Reviews - Antec True Power II 550W
Sample Provided by: Antec (By jonny on Fri, Jul-07-2006)

Page 2 -
     Let's see what the results look like....

Results from True Power 2.0 550W COLD load tests
+3.3V +5V +12V1 +12V2 Watts Efficiency PF Intake Exhaust
Simulated system load tests
2A 5A 3A 3A 119.3W 73% .66 24°C 34°C
3.37V 5.06V 11.95V 11.96V
5A 10A 7A 7A 249.4W 77% .71 24°C 38°C
3.34V 5.03V 11.91V 11.91V
7A 14A 11A 11A 370.1W 77% .74 25°C 42°C
3.30V 5.00V 11.89V 11.86V
10A 17A 15A 15A 488.2W 75% .75 26°C 46°C
3.28V 4.98V 11.85V 11.83V
10A 17A 17A 17A 534.4W 73% .75 26°C 50°C
3.27V 4.97V 11.83V 11.80V
10A 12A 18A 18A 533.3W 73% .75 27°C 50°C
3.27V 4.98V 11.83V 11.80V

     The 12V rails only dropped .16V over all. That's VERY good and gets the Antec an 8.5 score here. Efficiency averaged 75%, so the True Power gets a score of 7 for efficiency. The lack of PFC hurts the performance score and the fact that the PF is as low as .66, .71 and .74 at the loads most typical of a real life power supply means this power supply only gets a score of 4 in this category.

     Another observation to make is the heat coming out of the back of this unit. Although the intake temperatures are typical of all of my power supply tests (naturally, room temperature is going to defeat air conditioning when you have 400W of power exhausting into the room) the exhaust temperature of the PSU was as high as 50°C! That's insane! As I get the "hot box" ready for the Antec, I wonder if it can get any hotter.

Results from True Power 2.0 550W HOT load tests
+3.3V +5V +12V1 +12V2 Watts Efficiency PF Intake Exhaust
Simulated system load tests
2A 5A 3A 3A 119.3W 73% .66 30°C 37°C
3.37V 5.06V 11.95V 11.96V
5A 10A 7A 7A 249.4W 77% .71 31°C 38°C
3.34V 5.03V 11.91V 11.91V
7A 14A 11A 11A 370.1W 77% .74 32°C 42°C
3.30V 5.00V 11.89V 11.86V
10A 17A 15A 15A 488.2W 75% .75 33°C 46°C
3.28V 4.97V 11.85V 11.82V
10A 17A 17A 17A 534.4W 73% .75 35°C 50°C
3.27V 4.96V 11.83V 11.80V
10A 12A 18A 18A 533.3W 73% .75 38°C 50°C
3.27V 4.97V 11.83V 11.79V

     As we can see, any drop in any of the rails is not even worth mentioning. It's as if the PSU simply did not care how hot the air being pumped into it was.

     I did find out that the thermal protection is in fact set to 50°C because after half an hour in the hot box during test 6, the PSU shut off. I knew it was thermal protection because I couldn't turn the PSU back on with just a simple hand held PSU tester. I pulled the unit out of the case and it was actually so hot that I couldn't hold it in my hand. I set it down on the floor and let it cool down, and not until half an hour later did the PSU come back to life.


Panasonic 1200uF 200V caps on the primary side.

     This brings up another concern. Channel Well built Antec's typically use Fuhjyyu capacitors on the secondary side. If there's anything Fuhjyyu caps don't like, it's heat. Given the high temps of this unit, one has to question the longevity of the unit. I'd hate to taint a review with speculation, but it's not as if stories of long term failure are nonexistent on the web.


All Fuhjyyu's on the secondary side.

     For this review, the score will not be affected by speculative long term effects. The Antec still gets a 10 for surviving the hot box testing without any change in voltage, efficiency or power factor.

     As for the crossload test, the Antec stood up to very low 3.3V and 5V loads (3A and 4A respectively) and continued to deliver 11.87V and 11.83V on the 12V rails cold, and 11.85V and 11.82V on the 12V rails while crossloaded in the hot box.

True Power 2.0 550W +3.3V +5V +12V
Test 1
Test 2
Test 3
Test 4
Test 5

     Although the fluctuations in the 5V were great, at least they were consistent. The 5V would consistently waiver 1%, which is not that good especially in the lower loads, but at least it never got worse than that.

     So now that that's all done, let's take a look at the scoring....

 

Performance 8
Aesthetics 6
Value 8
Functionality 7
Total Score 7.5

     Performance (weight of 40%) gets a 8because of it's excellent voltage regulation, it's resistance to the hot box. It could've scored better with Power Factor Correction and better efficiency.

     Aesthetics (weight of 10%) is 6. It's as old school, gray box power supply as you can get. Hey! Anyone seen Jeff Goldblum? I'm looking for a beige case.

     Value (weight of 30%) score is an 8. It's tough enough to find a 550W PSU for under $100, never mind a decent one or even one that's both SLI and Crossfire certified.

     For functionality (weight of 20%,) I'm giving this power supply an 7. It has just enough cables. Again; not much sleeving, no 8-pin EPS, no AUX. Just the basics. And some thermostatically controlled fan connectors to boot.

     So there you have it. 7.5is the final score. A well rounded score for a well rounded PSU. Sure, you can find better for more money. More power, better finish, more connectors or sleeved or modular connectors, but over all this PSU really does stand out. If not for being flashy, for just being a good solid power supply.

SUMMARY:

     The Antec True Power 2.0 is an excellent choice for the builder on a budget. Solid rails, SLI/Crossfire capable, and no apparent crossload issues.

     I would easily suggest this power supply for use in a build with a pair of Nvidia 6x based cards or even a pair of ATI x1800 cards. Maybe even x1900 if the build doesn't also have to power a RAID, a TEC or a pump.

     The only technical draw backs are it's lack of power factor and mediocre efficiency. On a subjective level, the power supply's complete lack of "bling" may steer those with window cases away.

The Good....

  • Solid rails that didn't even move while under punishing heat
  • SLI and Crossfire certified

The Bad....

  • No PFC

The Mediocre....

  • Mediocre efficiency
  • Kind of plain looking
  • Other than the ATX cable, no sleeves on any of the cables


 

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