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FRONTPAGE Antec Earthwatts Platinum 650 W Power Supply Review

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Overclockers.com

Member
Joined
Nov 1, 1998
We managed to convince Antec to send us one of their new platinum mid-range units, the Earthwatts Platinum 650 W to be specific. They come in 450 W, 550 W, and 650 W flavors. All with an impressively low price tag for 80+ Platinum efficiency.

Antec says that the Earthwatts "family" is focused on ecological power for everybody, with a minimalistic philosophy. The actual blurb is longer, but says exactly the same thing. I translate it as: "Solid power supplies with little to no frill, good performance and a great price."

... Return to article to continue reading.
 

djscrew

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
I know little about PSUs but it seems like a shorted PSU should be plenty to pull the OCF approved stamp.

That is scarrryyyyy. Nothing like having a PSU blow up to take your whole rig with it.
 

deed

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2009
Would Antec be able to tell if I opened up the PSU?

This no bling type power supply is something I like quite a lot along with the fan grill the only other company that I know of that has something like this isn't a company I'd ever buy from. I would probably carefully investigate the inside before turning it on. A lot of power supply makers seem to have some bad soldering at times and since it's hidden it usually is still sold so I've been checking lately. One manufacture had put something on the screw to determine if it's been opened so I'd like to know if Antec has this before considering ordering.
 

djscrew

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
you've been checking your PSUs for solder errors lately?

try a better brand... like corsair, and pay the appropriate amount and you will get your $$$ worth

as for your question I couldn't say for sure but I was under the impression that opening any PSU, while extremely dangerous if you don't know what you're doing, voids the warranty and they usually have a sticker or some sort of seal that's broken so they can tell.
 

SupaMonkey

Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Location
China
I am also surprised that you gave it an approved after that botched soldering. If they can botch it there, where else can they botch it.

Did they let the guy on work experience do it :)
 

Bobnova

Senior Member
Joined
May 10, 2009
Most of it is machine done, SolderNoob isn't mucking with it. The fan bits had just about the worst possible scenario and the unit still worked fine.
The rest of the soldering is all machine work, it's fine.

On the warranty: Yes they'll notice, there is a sticker over one of the screws that is extremely fragile (lower right here: http://www.overclockers.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/a650p-PSU-fanside.jpg), if it is broken your warranty vanishes.

In conclusion: It did give me pause for thought with the rating. In this case I decided that the pros outweigh the cons, given that with a worst case hand-soldering screwup the unit still performed correctly.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the unit to my friends/family, and fulfills the official OCF rating guidelines for Approved in my opinion.



Footnote: Technically it's not the worst case, however anything worse would be blindingly obvious and not make it through QA.
 

mjw21a

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2004
Yeah, I'm running the 550W version in my main (singiture) rig, and the 450W version in my HTPC. As far as noise goes (in my HTPC) I find the fan spins up less often than in the 500W Silverstone Strider Esential making it quieter in general use. With the system idling though the Silvertone unit was quieter though I prefer the Antec all up. A nice increase in efficiency and not that much of a price premium either :thup:

I'm very happy with them. They'll be powering my systems until Titanium rated PSU's become available for the right price ;)
 

Mordachai

Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2011
Location
Massachusetts USA
Great review!
There's enough details in there to allow anyone to make an educated decision, and gives me some insights into PSU design. Much appreciated.
 

Bobnova

Senior Member
Joined
May 10, 2009
There's enough details in there to allow anyone to make an educated decision, and gives me some insights into PSU design. Much appreciated.

That is exactly my goal! I can't say whether a given unit is perfect for everybody, but I can lay the info out for people to make an educated decision with.

Thanks for the feedback, too!
 

djscrew

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
agreed, I've learned alot from Bob including that my PSU is supremely badass. :cool: Turns out newegg review statistics are fairly accurate.
 

Bobnova

Senior Member
Joined
May 10, 2009
Back from the dead!

I laid my hands on a second unit, and someone has talked to the techs about the fan leads.

ep650-diss-soldering-Dubious.jpg

It's not exactly pretty, but it's also not going to hit anything unless you take it out and do it intentionally.


As a sidenote, no components have been sneakily changed after the initial review round. Other than the fan wire issue being fixed, it's all the same.
 

Bobnova

Senior Member
Joined
May 10, 2009
I was pleased. It's very interesting to take units apart a second time sometimes. I've seen significant changes in the past.
Antec settling on a design and running with it is good to see, even if I'd prefer a ChemiCon or Panasonic APFC cap.
 

Bobnova

Senior Member
Joined
May 10, 2009
FSP I believe. It looks to be extremely similar to the FSP Aurum series.
 

Humanoid1

Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Location
Plymouth, UK
Nice little review :)

That 1st unit fan wire massive solder blob also Completely covered another neighboring pin causing another complete short.

Sadly my trusty old Seasonic SS-500HT just blew the other day, so I am looking for a new PSU and I am heavily leaning to this highly efficient Antec.
Running [email protected] 24/7 I will appreciate any power savings I can get!
- Potentially a 40watt power saving over other Bronze rated PSUs.

Accoring to an earlier review of this unit by TechPowerUp (their review PSU had clean soldering) mentioned FSP say the main difference between their unit and the Antec is an additional MOV (Metal Oxide Varistor) in the Antec model in this review - essentially a surge protector has been added.

Their review unit had cleaner ripple, but a somewhat low 3.3v (3.232) that only went lower on the 50% transient load test dropping it to 3.120v

Having passed the soldering issue in my mind as more or less a one off...
- that leaves that 3v issue as the only thing holding me back slightly.

Going to hunt down another review or two and see how their examples fared.
Seems a little dicy this Antec... Left hoping I will get a perfect example lol

OC.uk have it on special right now with 5 left and £10 off. Probably going to go order one during the next few hours. With Special = £68.98 / USD $105.24

Unless someone can improve on this option ?
 

Bobnova

Senior Member
Joined
May 10, 2009
The pins the blob itself are covering are also connected via the traces, so that's not an issue.

The Antec is definitely a solid unit, I wouldn't hesitate to use it in a folding rig. I do like that it has a MOV/TVS Diode, that's a plus in my book. 3.232v is still within spec, it's not ideal, but it's in spec. On the plus side you aren't going to be loading that rail really at all.

If the price is good compared to other platinum units of the correct wattage for you, I'd go for it.
 

Humanoid1

Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Location
Plymouth, UK
Looking closer it looks like I can see the trace too now. Still not pretty though lol

Had more of a Platinum shop around now and the next Cheapest I found so far was Seasonic's 460watt fanless Platinum PSU for £109.99 / $165.41

Almost all the other Platinum PSU's of the same approx 650watt category were close to £140 / $210.54 or about Double the price of this Antec lol

Its a good option, but just saw how loud the fan is on this thing.
Its one major let down.
- and I Like a Quiet PC and managed to built it so cannot hear it in a quiet room, thought I was all decided just now... 2 days of reading PSU reviews starts to get to you -.-

Lowest speed is 1,050rpm
400watts = 1,450rpm
At 215 watts it starts to ramp up in speed steadily till 600watts load and 1,800rpm

Not sure I want to open her up and lose that rather small 3 Year warranty...

Well, time for a little more reading, thanks for the input Bobnova :)


EDIT:
Damn, enough research. Ordered one of these and done ^_^
(Some reviews gave DB readings 30.3db @ 400w and of max 34db @ full power - maybe not as bad as some made it sound)
 
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Humanoid1

Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Location
Plymouth, UK
So, I'm all back up and running and thought it time for a mini update on my 1st impressions of this PSU...

I really like its longer than average cables for ease of routing behind the motherboard in my Antec P182 case. Was a Real stretch before with compromises made using the Seasonic.

My voltages are much improved over the Seasonic in general + also while running [email protected] on CPU & GPU:

3.3 --> 3.280
5 --> 4.999
12 --> 12.239

Pretty happy with those which are pretty close to spec :)

The Fan on this thing is actually quieter than I was expecting thankfully. But that is Not to say it is quiet. Its now the loudest component of my PC and really wastefully pushes a Lot of cold air through.
Once I get a new contract and more money flowing my way I might open it up and add an inline resistor to slow the thing down a touch and get that silence back i like so much ;)


In a few days or so I should have my hands on my 1st SSD, after which I will play at OCing my CPU again in the hope that my old PSU being at its limit was holding back the OC.
- an SSD is going to make all this stability testing restarts So Much Easier to get through!!!

Will update again afterwards!
Cheers again ~_^
 

Humanoid1

Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Location
Plymouth, UK
Just a quick update, I've been fairly short on time so have not done the detailed testing I would have liked at higher frequencies.

But in short this new PSU has allowed me to get the 4GHz overclock (200MHz more than the best possible with my old Seasonic S12 500watt PSU) I was hoping for and run stably through prime95 testing and weeks of [email protected]

I am kinda pushing a rather high 200 BCLK to get to higher speeds and have heard they can Potentially lead to problems for SSD's (which I now have) in certain scenarios. So a mix of Heat (folding in hotter summer temps could reach 90c+ above 4GHz) and reluctance to damage my new SSD help me back from wanting to go much over my current 200 even though before I tested stably up to 222 before i got my SSD.

(My CPU is half way between an E5649 and the X5650 having characteristics from both CPU's being a very early example, although it seems to have a 21 multiplier it does not stick, so making do with 20)

Very Happy overall with this excellent value Antec Earthwatts Platinum 650 watt Power Supply :)
 
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