Results: EarthWatts Platinum 550 W
Efficiency According to the 80 PLUS Specification
Efficiency by Output Power
We tested the Antec EarthWatts Platinum 550 W’s compliance with the 80 PLUS Platinum spec by loading up mostly the +12 V rails. We were surprised to see that it barely missed the 80 PLUS Platinum efficiency spec at half and full loads, falling short of both marks by 0.7 percentage points.
However, the EarthWatts Platinum 550 W still complies with the Platinum spec, because the test method used by the 80 PLUS organization differs from ours. As explained by Antec, 80 PLUS loads the rails according to a manufacturer’s spec sheet. This causes the 3.3 V and 5 V rails to be loaded more, and the +12 V rails loaded less than in our more realistic scenario. Due to this discrepancy, we plan to shed more light on the 80 PLUS organization’s testing methodology in a future article.
With all of that said, Antec's EarthWatts Platinum 550 W is still a highly efficient PSU that easily masters all the other tests in our round-up. This unit passes the ripple and noise test with flying colors, and stays well below acceptable maximums.
A Closer Look at the PCB
Antec's EarthWatts Platinum line of power supplies are OEM versions of FSP Platinum models, though the black PCB does bear the Antec logo.
No corners are cut at the input filter. To the contrary, we counted three Y capacitors, two X capacitors, and three choke coils. When we examined the components and the PCB layout, we found a strong similarity to the FSP Aurum family. While most capacitors are made by Chemi-Con in Japan, we also found a few capacitors made by Taiwan-based CapXon, but we don’t deem this to be a quality issue. Also worth mentioning, the soldering quality on this unit is excellent.