Antec EDGE 550W Power Supply Reviewby E. Fylladitakis on October 3, 2014 10:00 AM EST
Antec is marketing the EDGE series as "the pinnacle of power supplies". While that may not be very accurate, as there are several significantly more advanced products available, this is a 550W PSU with a "Silence Defined" marketing label. The intended purpose of the EDGE series is to provide low noise, high quality units to mainstream users, not to compete for the crown of the highest possible performance or technological superiority. If you are looking to power a behemoth with multiple GPUs or a cryptocurrency mining machine, none of the units of the EDGE series are suitable; for "normal" users, however, 550W-750W is more than sufficient.
In terms of quality, the Antec EDGE 550W is excellent, both externally and internally. It is hard to fail a quality check with Seasonic as your OEM, but the EDGE 550W unit that we reviewed today is perhaps the most well made <700W unit that we have seen to this date. Inside are some of the best components that can be used for a consumer-grade PSU, while the assembly/soldering job is immaculate. It is no surprise that Antec covers the units of the EDGE series with a 5-year warranty.
Antec also puts in a commendable effort to make the EDGE series aesthetically appealing. The modular cables, perforated chassis, stickers, and white LED lighting form an overall look that does stand out, yet not overly so. For those that dislike the white lighting or lighting in general, the installation of an on/off switch is a thoughtful choice.
The primary sales point of the Antec EDGE series is "Silence" and the 550W unit passed all tests with flying colors. Its high efficiency and low capacity account for very low thermal losses. Aside from a completely fanless unit, such as the 520W Nightjar, the Antec EDGE most likely is the next best thing that money can buy. It also has great electrical performance, with very good voltage regulation and line filtering characteristics. The high ripple of the 5V line is unusual but it is still well below the ATX design limit, therefore we cannot really voice any complaints about it.
The Antec EDGE series is very interesting but, due to the narrow wattage range, it only appeals to those with more moderate needs. These units are designed for the casual home/office user and the average gamer, the type of user that will install only one good CPU and GPU, a couple of drives, and work or casually play games. The EDGE also takes things a step further and targets silence/quiet operation.
This category, the "mainstream users", is undoubtedly the largest portion of the market, but due to their high price the Antec EDGE units will be interesting to just a small fragment of it. Even the 550W model that we reviewed here today, the least powerful unit of the EDGE series, has an MSRP of $120, a price that can easily get you an 80 Plus Gold PSU that's twice as powerful or even two Corsair CX600M units (for $10 extra). If the actual retail price of the EDGE units isn't significantly below MSRP when the series hits store shelves, the EDGE will have a difficult time competing in today's market. They may be quieter than much of the competition, but the price premium still looks very steep.