Product Review: Antec EA-650 Platinum PSU

The Antec EarthWatts EA-650 Platinum is an energy efficient power supply that includes all the protection your computer deserves in a well-designed power supply unit.

Ease of Use, Performance: 23/25

Look & Feel: 23/25

Features 23/25

How much I enjoy 23/25

Total: 92/100

The Antec EarthWatts Platinum EA-650 Platinum is a 650 watt continuous power supply that delivers not only clean but efficient power to your computer system. The EarthWatts Platinum line is a mid-wattage series of PSU’s as well as Antec’s top of the line energy efficient power supplies that are 80 Plus certified.

80 Plus is an initiative to ensure companies use specific standards when promoting products with specific energy efficiency claims and require testing before a product can be certified. When a product becomes 80 Plus certified it means that specific product model is at least 80 percent efficient and is verified using standardized testing.

Energy efficiency is measured by heat loss at specific power levels so simply put the EarthWatts line will save you money because they are more efficient. AN 80 percent efficient power supply loses 20 percent of the input power to heat so the more efficient a power supply is the more power your computer is using instead of being lost as heat.

The Antec EA-650 Platinum also has been tested for current and voltage specifications and comes with a three year warranty but the protection is worth mentioning more. The power supply has circuits for over and under voltage and current protection along with several thermal protection devices.

The Antec EA-650 Platinum includes seven levels of protection for current and thermal protection along with the usual voltage sensing circuits combined in a CircuitShield package. Both the CircuitShield circuits and the use of a low voltage and quiet fan ensure your power supply is efficient,1 running properly and safe for your computer and its connected peripherals.

The Antec EA-650 Platinum comes with the power supply and a power cord along with the manual, four screws and a couple of Velcro straps. The Antec EA-650 Platinum is an SLI or CrossFire capable PSU depending on the computer components you have; my system comes out to be 516 watts using a power supply calculator.

I am using an Asus M4N75TD motherboard with one and two Galaxy GTX 460 1 GB graphics cards, an Auzen X-Fi Forte sound card and a couple of optical drives along with fans and a Seagate 7200RPM hard drive. The system has plenty of room for other components with more than 100 watts of available power but I really don’t have much more room for it with this motherboard and the two graphics cards.

I tested the power supply as much as possible with my limited testing devices such as a Fluke multimeter and a power meter to measure the energy used by the system. Voltages are all within specifications while testing and the power supply functions as it should for all the testing and usage I could throw at it.

I used the Antec EA-650 Platinum in both SLI and single graphics card configuration to test the maximum power drain I could throw at it with my computer and it never faltered in delivering power. The Antec EA-650 Platinum handled SLI well but did require a couple of adapters to go from two Molex connectors to a six pin connector of the graphics card.

The Antec EA-650 Platinum has the 24 pin main connector, 2 6+2 pin connectors for graphics cards, 6 SATA connectors, 4 Molex connectors 1 floppy connector and a 4+4 pin ATX connector. The 2 PCI-E graphics card connectors are on one cable and the drive and Molex connectors are split on two cables.

In order to get the two graphics cards connected that require two six pin connectors I had to use an adapter that goes from two Molex connectors to a six pin connector. If you are planning on running two cards in SLI or CrossFire mode you may want to look at one of the higher rated power supplies that also has more connectors for this type of setup such as Antec’s High Current Pro series.

The EA-650 Platinum can handle SLI but is not designed with the necessary connectors for four six or eight pin connections but I did run SLI with my two Galaxy GTX 460 1GB graphics cards without problems. I had no issues with gaming or running graphics intensive benchmark tests using FurMark VGA stress testing to put the power supply through its paces.

I used a P3 Kill A Watt meter to measure the energy usage in watts of the power supply that powers everything on my system and compared this to a 1000 watt PSU from Tuniq. My system uses about 256 watts of power while stress testing during a run through of FurMark but only about 100 watts when only doing internet surfing and word processing.

Using the 1000 watt Tuniq PSU I am getting at most 80 percent efficiency while the Antec is up to 93 percent efficient for a savings of about 10 percent. I did some quick math and with my computer using 100 watts for general computing my computer uses about $42 dollars a year of electricity at a minimum.

A ten percent savings of this yearly amount is not much but any amount helps when you’re talking about doing this to several computers in your house. If you continue the green movement to more of your appliances and home electronics the savings starts to add up and you can really reduce your electric bill.

The electric bill savings aside the Antec power supplies are very good with plenty of protection circuits and all the right parts inside. Looking around on the inside the Antec EA-650 Platinum has a nice clean look but I would like to have seen a bit larger heat sinks for a couple of the components.

The input has transient filtering with two coils and two X capacitors, the transient filtering gets rid of noise and interference before the AC voltage is changed into DC. Cheaper power supplies will skimp or completely not have transient filters to clean up the voltage and prevent interference on input.

The rectifier bridge has an aluminum heat sink which is nice as this is one of the many components inside a PSU that can generate a lot of heat. The heat sink for the set of transistors is a nice sized block of coated aluminum while the secondary rectifiers are on a thinner aluminum heat sink with a split fin design.

These rectifiers being sandwiched between the coil and transformer means they get a bit less air flow but the fan should help a lot to compensate for the components location. The components like the main electrolytic capacitor and filter capacitors are nice sized indicating better components able to handle the heat and power better.

I have seen cheap power supplies on premade computers with small electrolytic capacitors and tiny filter capacitors that would eventually burn out just due to heat and their small size. Internally the Antec EA-650 Platinum looks good and is nice and clean, the board is well laid out and the solder joints are all shiny and look good.

Solder joints for components need to be bright and shiny, cold solder joints are weak and a cold joint will show as dull and pitted. Cleaning up solder paste and flux from the circuit board means no chance of short circuits from bits of solder in the flux so a clean board means less chance of short circuits.

Overall I have found in both the Air Force and civilian world that clean looks often means companies that take more pride in their products and better quality. The Antec EA-650 Platinum uses better looking components and not cheaper smaller parts in its build so the PSU should work well as far as durability and protection.

I did check out other testers, TechPowerUp and HardwareSecrets are two good reviews, who have the means to test the supply with much better equipment and did not find anything to lower my opinion of this power supply. Antec is a highly regarded company for power supplies and the EarthWatts series continues a great line of power supply units, I highly recommend the EarthWatts EA-650 Platinum PSU from Antec.

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