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Antec NeoPower 480 Antec NeoPower 480: We take a look at a modular power supply from a name most enthusiasts trust.
Date: December 12, 2004
Supplied By:
Written By:

Modular power supplies seem to be the newest thing that most companies are releasing. It makes sense, less useless cables the better. Airflow is key in any cooling setup. Eliminating a huge bundle of cables can make a massive difference.

Antec have just recently released there version of the modular power supply. The NeoPower 480 features 480 watts total power, dual 12v rails, modular design and a native PCI-Express graphic card support. Antec also has your ears in mind as well, using only a 120mm fan for the cooling. So let's take a closer look.

FEATURES

Switches

ATX Logic on-off
Additional power rocker switch

Maximum Power

480W

Transient Response

+5V,+12V and 3.3V outputs return to within 3% in less than 1ms for 20% load change.

P. G. Signal

100-500ms

Over Voltage Protection
recycle AC to reset

+5V trip point < +6.2V
+3.3V trip point < +4.1V
+12V trip point < +14.3V

Special Connectors

ATX12V
3-pin Fan Sensor
Fan Only
SATA
PCI Express
Aux Power (Optional)

Leakage Current

<3.5mA @ 115VAC

OUTPUT

+5V

+12V1

+12V2

+3.3V

-12V

+5Vsb

Max. Load

38A

18A

15A

30A

1.0A

2.0A

Min. Load

0.3A

0.4A

0.4A

0.3A

0A

0A

Load Reg.

±3%

±3%

±3%

±3%

±5%

±5%

Rippe
V(p-p)

50

120

120

50

120

50

Antec NeoPower 480
The Antec NeoPower comes in a very Matrix-esc box. The front has the scrolling green text with a large picture of the gun-metal colored power supply. The rear of the box shows a huge list of features on the Neo480.

Once out of the box the power supply has the feeling of quality. You know when you have a cheap power supply, and it is as light as a feather, well the Neo480 is the exact opposite. It defiantly has some weight to it. The rear of the power supply does not have any fan. The whole rear of the power supply is a square grill. Also missing from the rear is a voltage select switch. The Neo 480 automatically switches the voltage between 120 or 240, so those over in the UK .

To the other side of the power supply is where all of the modular connectors lie. There are five total connections. One of which is the fan only connector. This connector is a 12v only line, and the voltage is adjusted by the power supply. So if your case temperature is cooler, the power supply will lower the voltages on this line allowing your fans to slow down. The one thing that drove me nuts was that the 12v secondary line used primarily on P4 boards is not modular. It is included in the ATX power connector line, so AMD based systems will have an extra cable to deal with.

 

The top of the power supply is dominated by the 120mm fan. Using a 120mm fan should defiantly help with the noise levels and the cooling. The fan is also temperature controlled, so like the dedicated fan connectors will slow down and speed up as necessary. Also shown in the picture below are all of the cables included with the NeoPower 480. Antec includes: 1 - 47cm Molex connector cable, 2 - 77cm Molex connector cables, 1 - 77cm Serial ATA connector cable, 1- 40cm Fan Only connector cable, 1 - 10cm 24 pin to 20 pin adapter, 1 - 60cm PCI Express adapter cable, 2 - spare Molex connectors and 2 - spare SATA connectors.

Test Setup
ASUS A7N8X-Deluxe Rev 2.0
AMD Athlon 1700+ @ 12.5 x 175
1024MB Corsair PC4000 (2x512MB)
Seagate 200GB SATA
Seagate 120GB IDE
ATI Radeon X800Pro 256MB
ASUS 52x32x52x CDRW
ASUS 16x DVDROM

Testing was performed with the system at two stages, idle and full load. Voltages were tested using a Fluke 16 digital multi-meter. Voltages were measured from two positions on the power supply, to show results from both rails. Results were measured from both the 24 pin ATX connector and a spare Molex connector. Shown below are the results.

Tester Position

Specified Voltage

Voltage as Tested

Percentage Difference

Molex Yellow Full Load

12

11.91

99.25%

Molex Red Full Load

5

5.07

101.40%

ATX Yellow Full Load

12

11.94

99.50%

ATX Orange Full Load

3.3

3.32

100.61%

ATX Red Full Load

5

5.03

100.60%

Molex Yellow Idle

12

11.92

99.33%

Molex Red Idle

5

5.06

101.20%

ATX Yellow Idle

12

11.95

99.58%

ATX Orange Idle

3.3

3.33

100.91%

ATX Red Idle

5

5.04

100.80%

As you can see the Antec NeoPower 480 watt did awesome. Antec boasted about its +-3% voltage feedback regulation and it shows. The highest difference between the voltage specification and the tested results was 1.4%, being even tighter than the listed +-3% regulation. To show the difference, a standard power supply must meet a +-10% voltage regulation to pass the specification. One other thing to note is that the voltages were extremely stable, there was absolutely no fluctuation at the reported voltages, they were rock solid.

Conclusion
Antec seem to be known for good quality power supplies and the NeoPower 480 did not disappoint. Even when taking it out of the box it just had that feeling of quality. Everything was attached securely, and it just had a great weight to it. The attention to detail on the appearance of the power supply surprised me, not only is the case of the power supply gun metal colored, but Antec even gave the fan grill some love, by color matching it as well. And what a fan it is, a single 120mm fan supplies all of the cooling for the NeoPower 480. Not only is it just a 120mm fan, but it is also temperature controlled to even further aid in the noise levels. In testing the power supply was barely audible, my other case fans easily drowned out the power supply.

The modular design allows you to only use the cables you need. Antec even includes 2 additional Molex and 2 additional SATA power connectors so you can customize your cables even further if needed. The power supply also has a fan only modular cable, which provides a temperature controlled connection for two additional fans. Also included in the package is a PCI Express graphics connector, so those with the latest components will not need any power adapter for you video card.

Performance wise the Antec NeoPower 480 was great. Rock solid voltages were shown, which were at the worst within 1.4% of specification. The dual 12v rail also showed its advantages. Using dual 12v rails provides a more consistent power supply to your processor and motherboard as there is designated power regulators for that line. This means that it does not matter how many 12v devices you plug into the power supply, you are still going to get solid voltages to your motherboard.

The NeoPower 480 was not perfect though. The lack of cable sleeving on all of the cables was a definite let down. The ATX cable is the only cable that has a sleeve installed. The inclusion of some form of cable sleaving would have added just a bit more value to the power supply. Antec also integrated the secondary 12v connector into the main ATX connector's harness. This seems to be a waste for AMD systems like mine where that cable is useless. I would have preferred that cable to also be modular.

Pros: Awesome performance, dual 12v rails, great looks, modular, quiet 120mm fan

Cons: No cable sleeving, non-modular P4 connector

Overall: Antec have released another great power supply. The NeoPower 480 provided solid voltages across the board, dual 12v rails and a 120mm temperature controlled fan for quieter cooling. I would have liked to see all the cables sleeved and all of the cables modular, but the performance easily outweighs these slight downsides.

If you have any comments, be sure to hit us up in our forums.

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