Antec Truepower Quattro 1200W Power Supply Reviewpaulktreg -
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Price Per the Watt:
Power Supply Antec Truepower Quattro 1200W at $237.63 = $0.20/Watt (04-2010)
I expected more from the Antec Truepower 1200W power supply. Maybe I got a rogue unit, but all I can do is report on the unit sent for review. The DC voltage load regulation was pretty good but it fell short of its claimed 80 Plus Silver certification by a long way on 115Vac, the mains input voltage at which the certification applies and even at 230Vac, which always improves efficiency, it still fell a little short at 20% loading. Noise/ripple levels came a little close on the 5V0 rail and exceeded the limit on the -12V rail by quite a margin.
I'm not too sure about the PowerCache feature either and those capacitor capsules at the end of each cable will make cable management very difficult in smaller enclosures. (While we're on the subject of smaller enclosures, the Antec Truepower Quattro 1200W is a little longer than the standard ATX unit so make sure you have the room). These capacitors are all present on high end power supplies anyway, the only difference is they are printed circuit board mounted and you don't see them so why didn't Antec put them on the board? The printed circuit board is very cluttered in the area where all the DC rails exit the board so perhaps there was no room, who knows, but with some of the noise/ripple levels borderline I suspect the 5V0 rail would have more noise than allowed should the PowerCache capacitors be removed.
The Antec Truepower Quattro 1200W must be suffering an identity crisis and asking itself if it's really modular. It's got modular cables but if you look closely at the captive cable set there are enough to power all but the most powerful systems. A valid argument could be that the Antec Truepower Quattro 1200W would only be useful for a very high end system with powerful dual, triple, even quad graphics cards. I still feel that more of the cables should be modular. If you have no devices that use the 4-pin peripheral connector, which is not uncommon, and finances dictate that the build starts with a single GTX480 for instance, then that's a possible three captive cables that aren't needed and need to be tucked away. This shouldn't happen on a power supply that is supposed to be modular.
There are also one or two potential problems with multi 12V rail high power supplies. Balancing the loads if high power graphics cards are used will have to be looked at carefully. It's not so apparent in the lower wattage units but I'm sure some of the available power will be locked away and unusable. Take the 12V1 rail for example, used for 4-pin peripheral and SATA power connections - there's no way it'll go anywhere near the potential 17A available on a typical PC (that's 100A spread evenly over all six rails), even with two optical drives, three HDD's, a couple of fans and a water pump - that will come to a maximum on 10A. The maximum load is 38A on each 12V rail so you could easily run two, perhaps, three GTX480 graphics cards on the TPQ-1200, but how many people would do that? Not too many I wager, so once you start coming down the graphic card performance ladder the use of Antec Truepower Quattro 1200W is hard to justify. Many enthusiasts like to fit over the top power supplies because they can. I have no problem with that, but we then go back to the modular capabilities and its over use of captive cables.
All in all, the performance of the Antec Truepower Quattro 1200W was satisfactory. The problems with the efficiency and ripple/noise on the -12V rail will make little or no difference when running an high-end dual/triple graphic card gaming rig, but if it is run at or near its full capacity, I feel sure that the fan noise will irritate most users so take this into consideration. Cable management could prove problematical especially if enclosure space is at a premium. No award I'm afraid, but it should prove a capable power supply that unfortunately didn't quite live up to some of its claims, as well as my expectations. Fit the Antec Truepower Quattro 1200W by all means - it will certainly do the job!
- Good DC voltage load regulation
- Five year warranty
- MTBF 100,000 hours
- Failed to meet 80 Plus Silver standard following the OCC testing methodology
- Very noisy fan at full load
- Noise/ripple on the -12V rail