Antec EarthWatts EA 380D Green 380W

 

Antec has been around for nearly a quarter of a century, making them one of the grandfathers of the modern computer industry. Well known for their cases and power supplies, we've looked at the EarthWatts line a couple of times in years past. Antec has updated the EarthWatts line with their new Green models, sporting a dark green exterior and more environmentally friendly packaging—including the removal of the power cord, since most users already have a surplus.

Unlike so many other power supplies, it's nice to see a sensibly rated unit for a change. 380W is still plenty even for a midrange system, and with optimal efficiency generally coming at 50% load this is a power supply that should run closer to its "sweet spot" when idle as well as under load. There's still enough power on top to run a Core i7 or Phenom X6 processor and a discrete GPU, but you'll want to stick with graphics cards that only require a single PCIe power connection to err on the side of caution.

The EA-380D like any decent modern power supply also carries an 80 Plus certification, this time for the Bronze level. That means the PSU should run at 82% efficiency with a load of 20% (76W), reaching 85% efficiency or more at a load of 50% (180W), and still maintain 82% efficiency at the maximum 380W rated load. This is nothing ground-breaking in late 2010, but it does fit perfectly with moderate systems that can idle at under 100W. Just how green is the new EarthWatts? Let's find out as we explore some of the other features.

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  • fausto412 - Saturday, October 02, 2010 - link

    let me put it this way.

    it's $45. I've seen their True Power line at 550 Watts on sale for a few bucks more. the features i would get for spending an extra 10 and the extra capacity would just void me wanting to use this.

    but i did forget about the HTPC crowd. still waiting to try it but in the USA HTPC won't take off as long as you can't just decrypt cable/fios/direct tv with your tuner card which i hear may be in the works. still waiting for it.
    Reply
  • fredgiblet - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    Except you'll probably never use that extra capacity, meaning that you'll have lower efficiency for no reason, costing you much more over the life of the PSU.

    Additionally there's more than just HTPCs, home servers are usually on all the time and they usually lack high-end CPUs and video cards, I plan to build a torrenting machine that will hopefully draw VERY little power as it will only serve to torrent and have websites open when I'm gaming, there are lots of people for whom programming is their life who don't even have (or need) high-end processors. Realistically we're past the point where the advances in speed really help the average computer user, these days a low to mid range dual-core and an SSD are all the upgrades that most people actually benefit from. If I was asked to build a new computer for any of my relatives I can't think of a single one who I would end up building a computer that draws more than 400W, and I myself will probably never have more than one computer that does either (if even that) it's simply not necessary.
    Reply
  • Samus - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    HTPC not taking off? You've got to be joking. Practically everybody I know has a computer hooked up to their TV, if not just for streaming netflix, it's good for web browsing, youtube, hulu, itunes, etc. Then you have the more savvy users that have 1TB+ video libraries. Windows Media Center was a joke, yes, and using the PC to watch TV is a joke, yes, but those are just about the only TWO things wrong with the HTPC. Reply
  • fausto412 - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    for what i want my HTPC to do....we are not there yet. it's not replacing my cable box or my tivo box yet and it can't do video on demand with the cable company. when it handles those 3...i'll get rid of both and build an htpc. Reply
  • martyrant - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    First, did you just say HTPCs haven't taken off in the USA? Really, man? Where have you been for like, what, the last 8 years?

    Second, did you really just say HTPCs haven't taken off in the USA? Alright, alright.

    Third, I got it on sale for $25 to replace a dead one in my girlfriend's HTPC/gaming rig (you heard it, HTPC in the USA!).

    Her specs (she plays the sims and watches TV on it, she has my old monitor which is pretty nice):

    GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H
    AMD Athlon II X3 435 (unlocked to 4 fine)
    OCZ AMD Black Edition 4GB
    MSI R4850-512M Radeon HD 4850 512MB
    2xWD 640GB
    Lite-On DVD/CD combo
    Reply
  • fausto412 - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    is that htpc able to do everything the cable box does right now? tivo?

    i've looked into it and i have a more hassle free experience with my tivo and my cable box as the technology stands in the USA.

    until htpc's can do video on demand and decrypt video without going thru hoops they won't take over, maybe you and your 3 to 5 geek buddies have htpc's but i don't know anyone. guess i need more geek friends.
    Reply
  • AstroGuardian - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    You are so boring dude... Come on! Reply
  • Iketh - Saturday, October 02, 2010 - link

    i was dying for a small P/S review because I'm about to build my first HTPC. This came right on time, thanks a bunch! Reply
  • crucibelle - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    I could use one of these, no problem. Reply
  • jensend - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    A top-of-the-line i7 rig with a Geforce 460 or a Radeon 5850 fits comfortably in a 380W envelope. I'm guessing the reason you don't know that is because you "won't even read" Anandtech's actual power consumption tests. The only people who actually need more than this are people with SLI/Crossfire rigs or GF 470/480 cards. And they make up only a tiny fraction of the people reading Anandtech. Many people aren't even gamers, in which case a 200W PSU would be plenty with modern CPUs. Reply

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