Performance (40% of the final score) - on the last review, I started with an average score and worked my way up the ladder. This time, I think I'll come down from a perfect score. Efficiency did indeed hit 80 Plus Bronze, so no points off there. Voltage regulation was excellent, so no points off there. Ripple suppression was very good, but not quite excellent... there, I'm going to take a point off. But, my second review unit passed all hot box testing too, at temperatures well above what the unit is rated to withstand, so I have to put a half point back on. That gives us a nice 9.5.
Functionality (20% of the final score) - the cables are nicely sleeved. There are more than enough connectors to power a decently powerful gaming system. All four PCI-E connectors are 8 pin compatible. About the only fault I can find with this unit is that it lacks a second EPS12V connector, for this unit is powerful enough to be used with the odd board that has two of these connectors. But still, that's not too much of a complaint, so I'll only remove half a point. 9.5.
Value (30% of the final score) - over at Buy.com, you can get one of these right now for $149.99. By contrast, the Corsair TX950 is exactly one buck cheaper. That's pretty close, and the two compete reasonably well with each other. I think I'll do a 9 here.
Aesthetics (10% of the final score) - this is a fantastic looking unit. I like matte black a lot, as you know, and the red presents a striking contrast to the rest of the unit. It's almost like the shade of a freshly blossomed rose in the springtime, when all the snow has gone away and the delicate scent of the flowers comes wafting over the air, and... you guys stopped reading a sentence ago, didn't you? 9.5.
Antec has once again gone fishing in Delta's pond and caught a winner. The HCG 900W unit is a fine example of engineering - it's stable, it's clean at the outputs, and it's affordable. It's not the be all, end all of power supply engineering; but you'd have to pay more to do significantly better. What more could a gamer ask for?
very good ripple suppression
very stable regulation
rated to 35 degrees but capable of 45 or more
80 Plus Bronze feels like a small step backward
I got nuthin'
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