Antec HCP 850W Platinum Power Supply

Our latest power supply target for reviewing is the Antec HCP-850 Platinum, an updated and more efficient version of the original High Current Pro 850 watt unit. In the time since that unit came out, the competition from the likes of Seasonic, Corsair and Super Flower to name a few has only gotten stronger and stronger. Does Antec still have what it takes to compete in an increasingly cutthroat market? I don’t know yet, but I’m going to find out.

PRODUCT: HCP 850W Platinum
PROD LINK: HCP 850W Product Page
PRICE: $208.98 @ Directron
Price is at the time of testing!

Fifteen long months have passed since I last looked at an Antec product. Today, the dry spell ends with Antec’s High Current Pro 850 watt Platinum unit, and that’s what we’re going to be looking at today. You may recall that it was the HCP-1000 Platinum that marked our last Antec review. With this in mind, I am most anxious to see if the platform has changed in the time since then. That 1kW model was a beast, but times have changed and it’s going to be hard taking on the likes of Seasonic and Super Flower these days.

Even so, I have to believe that given the chance, Antec may be up to the task.

Before load testing, we have some box shots to get out of the way. There’s not too much unusual about the marketing we see here. Looks like Antec’s going with the Enermax approach of marketing their 16 pin modular connectors with future connector changes in mind. A future, I remind you, that has not shown any evidence of materializing now for the past several years. Still, I guess Antec’s ready for it should it ever happen.

Another item of note is the “OC link” stuff. This is there to give you some options if you want to run more than one power supply in your case. Basically, it’s a two-pin connector that combines the PS_ON wires for both power supplies, so they turn on at the same time. Nice feature if you didn’t do your homework and buy a big enough unit to power the whole rig in the first place.

The rest of what’s on here is basically all marketing, so we’ll just move on. Marketing is all well and good, but I deal with numbers, facts, and soda. Mostly soda. Delicious, delicious, tooth-rotting soda.

The marketing doesn’t stop at the back of the box, either. Here’s some on the side of the box, along with some connector drawings. I could get into a whole tirade about how replacing an 80 Plus Gold unit with this one likely wouldn’t make up the purchase price for months, but I’m too tired to do that today.

Here’s the other side of the box. I have yet to see any indication that this unit can take 50 degrees intake temperatures at full power, but that’s the number I usually go for in the absence of such information.

This shot provided by my new 50mm Nikkor f1.8 lens just in case you wish to re-read all the marketing in your native Portuguese.

And the marketing goes on and on. Seven year warranty… good.

OC Link again, eh? Folks, I find that graphic a bit annoying. Let’s put on our nerd hats and do some math. How many of you have 15A breakers in your house? Quite a few, I’m sure. What’s your AC line voltage when you suck that much current out of just one wall outlet? 110V? 115V? Let’s go with the lower number so we can account for things like old outlets and/or breakers and/or that lava lamp you refuse to get rid of. Using a little math, let’s calculate power. P=VI. I get 1650 watts.

“But wait,” you say, “I have a 20A breaker on my outlet!” Well, let’s do the math again. 2200 watts, right? Now, this graphic would have you believe that you can get 179A out of two OC linked power supplies, and it’s as easy as hooking up the OC link cable. It’s not. You need two household circuits to do it. Why? Because their 2150 watt figure is on the DC output side. It does not account for power conversion efficiency. Assuming you have two Platinum units that pass Platinum running full out to do that, you’re looking at 89% efficiency. If we do a little more math, suddenly we’re pushing 2400 watts at the wall. And that’s not even including what the minor rails might be doing, or allowing for the possibility of 90-100V brownouts, which do happen quite often here.

The bottom line is this… you need two household circuits to pull that number off, whether you have 20A breakers or not.

And it gets even better. Know how many possible rigs out there need 179A of 12V current capacity? None. Zero. They don’t exist. There is nothing I can think of that you can’t power with something like a Lepa G1600.

But… that’s marketing for you, and I don’t really care about marketing much anymore. All I care about is how these perform when I load test them.

Time to get done with the box and start unpacking.

Included with the power supply were a bag of modular cables, an info sheet, a warranty sheet, some velcro wire ties, screws, and a power cord. No case stickers, but I never use those anyway. Good riddance, says I.

Here’s the warranty sheet.

And here’s the info sheet. As usual, Antec did not include an owner’s manual – you have to go to the website for that. And once there, you find that the manual is rather lacking when it comes to technical specifications. A maximum temp spec for full power is notably absent. I’m probably going to be docking some off of the functionality score for that later.