Getting the Right Power: 15 PC Power Supply Units

500 Watt Class

Antec True Control 550

With its True Control 550, Antec offers the option of optimizing the output voltages on the individual power supply unit lines : Countersunk screws that are brought forward via a 5.25" slot allow the voltages of the +3.3V, +5V and +12V lines to be regulated individually in a range of +/- 5%. However, measuring the voltages turns out to be a messy affair : Information in BIOS and software tools is, according to the Antec manual, too imprecise - it recommends measurement by multimeter. But this is only possible with the +5- and +12-volt lines of the 4-pin-molex or HDD connectors. However, as it has no +3.3-volt line, the manual once again mentions the inadequate measurements/monitoring via the BIOS - got that now ? The 5.25" slot also has a potentiometer that allows control of the two 80 mm fan of the power supply unit. To the left of the set screws there is still room in the slot for a 3.5" drive

With the help of the three set screws (1) the voltages of the power supply unit lines can be readjusted. Below and to the right is the control for the fan rpm (2)

But the True Control 550 is loud by comparison : At minimum fan rpm, (potentiometer on the left side of the depression) and minimum load, the operating noise is around 36 dB(A). If the potentiometer is switched to the medium setting and puts the power supply unit under a maximum load, the level rises to a full 46 dB(A).

This control cable connects the slot and the power supply unit

Overall, however, the Antec True Control makes a good impression : Antec promises a maximum combined power level for the three supply lines of 530 watts - a value that is far above the range that our test platform can measure : Within the framework of all of the limits cited by the manufacturer, we can confirm smooth operation of 495 watts total power. Good : If the individual power buses of the supply lines are loaded beyond specifications - for example, above 40 A on the +5-volt line, the power supply unit shuts off.