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Old 18th Feb 2011, 11:03   #1
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Antec VP550P Preview

Taking aim at Corsair's Builder-series PSUs, it might be worth keeping an eye on Antec's new VP550P.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/psu...550p-preview/1
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Old 18th Feb 2011, 11:32   #2
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Cutting down on models is definitely a good thing.
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Old 18th Feb 2011, 11:50   #3
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Cutting down the number of brands within your company isn't a bad idea to start with, and looking at the eTailers the market overall is way too oversaturated with companies and brands.
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Old 18th Feb 2011, 13:18   #4
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I don't think it matters too much how many different companies there are, but less brands within a single company's range is definitely better, as 57 models, (even accounting for all the different powers) is simply ridiculous.

It's like toothpaste: A number of years back you used to choose between, say, Colgate, Aquafresh & Sensodine. Now you look at the shelf, and Colgate alone produce about 20 different types! Even if you know you want Colgate, how the hell are you supposed to know which Colgate is the right one?

Choice is good, up to a point, beyond which it just be comes confusing and irritating.

I think the supermarkets have the issue sorted with their own branded food ranges: Budget, normal and luxury. Nice and easy to grasp.

I really think PSU manufacturers would be better for trying to emulate that model a little closer, for a rough example:

- Budget. Fixed cables. 5 power options.
- Standard 1. Fixed cables. 5 power options.
- Standard 2. Modular cables. 5 power options.
- High end. Modular cables. 5 power options.

That's still 20 different units they'd be making, still plenty of choice for the consumer, still covers all markets, but is almost only a third of what Antec currently produce - and is easy to understand by everyone.
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Old 18th Feb 2011, 13:47   #5
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have you guys sorted the discrepancies between the two psu testers???. looking forward to another psu labs...
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Old 18th Feb 2011, 16:28   #6
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I'm fed up over companis "flooding" the market with different models that's not that different. I really hope Antecs decision makes the other companies change their ways, though I seriously doubt it.
Though I have to mention, Antecs decision to leave the combined 110/230V solution does not make me convinced..
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Old 18th Feb 2011, 22:26   #7
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I agree that the number of models and ranges within each manufacturer's product offering is currently overwhelming and just causes confusion. A lot of it is a marketing ploy and must ultimately be pretty cost ineffective for the manufacturers to keep producing, marketing and support. As for offering 5 power options per range, I think 3 is more than ample. If you're building high-end and fairly power hungry PC's using uqlity components you should be looking at a quality and appropriately powerful PSU, not going cheap and low power with this component. Its all relative.
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Old 19th Feb 2011, 11:45   #8
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@Jr I think it's a good idea, and this is coming from someone who has relatives in the States and grew up with 110V consoles hooked into 230V transformers. The unit cost of a 230V only PSU would hopefully be lower as fewer parts are needed and it might even be more efficient as well - afterall, the max efficiency ratings quoted are those for 230V.

The only thing adding to cost would be having to develop a second model for 110V markets, though for that I imagine they'd just use a dual 110V/230V PSU. I don't think any major PSU manufacturers (Delta, Seasonic, FPS, etc) actually make any 110V only PSUs.
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Old 20th Feb 2011, 02:36   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWeaK
@Jr I think it's a good idea, and this is coming from someone who has relatives in the States and grew up with 110V consoles hooked into 230V transformers. The unit cost of a 230V only PSU would hopefully be lower as fewer parts are needed and it might even be more efficient as well - afterall, the max efficiency ratings quoted are those for 230V.

The only thing adding to cost would be having to develop a second model for 110V markets, though for that I imagine they'd just use a dual 110V/230V PSU. I don't think any major PSU manufacturers (Delta, Seasonic, FPS, etc) actually make any 110V only PSUs.
It's probably about saving money on the Bridge Rectifier and the heatsink it's attached to, if any. As you may know, power = voltage x current. The more current needs to pass trough the BR, the more expensive it gets, and the need for it to have a dedicated heatsink grows. A 550W unit would only require a 4A BR (meaning 700W before it burns, assuming 80% efficiency, which is low-ish for a BR) to be perfectly safe. This can be done by taking an 8-10A BR and leaving it without a heatsink (saving money on aluminum), or taking a cheap 4A BR and a slim HS (saving a bit on both). The power supply would actually be able to work on a range of 90-240 V, but the maximum power that you could pull from it safely would drop with voltage. Of course, the bridge rectifier isn't the only component dictating the max available power, but it's a good example.
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Old 20th Feb 2011, 18:54   #10
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Corsair do make great power supplies, although they do have loads, it's still easy to pick if you know what you're buying.
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Old 21st Feb 2011, 00:46   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McSteel View Post
It's probably about saving money on the Bridge Rectifier and the heatsink it's attached to, if any. As you may know, power = voltage x current. The more current needs to pass trough the BR, the more expensive it gets, and the need for it to have a dedicated heatsink grows. A 550W unit would only require a 4A BR (meaning 700W before it burns, assuming 80% efficiency, which is low-ish for a BR) to be perfectly safe. This can be done by taking an 8-10A BR and leaving it without a heatsink (saving money on aluminum), or taking a cheap 4A BR and a slim HS (saving a bit on both). The power supply would actually be able to work on a range of 90-240 V, but the maximum power that you could pull from it safely would drop with voltage. Of course, the bridge rectifier isn't the only component dictating the max available power, but it's a good example.
Yup. (I have no idea but it sounds convincing)

Not only that, they can tweak the internal components for better efficiency at 230V only, while costing no more.
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Old 21st Feb 2011, 02:21   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Yup. (I have no idea but it sounds convincing)

Not only that, they can tweak the internal components for better efficiency at 230V only, while costing no more.
It's confirmed, the savings are indeed mostly on the BR and it's HS.



You can see the bridge rectifier bolted onto the (rather slim) heatsink, with some thermal paste added to the mix. It's that (almost) rectangular black 4-pinned component to the center left of the image. Directly behind it you can make out the holes and markings for a second, identical one, to be soldered in for the 115V market (well, actually for the full range, i.e. 90-240V unit). The BR model used here is unknown for now, but it's probably a GBUx06, with the "x" signifying how many amps the bridge can withstand @ up to 100C, when used with a heatsink. It's probably 4 to 6 A. that's reasonable enough.



The holes and the markings on the PCB are more clearly visible in this shot, to the bottom leftmost of the image.
I suspect that when the second bridge is soldered in, a bigger heatsink is also used.

Images taken from PCPOP.com, where a detailed review (Google translated to English) can be found.

It's a great PSU, it's only shortcoming is that it has no MOV in it's filtering stage, but that's commonplace in budget PSUs. For the $60 that it's supposed to cost, it's excellent value for money, probably the best in it's class.

## EDIT ##

Oh, and, concerning the efficiency point/issue, that's not a major consideration in this case. The VP550(P) isn't 80 Plus certified, and it most likely won't be. It could meet 80 Plus Standard with ease, but certification costs money, and since it's two different units, that would mean a lot of cash to get the 80+ badge.

Last edited by McSteel; 21st Feb 2011 at 02:28.
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Old 21st Feb 2011, 20:39   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McSteel View Post
It's confirmed, the savings are indeed mostly on the BR and it's HS.



You can see the bridge rectifier bolted onto the (rather slim) heatsink, with some thermal paste added to the mix. It's that (almost) rectangular black 4-pinned component to the center left of the image. Directly behind it you can make out the holes and markings for a second, identical one, to be soldered in for the 115V market (well, actually for the full range, i.e. 90-240V unit). The BR model used here is unknown for now, but it's probably a GBUx06, with the "x" signifying how many amps the bridge can withstand @ up to 100C, when used with a heatsink. It's probably 4 to 6 A. that's reasonable enough.



The holes and the markings on the PCB are more clearly visible in this shot, to the bottom leftmost of the image.
I suspect that when the second bridge is soldered in, a bigger heatsink is also used.

Images taken from PCPOP.com, where a detailed review (Google translated to English) can be found.

It's a great PSU, it's only shortcoming is that it has no MOV in it's filtering stage, but that's commonplace in budget PSUs. For the $60 that it's supposed to cost, it's excellent value for money, probably the best in it's class.

## EDIT ##

Oh, and, concerning the efficiency point/issue, that's not a major consideration in this case. The VP550(P) isn't 80 Plus certified, and it most likely won't be. It could meet 80 Plus Standard with ease, but certification costs money, and since it's two different units, that would mean a lot of cash to get the 80+ badge.
Thanks guys. Learned a bit or two more today.. ..although, I suspected it had something to do with money.. (I'm not that stupid..)
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Old 22nd Feb 2011, 02:43   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McSteel View Post
Oh, and, concerning the efficiency point/issue, that's not a major consideration in this case. The VP550(P) isn't 80 Plus certified, and it most likely won't be. It could meet 80 Plus Standard with ease, but certification costs money, and since it's two different units, that would mean a lot of cash to get the 80+ badge.
Antec explained the 80Plus certification program requires a PSU to do both 110V and 230V, but since this only does one they can't submit it. The 80Plus program is the biggest marketing comparison for PSUs so they all do it if they can.
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Old 22nd Feb 2011, 07:15   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Antec explained the 80Plus certification program requires a PSU to do both 110V and 230V, but since this only does one they can't submit it. The 80Plus program is the biggest marketing comparison for PSUs so they all do it if they can.
I never did understand the need for certification, especially at the conditions the tests are conducted under. SLI and CrossFire put forward unrealistic requirements, so as to cover the possibility of extreme overclocking AND include a "nice" safety margin on top (30+% over the max rating). Anyone could've easily come to the conclusion that if they buy a good PSU rated at twice the maximum real-world power requirement of their system, they'd have no troubles running said system.

And as for 80 Plus (Ecos plugload solutions), testing at 23C is a bit overly optimistic (if anything, PSU power ratings should be done at 50C), and requiring universal input is superfluous, since they require the presence of Active PFC correction anyway. And the VP550P would work just fine on a 115V grid, and in case it had a 6A bridge, it could actually deliver it's max rated power without burning. In case of a 5A or a 4A bridge, for example, you'd be wise to keep the total power output to around 450 or 350W at most, respectively, but it would function nonetheless

I personally don't care about a certification badge, especially so since they don't actually gauge performance nor capabilities of a unit. A thorough, good quality review is all the certification I need when deciding on my next purchase.
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