Our previous article was about the 1000W monsters of the PSU world and was called 1000W Power Supply Unit Roundup. 1000 watts is a pretty round number, yet this wattage is not quite called for yet as we found out in that review. Even top-end gaming stations require much less power.
For this review I took power supplies that should be more appropriate for today’s end-user – a dozen models ranging from 550W to 850W. This is the wattage range the person who’s assembling a top-end gaming PC with one or two graphics cards should be choosing his power supply from.
Antec Neo HE 550 (550W): Error Correction
I reviewed this power supply before and found it to have a large output voltage ripple of unclear origin (for details see our previous article). That was a version A3.1 sample and Antec has been kind to offer us an A4 version for our tests.
The “HE” in the model name stands for High Efficiency. The Neo HE 550 is claimed to be very quiet at work notwithstanding its 80mm cooling fan.
The A4 and A3.1 revisions do not differ much in their internal design. It is a classic design with large T-shaped heatsinks, an active PFC device, and a PCB with connectors for detachable cables in the rear part of the unit.
The quality of assembly is high as you can expect from Seasonic who is the real manufacturer of the Neo HE 550.
The A3.1 and A4 revisions have identical specs. The revision number can be read from the barcode sticker on the side of the PSU – in small print near its left edge.
The PSU offers the following cables and connectors:
- Mainboard cable with a 20+4 connector (55cm)
- CPU cable with a 4-pin ATX12V connector (56cm)
- CPU cable with an 8-pin EPS12V connector (46cm)
- Five connectors for the detachable cables
Included with the PSU are:
- Two cables with three Molex connectors on each (47+15+15cm)
- Two cables with two SATA power connectors on each (63+15cm)
- Two cables with 6-pin connectors for graphics cards (58cm). Be careful when connecting this cable. The plug that goes into the graphics card is marked as “PCI-E”. It is mechanically compatible with the PSU connector but differs electrically, so don’t make a mistake!
- Adapter from one Molex to two mini-plugs for floppy disk drives.
This selection of connectors is quite standard for a modern PSU. One could only wish to have four instead of two graphics card connectors but owners of SLI or CrossFire configurations are going to prefer higher-wattage PSUs whereas for a system with one graphics card, even with a GeForce 8800 GTX or a Radeon X2900 XTX, this PSU will suffice in both load capacity and amount of connectors.