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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  • Christoph Katzer - Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - link

    Yup and before the use of very bulky heatsinks made the power supplies heavier. Today the components are better and the heatsinks are getting smaller again (Seasonic and FSP standard design for example). Reply
  • Pale Rider - Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - link

    It's easily the best of the "lower" power choices. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - link

    We already reviewed the Seasonic 330W and 500W, and given that Seasonic is the ODM of the Corsair and Antec units... except while Corsair is basically identical to the Seasonic model, Antec messed around with the fan to cut costs or something. 430W S12II and 450VX are pretty much the same PSU. Reply
  • Modular - Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - link

    Page 2: "360W combined equates to 15A when both are "fully" loaded."
    -Should read 30A fully loaded.

    Page 5: "The original design used two 17A 12V rails (as does the Earthwatts)"
    -Per this review http://www.jonnyguru.com/review_details.php?id=51&...">http://www.jonnyguru.com/review_details.php?id=51&... the Earthwatts line isn't really 2 12v rails either. No biggie, but just wanted to clarify.

    The Ultra is listed as a V-Series when it's actually the XVS, which is basically a step above the V-Series in that it has the flex cables and is modular.

    Overall this was a pretty informative review. I'm glad that you included heat sink temps and fan noise, and it's really good to see the ripple included.
    Reply
  • drebo - Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - link

    In the retail computer sales business, I don't consider a $60 430W power supply to be a "Budget" power supply. That's more of a midrange, and is generally overkill for most of the computers sold. Even the Ultra is too expensive to bother with for most of my customers.

    I'd like to see a true budget roundup. Powersupplies in the $20-30 range. Like those from Athenatech or Maxtop(Q-Max) or even the lower-end Thermaltakes. I realize that they're going to be pretty crappy results, but I think it's important to see, comparitively, how they do. If it were up to me, all of my customers would be using Antec EarthWatts power supplies, but they don't understand why the extra money is necessary. With information like this, it would be far easier to convince them to spend the extra $20.
    Reply
  • magreen - Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - link

    I second that call for lower cost PSU roundups. I was under the impression that FSP makes decent enough PSUs. Can you include reviews of their 350W, 400W and 450W models? They won't have active PFC, but let's be honest, most users don't care at all about that. Reply
  • Iger - Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - link

    +1 actually. I'd really like to understand what kind of performance can one expect from a low-end psu. Then again, Ultra probably answers the question, at least vaguely. I just wish we'd have a bigger choise of psus in europe... And better prices <sigh> Reply
  • Christoph Katzer - Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - link

    No choice in Europe? Which country are you living in? Most shops are sending the stuff all around Europe already and you'll probably find even more in Ebay.

    The problem with a low end PSU roundup is that I am living in Europe as well and it will not be easy to convince a company to send me their stuff when the shipping is triple the cost of the actual product. But let us find a way and in the beginning of next year we will see what we can do...
    Reply
  • xsilver - Wednesday, November 07, 2007 - link

    Also, has it been investigated whether there are differences between varying PSU's coming off the assembly line?
    I would like to think that the high end manufacturers could produce identical products but Im not so sure the QC of the cheapo PSU's will give u the same PSU every time. eg. some cheap psu's seem to live on through torrid abuse and yet some just die only after 1 month of use.
    Reply
  • Super Nade - Tuesday, November 06, 2007 - link

    Hi,

    Why did you guys cut down on the internal component analysis? Hate to see a single picture and a few cursory words about the internal architecture. Load testing aside, I find everything else a bit boring. You had a nice thing going looking at the components, why cull it? If you decided to shorten the reviews, you could have trimmed the part about acoustics. ;)

    Regards,

    Super Nade
    OCForums
    Reply

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