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Antec Neo HE 550 (550W)

Neo HE series power supplies feature the classic cooling solution with a single 80mm fan. I don’t mean that are the only PSUs designed like that, but models with 120mm fans have been prevailing recently because the larger fan can create the same airflow at a lower rotation speed and, accordingly, at a lower noise level. I can’t say why they install 80mm fans into the Neo HE, but Antec positions this model as a quiet power supply and puts an emphasis on its high efficiency (HE = High Efficiency), small amount of generated heat and, as the result, low fan speed. Let’s see if the power supply is up to these claims.

The manufacturer provided us with a revision A3.1 unit whereas the latest revision is A4. The older revisions of this power supply do not work with some mainboards. You can read the revision number from the white paper sticker on the PSU.

There is an UL certificate number on the PSU, E104405. This helps identify its actual manufacturer, Seasonic.

The component layout and circuit design of the power supply are classic. There are no surprises for me here. The PSU is equipped with active PFC (its choke can be seen in the photo peeping out from under the left heatsink).

The heatsinks are large, with well-developed ribbing. A small additional card with output connectors is fastened on the rear panel of the case. Most of the connectors are detachable.

The PSU has six same-type 6-pin connectors. It doesn’t matter which exactly connector you attach a cable to since they are all identical. On one hand, this guarantees that there will be no user mistakes at connection, but on the other hand, it would be logical to make two separate connectors for top-end graphics cards in which all the pins would be +12V and “ground”.

The PSU complies with the ATX12V 2.0 standard, offering three +12V lines with an allowable current of 18A on each, but the combined load current must not be higher than 42A, i.e. 14A on each line. These are “virtual” lines of course. I mean that there is actually only one power rail with a load capacity of 42A inside the PSU, but it is split into three output lines with a current limitation at 18A on each.

Among other matters worth mentioning, there is the ability to work with input voltages from 100 to 240V without manual switching. The full output power of the PSU is declared to be 550W at an ambient air temperature of 50°C. The latter feature is in fact a requirement of the ATX12V Power Supply Design Guide, but many PSU manufacturers neglect it, specifying output power at a lower temperature.

The PSU is equipped with the following cables and connectors:

  • Mainboard cable with a 20+4 connector (55cm long)
  • CPU power cable with a 4-pin ATX12V connector (56cm)
  • CPU power cable with an 8-pin EPS12V connector (46cm)
  • Five connectors for other cables, the connectors are identical so you can attach any cable to any connector

The following is enclosed with the power supply:

  • Two cables with three Molex connectors for PATA drives (47cm to the first plug and 15cm to each next plug)
  • Two cables with two SATA power connectors on each (63cm to the first plug and 15cm to each next plug)
  • Two cables with 6-pin graphics card connectors (58cm). Be careful when attaching this cable! The connector that goes into the graphics card is marked in white as “PCI-E”. It is mechanically compatible with the connectors on the PSU, but differs electrically, so do not confuse the ends of these two cables!
  • An adapter from one Molex connector to two mini-plugs for floppy drives
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