Hello once again, my good readers. Today, I'm revisiting the land of Antec. In the past few months, I've had several people ask me one simple question: why haven't I been committed to a sanitarium yet? Fortunately for me, this question is usually followed by one I can answer: when are you going to look at the Antec Earthwatts 750 watt unit?
On most of these occasions, the answer to that second question has been "soon." This answer is usually given as I dodge men in white coats with large butterfly nets and straightjackets. Well, today that answer is changing, because the EA750 is exactly what I'm reviewing now.
The last time I looked at an Earthwatts unit, it was the EA650. A brand new Delta based platform, it managed to impress me enough to win a recommendation. And that unit did a lot of things right - it was affordable and it was well performing. It struck a good balance between performance and value, even if it was done up in plain old boring gray.
I'm hoping for more of the same from this unit, and from the looks of things Antec has already done something about the "boring gray" part of it. Yes, that is an 80 Plus logo you see, and yes it is only given the standard 80 Plus certification.
The box starts here with the marketing hype. Among the claimed perks is an assertion that this unit will reduce energy consumption. Well... maybe it will, maybe it won't. 80 Plus standard is becoming more and more common, with Bronze, Silver and Gold popping up left and right. A reduction in energy consumption would depend on what unit the EA750 is replacing now, wouldn't it?
Believe it. This is the environmentally friendly power supply. As opposed to those environmentally unfriendly ones, I guess. Well, I guess as long as your power supply isn't always unhooking itself to go chain itself to some trees, it's probably environmentally friendly enough.
Most of the marketing bullet points are found on the back.
NVIDIA™ SLI™ -ready certified
Meets 80 Plus® certification
135mm cooling fan
Advanced Hybrid Cable Management
Four + 12V output circuits
ATX12V version 2.3 and EPS 12V version 2.91
Safety protection circuitry prevents damage resulting from short circuits, over current, and over voltage
Universal Input with Active PFC
2 x (6+2)-pin PCI-E connectors & 2 x 6-pin PCI-E connectors
As was the case with the EA650 as well as many other recent Antecs like the Truepower New 750W, Antec's packaging turns out to be the least amount of material they can get away with and still get everything into. Unpacking this box required several gallons of oil, a forklift, a crowbar, a hydraulic jack, and a tractor. That... may be a slight exaggeration.
The contents of the box turned out to be a power supply, a power cord, some screws, an information sheet, and some modular cables.
This is the info sheet. There's not much on it, and is reprinted in several languages. All this thing amounts to is an elaborate way of telling you to go to Antec's website to find the real user guide for this unit. Well, I guess there's something to be said for saving trees.
This Earthwatts model is longer than normal, it seems. 180mm, in fact. This makes it bulkier than some 1kW units I've had gracing the lab lately.
And yes, they have done something about the gray blandness - they've gone to matte black on this model. Unfortunately, the improvements stop right there as the cable sleeving still isn't going up into the enclosure.
Looks like they've decided to put some components behind the fan. I'll have to pull it apart later so we can see what components we're looking at through this grille.
The modular connectors. As you can see, the two black ones are 12V1 and the red one is 12V4. Despite the claim of "HDD" support on the red one, there is no cable present to allow you to plug one in here. In fact, don't even try - all you have on the red connector is 12V and ground. No 5V. No 3.3V. Just use the black connectors for your drives as intended.
Antec should get rid of the "HDD" over the red connector, methinks. There are people out there, and I know you've all met them, that will take a black connector and try to cram it into the red one just because it says "HDD" on there. And then they'll call you for help.
The UL file number on the label, e176105, traces back to Antec. No help with the OEM there. But that's not a hard mystery to solve for a guy like me who loves to take things apart. I'll give you a hint who the OEM is. It's a Greek letter that rhymes with "felta."
All four 12V rails get a respectable 25A of current capacity. That's enough to power anything that will run on a 750W unit. Should you have an older Pentium 3 based rig that needs a power supply while you save up for a computer made this century, this unit will also be able to handle that, with a combined 170W of 3.3V and 5V power.
With the exception of that little stretch up by the enclosure, the sleeving on the permanently attached wires is pretty well done as usual. I'm going to nitpick on the separate ATX12V and EPS12V cables again - they really could have eliminated the 4 pin one and made the EPS12V modular. That would have killed some clutter.
Antec also throws in enough cabling to support a wide array of hard drive cabling options. You know, I'd really like to start seeing less hardwired and more modular cables on these units.
Type of connector:
ATX connector (565mm)
5.25" Drive (560mm+150mm+150mm)
3.5" Drive connectors (+150mm)
8 pin EPS12V (555mm)
4 pin ATX12V (565mm)
6+2 pin PCIe (560mm)
6 pin PCIe (+150mm)
5.25" Drive (550mm+150mm+150mm)
6+2 pin PCIe (550mm)
6 pin PCIe (+150mm)
Unit Dimensions(L x W x H)
180mm x 150mm x 86mm
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