Articles: Cases/PSU

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Generally speaking, there are but very few people who need power supply units with that much wattage. Even if you calculate the power requirements of an extremely top-end home computer (with two dual-GPU or three single-GPU graphics cards, a top-end CPU from AMD or Intel, half a dozen disks, etc), you will only come up with something like 800-850 watts.

Moreover, you won’t make such a computer consume that much power unless you launch heavy component-specific tests (Linpack, FurMark, IOMeter, etc) concurrently, which is hardly a normal usage scenario.

Thus, PSUs with a wattage rating of over 1 kilowatt may only be demanded by owners of monstrous gaming rigs who are also into overclocking. If you count yourself among them, read on!

Testing Methodology

Click the following link for a description of our testing methodology and equipment and a brief explanation of what the specified and tested parameters of power supplies mean: X-bit Labs Presents: Power Supply Units Testing Methodology. If you feel overwhelmed with the numbers and terms this review abounds in, refer to the Methodology.

You can also go to our Cases/PSU section to check out reviews of all other PSU models we have tested in our labs.

We will mark the actual power consumption of three system configurations (discussed in our article PC Power Consumption: How Many Watts Do We Need?) in the cross-load diagrams. This will help you see if the tested PSU can meet the requirements of a real-life PC.

One additional note has to be given here: our testbed is limited to a load of 1100 watts on the +12V rail, so we could put the maximum specified +12V load on only one out of the four tested PSUs. We couldn’t test the other PSUs’ +12V rail at its max specified load.

Testing Participants

Antec High Current Pro HCP-1200

The High Current Pro series unit from Antec is the most original among the four PSUs in this review, both externally and internally, but shares some common traits with the Antec Signature SG-850.

Exterior Design

This PSU is somewhat larger than standard, having a length of 180 millimeters. The color of the case is unusual, too. Antec preferred to paint it dark-blue instead of the conventional black and gray hues.

Unexpectedly for such a high-wattage PSU, the cooling system consists of but a single 80mm fan. It is located at the back panel and covered with a punched-out grid. A mains connector and an On/Off switch can be found nearby.

Where not occupied by the connectors, the front panel of the case is a vent grid. There is even a small vent grid above the bunch of fixed cables.

There is a plaque with the manufacturer’s name on the top panel and stickers on the sides (with manufacturer’s name, product series and model name) and bottom (with product specifications) of the case.

Circuit Design

The HCP-1200 has an unusual interior design. Its components reside on two PCBs fastened to the bottom and top panels of the case, which explains why the PSU is equipped with only one small fan. A larger fan just wouldn’t fit it.

Most of the components are mounted on the main PCB at the bottom of the case.

The HCP-1200 features dedicated voltage regulation based on DC-DC converters.

The pair of MOSFETs that are responsible for the +3.3V and +5V voltages are equipped with individual heatsinks and can be found in between the transformer and the upright daughter card. Smoothing chokes and solid-state capacitors of the converters can be seen on the main PCB nearby.

The top PCB, on its part, carries most of the input components that help convert the AC current from the mains.

The quality of soldering and assembly is blameless. The UL certificate number on the PCBs points at Dongguan Wannienfu Electronic Co., Ltd as the real manufacturer. It is a contract maker of PCBs for products that come under the brands of Delta, AcBel, Acer, Samsung and many others.

Antec doesn’t develop its own PSUs. Instead, the company uses its brand to offer products from respectable manufacturers. The HCP-1200 (like the above-mentioned Signature SG-850) was created by Delta Electronics.

The PSU has high-quality Rubicon and Nippon Chemi-Con capacitors at its output. Every capacitor is rated for an operating temperature up to 105°C.

Cables and Connectors

The PSU is equipped with the following cables and connectors:

  • Mainboard cable with a 20+4-pin connector (65 cm)
  • CPU cable with a 4+4-pin connector (66 cm)
  • CPU cable with an 8-pin connector (66 cm)
  • Two graphics card cables with two 6+2-pin connectors on each (55+15 cm)
  • One cable with three PATA power connectors (57+15+15 cm)
  • One cable with three SATA power connectors (56+14+14 cm)
  • Two connectors for graphics card cables
  • Three connectors for peripheral power cables

Included with the PSU are:

  • Two graphics card cables with two 6+2-pin connectors on each (55+15 cm)
  • One cable with three PATA power connectors (55+15+15 cm)
  • One cable with three PATA power connectors and one floppy-drive plug (55+15+15+15 cm)
  • Three cables with three SATA power connectors on each (55+15+15 cm)

The cables and connectors are numerous and long, but one of the two mainboard power cables is going to be redundant for most PCs.

Note also that the PSU has three peripheral power connectors but comes with as many as five such cables, so you can choose what cables are suitable for your specific configuration. Considering that there are also fixed PATA and SATA power cables, you should have no problems powering up each of your components.

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