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Antec NeoPower NeoHE 550 rev. A5 (550W)

I already tested the Antec NeoPower NeoHE 550 in an earlier review. It was revision A4 then. For today’s test I’ve got an A5 revision sample. By the way, you can learn the revision number of Antec’s PSUs by looking at the small white barcode sticker near the main label.

This PSU was installed into an Antec Sonata Plus system case. Seasonic is its actual manufacturer.

The PSU has exactly the same housing as the EarthWatts series products although it doesn’t look as such. The EarthWatts PSUs have a steel-gray coloring while the NeoHE is painted dark.

The EarthWatts and the NeoHE are completely different inside, though. They differ not only in the component layout but also in functionality: the NeoHE features dedicated voltage regulation.

The latter thing can be seen in the photograph: there are three, not two, chokes on toroidal cores near the right heatsink. An ordinary PSU has two chokes, one of which is used in the +3.3V voltage regulator and the other in the common regulator of the +5V and +12V voltages. That’s why the latter two voltages depend greatly on each other’s load. You can often see it in the cross-load diagrams: the voltage on the +12V rail increases when there is a high load on the +5V rail although the +12V load remains the same. The NeoHE has dedicated regulators (saturated-core chokes) for both +5V and +12V voltages, making all the three voltages virtually independent from each other.

The detachable cables are yet another special feature of the NeoHE. There are five connectors for them at the back of the case. The connectors are universal; you can attach any cable to any of them. On the other hand, there is only one pin for +12V in the cable for graphics cards which need this voltage only because the other pins are +5V and +3.3V necessary for hard disk drives.

The PSU is cooled with an Adda AD0812HB-A71GL fan (80x80x25mm, 3010rpm).

The PSU label says that 550 watts is the continuous output power at an air temperature up to 50°C. ATX Power Supply Design Guide recommends the manufacturers to specify the output power in this format but some of them do not follow this recommendation and specify the output power at an air temperature of 25°C for example. The PSU has three “virtual” +12V output lines with a combined current of 42A.

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