|A member of the Funky Media Group|
|Review: Antec High Current Gamer 620W Power Supply|
|Posted by Will Smith|
|Thursday, 24 March 2011 23:03|
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I think I'm right in saying you don't want your PC to crash, during an intense session of competitive online gaming. So to prevent such a thing from happening, you'll need a decent power supply that can cope. If you're not aware, the power supply is probably one of the most under-rated pieces of equipment in your system, but it is in fact one of the most important. A good power supply with a solid and stable power output, is defintely needed to power all the components within your system, especially if you have system with loads of HDDs and a SLI or CrossfireX mutli graphics card setup.
The power supply market is extremely competitive, with big players all fighting for a share in this lucrative market. These include big brands like Coolermaster, Corsair, Enermax, OCZ Technology, PC Power & Cooling, Thermaltake, Tagan and the list goes on. Each brand has its own speciality and its own user base of loyal followers. Take for example, Antec ... they produce power supplies that is solid yet affordable, and for some reason most gamers tend to go for them. And for Overclockers who require high power and stable output, often go for a Thermaltake or Enermax power supply.
In this review, we'll be taking a look at the Antec High Current Gamer 620W power supply (we'll call it HCG for short). And as the name suggests, it's designed for gamers and users of the higher-end mainstream market. It features a single powerful V12+ rail @ 48A and offers a continuous power output of 620W. It's definitely more than enough for most gamers and for users who require a stable and solid continuous power output.
The Antec HCG 620W also offer a wealth of great features. These include 80 PLUS® Bronze certification (upto 88% power efficency), Active PFC, gold-plated connectors, Japanese-brand capacitors and a quiet 135mm double ball bearing fan. Interestingly, the power supply also come with both over voltage (OVP) and over current (OCP) protection. This is something which is normally present on more higher-end power supplies in the 800W or higher range.
The power supply itself seems to be solidly made and features a casing that has a honeycomb mesh grill at the back with a slightly textured matt finish. The overall build quality is very good, with high quality components used in its construction (as mentioned above). The Antec HCG 620W is non-modular power supply, which means you'll have the lovely headache of trying to figure out how to arrange all those loose unsed cabling. But I'm sure you'll find a way ;)
As far as power connectors are concerned, there's plenty ... more than enough for most users. There are a total of 6 x SATA power connectors, 5 x 4-pin Molex, 1 x floppy and 2 x 8-pin (6+2) PCIE power for graphics cards.
With today's desktop PC systems, a power supply with a power output of 600W is the kind of minimum I would go for. It should be enough to handle a system with an Intel Core i5 processor (upto 3.2Ghz), Geforce GTX 500 series or a Radeon HD 6870 (with the option to go mutil-GPU), numerous case fans, several HDDs and optical drives. Looking at the specs I've just mentioned ... the Antec HCG 620W seem to be the perfect power supply.
Right now, you're probably asking what the benefits of having a power supply that offer a single V12+ rail, over one that just comes with standard V12+ line separated into 2 or more rails. Well, there are a few important factors which will determine which type of power supply is for you. These include stability, power efficiency and the type of components you're using within your system. A standard power supply with a traditional V12+ line separated into 2 or more rails, will tend to have a lower Ampage per rail, but may offer better power efficiency in the long run. This is differnet to a power supply with powerful single V12+ rail such as the Antec HCG, which will have a much higher Ampage and continous power output ... this will allow the power supply to handle components which are more demanding and power hungry.
It will be interesting to see if the Antec HCG 620W is fully 80Plus "Bronze" compliant. Remember a minimum of 80% power efficiency at FULL load is required for 80Plus certification. However, there are varying levels of the 80Plus standard, as listed below (taken from 80Plus.org).
Thanks to HKSTP - Science Park, we able to use their industrial labs for testing our power supplies. We will be using 2 test modes ... standing gaming (320W) and PSU maximum (620W). It will be interesting to see how well it will under the 2 different load conditions.
OK, now let's move on and take a closer look at the specifications of the Antec HCG 620W power supply see what it can do in our tests.