Antec High Current Gamer 620W Power Supply Review

paulktreg - 2011-08-30 12:52:05 in Power Supplies
Category: Power Supplies
Reviewed by: paulktreg   
Reviewed on: January 24, 2012
Price: $74.99

Introduction:

Antec Inc., founded in 1986 and headquartered in California, are one of the leading producers of high-performance computer components for the PC builder and enthusiast. Antec offer a wide range of products including enclosures, power supplies, cooling solutions and computer accessories. Soundscience, founded in 2010 and a wholly owned subsidiary of Antec Inc., offer a range of audio and video products for the PC and home entertainment markets. Add to this a range of media products for the home theatre enthusiast under the Veris brand name and it's clear that the Antec product range is now extensive.

Antec power supplies cater for most PC builders from the low cost Neopower series to enthusiast class units like the High Current Pro 1200W. The High Current Gamer series includes five models with DC output powers of 400W, 520W, 620W, 750W and 900W that all feature a high power +12V rail, heavy duty connectors, 80 Plus Bronze certification and active power factor correction. If loads of power, high current engineering and extreme efficiency are what you're after, the High Current Gamer is the PSU for you? Let's put the Antec HCG-620 through its paces and see how it performs.

Closer Look:

The packaging of the Antec HCG-620 is certainly eye-catching and the top cover of the box leaves little doubt about its contents; it's a High Current Gamer 620W, designed by Antec in California and 80 Plus Bronze certified. The bottom face of the box lists some of the major features in three different languages along with illustrations of the various connectors and quantities. The side faces and end panels finish off the technical details with a specification table, conformance marks, physical dimensions, fan noise/load graph and a set of pictorial representations of the important features.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lift the lid and a product overview leaflet sits on top of the power supply which is protected by a double layer of strong corrugated cardboard. The power supply is wrapped in a thin black bag with the cables tucked neatly down the side. The accessory set includes a power cord (congrats to Antec for sending the UK version), product overview leaflet and power supply mounting screws.

 

 

 

The Antec HCG-620 packaging and accessory set is basic but adequate so let's move on and have a closer look.

Closer Look:

The Antec HCG620 Is finished in what is now a very popular slightly textured matt black paint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hexagonal holed exhaust grill, small mains on/off rocker switch and model number label on the rear and a plain front face with cable exit port. The cable set is sleeved all the way into the power supply and protected from damage by a plastic liner on the exit port. The side panels sport the same Antec 620W label in red. The nine-bladed cooling fan is covered by an externally mounted black grill bearing the Antec logo at its centre. A comprehensive specification table occupies the bottom face.

 

 

 

The Antec HCG620 comes with a comprehensive connector set that includes two 6+2 pin PCI-E and a 4+4 pin ATX12V/EPS12V.

 

The 135mm cooling fan is by Adda, model number ADN512MB-A90 and rated for 12VDC at 0.2A. It uses a ball bearing system, runs at a maximum 2050RPM with 37.8dBA. A clear plastic baffle is installed just behind the fan to direct the airflow where it's needed.

 

The printed circuit is compact and reasonably well laid out. The electrolytic capacitors are all rated at 105°C and a mixture of Nippon Chemi-Con and Rubycon, both reputable manufacturers.

 

The Antec HCG620 packaging is minimal and may not survive many postal systems without a little extra help, two layers of corrugated cardboard between the power supply and the outside world may not be enough? The accessory bundle is basic and doesn't even include a user manual although it's downloadable on the Antec website. The build quality is satisfactory so all in all, at its price point, it's a reasonable enough package. Let's move on and see how well it performs.

Specification:

 

Review Sample: Antec High Current Gamer 620W Power Supply, Part Number HCG-620(GB).

 

Ratings Table:

 

Antec High Current Gamer 620W (HCG-620) Power Supply Specification Table
AC Input
100V-240V     9A-4.5A     50Hz-60Hz
DC Output
+3V3
+5V
+12V
-12V
+5VSB
Maximum Load
24A
24A
48A
0.8A
2.5A
Maximum Combined Wattage
130W
576W
9.6W
12.5W
620W

 

System Protection:

 

Antec High Current Gamer 620W (HCG-620) Power Supply System Protection
Over-Voltage, Over-Current, Over-Power & Short Circuit Protection.

 

Safety & Agency Approvals:

 

Antec High Current Gamer 620W (HCG-620) Power Supply EMI & Safety
Safety Approvals
cUL, TUV, CE, CB, FCC, C-tick, CCC, BSMI & Gost-R.

 

Power Supply Physical Characteristics:

 

Antec High Current Gamer 620W (HCG-620) Power Supply Physical & Environmental
Length
Width
Height
6.3in/160mm
5.9in/150mm
3.4in/86mm
Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF): 100,000 hours
Meets EuP 2010 requirements: 5VSB , 1W
Operating Temperature: Not specified

 

Power Supply Connectors:

 

Antec High Current Gamer 620W (HCG-620) Power Supply Connectors
Power Connectors
Qty
20+4 Pin Motherboard
1
4+4 Pin ATX12V/EPS12V
1
6+2 Pin PCI-E
2
SATA
6
4 Pin Peripheral (Molex)
6
4 Pin FDD
1

 

Power Supply Cable Lengths:

 

Antec High Current Gamer 620W (HCG-620) Power Supply Cable Length/Connector Spacing
Power Connector Cable
Type
Qty
PSU > 22" > 20+4 Pin Motherboard
Captive
1
PSU > 25" > 4+4 Pin ATX12V/EPS12V
Captive
1
PSU > 22" > 6+2 Pin PCI-E
Captive
2
PSU > 22" > SATA > 6" > SATA > 6" > SATA
Captive
2
PSU > 22" > Peripheral > 6" > Peripheral > 6" > Peripheral
Captive
1
PSU > 22" > Peripheral > 6" > Peripheral > 6" > Peripheral > 6" > FDD
Captive
1

 

Features:

Exactly as printed on the box.

 

 

 

All information courtesy of Antec @ http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?id=MjU5NQ==

Testing:

For more information on how we test our power supplies, please browse our testing methodology.

Throughout the tables all passes will be highlighted with green text and failures in red.

 

Short Circuit Protection:

I short circuited the 3V3, 5V0 and the 12V rail(s) in turn. The power supply did shut down, and once the short was removed and the unit switched off for at least one second, resumed normal operation. Although listed here at the beginning of the testing section, I tend to leave this test until the very end, in case it doesn't quite go to plan.

 

DC Output Voltage Load Regulation:

In an ideal world the ATX power supply, or any other for that matter, should maintain its DC rails at a constant voltage but this is very difficult to achieve due to variations in the AC mains supply and changing DC load levels. The ATX12V V2.2 specification limits for this variation, expressed as a percentage, either side of the ideal voltage are given in the table below.
 
 
 
 
 

 

PSU Rail
Range
Minimum
Nominal
Maximum
+3V3
±5%
+3.14V
+3.30V
+3.47V
+5V
±5%
+4.75V
+5.00V
+5.25V
+12V
±5%*
+11.40V
+12.00V
+12.60V
-12V
±10%
-10.80V
-12.00V
-13.20V
+5VSB
±5%
+4.75V
+5.00V
+5.25V

 

*The +12V rail is permitted to go to ±10% at its rated maximum DC load.

There is no unit associated with voltage regulation, it is a simple ratio expressed as a percentage.

Voltage regulation VR= ([V no load – V full load] / V full load) x 100%

This equation is used to measure the voltage regulation of a simple single rail power supply but measuring the voltage regulation of the ATX power supply and the difference from the specified rail voltage will require a slightly different tack.

ATX Power Supply regulation = ([V measured - V specified] / V measured) x 100%

This will give the difference as a percentage from the specified rail voltage, +3.3V, +5V, +12V, etc.

There will be very few, if any, power supply failures in this section. The switched mode power supply is very good at maintaining its rail(s) at the correct voltage; they are constantly monitored and any changes are instantly fed back to the control circuitry and the necessary adjustments made to correct any error. So why test? The tighter the regulation the better, ±5% is acceptable, ±3% is very good and ±2% is excellent and the quality of the regulation is a useful indicator of the power supply’s overall quality.

 

Mains Input Voltage 110VAC

 

 

Antec High Current Gamer 620W (HCG-620) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 116VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
0
3.41V
3.3V±5%
+3.3%
+5V
0
5.06V
5.0V±5%
+1.2%
+12V
0
12.13V
12.0V±5%
+1.1%
-12V
0
11.71V
12.0V±10%
-2.4%
+5VSB
0
5.06V
5.0V±5%
+1.2%
Total PSU DC Loading = 0W (0% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Antec High Current Gamer 620W (HCG-620) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 114VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
3.17A
3.41V
3.3V±5%
+3.3%
+5V
4.63A
5.01V
5.0V±5%
+0.2%
+12V
7.68A
12.22V
12.0V±5%
+1.8%
-12V
0.36A
11.65V
12.0V±10%
-2.9%
+5VSB
2.00A
4.92V
5.0V±5%
-1.6%
Total PSU DC Loading = 142W (23% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Antec High Current Gamer 620W (HCG-620) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 113VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
3.17A
3.40V
3.3V±5%
+3.0%
+5V
4.67A
5.04V
5.0V±5%
+0.8%
+12V
21.53A
12.13V
12.0V±5%
+1.1%
-12V
0.36A
11.78V
12.0V±10%
-1.8%
+5VSB
2.02A
4.94V
5.0V±5%
-1.2%
Total PSU DC Loading = 310W (50% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Antec High Current Gamer 620W (HCG-620) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 111VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
7.90A
3.40V
3.3V±5%
+3.0%
+5V
9.00A
5.03A
5.0V±5%
+0.6%
+12V
43.34A
12.14A
12.0V±5%
+1.2%
-12V
0.37A
11.91V
12.0V±10%
-0.8%
+5VSB
1.99A
4.93V
5.0V±5%
-1.4%
Total PSU DC Loading = 612W (99% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Mains Input Voltage 230VAC

 

 

Antec High Current Gamer 620W (HCG-620) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 243VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
0
3.41V
3.3V±5%
+3.3%
+5V
0
5.06V
5.0V±5%
+1.2%
+12V
0
12.13V
12.0V±5%
+1.1%
-12V
0
11.73V
12.0V±10%
-2.3%
+5VSB
0
5.07V
5.0V±5%
+1.4%
Total PSU DC Loading = 0W (0% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Antec High Current Gamer 620W (HCG-620) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 244VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
3.16A
3.41V
3.3V±5%
+3.3%
+5V
4.63A
5.01V
5.0V±5%
+0.2%
+12V
7.68A
12.22V
12.0V±5%
+1.8%
-12V
0.36A
11.77V
12.0V±10%
-1.9%
+5VSB
2.00A
4.93V
5.0V±5%
-1.4%
Total PSU DC Loading = 142W (23% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Antec High Current Gamer 620W (HCG-620) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 240VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
3.15A
3.40V
3.3V±5%
+3.0%
+5V
4.68A
5.04V
5.0V±5%
+0.8%
+12V
21.51A
12.14V
12.0V±5%
+1.2%
-12V
0.36A
11.78V
12.0V±10%
-1.8%
+5VSB
2.02A
4.94V
5.0V±5%
-1.2%
Total PSU DC Loading = 310W (50% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

 

Antec High Current Gamer 620W (HCG-620) DC Output Voltage Load Regulation
Supply = 235VAC/50Hz
PSU DC Rail
Rail Loading
Measured Voltage
Permitted Regulation
Actual Regulation
+3.3V
7.97A
3.40V
3.3V±5%
+3.0%
+5V
9.20A
5.03V
5.0V±5%
+0.6%
+12V
43.33A
12.15V
12.0V±5%
+1.3%
-12V
0.37A
11.80V
12.0V±10%
-1.7%
+5VSB
1.99A
4.93V
5.0V±5%
-1.4%
Total PSU DC Loading = 614W (99% of Rated Maximum Output Power)

The Antec HCG620 performed very well in this section with all the rails remaining well within the limits set down by the ATX12V V2.2 specification.

Testing:

Efficiency and Power Factor:

Efficiency is a measure of the ATX power supplies ability to minimize losses during the conversion of the AC mains voltage into multiple DC rails. It is a simple ratio of output power measured in watts over input power measured in watts expressed as a percentage. It has no affect whatsoever on the power supply’s ability to power a PC but with higher efficiency comes less heat and lower utility bills; it’s also “green” and friendlier to the environment which is the driving force behind the 80 Plus certification program.

Power factor is a strange beast that’s difficult to fully explain without the use of complex AC theory so let’s keep it simple. Power factor doesn’t have a unit of measurement it’s a simple number from 0 to 1 that is concerned with the way various loads consume power and the nearer to unity the better. It is closely linked to 80 Plus certification because low power factors imply wasted energy that the normal domestic consumer does not get charged for but the utility companies still have to generate.

Supply at 110VAC:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antec High Current Gamer 620W (HCG-620) Efficiency & Power Factor
Supply = 110VAC/50Hz
DC Load (W)
0
142
310
612
DC Load As A Percent Of Max (%)
N/A
23
50
99
Efficiency (%)
N/A
83
84.5
78
Power Factor (PF)
0.60
0.99
0.99
0.99

 

The efficiency of the Antec HCG-620 nearly met it's claimed 80 Plus Bronze certification at low and medium DC loading but dipped to 78% at full load following the OCC power supply testing methodology. The power factor levels, rarely a problem, easily maintained over 0.9 throughout testing.

 

Supply at 230VAC:

 

 

Antec High Current Gamer 620W (HCG-620) Efficiency & Power Factor
Supply = 230VAC/50Hz
DC Load (W)
0
142
310
614
DC Load As A Percent Of Max (%)
N/A
23
50
99
Efficiency (%)
N/A
85
86
81
Power Factor (PF)
0.19
0.95
0.99
0.99

 

The Antec HCG-620 produced slightly better efficiency with the higher AC supply as is usually the case and maintained the power factor level above 0.9 throughout testing.

 

AC Ripple On DC Outputs:

 

I have consistently found the AC ripple levels on the DC rails to be more or less equal with an 110VAC or 230VAC mains supply. The results given below are for 230VAC only but I will continue to check the levels at 110VAC during testing and publish them below if there are any significant differences.

 

AC ripple/noise on the +3V3 rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 10mv/div, Timebase = 50uS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the +5V0 rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 10mv/div, Timebase = 50uS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the +12V rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 10mv/div, Timebase = 50uS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the -12V rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 10mv/div, Timebase = 50uS/div

 

AC ripple/noise on the +5VSB rail at 230VAC

Oscilloscope settings: Amplitude = 10mv/div, Timebase = 50uS/div

 

Antec High Current Gamer 620W (HCG-620) AC Ripple/Noise
Supply = 230VAC/50Hz DC Loading = 614W
DC Rail
+3V3
+5V0
+12V
-12V0
+5VSB
ATX12 Max (mV p-p)
50
50
120
120
50
Ripple (mV p-p)
25
25
24
50
38
Pass/Fail
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass

Noise/ripple levels on all the Antec HCG-620 rails remained well under the ATX12V V2.2 specified limits at all times. Whilst not excellent results in this section they compare very well with other power supplies tested by OCC in its class.

Testing:

Temperature, Noise Levels and Fan Speeds:

I am not going to give a pass or fail in this section, as the ATX12V V2.2 does not really have any references on which to base a decision.

Temperatures are purely for information only, as there are too many variables involved when installed in a case, which, by the way, it wasn't. Ambient temperature, processor cooling efficiency and case cooling fans all play their part on the temperature of the air entering the power supply, and consequently the temperature of the air leaving it. No valid conclusions can be made from this test.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antec High Current Gamer 620W (HCG-620) Temperature & Fan Speeds
Supply = 110VAC/230VAC
DC Loading(W)
Temp In (°C)
Temp Out (°C)
Δ Temp (°C)
Fan Speed (RPM)
0
N/A
N/A
N/A
664/660
142/142
20.3/20.5
26.7/28.4
6.4/7.9
674/676
310/310
21.3/21.2
33.3/30.4
12.0/9.2
686/682
612/614
21.7/21.4
38.0/34.8
16.3/13.4
2006/2004

The Antec HCG-620 power supply produced a typical set of results in this section although fan noise may be a problem for some users. The fan was barely audible at 50% DC loading but once fully loaded the fan ramped up to 2000RPM; not overly loud but it would certainly be noticeable in a quiet room.

Conclusion:

Price Per the Watt:

Antec High Current Gamer 620W Power Supply at $74.99 = $0.13/Watt (01-2012)

 

The Antec High Current Gamer 620W power supply performed reasonably well during testing. The DC voltage load regulation remained well within the expected limits and in combination with reasonable levels of noise/ripple means good quality DC. The measured efficiency didn't quite hit the claimed 80 Plus Bronze mark following the OCC power supply testing methodology but this isn't unusual. What is unusual is the lowered efficiency levels at full load, not a problem, but unexpected nonetheless and maybe to some extent due to the testing methodology and rail loadings? It would be unfair to mark the power supply down too much but this dip in efficiency of maybe 4~5% isn't what would be expected. I would like to think there aren't too many users that would run this power supply at full load for extended periods so an efficiency of 84~86% at what could be considered a real world load of 300W or so isn't too bad. Temperatures aren't a problem and the fan is hardly audible at 300W but noise may be a problem for those users that choose to push the power supply towards full load.

When you look at other power supplies in its class the Antec High Current Gamer 620W is very competitively priced. It's not a high end power and certainly doesn't claim to be but it works well at a good price. If you're after a power supply to run your latest gaming PC with a single powerful graphics card and you don't mind a captive cable set then it's certainly worthy of your consideration. I have no hesitation in recommending the Antec HCG-620, it's price/performance ratio is very good and certainly worthy of the OCC Bronze award.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: