Antec HCG 750W: Built for Gamers?by Martin Kaffei on April 12, 2011 8:20 PM EST
Conclusion: Good Performance and Value
It's not easy to find fair closing words for this power supply. On the one hand the Antec HCG-750 is a non-modular PSU with a moderately high price--we're within $12 of 80 Plus Silver 750W and with rebates you can get other 750W 80 Plus Bronze PSUs for just $80. On the other hand, the efficiency is decent for an 80 Plus Bronze model, the voltage regulation and ripple are good, and overall we really don't have any complaints. This PSU seems to be good for gamers with overclocked PCs and one or two high-end GPUs, who may not care to spend the extra $50 to reach the next echelon of features, quality, and performance.
The HCG-750 uses Japanese capacitors from Rubycon and Nippon Chemi-Con, there's a lot of space for cooling and airflow, and the result is reasonably quiet operation at most loads. The PCB material could be better and there is no MOV. Apart from that the EMI filtering is well equipped and most transistors are from well known brands like Infineon. The 135mm ADDA fan is a good choice for cooling.
The HCG-750 generates just 25dB at loads up to 80%, which is where most users will run such a power supply. At 100% load you definitely hear the PSU, and while 38 dBA isn't the worst result we have ever seen it's still very high. The important thing is that the PSU is almost silent below 50% load.
In terms of voltage stability, the worst +12V rail measures 11.96V during our overload scenario. +5V and +3.3V are also close to their optimal values, and even +5VSB is always above 5.02V. The ripple and noise results with no more than 50mV on +12V are well within ATX limits. Power factor could be higher with 230VAC input but up to 88% efficiency with this voltage is satisfying. At 115VAC this PSU reached up to 86%, so it meets the requirements for an 80 Plus Bronze product.
The cables are nice and long, with a 65cm ATX/EPS12V CPU cable and a 55cm long 24-pin cable. There are four 6/8-pin PCIe connectors on two cables and nine SATA connectors on three cables. In addition this PSU has six Molex and one mini-Molex (i.e. FDD drive connector), so there are plenty of connections for most PCs. Perhaps the cable sleeving could be better since "Gamers" might care about appearances a bit more, but if you're not using a windowed case it won't matter. The coating and thickness of the case are excellent, providing a very robust feel, and the 5-year warranty and support are welcome.
Most of us prefer PSUs similar to this, only with at least 80 Plus Silver rating and modular cables. You can get that with the Enermax Revoltion85+, but Enermax pricing on that PSU continues to be quite high and you have to move up to 920W. The lower price, moderate wattage, stable rails, and overall performance are good reasons to prefer Antec's HCG-750. Antec may not be putting any real innovation into this particular product, but it doesn't have any serious flaws either and would make a great choice for your next high-end PC. And if you're planning something less extreme, you can stick with PSUs rated at less than 500W.
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GreenLego - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - linkWhy would Nike (the sporting goods maker) make a PSU? Nike makes unobtainiums (it's their trademark isn't it?). My sunglasses are made from unobtainium.
AssBall - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - linkNot everyone thinks paying more for a sticker is worth it. I don't care what "color" it is as long as it is reliable.
HEhatesusall - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - linkPSU efficiency is the DC power output of the PSU over the AC consumption. It is NOT,i repeat, it is NOT a way to measure how "good" a PSU is,it's just a gimmick . The less AC power draw over the year can translate in...$1-$2 difference per year in electric power bills.
There are sooooo many more tests to prove a PSU's efficiency(mainly ripple tests, stress tests to find the absolute maximum wattage, and capacitor aging simulations to measure the degeneration of the PSU over the years) but you seem to be stuck on a "certification". When an engineering team designs those things, there are tradeoffs between efficiency,ripple,cost of materials etc etc. As an engineer, the one i would dump to, say, 75-80% is the efficiency(for gamers,companies need high efficiency and high reliability). Games DO care MORE if i can reduce ripple by 10mV in +12V rail even if they pay $5 a year more in current, just because less ripple means extended lifecircles for all your digital parts
heymrdj - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link+1 for the truth. I will pay 10$ more a year for electricity to bring down the ripple 10mv.
mindless1 - Saturday, July 2, 2011 - linkExcept, it isn't true. 10mV ripple has no effect whatsoever on parts lifespan, providing the peak voltages don't exceed the max the parts can tolerate and certainly it will not, any part nominally rated for an input voltage can easily tolerate far more than a few dozen mV ripple.
Further and most people don't seem to understand this, the parts you are POWERING cause far more noise on the power rails than this.
There are many reasons a part can die prematurely or earlier than it otherwise would, but 10mV ripple difference isn't one of them.
Patrick Wolf - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - linkWhile that is true, higher efficiency units must use higher quality parts to achieve that rating which is generally why the better the rating the better the PSU is. Of course not all PSU's are created equal, as it's always been. For gamers, the best thing about higher efficiency units is they tend to give off less heat, which is especially nice when it's mounted at the bottom of a case.
7Enigma - Thursday, April 14, 2011 - linkExactly. I don't care about the additional $1-2 for the year, I care about the removal of that as heat with my A/C in the summer, the increased case temps, the potential sound dB increase, etc.
mindless1 - Saturday, July 2, 2011 - linkIt is irrelevant if it is mounted at the top or bottom of the case, well actually you can tolerate a hotter running PSU at the bottom of the case because the air it intakes is less pre-heated by the CPU and other parts upstream of the chassis airflow.
Heat does not rise from a PSU into the case, there is positive flow intake of air and exhaust out the back of the PSU and case, unless it is a passively cooled design (no fan in it) in which case you'd still have roughly the same rate of heated air sucked into the rest of the system if all else were equal.
I'm not arguing against higher efficiency PSU though, if the cost increase is not too great and the other properties of the PSU do not suffer as a result it is a good thing, BUT it all costs money. If you have a total design budget and spend, lets's say 20% more to get the design to a higher efficiency level with a significant design decision, that 20% could have gone to a larger transformer, better quality capacitors, etc.
It's not necessarily parts "quality" that makes a PSU more efficient, it's the design topology, # of parts, component rating vs size.
For example, I could use a very high quality choke, resistor, capacitor, and have lower efficiency than a more elaborate circuit would, or a circuit at a different operating temperature would, there is a balance between several decisions but in the end there are not many things that universally effect people except that it meets it's specs so you can choose scientifically what to mate with a known system load, and doesn't have premature fan or capacitor failure, and some resistance to surge damage on the switching transistors.
The average person, they just want it to "work", esthetics aside they aren't very picky about whether their system uses 180W versus 150W, it certainly isn't something you see the average Dell, HP, etc shopper demanding on the line item details of a system prior to purchase.
Terris - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - linkSo you would pick say a RAIDMAX Gold PSU but not this Antec because the RAIDMAX is Gold certified.
Just because they slap a 80 Plus cert on the PSU doesn't mean it's built any better. I always buy components by manufacturer warranty. Corsair PSU with a 7 year warranty, yes please. Bonus for lifetime warranty manufacturers.
But hey, keep spending money on frivolous stickers if it makes you feel all good inside.
ckryan - Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - linkI think the price is a little on the high side. It should subside a little over time, but I know I am certainly willing to pay a little more for Antec and Seasonic units, my two favorites. So while it may seem a little high price wise, I believe many prospective buyers will think it a fair deal. As far as efficiency goes, it's on the high side of bronze, but I'd rather have a PSU on the high side of it's rating than the low. I think this is the other side of the EarthWatts coin, a line of fantastic PSU for the price. Plus, I'd imagine that like the EarthWatts it will be found frequently on sale.