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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  • JimmiG - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    Very refreshing to see a quality PSU in this segment. The wattage race is really getting out of hand. If someone posts about system crashes or poor performance, and has anything less than a 750W PSU, people instantly tell the person to upgrade the PSU. A week later, the original poster returns, saying the shiny new 1200W PSU did not solve the problems, and the original 550W PSU was more than enough for a 65W dual core CPU and a 100W GPU... Reply
  • Setsunayaki - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    True Story,

    I helped a company a year back switch their internal computers to 10w - sub10w systems for basic things...such as email, work and writing up documentations and analyzing to improving business growth. A 400w supply truly means that I am using 25 - 30w more power on basics...

    As far as HD goes, there are laptops which run 720P (though 1080P is the desired resolution) which draw a lot lower amounts of power....

    This is why I frown on things like this....like when someone tells me I should buy ATI to save power on graphics to be able to do basic things, I simply wonder..."Why don't enough people who run on basic things buy basic laptops or sub-10w systems?"

    The sub-10w systems based on nano-ITX boards also allow a LOT of space to be saved...specially since you wont have tons of towers floating around. I received an email a few weeks ago when they were moving to a new building they managed to put in two boxes, 100 nano iTX systems for their employees to transfer to their new building. As for monitors, that was another story....
    Reply
  • mck22 - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    I have owned one of these since March and it has functioned without incident.

    I bought it in a hurry after I found that the cables on the other, more powerful PS I had purchased for a new build for my wife's use were too short to reach the MB's in the Antec 300 case that she had approved of for its cosmetics.

    None of the other PS's I had laying around would reach either, so I assumed that an Antec would work. I bought the cheapest available since I had already exceeded my original budget. I have no regrets, which is the best compliment I can make for a PS.
    Reply
  • ehume - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    This is not a very quiet psu. Or, I should say its predecessor the EA 380 has a noisy fan, especially with a little dust on it. Maybe it unbalances the fan. But even with the dust gone it makes too much noise. In a room full of computers, it is the EA 380 we all hear, and it is not a pleasant sound..

    Larger fans move more air more quietly than this one does. This was absolutely the last psu I will get that has an 80mm fan.
    Reply
  • Christoph Katzer - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    Hi,

    The noise would have had nothing to do with the size of the fan. You'll wonder when you stress a power supply to its limits the fan will always turn louder which is good and necessary for cooling. It always depends on the bearing type in fact. There might have been something wrong with the fan which can unfortunately happen, but a blank statement 80mm fans are bad is very wrong. They are able to cool the PSU internals much more efficient for example. The air goes straight through without being rerouted.

    Christoph
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, October 05, 2010 - link

    I have used several of the older EarthWatts 300-380W PSUs for builds in our lab, in all of them the fans have been essentially silent. Reply
  • METALMORPHASIS - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    Antec makes great power supplies. I have 4 of them, and all are going strong after 5 years. Reply
  • theagentsmith - Monday, October 04, 2010 - link

    A few years ago I read about how much PSU efficiency can be useful both to save on electricity and the environment, so I began looking for a 80plus certified units that didn't cost an arm and a leg.
    I found this very EA380W which had stellar reviews, the right size and a reasonable price of about 50 euros.
    If they made a 250-300W 80plus model I would have chosen it, because most system doesn't exceed 150W in full load
    Reply
  • recidivist - Thursday, October 07, 2010 - link

    From p7: "Antec is using an ADDA-fan (AD0812H5-A70GL), which has a ball bearing and a power consumption of 0.25A"

    The pic of the fan label clearly shows AD0812HS-A70GL. H=High Speed. S=Sleeve Bearing. Fan RPM is thermistor controlled.
    Reply
  • Morbid666 - Thursday, October 07, 2010 - link

    I've already built about 8 systems for my clients with this PSU (mostly office workstations). for its cheap price you get antec quality, plenty of connectors, all sorts of protection & its whisper quiet. i would reccomend this product to anyone building a reliable cost efficient workstation. Reply

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