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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veri745 - Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - linkPg 2:
"A specified temperature for the various ratings would have been but we will verify the manufacturer information at room temperature."
jjj - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - linkNo ripple at 110% load this time,you always have that.
"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."
A bit odd to compare it with the Enermax Revoltion85+ 920W, would have been much easier to go with the Corsair AX750 instead.
lacrits - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - linkThere are quite a few options to consider in the 750 Watt range of PSU's. You have Corsairs TXV2, HX and AX. Then there are the XFX Black Edition, XXX and Core Edition series. There are also Thermaltake and Siverstone.. And there are more.. Don't forget SuperFlowers new ranges of PSU's which are stirring up the PSU market. Kingwin and NZXT are using SuperFlower built (OEM) PSU's.. There are plenty brands to consider when choosing best PSU at 750W. You have to constantly check retailers prices and special offers as these change all the time..
jabber - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - linkFor me its stability and cleanliness of the power going into my motherboard and components that I care about.
I want the most clean and stable power I can get.
Filtering etc. is what I want.
buhusky - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - linkno modular, no gold kills the deal for me
joe4324 - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - linkBeing someone who wants to game as much as possible, without grid power every watt counts. I mean *every* want counts. I have my 'gaming' tower down to about 100 watts total consumption under full load. Using a 2.5"HDD, undervolting while overclocking, and using a HD 4670 for graphics makes it possible. (considering a 5770, or a 6770 now) its really amazing. If this PSU would kick me up 8-10 watts per hour on power consumption that would be bad.
I don't even know what the bronze vs gold means in real world terms I just know I need efficiency where I can get it when its cost effective.
radium69 - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - linkSeriously, all these comments about efficiency crap.
We didn't care a lot back in the old days when everybody was happy with their build in power supply from a random brand that ignited fires and gave smoke.
"Because it's not gold it kills the deal for me!"
Seriously, what is up with that. I have a OCZ 750W (no label) and I really don't care about it's specs. All I know is that it's great quality and durability.
Go scream about something else instead of 1 or 2 dollar a year for a freaking power supply.
The moment you left a lightbulb on you've wasted it aswell.
For a nice brief review of a great Antec Power Supply.
I have had a few running and they are all stable and silent.
I really like this one, almost want to trade my old one in.
rahvin - Thursday, April 14, 2011 - linkBe the fanboi, think all that you care about is all that matters. Most of the people commenting on efficiency do so for some of the reasons listed that you didn't bother to read and they have little to do with power consumption although that's a nice bonus.
A little history: 80+ Spec power supplies exist because Google determined that they could save significant dollars in the data center business by increasing the efficiency of the power supply. These savings come in three areas, direct power consumption, heat output and cooling. In total in a data center setting it can save 20-30% of the power usage of the data center. They poured several million dollars into research and development of 80+ certified power supplies. As a result of some press about the innovation they had the public became aware of it and demanded it from general consumer power supplies. Google licensed the technology to the suppliers and I believe some developed their own systems.
But what you fail to realize is that the wattage isn't the only saving, there is a very significant heat savings that can be absolutely critical in a high heat gaming environment which is far more important than the cost of the power. 20 watts of power converted to heat is very significant and can result in heat overload versus heat stable. On a high end gaming situation where you are consuming 500+ watts 80+ efficiency can mean saving of 100+ watts of heat, that's a LOT of heat (ever tried to hold a 60 watt incandescent bulb?). That reduced heat load can be the difference in overclocking 5% versus 15%. It's also been proven that in general, comparing supplies produced by the same manufacturer, that the 80+ certified supplies will use much higher quality components because it's very difficult to get that efficient of conversion from AC to DC.
As always you should review the supply and make sure it meets your specifications but as others have said, if it's not 80+ efficient I don't even want to consider it. I push my systems pretty hard (currently running a 2600K at 4.4Ghz) and that extra heat in the system will overload my cooling capacity and set my alarms off and nothing is more of a bummer than the heat alarm going off during a gaming session. It's simply unreasonable in this day and age to use anything less than 80+ efficient. You do pay a small premium for the quality of parts to meet the spec but it's well worth it.
Not getting 80+ efficiency in a power supply is like buying a Yugo that gets 12mpg. It's pointless.
L. - Thursday, April 14, 2011 - linkNice answer, too bad you put "push my systems pretty hard" and "2600k @4.4 Ghz" in the same sentence, it sort of killed the impression ;)
7Enigma - Thursday, April 14, 2011 - linkSeriously that box is horrid to look at. I can't imagine their marketing/focus group decided on that design to sell to gamerz.