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  • PeteRoy - Monday, May 12, 2008 - link

    Power supplies might be a very critical component in the system but they are also the most boring component.

    I thought power supplies reviews are only found in unpopular computer websites.
    Reply
  • hansmuff - Friday, May 09, 2008 - link

    "Looking at performance, we saw voltage drops on the lower voltage rails as well as on the 12V rails. All of the rails perform well within specs but a drop of up to 5% is not small."

    "The Signature series definitely left its mark today with very good performance"

    Huh? If I dish out that much money for a power supply, I will not even consider one that drops 5%. And how can that be called "very good performance"?
    This PSU has some good characteristics, but my take-away from your review is "don't bother with this until (1) the voltage drop problem is verified to be fixed and (2) it drops not voltages, but $100 off it's price".
    Reply
  • mindless1 - Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - link

    There is no reason to reject a power supply for 5% drop. Specs exist for a reason, that the powered components MUST also perform properly within the spec.

    What do you feel you gain with a PSU that has a hypothetically perfect 0% drop? Absolutely nothing. The drop is even less significant today with fewer and fewer parts directly powered by 12, 5, or 3.3V rails. Instead most now have buck conversion inbetween that can accept far more than 10%, letalone 5% deviation.

    I do agree the price is a little excessive, although if someone is spending enough to actually need a PSU best at 400W+ output level, they have spent quite a lot on the rest of their system as well. Many overclocked non-SLI gaming systems stay far below 300W consumption.
    Reply
  • deathwalker - Friday, May 09, 2008 - link

    This review certainly goes against the tide when it come to my experience with Antec over the last 10 yrs. My experience has led me to the feeling that when I bought a Antec product the results was generally that it was overpriced and it under performed. Reply
  • mongoosesRawesome - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 - link

    This seems completely overkill except for maybe triple SLI setups - which are also overkill.

    A good 500W PSU or even less should be plenty even for even mid/high end setups.

    Efficiency is all well and good, but if people end up buying large PSU's which aren't efficient at the lower wattage's it's all just for show.
    Reply
  • eetnoyer - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 - link

    power supply reviews for less than 5% of people who will ever need them (eg. care)? I would venture to guess that the number of users that are in the market to build a nice HTPC and are looking for a quiet low output power supply is greater than the number of ubersuperultramaxgodofgear power supply users. Reply
  • MrOblivious - Thursday, May 08, 2008 - link

    Because no one cares. Seriously. It is the same reason why you see people looking at, reviewing, and talking about a Porsche when less than 5% of people will buy one. People don't read about random run of the mill power supplies so it makes no sense to produce reviews people won't read for the website or the brands themselves. Sorry. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, May 08, 2008 - link

    People might read about the Porsche for fun, but they check Consumer Reports when they are trying to decide between an Accord and a Taurus. In this case I'd guess even fewer people care about the high-end power supply than the high-end car - a power supply isn't that exciting until it powers something else you have.

    The bigger reason is that the companies that send power supplies for review tend to send their biggest and "best".
    Reply
  • MrOblivious - Thursday, May 08, 2008 - link

    Those assumptions would be incorrect. I literally have companies begging me to take lower powered products in for review all the time and from the page counts people DO NOT read the lower powered offerings. It really is quite simple. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, May 09, 2008 - link

    Well, I suppose Johan could be lying when he states that the companies only prefer to send him big units. And I suppose the companies could be sending people to the comments here to ask in every review of big power supplies for reviews of smaller units. Reply
  • MrOblivious - Friday, May 09, 2008 - link

    You aren't going to get me to say that, but I will say he must be working in a different environment with different people than what we since Corsair, Seasonic, Enermax, SilverStone, etc have all asked/sent units of lower output to be reviewed. In fact, we have so many requests stacked up on those units that we can not take them all because we can not provide any kind of realistic time table to turn them around for them.

    Don't get me wrong I am all for doing them, but what happens when you throw a party and no one shows up? That is what happens when you do low powered units. Anecdotes of people requesting them can do nothing to change that fact that they get read by fewer people as we see from the page hits which does NO ONE any good as we don't provide the compelling content users want nor the coverage the brand is looking for.

    So to answer your question, why target higher powered units? Its because that is what people want to read about.
    Reply
  • Christoph Katzer - Friday, May 09, 2008 - link

    Agreed on that. I had several lower rated units before but after showing such a bad performance one manufacturer even refused to send any more of that kind. I do have several FSP models coming soon with 300, 400 and 600 watts. I will also be reviewing OEM models from Seasonic and FSP.

    As much as I would like to test really cheap models I am just stuck with the fact that I am not located in the U.S. and there is simply nobody who would send me all that stuff. I am also interested in seeing what these unit can offer like we have seen at jonnyguru a few month ago. It's just testing for fun since there is nobody really interested in the results. They all blow up when loaded with programmable loads which is the only fun we could offer with such a review.

    I will anyway try to have more units from the lower and medium range in the future but there will be again a few higher models since I still have several 850-1000W units here...
    Reply
  • Bozo Galora - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 - link

    Note to all PSU marketing dep'ts:
    the day when people will buy a psu with a rats nest of cables puking out the back is slowly but surely fading away

    the graphs are some of the worst in recent reviews.
    that they would send this thing out as an exclusive first look unit for testing on AT (on a chroma no less) is itself a bit scary

    of course, as always, we will soon see an update to the review in a week or two that will report "the voltage drop prob has been fixed - was just a bad run of a certain component"
    Reply
  • Stele - Friday, May 09, 2008 - link

    To an extent I agree with you. Nevertheless, there are pros and cons to modular power supplies. The most obvious con is the fact that modular power supplies introduce one more connection between the PSU's PCB and the connectors at the other end - with all the attendant issues that these have compared to non-modular power supplies, especially increased manufacturing costs and connection resistance, as well as connector reliability issues (a loose connection carrying 200VA is very bad news).

    Having said that, it is possible to greatly minimise the impact of such effects; the best thing manufacturers could do is to design and employ robust and rugged connectors with large conductor contact areas - plenty of connector manufacturers with plenty of experience in mission-critical and/or industrial-grade applications out there.

    However, that means even higher costs. This would be no big deal in a world where money was no object, but in reality, in order to compete at a given price point this may lead to corners being cut where it really matters - the stuff inside the PSU, and the resulting performance, life expectancy and stability. Those that don't cut the corners end up having brickbats thrown at their naturally high prices.

    Of course there're PSUs that are modular yet offer good performance without asking for your firstborn, but those aren't the overwhelming majority.
    Personally, if I had to choose for a given price range, I'd take better performance/reliability over modular cables anyday.
    Reply
  • harbin - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 - link

    I've been using the NeoPower series first entered the market. Quiet, solid PSU. Love it to date. Still runs my o/ced Q6600 happily. Reply
  • InternetGeek - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 - link

    I think you guys have it backwards about why antec is better known. Antec is better known for their PSU rather than their cases. ThermalTake is better known for their cases rather than their PSUs.

    In any case, an excellent PSU.
    Reply
  • cg0def - Thursday, May 08, 2008 - link

    Both Tt and Antec were making cases before they started making PSUs. Only Antec was making cases long before Tt and the Antec cases used to be synonymous with high quality. I'm not sure that is the case anymore since they are terribly overpriced and many of their models still used steel sheets for the construction.
    Anyway what I was saying is that Antec IS famous for their cases and NOT the PSUs and it is only in recent years that they have started making splendid PSUs and slightly shifted their focus. Oh and Tt actually became famous for their coolers ( CPU mostly ) and then extended their product line. There used to be a day when Tt heatsinks were the best you can get ...
    Reply
  • granulated - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 - link

    LOL.. Some, if not all, of the high end Antec PSU's are actually made by Seasonics ! Reply
  • SilthDraeth - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 - link

    LOL

    Give the man a cookie.
    Reply
  • feelingshorter - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 - link

    Perhaps thats a matter of opinion, but i heard about antec cases first before hearing about their PSU. A lot of people (including me at one point), did not understand the importance of a good PSU, thinking any PSU will do fine. So unless your a person that does research on it specifically, you won't know just by chance. Whereas their cases...well they have a lot of cool cases and friends amongst each other will send links through instant messaging saying "look at this cool case from Antec" more often than messages saying "look at this extremely stable PSU". Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 - link

    I have used dozens of Antec cases over the years... I have not yet purchased an Antec PSU separate from a case, however. Then again, Earthwatts might make that a reasonable thing to do these days. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 - link

    I've used EarthWatts 380 units in a couple of systems for the lab. Seem to do fine, nice and quiet, and prices around $20-30 after rebate at Newegg, works for me. Reply
  • DDG - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 - link

    I recently picked up the Earthwatts 650 unit and I must say I'm impressed so far. It's quiet and has 6 SATA and Molex connectors as well as 2 PCI-Express (1 6-pin and 1 6+2 pin). It replaced a Truepower 550-watt PSU that was 5 years old but still going strong (just too noisy and not energy efficient). Reply

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