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Antec Neo HE 500 High Efficiency Power Supply Review

Manufacturer: Antec
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Introduction

Antec recently released four new power supply units (PSU) in their Neo HE line, which range in output capacities from 380W to 550W.  The HE stands for High Efficiency.  This allows the Neo HE power supplies to be more environmentally friendly because they conserve electricity and generate less heat.   In addition to overall efficiencies of up to 85%, Antec claims the Neo HE series power supplies offer quiet operation and they feature modular cables.


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Neo HE power supplies incorporate a single, variable speed 80mm fan that decreases noise during normal use, and provides additional cooling as loads increase.  This goes hand-in-hand with the high efficiency because less waste heat generation requires less cooling.


 


Antec Neo HE 500 Key Features:


 



  • High efficiency, up to 85% (typical load, 230V)

  • Modular cable management system

  • 500W continuous power output (up to 50°C)

  • Tripple +12V outputs and Dual PCI-e 6-pin connectors

  • ATX12V v2.2 compliant and EPS12V support (dual CPU)

  • Universal input with active PFC

  • 3-Year AQ3 warranty 

The Neo HE 500 power supply was evaluated on both features and performance.  A full range of equipment was used to test the power supply under controlled load conditions.  In addition to measuring the power going in and coming out I looked at voltage regulation, electrical noise (AC ripple), sound level, efficiency and cost.  Here is a list of the equipment used during testing.


 



 



  • FLUKE 87-III True RMS digital multimeter (Accuracy +/- 0.05%)

  • WattsUp? Pro — digital wattmeter (Accuracy 3% of full scale)

  • Hitachi V-650F 60 MHz dual trace oscilloscope (Accuracy +/- 3%)

  • Powerstat Variable Autotransformer, 1.4 KVA, 0-140 VAC

  • FLUKE  52-II digital thermometer (Accuracy +/- 0.3ºC/0.5ºF)

  • Extech Model 407736 digital sound level meter (Accuracy +/- 1.5 dB)

  • AccuLab V1-10kg digital balance (Accuracy +/- 1g)

  • Homemade PSU load tester — selectable loads (up to 470W)

  • Seasonic PSU load tester (up to 137W)

Establishing a controlled load is critical to testing and evaluating a PC power supply.  I built my own power supply load tester using 13 wire-wound, ceramic resistors of various sizes.  This unit can now place up to a 470 watt combined load onto the power supply being tested and includes independent +12V1 and +12V2 loads.  Different combinations of resistors can be switched in or out to select various loads.   In addition to my own load tester, I also used a load tester manufactured by Seasonic (75W and 137W loads).


 



 


At the top-right is the new +12V load section, which uses three 2 ohm, 300 watt power resistors to increase the existing +12V1 load by 70 watts (for a total of 210 watts) and add a new +12V2 load of 140 watts.  (The two smaller resistors underneath are 0.01 ohm, 25 watt shunt resistors used to calibrate the load tester.)

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