Antec Earthwatts 430W


We begin with the Antec Earthwatts 430W. Antec's Earthwatts series first became available around a year ago, with the "earth" in the name apparently there because the product is more environmentally friendly. The design and appearance of the Earthwatts 430W bring us back to a time when nobody was asking about shiny coatings and sleeved cables. The housing is a simple grey color, similar to what we see on OEM power supplies. The back has the expected AC jack and a power switch, along with an 80mm fan that provides cooling. This is a different approach to cooling than what we'll see with the other units in this roundup.


The label provides the typical information we find on power supplies, with the expected figures for a 430W maximum output. Two 12V rails of 17A each are enough for most users, and the combined 12V power of 360W is quite acceptable. 360W combined equates to 15A when both are "fully" loaded. We would be hesitant to try to use this PSU with one of the top-end graphics cards, but if you're using a power supply with a single 6-pin PCI-E connector you should be fine.



Other than the main 24-pin ATX power cable, the cable-harnesses are sleeveless. Antec has taken a very simple approach in terms of appearance, and the only concession to keeping the cables tidy is the use of cable ties located over the length of the cables. The length of the harnesses is average, with the last Molex connector just 80cm distant from the power supply. The main connectors are all on 50cm cables. The quantity of connectors could have been better, but a normal midrange PC shouldn't require more than what Antec has provided. There is only one 6-pin PEG connector, which makes sense considering the overall wattage and target market.


The inside looks quite familiar to a couple previously tested power supplies; indeed, the same manufacturer produces this power supply as well. Of course, that doesn't mean the power supplies themselves are actually the same. There are several differences, and we expect this unit will be at a slight disadvantage. Antec uses an 80mm exhaust fan located at the rear of the power supply, but the heatsink design would normally use a 120mm intake fan. We expect this unit to be slightly warmer and/or noisier than similar designs that use a single 120mm fan. Nippon Chemi-Con manufactures the primary capacitor

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  • zeroidea - Wednesday, November 07, 2007 - link

    The Antec PS featured in this article is currently on sale at staples.com for $30.

    http://www.staples.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/S...">Link
    Reply
  • SilthDraeth - Wednesday, November 07, 2007 - link

    I know it falls outside of the 450Watt max, but it is still below the 500 watt barrier. I just bought the psu for a midrange system I built my mom, I know it works well, but I don't have the ability to test everything.

    One can wish right?
    Reply
  • Noya - Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - link

    If you look around (buy.com), the Corsair 450vx can be had from $51-61 pretty regularly, and at that price it's untouchable. I must say I've had one for about two months and haven't had any problems with it. Reply
  • smthmlk - Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - link

    Can we have a full list of caps in each unit? Noting the primaries is nice, but what about the others? Thanks. Reply
  • Talcite - Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - link

    Thanks for finally putting up O-scope readings, it's quite nice to see them. One thing I'm concerned about though is the lack of explication or analysis.

    For example, is the entire o-scope range 200mV in the 12v readings or is it one division? Also, there's a number of strange spikes in all the o-scope readings. I'm pretty familiar with the 450VX o-scope readings (mostly from other sites) and I haven't noticed any spikes of that nature in their readings. It probably isn't, but is the equipment faulty?

    Thanks for putting the readings up anyways though, they're a nice addition.
    Reply
  • Super Nade - Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - link

    Those strange spikes are probe noise. If the probe is coupled incorrectly, you will see this artifact. This cold be due to any number of factors like EMI for instance. Following the ATX guideline on using 0.1 uF output coupling caps will minimize this to a great extent. Reply
  • MrOblivious - Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - link

    You have to look at the sampling time on the readings to compare between sites. Different sampling times will make the traces appear a bit different. Reply
  • phaxmohdem - Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - link

    I just recently built a rig for a buddy using a Thermaltake PurePower (or ToughPower.. can't remember) 480W Unit and it works like a champ powering a Core2 Quad Q6600 CPU, 2GB RAM, 2HDD's, two Optical Drives, 8600GT, TV Tuner and a few fans. (Wish I knew about the Corsair PSU when I spec'd that system out).

    But yeah, Unfortunately most people equate Watts to overall quality.... not unlike the MHz war of days gone by. Power supplies are one of the hardest components to convince people to spend extra on for some reason. FFS, electricity is kind of the basis of the whole dam computer!

    Eventually it ends up as "Oh well. Go ahead and get that 600W $30 power supply and let me know how that goes for ya. I could use a good laugh, and don't say I didn't warn you."
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - link

    Maybe Anandtech should go ahead and list the weight of each PSU. That has long been used as an estimate of quality. Reply
  • jonnyGURU - Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - link

    Not any more. Topologies have changed to the point where you can have very light quality units and very heavy crap. Weight is NOT a factor. Reply

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