Meet the Antec HCG-750

We've tested many Antec PSUs over the years, so this certainly isn't a case of "long time no see". However, most of the Antec products we've reviewed have been higher-end designs with unique features or abilities—for instance, there was the "sandwich" PCB in the HCP-1200 and the environmentally friendly design of the EarthWatts Green 380W. There's nothing out of the ordinary in the HCG data sheets other than the powerful +12V rails. The HCG series seems to represent most PSUs: it's ordinary and "boring". So what makes this PSU into an Antec product?

For starters, plenty of manufacturers have attractive power supplies, but the robust case and red highlights are at least unusual. We've seen designs like this in the higher cost/wattage PSUs like the 850W Enermax Revolution85+ and HuntKeys' X7 1200W. Now Antec brings this aesthetic to lower wattages and prices.

That's all well and good, but Antec cares about quality. They have chosen very expensive capacitors from Rubycon. In addition, as our Antec contact Christoph (Business Unit Manager at Antec) likes to say, "more is better", meaning that two main caps are better than one. The ball bearing fans also last longer than cheap sleeve bearing models, which is another minor upgrade. While these simple elements aren't unusual for PSUs in this price range, they do set our expectations and we're expecting a good showing from the HCG-750.

On the following pages we will see if the caps can reduce ripple and noise and if the fan runs quietly. Moreover, good results can help compensate for the non-modular cables, as they are a disadvantage for most customers. Let's begin with a closer look to its characteristics and delivery contents.

Package, Power Rating, and Fan
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  • GreenLego - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    Why would Nike (the sporting goods maker) make a PSU? Nike makes unobtainiums (it's their trademark isn't it?). My sunglasses are made from unobtainium.
  • AssBall - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    Not everyone thinks paying more for a sticker is worth it. I don't care what "color" it is as long as it is reliable.
  • HEhatesusall - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    PSU efficiency is the DC power output of the PSU over the AC consumption. It is NOT,i repeat, it is NOT a way to measure how "good" a PSU is,it's just a gimmick . The less AC power draw over the year can translate in...$1-$2 difference per year in electric power bills.

    There are sooooo many more tests to prove a PSU's efficiency(mainly ripple tests, stress tests to find the absolute maximum wattage, and capacitor aging simulations to measure the degeneration of the PSU over the years) but you seem to be stuck on a "certification". When an engineering team designs those things, there are tradeoffs between efficiency,ripple,cost of materials etc etc. As an engineer, the one i would dump to, say, 75-80% is the efficiency(for gamers,companies need high efficiency and high reliability). Games DO care MORE if i can reduce ripple by 10mV in +12V rail even if they pay $5 a year more in current, just because less ripple means extended lifecircles for all your digital parts
  • heymrdj - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    +1 for the truth. I will pay 10$ more a year for electricity to bring down the ripple 10mv.
  • mindless1 - Saturday, July 2, 2011 - link

    Except, it isn't true. 10mV ripple has no effect whatsoever on parts lifespan, providing the peak voltages don't exceed the max the parts can tolerate and certainly it will not, any part nominally rated for an input voltage can easily tolerate far more than a few dozen mV ripple.

    Further and most people don't seem to understand this, the parts you are POWERING cause far more noise on the power rails than this.

    There are many reasons a part can die prematurely or earlier than it otherwise would, but 10mV ripple difference isn't one of them.
  • Patrick Wolf - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    While that is true, higher efficiency units must use higher quality parts to achieve that rating which is generally why the better the rating the better the PSU is. Of course not all PSU's are created equal, as it's always been. For gamers, the best thing about higher efficiency units is they tend to give off less heat, which is especially nice when it's mounted at the bottom of a case.
  • 7Enigma - Thursday, April 14, 2011 - link

    Exactly. I don't care about the additional $1-2 for the year, I care about the removal of that as heat with my A/C in the summer, the increased case temps, the potential sound dB increase, etc.
  • mindless1 - Saturday, July 2, 2011 - link

    It is irrelevant if it is mounted at the top or bottom of the case, well actually you can tolerate a hotter running PSU at the bottom of the case because the air it intakes is less pre-heated by the CPU and other parts upstream of the chassis airflow.

    Heat does not rise from a PSU into the case, there is positive flow intake of air and exhaust out the back of the PSU and case, unless it is a passively cooled design (no fan in it) in which case you'd still have roughly the same rate of heated air sucked into the rest of the system if all else were equal.

    I'm not arguing against higher efficiency PSU though, if the cost increase is not too great and the other properties of the PSU do not suffer as a result it is a good thing, BUT it all costs money. If you have a total design budget and spend, lets's say 20% more to get the design to a higher efficiency level with a significant design decision, that 20% could have gone to a larger transformer, better quality capacitors, etc.

    It's not necessarily parts "quality" that makes a PSU more efficient, it's the design topology, # of parts, component rating vs size.

    For example, I could use a very high quality choke, resistor, capacitor, and have lower efficiency than a more elaborate circuit would, or a circuit at a different operating temperature would, there is a balance between several decisions but in the end there are not many things that universally effect people except that it meets it's specs so you can choose scientifically what to mate with a known system load, and doesn't have premature fan or capacitor failure, and some resistance to surge damage on the switching transistors.

    The average person, they just want it to "work", esthetics aside they aren't very picky about whether their system uses 180W versus 150W, it certainly isn't something you see the average Dell, HP, etc shopper demanding on the line item details of a system prior to purchase.
  • Terris - Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - link

    So you would pick say a RAIDMAX Gold PSU but not this Antec because the RAIDMAX is Gold certified.

    Just because they slap a 80 Plus cert on the PSU doesn't mean it's built any better. I always buy components by manufacturer warranty. Corsair PSU with a 7 year warranty, yes please. Bonus for lifetime warranty manufacturers.

    But hey, keep spending money on frivolous stickers if it makes you feel all good inside.
  • ckryan - Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - link

    I think the price is a little on the high side. It should subside a little over time, but I know I am certainly willing to pay a little more for Antec and Seasonic units, my two favorites. So while it may seem a little high price wise, I believe many prospective buyers will think it a fair deal. As far as efficiency goes, it's on the high side of bronze, but I'd rather have a PSU on the high side of it's rating than the low. I think this is the other side of the EarthWatts coin, a line of fantastic PSU for the price. Plus, I'd imagine that like the EarthWatts it will be found frequently on sale.

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