 4pin molex connectors and a redundant 4pin mini-molex connector for 3.5” floppy drive power.

There is a solitary 6pin Video card auxiliary power cable. This is very much the standard on power supply of this rating.

As has been mentioned before that apart from the main power cable none of the cables are sleeved.

Power Supply Features

These are taken from Antec’s webpage for this product:

POWER

450 watts of Continuous Power

ATX

ATX12V version 2.3 compliant

12V

Dual +12V rails ensure greater system stability

FAN

120mm

PROTECTION

Over Current Protection (OCP)

Over Voltage Protection (OVP)

Short Circuit Protection (SCP)

Over Power Protection (OPP)

DIMENSIONS

86mm (H) x 150mm (W) x 140mm (D)

5.9″ (H) x 5.9″ (W) x 3.4″ (D)

WEIGHT

Net: 3.3 lbs; 1.5 kg

Gross: 4 lbs; 1.8 kg

Power Supply Internals

The OEM for the “V” series is FSP. This power supply is based on FSP’s APN design.

The figures below are color coded to show the various components described below.

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Figure 1

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Figure 2

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Fan

Opening up the power supply reveals a 120mm Yate Loon fan.

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The model on the fan is D12SM12 and has a rated amperage of .36amps (at 12V). The noise level is listed to be about 33 dBA at 1650 rpm. It has a airflow rate of 70.5 cfm.

The fan has a speed control mechanism (coded brown, figure 1) (based on temperature). The controller is screwed on to the top of one of the heat sinks in the power supply. The noise level thus varies with the speed of the fan which is dependent on the temperature inside the power supply

Input

The input receptacle (coded red, figure 1) has basic EMI suppression circuitry in the form of X and Y capacitors.

PCB Filtering

The PCB filtering circuit (coded red, figure 1 & 2) employs coils and X & Y capacitors. This is in continuation of the input filtering. Thus there are a total of 2 “X” and 4 “Y” capacitors for EMI filtering. This is a welcome sight on an entry level power supply. The units filtering abilities are thus on par with its competitors.

Primary

The bridge rectifier (GBU 606, coded violet, figure 1) is fixed to the external (left) heat sink. The Active PFC circuitry (coded blue, figure 1 & 2. 2x MOSFETS Fairchild: FQP9N50C) is also screwed into the latter half of this heat sink. At the heart of the Active PFC electronics lays the CM6800TX chip. This is inside the mysterious black jacketed circuit board! The Corsair CX430 also uses the same chip for similar purpose. The active PFC coil is right next to the MOSFETS and is covered in a yellow tape wrapped around as an “X”. I wonder if this has something to do with the state of the coil (wounded in battle!)

The main capacitor (coded green, figure 1 & 2) on the unit is from Matsushita and has a rating of 270uf at 105C and 450 Volts. If you look around the web you will find that there are VP450s with Capxon capacitors which has a similar rating but at 95C and 420 Volts. As there is no way to know what lurks inside the power supply you might get either, though you’d be better off with the Matsushita capacitor.

Two MOSFETS (Fairchild: FQP9N50C) are employed in the main switching circuit that are screwed in the middle heat sink.

Transformers

The secondary stage provides power to the PC. The outputs of the transformers are rectified and filtered before being passed on. For the all important +12V +5 and +3.3V rails Schottky rectifiers are used. The capacitors on the secondary side are from various manufacturers but primarily Capxon.

The secondary is monitored by a Weltrend chip (coded yellow, figure 2)

PCB

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The front of the PCB is black, a nice touch, while the back is bog standard green. The soldering on the rear of the board is generally acceptable. There is good separation between the primary and secondary halves of the power supply on the PCB.

There is good separation between the primary and secondary halves of the power supply on the PCB.

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There are however some extra long leads that have been left behind

Build considerations

The unit has an excellent EMI suppression circuit. The rest of the unit reeks of ‘plain’ which is pretty typical for a budget power supply.

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. Unfortunately such equipment is not available to WCCF yet. We’ll quickly test the power supply by providing a maximal load and test rail stability using a multi-meter while running OCCT

This is not a perfect test setting, but until we can achieve perfection, this will have to do!

Test Bed

Processor

Intel Core i5-530

Motherboard

Asus P7-H55V

Memory

Corsair DDR3-1333 2×2 GB

Video

Nvidia 9500GT

Drives

1x Seagate 2TB

Audio

Auzentech Bravura

Case

Antec Remote Fusion Max

Exhaust Fan

Standard Case fan

Software

OCCT V3.1.0

Cooler

Stock

Our test bed for this power supply is our in house HTPC.

Rail Stability

Line

Min (idle)

Max (load)

Delta

3.3

3.35

3.42

.07

5V

4.96

5.01

.05

12V (1&2)

11.98

12.05

.08

Temperatures

Inlet (35)

Outlet (48C)

13C

The rails are within tolerance limits.

Conclusion

Antec itself provides guidance with regards to this power supply status (listed on the front of the box). This is: no bells no whistles, no frill power supply that delivers no nonsense power

It is perfect for HTPCs/ Office PCs and entry level gaming machines. However the lack of sleeves on all cables will be a put off for many looking for a power supply to show off in their gaming rigs.

Other than this I find this to be a competent unit that gets the job done

Pro’s:

  • Price
  • Black Exterior
  • EMI Filtering

Con’s:

  • All cables are not sleeved
  • Capacitor manufacturers are a mixed make

ü Capacitors (manufacturers) are a mixed make

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