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Antec PSUs becoming more unreliable?

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March 5, 2007 2:48:15 AM

I've heard things about Antec's reliability dropping. Is this true?

More about : antec psus unreliable

a c 85 ) Power supply
March 5, 2007 3:59:50 AM

The only problem I've heard about Antec PSU is with their Smart power line. (I didn't hear about this until AFTER I bought my SP450W) From what I've heard, they can develope a blown capacitor problem, much like the old 1GHz motherboards. So far I've been running mine for about a year, and haven't had any issues.
March 5, 2007 4:00:42 AM

Thanks.

On a sidenote, how many amps should be on the 12v if I intended to upgrade to a modestly overclocked quad-core and had a 8800 GTS?
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March 5, 2007 2:53:29 PM

Quote:
The only problem I've heard about Antec PSU is with their Smart power line. (I didn't hear about this until AFTER I bought my SP450W) From what I've heard, they can develope a blown capacitor problem, much like the old 1GHz motherboards. So far I've been running mine for about a year, and haven't had any issues.



I had a smart power 350 die recently that had hadly even been used. don't have the receipt and probably out of warranty, so might "harvest" fans out of it for an old system that needs new ones. I've had two Antecs die on me and will try some other brand.
March 5, 2007 3:52:44 PM

Without a large, independent study I just don't see how it'd be possible to say anything conclusive about a brand of PSUs in terms of reliability. If forum user X achieved his highest overclock with an Antec, it's safe to say that user will rave about his Antec. If another user loses a component due to a faulty Antec, it's safe to say that Antec will be on the receiving end of some negative comments. If you were asking for personal experiences, that's what you're going to get... if you were wanting to know the big picture, I don't think anyone here can provide that.
March 5, 2007 3:59:26 PM

i have a Smartpower 2.0 500W, i have heard bad things too but also i am getting a high pitched buzzing noise which some have said is due to bad capacitors. i really have no clue but i do know it is coming from the psu and it only happens when i have games running and/or when my X1800XT 512mb requires more power it goes into "3d" mode i'm assuming.

i've been running for a year now without any problems but i becoming more worrisome as i keep hearing more bad things about Antec psu's and the smarterpower specifically. Problem is i don't want to spend much to replace this one as it still works and i don't have much cash lying around and i was just planning on getting a new case.

So of course after looking around for another good psu i came across the Antec Trio 650W, for about $100, but now i'm hearing that what i should do is just buy a psu with one strong single rail, although more expensive they are better overall.

So after looking at mpilchfamily's list of psu's i've been debating between the Antec Trio 650W or maybe just giving in any ponying up the money for a PC Power and Cooling, overall i don't even know if the extra money is worth it, i know i need only a psu with 40A or even less but i want some longevity and room to upgrade.

So i guess in the end (sorry for the hijack) mpilchfamily is there anything else out there that is better than an Antec Trio 650W for $105

EDIT: i've also read that the Antec Trio's don't come with the -5V which is not necessary for current or new mobo's but older ones could have a problem..have no clue what this means but my mobo is that old
March 5, 2007 9:58:00 PM

Athlon X2 4200+(939)
X1800XT 512mb
Seagate 320GB SATA
2GB DDR400
X-Fi Xtrememusic
TV Tuner
Lightscribe DVD-RW
Asus DVD-ROM

Right now i have 2 case fans, but i plan on switching everything to an Antec 900 which i'm sure you know powers three 120mm LED fans and one 200mm, not that those draw alot but its more than the 2 that i have now.

I personally wanted a 600W, just for longevity and room to upgrade, whether that upgrade might be a R600/8900GTX or not i would like to keep this psu for my next build. i never plan on using xfire or sli so thats a no issue and i don't plan on running more than 2 HDs at once.
March 6, 2007 1:03:32 AM

Unfortunately the cards right now that only support the new 8 pin PCIe connector are of 750W or greater. i clearly don't need that much power and neither does a R600. Any current standard psu will do me fine i am just wondering is there anything out there better price/performance(watt/amp) wise than a Antec Trio 650w for $105 or so. Right now i noticed that the wires aren't sleeved so when i look for other psu's i just can't see any others are at such a nice price with good power rating.
March 6, 2007 1:18:24 AM

Well i'm not necessarily basing my decision on the R600, it doesn't require the new 8 pin but it'd be nice to have.

So anyway i can get a Antec Trio 650W for $105 or i can get a OCZ GamerXstream 700W for $130, is there anything else or any reason why i should consider a different psu, and laslty is the GamerXstream 700W worth the extra $30 bucks.

I've ready briefly about some power fluctuations with the GameXstream line of psu's, should this be any cause of concern?
March 6, 2007 1:32:14 AM

im still using my truepower 550wattage model, been with this for like 3-4 years and works just fine :o 

so who knows.. Im so far a happy customer :>
but might change to a higger wattage/amperage since want to switch for a 8800GTS or x2800XT in the future :o 
and obviusly to a barcelona/penryn in the future too
March 6, 2007 1:37:23 AM

Ya, i sure don't have any definite info, all i was saying is that it would not require a 8pin connector, rather it would have it but not require. Anyway thanks for your opinion i guess there i have one last question, i thought awhile ago i heard you could sleeve your psu if it wasn't, do you know of any kits or anything for this to do to the Antec Trio.

Edit: I think i might go for the Corsair 620W for its modular cabling and sleeved cables. Any thoughts about this ?
March 6, 2007 1:38:30 AM

Quote:
im still using my truepower 550wattage model, been with this for like 3-4 years and works just fine :o 

so who knows.. Im so far a happy customer :>
but might change to a higger wattage/amperage since want to switch for a 8800GTS or x2800XT in the future :o 
and obviusly to a barcelona/penryn in the future too


i have a tp2.0 550watt and it works fine so far, about 2 years old.
i have ran sli (68gt,s) before.

and am waiting for a new 8800gts 640mb gpu to come in.
a gtx (which requires 2 molex connects)
and the oc i like may be too much for the 88gtx.

but i imagime it will run the 88gts and an x2 s939 oc,ed to 2.6
just fine.

i had both 68gt,s and my x24400 oc,ed for about 6 months
and no problems.
March 6, 2007 2:11:54 AM

Quote:
Without a large, independent study I just don't see how it'd be possible to say anything conclusive about a brand of PSUs in terms of reliability.


Absatively right.

Quote:
If you were asking for personal experiences, that's what you're going to get... if you were wanting to know the big picture, I don't think anyone here can provide that.


Maybe some tech service people that look in here could give a more unbiased perspective. I've talked to numerous IT service guys, service guys at places like Best Buy, etc. Many of them advise staying away from the mid price and below Antec units. I've had two Smartpowers go up in smoke so I'd not argue.
March 6, 2007 2:41:24 AM

Quote:
I've heard things about Antec's reliability dropping. Is this true?


I used to use Antec for all my builds but they always end up failing on me after the 3 year mark and have even taken out a few Asus A7N8X/A7N8X-Delux MB's with them.

The worst I ever used was Ultra 600's and one of them even died withen 24 hours of install...pure junk.

The -only- PSU that I now use is the PC Powercooling turbo line.
I find the PC P&C 510's to be better than the OCZ600-700's.
March 6, 2007 3:33:31 AM

After reading some reviews on the OCZ 600/700W units it leaves a bad taste in my mouth and even though they have been highly recommended by most it doesn't seem like the best like of psu's. Although it seems as though the PC P&C are top notch in every respect.
March 6, 2007 3:37:09 AM

Quote:
After reading some reviews on the OCZ 600/700W units it leaves a bad taste in my mouth and even though they have been highly recommended by most it doesn't seem like the best like of psu's. Although it seems as though the PC P&C are top notch in every respect.


If you look closely, the PCP&C is built with better parts. The real tect of the OCZs will be time. If GPUs don't start backing off on the power consumption, we'll be seeing lots of sob stories from SLI and XFire owners in the next year or two.
March 6, 2007 5:06:06 AM

Quote:
IMO OCZ PSUs are over hyped. But PC Power & Cooling are the number 1 PSUs on the market.


Have you used OCZ and/or PCP&C yourself?
March 6, 2007 11:18:15 AM

My Antec Truepower II 550 watt PSU died 2 weeks ago today. I have had it for 1 year and 1 week. It had a three year warranty. I went to their website and started the RMA process. First you have to open a ticket and I did. They replied to it about 30 hours later. I replied to theirs and so it went. It take a full day to complete each step. It took 4 days to get a RMA number. I shipped it back overnight. They got it last Friday (ten days ago) and I never heard a word from them. I opened ANOTHER ticket (they closed the first one when they gave me a RMA number) to find out the status. I got an answer 2 days later saying they had my old one to call a person named "Jay" at the number listed. I called within 5 mins of the email with this information - voice mail. I left a detailed message. I tried recalling 3 more times before her answered the next day. He told me they got tons of packages in and I would receive an email saying when it shipped....
Two more days pass and Jay RETURNS my origional call. My item still hadn't shipped. He had no idea who I was and didn't remember speaking to me. He checked the RMA again. He assured me it was shipping out this past Thursday and I would receive a confirmation email. He said I would receive it this coming Thursday. Well it is Monday here and I have no emails or anything. Assuming it does arrive on Thursday, I will have been a total of 18 days to get this item back under warranty. If I hasn't paid over $100 for it, I would have just got a new PSU somewhere else.
I don't know if other people have had issues with RMAing something to Antec under warranty. I am curious if this is standard. I am use to dealing with HP or Dell where I get the part back in a day or 2.


ORNsley
March 6, 2007 1:29:13 PM

Quote:
No.

I go by my research into the items. Namely reviews and spec sheets on the units. It's amazing the information you can get if you ask for it.


I know all about that. I've been on a PS info-gathering mission for the last couple of years myself. Relative to this thread, I've read of many Antec failures and have talked to numerous techs that will never buy another Antec unit. I've never heard of an OCZ failing, let alone taking out other components like has happened with many Antecs. A few years ago, I set up over 20 PCs with (for that time) high end GPUs and extra HD capacity for high res imaging, Photoshop, etc. Being proactive, I upgraded the power supplies and got one of the higher priced Antec units for each box. Within three years, many of those power supplies had failed and two of them went down in flames, taking out mobos, CPUs, GPUs. So, based on my own experiences as well as numerous IT and PC repair techs that have dealt with many PS replacements, I'd say that Antecs are far more hyped than OCZs. Reviews are certainly worth reading but for a power supply, it's life and death in the field that really matters. I'll never buy an Antec powers supply again. I probably would buy an OCZ if something better wasn't available, like a PCP&C, Mushkin, Seasonic, etc. My GE700 has proven itself pretty well but the real test will be time.
March 6, 2007 2:20:05 PM

I have had two antecs, circa 2004-2005, die in the last year. They went two years, but not much longer than that.

They were both Smartpower 350 PSUs. Ave system at time of failure: Athlon XP 2600+, two hard drives, two optical drives, 6600GT/X800 graphics, Sound card.

It's not a particularly big load. I have since stopped buying Antec PSUs. I like their Solo case, though.
March 6, 2007 2:31:17 PM

Actually, it's not really that hard to make such conclusions.
All you need to do is look at the reviews that pull the PSU's apart and examine the internals.

Don't make assumptions based upon brand name, make sure you know about the particular model in question. And Don't rely too much on off hand personal comments. Those are subjective and every power supply will have some level of failure. You will find that the more somebody pays for a PSU the more they will scream when it does bad. I.E, if you pay $20 for a PSU and hope it works but it does not you just shrug. If you pay $200 for your PSU and it smokes on you, then you are gonna be real mad and post many angry letters :>




Quote:
Without a large, independent study I just don't see how it'd be possible to say anything conclusive about a brand of PSUs in terms of reliability.


Absatively right.

Quote:
If you were asking for personal experiences, that's what you're going to get... if you were wanting to know the big picture, I don't think anyone here can provide that.


Maybe some tech service people that look in here could give a more unbiased perspective. I've talked to numerous IT service guys, service guys at places like Best Buy, etc. Many of them advise staying away from the mid price and below Antec units. I've had two Smartpowers go up in smoke so I'd not argue.
March 6, 2007 2:54:22 PM

Quote:
All you need to do is look at the reviews that pull the PSU's apart and examine the internals.


I've read more PS reviews than the miles walked by Moses. Just because a review is published, one can't assume that it's gospel. Some reviews are nothing more than adds. I look for highly experienced reviewers and look at their review in detail. Since I've built specialized power supplies from the ground up, I have some background and can tell you that over 50% of the PS reviews on the Internet are useless fluff. I do regularly open up units myself to look at the parts, the layout, solder quality, etc.

Quote:
Don't make assumptions based upon brand name, make sure you know about the particular model in question.


I don't make assumptions period. I look for real data. I'm a scientist by training and not only fully understand the scientific method, I've been paid well to teach it to graduate students and professionals.

Quote:
And Don't rely too much on off hand personal comments.


When you talk to a guy that's been repairing PCs for 15 years and he tells you that he'll never buy another Antec, that's not an off hand personal comment. That's the voice of experience. I've heard the same kind of feedback from numerous experienced PC repair jocks. There are other "no buy" recommendations I've heard form them like Ultra AND usa Power supplies, but this thread is about Antec.

I recently watched a guy lug his new C2D rig into the shop only to find out that when his Antec PS went up in smoke, it not only took out his mobo, GPU and RAM but also the 6600 he'd been tweaking the OC on for 4 months. Here was a grown man that had gotten an Antec recommendation right here on Tom's (talk about an off hand personal comment, there's one for you) and this guy was fighting back tears. A grown man reduced to tears by a POS power supply.

Quote:
You will find that the more somebody pays for a PSU the more they will scream when it does bad.


I think it's not that simple. The turning point for me was the quality of nonservice I got from Antec when my image server farm PCs began to have their Antec power supplies die one after another. Like the other post to this thread, I talked to tech service people at Antec that were so overwhelmed, they could not handle the load of RMAs. That speaks volumes about the company itself.

Quote:
If you pay $200 for your PSU and it smokes on you, then you are gonna be real mad and post many angry letters :>


I'm not the least bit angry at Antec. But when someone here asks, I'll tell the story. $200 loss for a dead PS is nothing compared to the money lost when the POS unit takes out the mobo, RAM, CPU and GPU. Life in RMA-land is no fun.
March 6, 2007 2:59:38 PM

Quote:
im still using my truepower 550wattage model, been with this for like 3-4 years and works just fine :o 

so who knows.. Im so far a happy customer :>
but might change to a higger wattage/amperage since want to switch for a 8800GTS or x2800XT in the future :o 
and obviusly to a barcelona/penryn in the future too


i have a tp2.0 550watt and it works fine so far, about 2 years old.
i have ran sli (68gt,s) before.

and am waiting for a new 8800gts 640mb gpu to come in.
a gtx (which requires 2 molex connects)
and the oc i like may be too much for the 88gtx.

but i imagime it will run the 88gts and an x2 s939 oc,ed to 2.6
just fine.

i had both 68gt,s and my x24400 oc,ed for about 6 months
and no problems.
I talked about this with Mpilchfamily before, he recommended me a new psu
'cause my system as a lot of stuff

2 hdds, 2 optical drives, tv tunercard, sound blaster, 4 gb ram, OC 3800X2 to 2.5 (watercooling )
6 120mm fans, 2 90nm fans.

I dont like to push this 550 W Truepower tothe max (cause with my oced 850XT already gets hot.. so I cant imagine how hot it will get with a 8800gts or R600's series

*edit*
just after reading the ammount of people saying antec psus fail in weeks, makes me feel very lucky o_O
March 6, 2007 3:00:28 PM

I've had two smart power die on me and I am done with Antec PSUs.
March 6, 2007 3:14:28 PM

Power supply failure rate
Posted on 17/01/2007 at 16:21 by Marc


Today, we obtained the failure rate of power supplies recorded by a major French e-commerce. These statistics include products in shops since the first April 2006. At least 100 units of each product listed below have been sold. Statistics per brand are based on a minimum sample of 500 units:

Fortron: 0.7%
Hiper: 1.2%
Seasonic: 1.4%
Thermaltake: 1.6%
Tagan: 2.8%
Enermax: 3.0%
Antec: 9.5%

Fortron comes first in the list followed by Hiper and Seasonic. Thermaltake is next and is the last manufacturer to have acceptable failure rates. Tagan, Enermax and most of all Antec are above the limit. For Antec, the SmartPower 2.0 range including the 500, 350 and 400 Watts versions has very high failure rates: respectively 21.6%, 18.1% and 17.3%. Not a single product has a rate below 2% and the best one is the Neo HE 430 watts at 2.6%.

For Fortron, the figures are a bit more disparate from 0% for the most reliable model to 1.5% for the "least" reliable. Hiper's rates oscillate from 0.4% and 3.8%. The two models above 2% are the modular R 580 watts. For Seasonic, the leading products S12-500 and 600 are respectively at 1.8% and 0.9%.

Thermaltake's rates vary from 0% to 2.5% except for the Silent Power 680 Watts which is at 6.6%. Tagan's figures are relatively stable from 2.3% to 3.3%. Finally, Enermax' rates oscillate from 1.8 to 5.1% (Liberty EL620AWT).


From : http://www.behardware.com/html/news/?date=17-01-2007#85...

Hope this help!
March 6, 2007 3:15:37 PM

Yes, the thread is about Antec, but Antec does not build all of it's PSUs.
Often it's nothing more than a sticker on the front.

If Antec was actually manufacturing all of their own PSUs, then you might be able to draw historical references from previous PSUs even though the conclusions you could have drawn would have been minimal.

Now that many of their PSUs are neither built nor designed by Antec, there is even less of a conclusion you can draw.

When you look at the ANTEC reviews from most places, you will find that few if any knowledgable folks recommend any ANTEC produced power supplies. The ones that get a lukewarm recommendation are the ones produced by Seasonic which also produces PSUs for PC Power and Cooling.

Now the parts that Seasonic uses for the Antecs is still not considered up to the same quality as for their own or the PC Power and Cooling PSUs.

And when looking at the PC Powre and Cooling PSUs, you need to look at who makes them since they make some of their own which are even better quality.
March 6, 2007 3:52:33 PM

For what it's worth, I just thought I'd share my Antec RMA experience.

I purchased an Antec Sonata (ver. 1) Case in Feb 2005 that included a 380Ws TruePower (single fan) PSU. The PSU died in Jan 2007, with just under 2 years of continuous use. (only powered off during vacations)
I submitted my trouble ticket, and received their standard reply within 1 day, that included instructions for initiating their RMA procedure, which I followed. Their instructions indicated I would receive an RMA number within 3 business days of them receiving my RMA request info.
After hearing nothing for a week (5 business days), I resubmitted my RMA request, indicating it was the second time submitting the request. I received an RMA number in 1-3/4 hours.
2 days after they received my broken PSU, they emailed me with a ship notification and expected delivery date (6 days later ... to Canada) and it arrived as expected.
They replaced my 380Ws TruePower with a 430W Truepower Trio, an unexpected little upgrade.

Overall, I was happy with the RMA process. I wasn't in a hurry as I purchased a new PSU the day after the first died (I can't go 2 days without a functional computer). Yes, they missed the 3 day for an RMA number that they claim, but I sent my first request through an odd email method (mail2web) and forgot to CC myself, so there is some question if they even got it (although I'm assuming they did).

One could argue the PSU shouldn't have died, but considering the PSU was included with the case, ran 24/7 for almost 2 years, and my components rate to 376W (I just filled out an online PSU calculator) I'm not too sad. I got what I paid for. :) 
March 6, 2007 4:28:44 PM

Quote:
Yes, the thread is about Antec, but Antec does not build all of it's PSUs.
Often it's nothing more than a sticker on the front.

If Antec was actually manufacturing all of their own PSUs, then you might be able to draw historical references from previous PSUs even though the conclusions you could have drawn would have been minimal.

Now that many of their PSUs are neither built nor designed by Antec, there is even less of a conclusion you can draw.

When you look at the ANTEC reviews from most places, you will find that few if any knowledgable folks recommend any ANTEC produced power supplies. The ones that get a lukewarm recommendation are the ones produced by Seasonic which also produces PSUs for PC Power and Cooling.

Now the parts that Seasonic uses for the Antecs is still not considered up to the same quality as for their own or the PC Power and Cooling PSUs.

And when looking at the PC Powre and Cooling PSUs, you need to look at who makes them since they make some of their own which are even better quality.


If Antec is putting their name on a product, they had better make sure that the quality is up to standard. It doesn't matter if they made it or not, they are in control of quality. I will never buy another antec psu! EVER!
March 6, 2007 5:11:33 PM

Quote:
Power supply failure rate
Posted on 17/01/2007 at 16:21 by Marc


Today, we obtained the failure rate of power supplies recorded by a major French e-commerce. These statistics include products in shops since the first April 2006. At least 100 units of each product listed below have been sold. Statistics per brand are based on a minimum sample of 500 units:

Fortron: 0.7%
Hiper: 1.2%
Seasonic: 1.4%
Thermaltake: 1.6%
Tagan: 2.8%
Enermax: 3.0%
Antec: 9.5%

Fortron comes first in the list followed by Hiper and Seasonic. Thermaltake is next and is the last manufacturer to have acceptable failure rates. Tagan, Enermax and most of all Antec are above the limit. For Antec, the SmartPower 2.0 range including the 500, 350 and 400 Watts versions has very high failure rates: respectively 21.6%, 18.1% and 17.3%. Not a single product has a rate below 2% and the best one is the Neo HE 430 watts at 2.6%.

For Fortron, the figures are a bit more disparate from 0% for the most reliable model to 1.5% for the "least" reliable. Hiper's rates oscillate from 0.4% and 3.8%. The two models above 2% are the modular R 580 watts. For Seasonic, the leading products S12-500 and 600 are respectively at 1.8% and 0.9%.

Thermaltake's rates vary from 0% to 2.5% except for the Silent Power 680 Watts which is at 6.6%. Tagan's figures are relatively stable from 2.3% to 3.3%. Finally, Enermax' rates oscillate from 1.8 to 5.1% (Liberty EL620AWT).


From : http://www.behardware.com/html/news/?date=17-01-2007#85...

Hope this help!


Great post. Great numbers. Since these are retail statistics, I assume that all brands are used in a similar manner. Even better would be to compare different brands with the same rated power.

Conversely, I think any single user testimonials comparing different brands should be taken with a grain of salt because noone ever says exactly how the supply is used. If you only use half of the rated power and the intake air is cool, it is much less likely to fail. Also people mention time before crapping out, but not watt-hours of use before crapping out. If someone tells you Toyotas are unreliable because his died, without telling you that he redlines it daily and doesn't change the oil, the info is pretty useless.
March 6, 2007 5:39:17 PM

I've been using a Antec Smarterpower 2.0 500W for just under a year now. My computer very Rarely gets shuts down, its probably used about 6-8 hours a day while 3-5 of that is gaming which is the most strenuous my system would ever get. Unfortunately whenever my X1800XT requires more power to go into 3D mode the psu makes a high pitched noise. This happens anytime, like if i watch a movie/video or a game

If i am in game and i alt tab out the noise immediately stops but when i alt-tab back into game it starts again. I don't know if its a problem but i heard someone earlier say its due to bad capacitors. I really have no clue to what is the cause. Regardless its the kind of sound that doesn't sound good and makes me think about purchasing a new psu.
March 6, 2007 5:58:53 PM

i must say i am impressed with antec - a neo 550w pushing a 560j @4.1ghz, a storage raid, plus os drive and 2 gigs of ram with an oc evga 8800gtx - is very impressive!

a customer of mine dropped in an 8800gtx in system i build 2-3 years ago - i was 50/50 on weather the psu would handle the 180w card but its high amp rating did prove itself
March 7, 2007 1:50:35 AM

thats probably closer to its limits, but i would be more disappointed if it didn't work...wouldn't you...
March 7, 2007 1:59:45 AM

Quote:
If Antec was actually manufacturing all of their own PSUs, then you might be able to draw historical references from previous PSUs even though the conclusions you could have drawn would have been minimal.


So brand name means nothing to you? Have you had to deal with Antec customer service lately?

Quote:
Now that many of their PSUs are neither built nor designed by Antec, there is even less of a conclusion you can draw.


Who do you think specs the units Antec puts their name on? Isn't drawing up a spec part of the design process?
March 7, 2007 4:47:11 AM

Gonna have to completely agree with Clue, i mean thats like saying just because other graphic card makers don't make the memory or heatsink, does that mean that they shouldn't be responsible for when something doesn't work. Any time someone's name is on the the label should they not be held accountable. Its complete bs to say Antec has no responsibility for there PSUs.
!