300W to 450W: 20 Power Supplies on the Test Benchby Christoph Katzer on December 31, 2008 6:00 AM EST
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Antec Earthwatts 430W
The Antec Earthwatts 430W comes in plain grey and is equipped with an 80mm fan at the back of the power supply. Even though this power supply is an older model, we felt that we should include it again in our roundup because it is still available and is generally well regarded. 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 for rail 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.
The inside looks familiar to other Seasonic-made power supplies, since Seasonic rarely changes their basic internal design. 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.
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 spaced over the length of the cables. The length of the harnesses is average, with the last Molex connector just 80cm 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 provides. There is only one 6-pin PEG connector, which makes sense considering the overall wattage and target market.