Antec Earthwatts 430W


We begin with the Antec Earthwatts 430W. Antec's Earthwatts series first became available around a year ago, with the "earth" in the name apparently there because the product is more environmentally friendly. The design and appearance of the Earthwatts 430W bring us back to a time when nobody was asking about shiny coatings and sleeved cables. The housing is a simple grey color, similar to what we see on OEM power supplies. The back has the expected AC jack and a power switch, along with an 80mm fan that provides cooling. This is a different approach to cooling than what we'll see with the other units in this roundup.


The label provides the typical information we find on power supplies, with the expected figures for a 430W maximum output. Two 12V rails of 17A each are enough for most users, and the combined 12V power of 360W is quite acceptable. 360W combined equates to 15A when both are "fully" loaded. We would be hesitant to try to use this PSU with one of the top-end graphics cards, but if you're using a power supply with a single 6-pin PCI-E connector you should be fine.



Other than the main 24-pin ATX power cable, the cable-harnesses are sleeveless. Antec has taken a very simple approach in terms of appearance, and the only concession to keeping the cables tidy is the use of cable ties located over the length of the cables. The length of the harnesses is average, with the last Molex connector just 80cm distant from the power supply. The main connectors are all on 50cm cables. The quantity of connectors could have been better, but a normal midrange PC shouldn't require more than what Antec has provided. There is only one 6-pin PEG connector, which makes sense considering the overall wattage and target market.


The inside looks quite familiar to a couple previously tested power supplies; indeed, the same manufacturer produces this power supply as well. Of course, that doesn't mean the power supplies themselves are actually the same. There are several differences, and we expect this unit will be at a slight disadvantage. Antec uses an 80mm exhaust fan located at the rear of the power supply, but the heatsink design would normally use a 120mm intake fan. We expect this unit to be slightly warmer and/or noisier than similar designs that use a single 120mm fan. Nippon Chemi-Con manufactures the primary capacitor

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  • opterondo - Sunday, November 18, 2007 - link

    You all do understand that a 1000w PSU doesn't use 1000w right?

    For instance you hook up 333w peak load worth of components to it it will use ~333w.

    The only reason to buy a smaller capacity PSU is up front price and possibly better AC-DC conversion efficiency (like maybe 70% instead of 60%)
    Reply
  • opterondo - Sunday, November 18, 2007 - link

    Good thing they didn't review any of the COOLMAX PSUs cause they are fairly priced and out perform most any in this article.

    COOLMAX CX-400B ATX v2.01

    COOLMAX CP-500T EPS12V

    COOLMAX CXI-500B ATX12V

    COOLMAX CUG-700B ATX 12V( V.2.2)



    Reply
  • mindless1 - Thursday, November 15, 2007 - link

    Months ago I was almost given a vacation in the forums because of shills and naive owners that wouldn't accept my negative comments about Ultra V-Series. I feel a bit vindicated and yet the review didn't even touch in it's primary weakness, poor capacitors leading to poor lifespan even in a system it would be suited to run in.

    I do have to disagree about one aspect of the review in that the Ultra does have PFC just not active or APFC, and an "old" passive PFC design is not a big deal, a PSU can run fine w/o AFPC and historically there were plenty of decent, not just cheap, PSU with passive PFC evidenced by the input voltage selection switch.

    Also in the reviews, please mention the fans' make model and bearing(s) type as they are also weak links when cheap sleeve-bearing types are used.
    Reply
  • Kougar - Friday, November 09, 2007 - link

    On many of the pages I am seeing empty image placeholders that link to 0x0 pixel images that are 1.5KB in size... someone might want to fix that. :) Reply
  • Christoph Katzer - Friday, November 09, 2007 - link

    Working fine here ;) Reply
  • Kougar - Wednesday, November 14, 2007 - link

    Do you work for Anandtech???

    Since an image is worth a thousand words: http://i111.photobucket.com/albums/n129/Chanur64/M...">Image Link

    The "missing" ghost image placeholder shows up for every PSU info page.
    Reply
  • Christoph Katzer - Thursday, November 15, 2007 - link

    Oh yep thanks. Now it's working. Reply
  • grantschoep - Thursday, November 08, 2007 - link

    Low end power supplies?

    I want to to know who the heck needs a 500+ watt power supply that isn't running some crazy dual SLI setup. I really wish power supply makers would focus on quite and very stable/clean voltages.

    I wish companies would really focus on very high quality low end systems. 98% of us don't need a 500+ watt power supply. 90% of us don't need a motherboard with as much crap as they tack on(2 1gig network ports for example)

    As an electrical engineer, 1 US dollar extra.... could by much better caps and the like.

    Heck as a further annoyance, when company A has a PSU fan that is better/quiter than another, why go whit the lesser

    I really wish that companies would focus on this. I don't need a 1 KW beast. I want a good, high quality ~450 watt supply that is nice and quite.

    Reply
  • erple2 - Thursday, November 08, 2007 - link

    I am a bit saddened by the (IMO) relatively unimportant temperature of the heatsinks, or sound ouput. IMO, the single most important measurement of the usefulness of a power supply is, in fact, it's ability to supply power.

    I would equate evaluating it's value on thermal and acoustic characteristics to evaluating the superiority of a GFX card on it's thermal characteristics. For that effect, my old Matrox Millenium card destroys an 8800GTX.

    Seriously, I'd really like to see much more in-depth analysis and evaluation on the stability of the power generation, the cleanliness of the signal, the resistance to sagging based on varying the power requirements, etc.

    I understand that acoustics and thermals are important, but they're really secondary to the actual performance of the power generation. If you're overly concerned with the loudness of a power supply, or how hot it gets, instead of the actual performance of the power supply, then maybe you shouldn't be using a computer..
    Reply
  • Christoph Katzer - Friday, November 09, 2007 - link

    Did you just read the comparison or? Reply

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