Reviews - Antec HCG-900 900W
Sample Provided by: Antec (By OklahomaWolf on Mon, Nov-29-2010)

Page 1 - First Look

Good morrow, good people of the Internet. I'm Oklahoma Wolf, the guy who really puts the "q" in crazy, and I will be your agent of power supply torture for today.

Antec is no stranger to this website. Most recently, we took a look at the High Current Pro 1200W unit, and it was one of the best power supplies to hit the market this year. Fortunately, as you can see above, Antec is releasing some other new stuff as well for those of us who cannot afford what amounts to the Bentley of the power supply universe. Today's review is going to be of the new High Current Gamer series, and it will be the top of the line 900 watt model that graces my test bench.

This unit is rated as an 80 Plus Bronze model by the ECOS people, which is a bit strange to see here among the Gold units I've been looking at lately. That said, a good design is a good design, and high efficiency is only one small aspect of a good design. At some point, something has to give when you're releasing an affordable power supply. We'll find out on the following pages how this unit performs, and whether or not the Bronze efficiency rating also means bronze age performance as well. In the meantime, let's zoom in on the above box and have us a look-see at some specifications.

Yay! 900W continuous power! Hmm... it doesn't give a temperature spec. But that's ok, I got this information from Antec for you. Turns out you get 900 watts at... let's see... I think this is the email I want... ah yes. Thirty-five degrees, Celsius. Wait, what? That's a mite disappointing when past Antec units, even in the market segment this unit targets, were rated to fifty. That said, we will find out the true story in the hot box on page three. Just because we have a specification, it doesn't mean it's set in stone. Some units do better, some units do worse.

Still, this unit does appear to have overtemp protection, too. T'will be interesting to find out where the shutdown point is.

As is the norm for a product box, you don't have to look far to see a bunch of fancy graphics that show off various features. Here's some now:

  • Universal Input
  • 6+2 PCI-E graphics card connector
  • Intel / AMD multi-core CPU ready
  • High Current Output
  • 4x +12V rails
  • ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91
  • Industrial Grade Protection
  • 135mm DBB Fan
  • Continuous Power
  • Active Power Factor Correction
  • Japanese Brand Capacitors
  • EuP 2010

There appear to be more graphics on the opposite end of the box. Once again, the high current output stuff is mentioned, declaring that the 12V output is 40A for all four rails. Let me tell you, if you can get that kind of overcurrent protection to trip, you're doing something wrong. Like trying to jump start a car from only one 12V rail. Ain't no video card gonna overload one of those rails.

Beneath the high current blurb we have a noise curve, which suggests that the fan doesn't start ramping up until 50% load or so.

This part of the box shows some dimensions and a small picture of the unit.

But, it is this part of the box has the last of the marketing and features on it:

  • Universal Input - works on any 100V - 240V grid
  • Active PFC with PF : 99%
  • MTBF: 100,000 hours
  • Meets EuP 2010 requirement: 5Vsb < 1W
  • Safety: cUL, TÜV, CE, CB, FCC, C-TICK, CCC, BSMI, Gost-R
  • AQ5 Antec Quality 5-year limited warranty on parts and labor

Additionally, there is a load table and a whole pile of safety certification logos to look at.

Opening the box, we get to see some rather plain cardboard packaging. While this is probably good for the environment, I'm not sure how much shock protection it provides the power supply being shipped with it. Let's unpack now.

A power cord, a power supply with a cloth bag over it, some screws, and a product overview sheet is all I found in there. That's aside from the usual "do not eat" silica gel pack. Folks, I have to tell you... I've been doing these reviews for years and not once have I ever sat down and thought, "man, I could really go for some silica gel right about now." Not more than a few minutes, anyway.

Here's the product overview sheet. Not much to talk about here. Go to Antec's website for the actual user manual, it says.

Now, we get to see the power supply itself. It's done in a pleasant red and matte black color scheme that pleases my eyes, even if Mr. Fuji makes the red look a little orangey.

Another angle for you.

This view of the exhaust grille shows off some innards that give me the impression that Delta is the OEM of this unit. If this is the case, it could well be that this unit won't care about my hot box at all. We'll see.

Here's a good look at the side of the unit for you. Aw, how cute - it's smiling at us.

Here's the front panel of the unit. No modular connectors, but then again this isn't a modular power supply. I know, I know, my powers of observation are unparalleled. Hey, look - I'm typing! I never knew I could type!

A good look at the fan for you. Nice looking fan hub, there.

Despite the fact that this is not a unit that drives its minor rails from a voltage regulator module, we still get a pretty decent sized 12V combined output of 850 watts. That's 70.8 amperes of current and change, for the math challenged. You know what? This is actually looking to be a solid competitor to the AcBel 900W 80 Plus Gold unit I looked at last week. That unit boasted a mere 1A more of 12V combined current than this unit carries. That unit had a 45A OCP trip point on the four 12V rails. Interesting. The only major difference is the presence of the VRM in and the greater 5VSB rating on the AcBel.

Antec HCG-900 3.3V 5V 12V1 12V2 12V3 12V4 -12V 5VSB
25A 25A 40A 40A 40A 40A 0.5A 3A
Max Power 150W 850W 6W 15W

Finally, here's a tentacle shot. Unlike the AcBel, there are only two chains of PCI-E cables on this unit. That might be for the best - it reduces some cable clutter and makes it less likely you'll push a 900W unit too hard by plugging three ultra high power video cards into the unit. Honestly, I'd go 1kW and up if I needed to power three video cards. For two cards, this unit right here should get the job done as long as it meets rated specs.

Type of connector: Antec HCG-900
ATX connector (550mm) 20+4 pin 12V1
5.25" Drive (550mm+150mm+150mm) 6
3.5" Drive connectors (+150mm) 1
SATA (550mm+150mm+150mm) 9
4+4 pin EPS12V/ATX12V (670mm) 1 12V2
6+2 pin PCIe (550mm) 2 12V3/
6+2 pin PCIe (+150mm) 2
Unit Dimensions (L x W x H)
180mm x 150mm x 86mm


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