Antec TrueBlue 480
Every PC needs a power supply, right? Yes, and today you can get them in many choices. There are models with no fans, one fan, two fans and even more. They can have lights, transparent casing or even cooled down by water. What to choose? Does the wattage mean anything anymore? Sure it does but with these wattage levels that these new power supplies provide it may not be the only thing that decides what supply is the best for you. Lets go and see what Antec has in store for us this time.
Yes, this is the most boring part but in this case the most important part as well. These numbers will tell you how well this supply will manage in different conditions. For those who just want to see pretty led lights, please scroll to the end of this page now. :)
|Maximum Power:||480 W|
|Switches:||ATX Logic on-off additional power rocker switch|
|Transient Response:||+5V, +12V outputs return to within 5% in less than 1ms for 20% load change|
|P. G. Signal:||100-500 ms|
|Over Voltage Protection recycle AC to reset:||+5V trip point < +6.5V|
+3.3V trip point < +4.1V
+12V trip point < +14.4V
|Overload Protection:||Latching Protection|
+5V @ < 47A
+3.3V @ < 48A
+12V @ < 18A
|Leakage Current:||<3.5m A @ 240 V|
|Unit Size:||5.9"(L) x 5.5"(W) x 3.4"(H)|
150 mm(L) x 140 mm(W) x 86 mm(H)
|Input Voltage:||115 V / 230 V|
|Input Frequency Range:||47 Hz to 63 Hz|
|Input Surge Current:||<= 80 A @ 115 V|
|Input Current:||5.0 A for 230 V|
|Hold-up Time:||>= 17 ms at Full Load|
|Efficiency:||>= 68 %|
|EMI/RFI:||FCC Class B |
|+5 V||-5 V||+12 V||-12 V||+3.3 V||+5 V SB|
|Max. Load||38 A||0.5 A||22 A||1.0 A||30 A||2 A|
|Min. Load||0 A||0 A||0.8 A||0 A||0 A||0 A|
|Load Reg.||+/- 3 %||+/- 5 %||+/- 3 %||+/- 5 %||+/- 3 %||+/- 5 %|
|Ripple V(p-p)||50 mV||50 mV||120 mV||120 mV||50 mV||50 mV|
|Hold-up Time:||This indicates how long time the power supply will be able to provide current after the power failure. 15 - 20 ms indicates a high quality supply and this value can go as low as 2 - 4 ms on low quality units.|
|Efficiency:||Reading that will indicate how much direct current is produced from alternating current. Around 70 % is a good value.|
|P. G. Signal:||Power Good Signal. With this signal, the power supply tells to motherboard that it is powered up and ready to serve. This delay should match the specifications on the motherboard that is being used.|
|Load Reg.:||Load Regulation. Will tell you how much the output can vary. Good rating is +/- 10 % or better.|
|+5 V SB:||Stand by current. This is always available from the power supply when the AC line is connected and main power switch is on.|
As we can see the power supply should be able to handle all the regular setups that one might have in his/hers PC. But these are the numbers as they are presented by the manufacturer and things are not always what they seem or are promised. I'm not going to challenge those wattage or current ratings because I don't have proper tools to test them but the quality of the output current will be tested as you will find out.
Box contains everything needed to get you going. The power supply itself, manual, power cable and screws to attach the power supply to the case. Don't really know what else might be needed so we have to judge this bundle to be really good and complete. Sure, few stickers might not hurt. :)
With seven 4-pin molexes, two floppy connectors, AUX, 4-pin power for the motherboard and 20-pin main power connector the setup seems really nice but you can see that there are still few more connectors visible that can't be found on other power supplies. All the connectors are gold plated to give them maximum efficiency and protect them from oxidation.
Fan only connectors and the fan sensor wire for the motherboard.
Fan only connectors are for, well, fans. The manual states that you should not connect more than three fans combined to these two connectors. Idea behind these connectors is that they will control the speed of the fans directly from the power supply. This way you will not need to use any separate fan controllers. Also visible is the sensor connector for the motherboard that will tell the speed of the power supply fan and this way you will get warned if there is a problem with it. For example MotherBoardMonitor software can utilize this information and shut down the computer or alert you to take some action. A handly feature but it is totally optional and you don't have to use it if you don't feel like it.
Power supply uses two transparent, dual ball bearing fans. Fans are protected with wire fan grills to improve the air flow over the stamped grills. They also look a lot better. This model is only intended for 230 V system so there isn't any other switches available than the main power switch. Other than that the casing looks pretty standard.
All the power lines have dedicated circuitries to give them possibility to work separately from each other. Output lines have also the voltage feelback function so that the power supply can adjust the voltage when the load is getting heavier. These two features will ensure a stable source of current in all conditions because voltage rails don't affect each other directly. This will also be shown on the price tag but you are getting what you are paying for. Sure you can get a working power supply with less money but there is not quarantees that your system will be stable after you include few more hard drives to it over the time or install couple of cold cathodes. Wattage rating on the side of the power supply isn't everything these days and there are many manufacturers who like to fool you with those numbers.
Cable sleeving on that ATX power cable will improve the air flow. It will also contribute something to the visual appearance of the wirings inside the case. Hopefully this is something that will catch on with other manufacturers too.
The fans used in this power supply are not led fans like they are presented on many reviewing sites. They are just clear transparent fans with leds shining through them from the power supply circuit board. One of those leds is visible through the bottom fan grill on this image.
From the back
Nice glow against the wall
The leds are really powerfull as you can see here. A nice little bonus over the regular led fans because the leds are aimed towards the fan holes they will glow against the wall at the back of the computer. If you don't like these light shows you can always buy a TruePower model that don't have these leds installed. It is nice to see that Antec offers something for everyone.
To test the regulation of the power rails I wanted to use something else than a multimeter. Multimeter can only take couple of measurements per second so it is no good to measure possible fluctuations in output voltage. The model used here is Tektronix TDS 340A.
+5 volt rail with 49.22 mV error. 50 mV reported in specs.
+12 volt rail with 55.47 mV error. 120 mV reported in specs.
+3.3 V rail with 61.72 mV error. 50 mV reported in specs.
Maybe even more boring pictures than the specifications were but from here one can see that the isn't any visible fluctuations on voltages and that the peak-to-peak values are below the values visible in specs. Only the 3.3 volt line exceeds them by a slight margin.
|Antec TrueBlue 480
+ Two quiet ball bearing fans
+ Fan only connectors
+ Gold plated connectors
+ Cable sleeving
+ Voltage feedback and separate power rails
+ Blue leds for boosted visual appearance
What can I say, a great product with no detectable flaws. I've been running my P4 system with this power supply for a long time now and there have been no mystery crashes or any problems related to power supply. Cable sleeving looks really cool behind the window and keeps the wiring clean. There are seven molex connectors to suck the power from for all the devices, mods etc. so this is really a heavy duty power supply.
With all this being said it is really easy to give an Editor's Choice award for this power supply. Sure there are supplies with higher rated wattages etc. but I don't think that the power supply with the highest rating is automatically the best choice for everyone. This unit has proved to be a reliable power supply over and over again and for that, MetkuMods Editor's Choice -Award.