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Antec EarthWatts 380 Vs.

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Old 05-21-07, 12:39 AM Thread Starter   #1
Alexhk

 
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Antec EarthWatts 380 Vs.


Antec EarthWatts 380W

Vs.



Before we get started a special thanks goes to mcoleg who’s thread got this all started.


Purpose: To see if an EA 380W is up to the challenge of powering a single GPU gaming rig.

Specs:
e6600 @ 3.1Ghz - 1.4125v in bios
Sapphire x1900 XT 512MB – stock
2 x 1GB DDR2 @ 688 – 2.1v
4 HD + an optical
4 Case fans
X-fi

*Misgivings: While the EA 380 is a Seasonic built supply lets not pretend that it’s S12 quality. The EA380 is not the equal of an Etatis, Zippy, Win-tact or even an S12 quality Seasonic unit but with that said it should be more than adequate for the proposed job. I wouldn’t be comfortable running one at its max rated load (supplying 380W to a system) 24/7/365 but since neither my rig nor mcolegs draws that much it isn’t something we have to worry about. To be honest I’m more concerned about Oklahoma Wolf mistaking me for a deer and trying to eat me than I am worried for the safety of rig.

Testing methodology: For each test the voltage on the 12v rail is measured with a DMM and the power draw from the wall is recorded using a kill-a-watt meter. The peak values for each test are displayed in the results.

Test Points:
1. Windows Idle - … goes the CPU usage graph ; )
2. Full CPU load – Intel TAT, 100% both cores
3. CPU + GPU load – Intel TAT + 3dmark 03 (nature test)
4. Real world game test – Oblivion
5. Maximum power consumption – Intel TAT + 3dmark + all 4 hard drives reading & writing + optical read.

Results:


To estimate DC power usage I referenced the SPCR review of the EA430 and the jG review of the EA500. The highest observed efficiency was 83.5% so to be safe I used that value across the board (rather than try to plot points on the efficiency curve.) I'd rather overestimate than under estimate how much juice my system is using.

Analysis:

Looking at the voltage readings we see a drop of .13v when going from idle to the maximum achieved load. Not the best I’ve ever seen for sure but still solidly within ATX spec and acceptable by my standards (not quite as good as the Enermax it replaced.)

In terms of maximum power consumption it comes as no surprise that test 5 was the most demanding. What is surprising though was the very small delta between test 5 and the next most demanding test, test #3. To try and confirm these results I started with my system at idle and had all 4 hard drives read and write + the optical read at the same time which resulted in a 15W increase in wall draw. I believe this “discrepancy” in the increase in draw can be explained by the CPU cycles that are grabbed away from TAT are less taxing. To support this theory I loaded the CPU with Orthos and saw the system drew ~15 less watts from the wall when compared to TAT draw. Even if we aren’t losing many CPU cycles to the file copies, these operations have to be less “taxing” than Orthos so the result is a smaller increase in power usage than initially expected.

Another interesting point of test 5 is observed voltage. Despite being the greatest draw in watts the PSU is doing a slightly better job regulating the 12V rail in this situation. Being a group regulated design I would wager the increased load on the 5v rail from the hard drives and optical produced this result.

Overall I am very pleased with how my EA380 has performed in my main rig. Its been well over a week since I put it in and I’ve experienced no problems. Just incase anyone was wondering, this system has been stressed with TAT + looped 3dmark just about every night since it was installed so it has proven it can handle (at least in the short term) prolonged stress without a hitch. Only thing left to determine is long term reliability but given that at max I was only able to reach ~73% of this PSU's rated load I have no qualms about leaving this PSU in my main rig long term (at least until a GPU upgrade.) Its comforting to know that one can go to Circuit City and pick up a EA 380W for $50 and be able to power this kind of rig with it.

One last note - The power usage for my system was slightly less than I expected (290-300W range was my guess) so its nice to know that I over estimated my draw, rather than under.

To wrap things up how about some random equipment shots:

Kill a watt meter in action during test 3


DMM in action during test 3
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Old 05-21-07, 12:47 AM   #2
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Nice one, too. Thank you for your time.
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Old 05-21-07, 01:04 AM   #3
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hey Alex, you posted

just so that everyone knows - he was the first to test this psu with a high-power pc, that happened several days before i even got my hands on one.

being the first into the watter takes some courage. respects, man :P

excellent job. concise and methodical, not like my stuff, it's all over the place. i need to be more like you :P

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Last edited by mcoleg; 05-21-07 at 01:10 AM.
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Old 05-21-07, 01:12 AM   #4
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Alex and mcoleg have finished convincing me to get the EA380W. Good thread

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Old 05-21-07, 01:48 AM   #5
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380W


Thanks, man! It's good to know that we can build serious rigs and not have to purchase ridiculously high-powered supplies.

I guess I could have saved a couple bucks on that 530W supply I bought the other day to throw into my AMD by purchasing a lesser supply. I mean, there's no way the total power draw of my rig even compares to yours.

Last edited by johnjohngoose; 05-21-07 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 05-21-07, 08:14 AM   #6
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Alex, MC,

Great job, very informative and nicely done! I learned a lot. This rates five stars.

John,

I don't think you wasted your money, we all have bought new power supplies that leave some head room or in my case, I wanted a good modular that just happened to be twice my needs that wasn't that expensive. Your purchase was similar to mine and both of ours should run anything we want for a long time.

If I had seen these tests before buying my Corsair, I would have bought this modular Corsair anyhow.

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Old 05-21-07, 09:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexhk
To be honest Iím more concerned about Oklahoma Wolf mistaking me for a deer and trying to eat me than I am worried for the safety of rig.
Hmm... I haven't had venison in like, forever...

Interesting results thus far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RollingThunder
we all have bought new power supplies that leave some head room
Heh - I don't think I've had one yet that isn't at least twice as powerful as I actually need. Except the Deer, and that doesn't count since I didn't know what I was doing that far back.

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Old 06-02-07, 06:07 PM   #8
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very interesting. I havent read a thread in full like this one in a loong time. Thank you for all your work!

So seeing it run your system with stability, could I run my pc with one?

AMD Athlon64 Venice 1.8ghz @ 2.7ghz
2 x 512mb RAM
1 Hitachi Deskar 200gb
1 Maxtor 175 gb [backup, data hell]
DVD Burner
Nvidia 8800GTS 320

I am slowly upgrading and next summer is when I am going to go with new mobo/cpu/ram. I have one of the ol'school Rosewill PSU's that have a huge 12V rail and was one of the tech deals a few years ago, however I do not know how it will handle the Nvidia.

Thanks again for your input!

-Ryan

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Old 06-03-07, 08:04 PM   #9
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If it can power a OC'd E6600 and a 8800GTX I don't see why not.

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Old 06-04-07, 12:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazaro
If it can power a OC'd E6600 and a 8800GTX I don't see why not.

im getting one. i went voltage happy with some kingston bh-5 I have and blew up the rosewill... woops lol

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Old 06-13-07, 07:06 PM   #11
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Would this power supply be enough for a Intel Dual Core CPU, Nvidia 8800 Ultra, 15,000 rpm WD 150 gig hard drive, 500 gig Hitachi hard drive, 4 gigs of 1x4 sticks of DDR ram, dvd-rw drive, tv tuner card, four 80mm case fans, and one cpu fan ?
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Old 06-13-07, 07:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powersupply
Would this power supply be enough for a Intel Dual Core CPU, Nvidia 8800 Ultra, 15,000 rpm WD 150 gig hard drive, 500 gig Hitachi hard drive, 4 gigs of 1x4 sticks of DDR ram, dvd-rw drive, tv tuner card, four 80mm case fans, and one cpu fan ?
Do you already own it or still shopping?

The reason I ask is because this one:

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Produc...uctCode=373100

is also modular and will give you more overhead. There is no shipping or tax from ZZF plus a $10 mail in rebate. By the time you pay tax and shipping from New Egg, the price is nearly the same and you're getting a lot more. The Corsair is a Seasonic built and first class and a 5 year warranty.

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WD Velociraptor 150 & WD Raptor 74...Raptor 74 - Hitachi Deskstar 1TB
ATI 5750.............................ATI 6200FX
Dell Ultra Sharp U2413.............. Dell Ultra Sharp 2007 1600x1200
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Old 06-13-07, 07:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RollingThunder
Do you already own it or still shopping?

The reason I ask is because this one:

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Produc...uctCode=373100

is also modular and will give you more overhead. There is no shipping or tax from ZZF plus a $10 mail in rebate. By the time you pay tax and shipping from New Egg, the price is nearly the same and you're getting a lot more. The Corsair is a Seasonic built and first class and a 5 year warranty.
Already own it.

A lot of the reviews of the power supply said it really is a 440 watt power supply but not sure how true this is. Would this power supply be enough for those kind of power hungry pc parts though ? What if we added instead of a intel dual core but now a intel quad core cpu ? Would it still be enough? I saw the results of the power supply draw test and thought maybe I was in luck and if I ever upgrade a lot I won't need to buy a new power supply or one just for the graphics card.
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Old 06-13-07, 08:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powersupply
Already own it.

A lot of the reviews of the power supply said it really is a 440 watt power supply but not sure how true this is. Would this power supply be enough for those kind of power hungry pc parts though ? What if we added instead of a intel dual core but now a intel quad core cpu ? Would it still be enough? I saw the results of the power supply draw test and thought maybe I was in luck and if I ever upgrade a lot I won't need to buy a new power supply or one just for the graphics card.
I think I'll let the more experienced here comment and give you a better opinion. Enermax has a fine reputation overall and rates well on OC Forums with most. On paper it should be fine but "quad core" may start to push your luck in the long term.

You're not going to have much overhead left over. One of the guys will be along with a better opinion.

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DFI DK P45 T2RS Plus.................Same
WD Velociraptor 150 & WD Raptor 74...Raptor 74 - Hitachi Deskstar 1TB
ATI 5750.............................ATI 6200FX
Dell Ultra Sharp U2413.............. Dell Ultra Sharp 2007 1600x1200
2 x 2 GB GSkill PC8500 @ DDR2 960....2 x 1 GB GSkill PC8500
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Coolermaster NV 690..................Lian-Li PC-K7
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Old 06-13-07, 08:50 PM   #15
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Thank you for the help!
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Old 06-13-07, 10:09 PM   #16
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The Liberty units have an unusually high failure rate compared to other Enermax units - I'd avoid them. They're no competition to the Corsairs at all.

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Old 06-13-07, 10:51 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oklahoma Wolf
The Liberty units have an unusually high failure rate compared to other Enermax units - I'd avoid them. They're no competition to the Corsairs at all.
Thats not good at all. Hope mine isn't one of them. I wish I knew this before. I should of researched more. Stupid me.
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Old 06-13-07, 11:05 PM   #18
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Well, they're not that bad... they're just not something I recommend for those wanting a new unit.

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Old 06-13-07, 11:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oklahoma Wolf
Well, they're not that bad... they're just not something I recommend for those wanting a new unit.
Thanks. Curious what is bad about them that they are not recommended please?
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Old 06-14-07, 12:41 PM   #20
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very interesting alex. i'm gonna try the same thing when i build my pc this fall. curious to see how many amps a oc'ed q6600 will draw. I have a question though, is there a way to tell how power each component is using? like if i wanted to see what my video card, cpu, and drives are drawing individually, is there a way of doing that?

thanks
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