Articles: Cases/PSU

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Antec EarthWatts EA-380 rev. A1 (380W)

The name of this PSU series suggests that it is environment-friendly. In other words, these PSUs boast high efficiency to save energy straightforwardly and have active PFC to save it indirectly. I took this PSU out of an Antec NSK3480 system case. Its real manufacturer is Seasonic.

The PSU has an ordinary gray steel housing and one 80mm fan. It has the standard dimensions and mounting holes of an ATX power supply. Nothing shows that it is shipped with a specific system case.

The internal design resembles FSP Group’s GLN and HLN series units you may be familiar with by our reviews. The power elements are distributed on three, not two, separate heatsinks. The heatsinks are made from thin aluminum and have but small ribbing. High-efficiency PSUs don’t need huge heatsinks as FSP Group’s PSUs have proved already.

As you can expect from Seasonic, the quality of assembly is immaculate. The circuit design is quite modern: active PFC and joint voltage regulation.

The PSU is cooled with an Adda AD0812HS-A70GL fan (80x80x25mm, 3010rpm). I mention the rated speed of the fan but its actual speed in the PSU varies depending on the temperature as you’ll see below.

The PSU has two “virtual” +12V output lines it can yield a total of 324W (27A) across it. It is equipped with the following cables and connectors:

  • Mainboard cable with a 20+4-pin connector (34cm)
  • CPU cable with a 4-pin connector (33cm)
  • Graphics card cable with a 6-pin connector (45cm)
  • One cable with three Molex connectors and one floppy-drive plug (43+13+13+13cm)
  • One cable with three Molex connectors (32+12+12cm)
  • Two cables with two SATA power plugs on each (12+49cm. That’s not a misprint. There is indeed only 12 centimeters from the PSU case to the first connector – it is meant for the optical drive or the HDD installed nearby)

The wires are tied up with nylon straps into braids. Wires from different braids are entangled near the PSU. You shouldn’t be surprised at the cable length and the non-standard positions of some connectors. This PSU comes with the Antec NSK3480 system case and is optimized for it, which is good. A standard PSU with a standard selection of cables may provoke some problems if you are assembling a system in such a small space.

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