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The EA-380D (and the rest of the EarthWatts Green line) ships without a power cord. The supposed reasoning is that most households already have extra power cords, as they accumulate from older PCs and upgrades, but if you're new to the computing game you may have to order one (or ask a friend). While that may benefit the environment, it's also worth noting that Antec saves a bit on costs; the customer will have to decide whether the included matierials are sufficient.

Antec neglected to mention the absense of polystyrene in their packaging; the PSU is protected by two pieces of recycled cardboard. Also included are mounting screws and a product overview sheet. Besides the “green philosophy”, the removal of the power cord (~1$) is a useful way of reducing BOM costs, whereas the manual and screws are rather inexpensive by comparison. We would say that screws could be left out as well, since they could be reused from older PCs, but they cost (and weigh) less, so the there was apparently less incentive to remove them.

Going with the green image, a dark green coating was selected for this series; it's an unusual alternative to the grey predecessors and other (mainly black) retail PSUs. It won't matter one way or the other for windowless cases, but some customers might enjoy the change in style. The varnish resists scratches very well and fingerprints are not visible. With an 80mm fan at the rear of the chassis, there are no bulging fan grilles on the top or bottom. The ventilation holes are square-shaped and give the PSU an angular and rustic appearance. Otherwise the styling is straightforward and unobtrusive. With a depth of just 14cm, it is the smallest possible ATX-size PSU.

The +12V rails are rated at 15A and 17A respectively and deliver a combined 336W. +5V and +3.3V are specified with 20A and 115W combined. The peak power on the stronger rails is 450W.

Antec EarthWatts EA 380D Green 380W Cables and Connectors
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  • decto - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    I've used and installed many of the older EA 380 units which are also 80+ rated and now a couple of these.

    You can power a lot with them, a 3Ghz Q6600 and power sucking Radeon HD2900 or how about Q6600 and 8800GTS G92 512MB SLI. Both ran fine for regular extended gaming sessions.

    I currently have one in an X2 5000 home server with a nvidia 7025 itx mainboard. Consumption is around 40W at idle so a quick calculation later (77% net @ 38W) and It's £7 ukp ($11 usd) per year of waste electricity for 24 / 7 / 365 operation.

    While pico PSU and mini itx can be more efficent, the cost of the hardware negates the energy savings over a typical system lifetime.

    As per a previous post, it would be good to see an article for low power systems <50W and <100W as more of us are using a purpose built 'efficient' home server or media centre and the data to make environmental and TCO based buying decisions is very hard to find.

    Congratulation on the real world review.

    More please.
    Reply
  • Spazweasel - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    Using the power supply calculator at http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine with a typical moderate gaming build:

    Clarkdale i5 650 with a modest overclock (3.6ghz, 1.33v vcore)
    4gb DDR3 RAM (2x 2gb)
    GTX 460 1gb (single card)
    1 SATA hard drive
    1 DVD-RW
    Using on-board audio
    1 additional 120mm cooling fan
    25% additional capacitor aging factor

    Their recommended power supply? 392 watts.

    Yeah. This power supply for a moderate gaming rig is JUST FINE. If you're running a high-end system, sure, get that 750w unit. But recognize that even among gamers, that's hardly the typical build. And really, this "alpha nerd" BS where people get sneered at because they're not running water-cooled +50% overclocks with quad-SLI video subsystems... we can do without that. Nice system, sure, but the degree to which someone gets to look down their nose at someone else isn't tied to FSB speed.
    Reply
  • Matias - Wednesday, December 7, 2011 - link

    For the record, this Antec Earthwatts 380D PSU is enough to power my overclocked i5 2500K, EVGA GTX 460 1Gb FPB, SSD, HDD, DVD-ROM and PCI soundcard. Runs Skyrim just fine.
    The video card requires 24A and this PSU gives up to 25A per rail before the OCP protecion kicks in.
    Sure, no headroom whatsoever, but these current draws are already worst case cenario, so I guess there is no need for headroom.
    Reply
  • mrawesome421 - Friday, May 17, 2013 - link

    I don't know what I am more impressed with. This PSU or this review. Really, terrific job here.

    Great unit too. I use this to run my old XP box and its quite, reliable and I actually like the green paint job. I would totally buy this thing again for a future HTPC build. In fact, I know I will.

    Great review man. Thanks.
    Reply

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