Reviews - Antec Earthwatts EA650 650W
Sample Provided by: Antec (By OklahomaWolf on Sun, Sep-28-2008)

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It's been a little while since we at the site took a look at one of Antec's lower end offerings, and I reckoned I would break that spell today as I take a look at the Earthwatts 650W model. The last time we looked at the Earthwatts series was more than a year and a half ago, when we examined the EA500. Since then, things have changed a bit for the series. Back in the day, Antec was using Seasonic to supply these units. Now, they've gone to a different OEM, Delta; distinguishing the new models using a "D" at the end of the model name.

The EA650 is the new flagship of the fleet, and it too is Delta sourced. I'm sure you're all anxious to see how it does in load testing, which will be on the next page. But, I'm going to try and cram a few box pictures into your eyeballs first.

If the name Delta sounds unfamiliar to you, it's because they don't have too much presence in North America yet. But, as we found out with the Signature 850W, they are capable of some fantastic units indeed. I confess I'm looking forward to page two myself.

The box doesn't carry too much data on its cardboard panels, but there is enough there to make an informed choice about the unit. On this side, we can see a load table, a reminder not to compromise in saving energy and maximizing performance, and a note that it carries a three year warranty. Three years is not bad for a midgrade unit like this.

Mr. Fuji must be feeling a bit ill today. Regardless, he has provided us with a shot of some of the few marketing bullet points on the box. 80 Plus certified? Cool! I took a look over at the site, and discovered that this unit is only carrying standard certification. No bronze, silver, or gold for this puppy it would seem.

The back of the box holds a few interesting tidbits of data as well. Or, do I mean Timbits? On a completely unrelated note, I'm hungry. Be right back.

Back. As I was saying, the back of the box gives you some information about connector counts, a little blurb on the 80 Plus program, and a few more bragging points on the unit. Triple 12V rails. APFC. One 8 pin PCI-E connector. It also brags about the unit being silent in operation... we'll see about that one on the next page.

The box unpacked. Why, it's just like bringing home a sackful of groceries, it is. First we have a paper grocery bag sleeve around the unit, and then we have egg carton like packing material to be removed. How... earthy. Along with the unit itself, there's an owner's manual, power cord, and a bag of screws. Pretty standard stuff for a unit like this.

The owner's manual turns out to be an adequate little book telling you how to install the unit and a few other useful Timbits... I mean, tidbits. Dudes, skipping breakfast is tough. Doesn't help any that we have no actual Tim Horton's stores around here.

Moving on, here we see the unit itself, all unpacked. As you can see, the case is finished in plain old generic gray. It fairly screams "utilitarian" at me, promising to get the job done and not much more than that.

The only adornment on the enclosure is that little embossed "Antec" you can just barely make out there on the left, about a third of the way down in the picture. Looks like we're only getting sleeving on one cable here.

In contrast to the rest of the unit, the label is an artsy looking affair done up in shades of purple and pink. The UL file number is e176105, which runs us back to Antec itself. Fortunately, there are enough clues inside the actual unit to confirm Delta as the OEM. Here's a table for you.

Antec EA650 +3.3V +5V +12V1 +12V2 +12V3 -12V +5VSB
25A 25A 22A 22A 25A 0.5A 2.5A
Max Power 160W 540W 6W 12.5W

Yes indeed, only the main ATX cable is sleeved on this unit. I am happy, however, to see less of a mess made from the remaining cables than last week's review sample, the Xion 700W.

Type of connector: EA650
8-pin Xeon/EPS connector (500mm) 1 12V1
4-pin ATX12V connector (510mm) 1
ATX connector (510mm) 20+4 pin 12V2
5.25" Drive connectors (500mm+140mm+140mm) 6
3.5" Drive connectors (+140mm) 1
SATA (500mm+140mm+140mm) 6
2 x 3 PCIe (510mm) 1 12V3
2 x 4 PCIe (500mm) 1*

Unit Dimensions(L x W x H)

150mm x 155mm x 85mm

*connector is 6+2 pin modular type

You will notice that both PCI-E connectors are joined to take 12V3 all to themselves. Which, I remind you, is rated for 25A. This means that you should be able to run a single GTX 280 on this bad boy, but one only. And really, SLI on those things takes something bigger than 650W anyway.


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