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Antec EarthWatts EA-650 Platinum

This model from Antec has a slightly higher wattage rating than the previous one and lacks modular cables. Its key feature is efficiency, though. As its name suggests, the EA-650 Platinum meets the 80 PLUS Platinum specification whereas the HCG-620M is merely Bronze.

80 PLUS Platinum products used to be expensive until recently but the EA-650 Platinum costs just a little more than lower-efficiency PSUs of comparable wattage (but it lacks modular cables which are usually offered by comparably priced PSUs of lower efficiency).

The EA-650 Platinum is shipped in a taller box than its gaming series cousin while the corporate black of the front panel has become brighter, obviously to look more like platinum. The manufacturer tries to focus the customer's attention on the 80 PLUS Platinum certification as best he can.

The accessories include everything necessary: fasteners, a user manual, a mains cord, four mounting screws and two reusable cable straps. Also, the PSU comes with its cables already tied up with two plastic straps.

Exterior Design

This model has a much more modest appearance than the HCG-620M. It’s got a punched-out vent grid, no modular cables, and Antec’s standard black-and-yellow coloring without the aggressive red of the gaming series.

There is no label on the back which enlivened the HCG-620M. The mains connector is oriented vertically.

There are no additional vents in the case (except for a small round hole near the cables whose purpose is a mystery to us).

Circuit Design

Notwithstanding its high specified efficiency, the EA-650 Platinum has a rather roomy interior.

The actual maker can be identified easily. There are FSP-branded chips on both sides of the word Antec on the PCB: FSP6600 and FSP6601. And FSP only uses its chips in PSUs of FSP’s own manufacture.

In fact, the interior design is overall similar to FSP’s Aurum series.

Interestingly, despite its high efficiency (and, as you’ll see shortly, very stable voltages), the EA-650 Platinum doesn’t seem to have DC-DC converters or a third magnetic amplifier choke in the output area. In other words, it lacks dedicated voltage regulation.

Besides the two FSP-branded chips, there is a small daughter card with a Weltrend WT7579 supervisor in the output circuitry.

The PSU mostly uses Japanese capacitors from United Chemi-Con, but we also found a couple of Taiwanese CapXon components (one of them is the large barrel at the input).

Cables and Connectors

The EA-650 Platinum is equipped with the following cables and connectors:

  • One mainboard cable with a 20+4-pin connector (52 cm)
  • One CPU cable with a 4+4-pin connector (61 cm)
  • One graphics card cable with two 6+2-pin connectors (55+15 cm)
  • One cable with three PATA power connectors and a floppy-drive plug (55+15+15+15 cm)
  • One cable with three SATA and one PATA power connector (55+16+16+16 cm)
  • One cable with three SATA power connectors (54+16+16 cm)

The EA-650 Platinum is close to the above-discussed HCG-620M in this respect. It just lacks the latter’s modular design and has fewer PATA power connectors which are not very important for a modern PSU. So, the selection of connectors and the length of cables are quite satisfactory for a PSU of such wattage.

Specifications

There’s nothing extraordinary about the specs. Having a higher wattage rating than the HCG-620M, the EA-650 Platinum offers the same load capacity of the +12V rail and is even inferior in the load capacity of the +3.3V and +5V rails. Well, 105 watts is quite enough for almost any modern system anyway. We can remind you that our rather advanced reference PC configurations marked in the cross-load diagrams consume a mere 40 watts from the +3.3V and +5V rails.

The more surprising feature of this PSU is that its +12V rail is split up into four virtual lines, each of which has a load capacity of 30 amperes. Why so many lines if two would be quite enough for the combined 48 amperes? And it would even be simpler to do without any splitting of the +12V rail, just like in the HCG-620M model.

It’s interesting to compare the EA-650 Platinum specs with the FSP Aurum model of the same wattage rating. The Antec permits lower loads on each of the main power rails. This limitation must have been necessary to meet the strict efficiency requirements of the 80 PLUS Platinum standard.

 
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