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Antec Modular TruePower 550W PSU: Frustrated with hiding and routing unused PSU cabling? FrozenCPU tossed over a PSU that allows you to only plug in the power you need.

Date: September 8, 2003
Supplied By:
Written By:

One of the most frustrating things for me when setting up a PC is routing my PSU cables. I'm a neat freak, and I pointed this out in an old cleanup article that PSU cabling is the hardest item to hide because there is so much of it.

Now, I am aware of the tricks like zip ties, sheaths, cramming cables into hidden areas, but if you swap out hardware as much as I do, this is an annoying thing to do. Granted, I like the flexibility of having more connections than I need, but by the same token, I sometimes wish that I can just grab some scissors and hack off a bunch of molex cables.

Our buds at have a solution though. The solution involves cable sleeving, hacked off molex connections, and a kickass Antec TruePower 550W PSU. The end result is the .

Specifications

- Dedicated output circuitry for each voltage output, overcomes the limitations of combined output of traditional design. Get all the power you need when you need it most.
- Voltage Feedback to maintain accurate voltage to all components: adds stability to your system
- Antec Low Noise Technology achieves the optimum balance between noise reduction and necessary cooling.
- ATX12V for AMD and Intel based systems including P4.
- Two double ball bearing fans.
- Gold plated connectors.

At first glance, you'll notice that only the ATX and fan speed cables are full length. The rest of the cables have been cut, with the appropriate molex connection terminating them. The PSU itself is a steel-based construction... no fancy aluminum shell here.

The specs call for +3.3V @ 32A, +5V @ 40A, and +12V @ 24A. The total output is a maximum of 530W.

There are two fans built into the PSU, and this design has some ups and downs. Compared to single fanned PSUs (or no fans!), this setup will run much cooler. The bad aspect of this design is both fans will add some noise to your overall setup, but they are temperature controlled. In real-world use, this PSU was noticably quieter than my Enermax 450W.

Like any good PSU, there is also an on/off switch incase you need to work on your PC, while still wanting to use the power cord to ground the computer. We don't really advocate this, and suggest investing in an anti-static wrist strap.

The is also a molex connection on the rear of the PSU. Those of you who have setup external radiators for water cooling will appreciate this connection as it'll make setting up external fans a little easier.

Pictured above is the fan speed connection. You don't have any say in how fast your fans need to spin, but at least you can watch helplessly. :P

Actually, I just wanted to point out the sleeving. Being the dull guy that I am, I just selected black, but FrozenCPU have a ton of options for you to choose from, and if you have UV reactive lights, fans and such, those UV lit sleeves will look damn swank.

Now we're getting into the good stuff. The PSU is modular (or segmented), where you only have to plug in the necessary cables that you need. So, at the minimum, you'll need an ATX, and 12v for most modern motherboards, a couple 4-pin molex connections for a hard drive and CD drive, and a floppy connection for a video card or floppy. Let's add 2 more 4-pin molex connections for case fans, and that brings our total to 7 connections. A good PSU will have between 10-15 connections, so at least 3 will go unused. Typically, there's that one long cable (for servers) that nobody needs, so that makes for a lot of cable routing.

On the right, we have all the cables you'll need. Like we said, plug in those you need, and leave the rest in the box. I do have one suggestion though... I think it would have been a nice touch to make each molex connection an individual cable. Although all the cables are sleeved, some cables have 3 molex connections to them. In the scenario where you plug in a device, but don't need the other molex connection sharing that cable, you're stuck having to hide that now.

The molex connections themselves are gold plated, but the connections on the PSU (where you have to connect these cables) are not. The reported advantage of gold connections are that the power signals should be cleaner, much like gold plated audio connections. However, I think this advantage is lost because of the mixed metals.

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