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Antec EA500 EarthWatts 500W PSU E-mail
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Written by Olin Coles   
Thursday, 14 December 2006
Table of Contents: Page Index
Antec EA500 EarthWatts 500W PSU
Features and Specifications
Fast Facts: 80 PLUS
Closer Look: External
Closer Look: Internal
Power Supply Testing
EarthWatts Conclusion

EarthWatts EA500 Conclusion

Presently, the 500W Antec EarthWatts EA-500 is available for $94.99 at NewEgg.com. This price seems too high for this level of power supply, and is more expensive than competitor offerings which have the same 80 PLUS efficiency rating. Even though you can shop around and find the EA-500 at a better price, I still cannot ignore how being eco-conscious must mean paying more. Presently, 80 PLUS efficient power supplies are filling the market inventory, which means that EarthWatts has competition.

Sure, the EarthWatts line offers above average efficiency, but the unfinished steel case has me thinking that Antec recycled it from old stock. Other then the main power connector, there are no cable sleeves, and the connector plugs are a flat black. I can only recommend the 500W Antec EarthWatts PSU to those consumers who desire decent performance and efficiency at a fair market price for average needs, because the EarthWatts series is the definition of function before fashion.

I love the idea of saving the planet, and I do my part to contribute whenever I have the opportunity. However unless Antec dresses up the EarthWatts series of power supplies with something more attractive then the old low-end stamped steel power supply cases from a decade back, then the low wattage and bad looks could mean that the EarthWatts name will end up in the landfills. With the industry catering to computer enthusiasts, it surprises me that Antec was so involved with function that they totally abandoned fashion altogether. Perhaps Antec embraced the "Save the Planet" movement with a little too much conservatism.

Pros:

+ 80 PLUS Certified efficiency
+ Excellent performance
+ Active PFC
+ Fully sleeved main power connector
+ Very high efficiency rating: PFC = 0.99
+ Extremely quiet operation
+ Excellent power regulation
+ Industrial grade components

Cons:

- Plain design and dull finish detract from the allure of efficiency
- Peripheral cables should also be sleeved to match
- 120mm cooling fan should be standard equipment

Ratings:

  • Presentation: 8.5
  • Appearance: 6.25
  • Construction: 8.5
  • Functionality: 8.5
  • Value: 7.25

Final Score: 7.8 out of 10.

Note: Since this article was published Benchmark Reviews has started testing power supply units with a measured load and oscilloscope for more accurate readings. This article will be updated with these new results as they are competed.


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