Stress Test: Power Supplies Under Full Load

Antec Phantom 500: Quiet With High Efficiency

The Antec Phantom is without peer in terms of quietness while offering terrific efficiency. The ripple values were also ok the second time around.

The graphic above shows the power supply connections and their length in centimeters. The Antec Phantom has no SLI connection - the two floppy connectors are exemplary.


Packaging of the Antec Phantom 500

With the Phantom from Antec we’re dealing with a hybrid power supply unit that enables not only active but also passive operation. The extremely heavy unit weighs in just under 5 pounds (3.2 kilos) and is processed quite well. Antec recently started in one of our past tests with a similar power supply unit (Phantom 350), with the result that the power supply unit switched off under longer maximum load operation. With a loud bang a further specimen said farewell forever. The cause for the breakdown of the first device was found in its high temperature - we were able to get a reading of more than 158 °F (70 °C) on its case. Now, the manufacturer has responded by offering a power supply unit that is almost exactly the same in construction but uses hybrid technology. Thus the expectations for this test are high.

Size Comparison : Antec Phantom 350 (above) and Antec Phantom 500

Unassuming appearance : Antec Phantom 500

Antec identification plate

Switch for fan speeds

Test Results

The Phantom 500 is the second candidate from manufacturer Antec, the first having run through the test course at the beginning of the live stress test. Just like the True Power 2.0 model with 550 watts (actively cooled), the Phantom 500 also missed the target for the same reason. During the ripple measurement, a ripple of 80 mV occurs on the 3.3 volts lead. The ATX12V specification only allows a ripple of 50 mV as limit. That makes crashes possible during maximum load. In contrast to the previous model (Phantom 350) with 350 watts, we should emphasize on the positive side that at least the power supply unit doesn’t switch off. Antec has learned from its mistakes and has integrated a fan into the Phantom 500 that only switches in under high load. Under a minor load the device is silent, e.g. playing a DVD or using an Office application.

Important Update - Antec technicians from Taiwan and the USA visited the Munich THG laboratory for just this purpose. The reason for the 3-hour visit was the divergences we discovered in the ripple test, which were not within spec - although the power supplies did not fail. The technicians from Antec performed new ripple tests on their power supplies together with the THG laboratory engineers. It turned out that the tolerances and high-frequency vibrations with their PSU can lead to varying results in the ripple tests. However, we didn’t observe this phenomenon in any of the other candidates.

Because we determined that the ripple tests can remain entirely within spec in the present models and that the other values were flawless, the Antec devices still earned positive test grades.

Antec technicians and THG lab engineers discuss the technical details involved in measuring the power supplies.

From left to right : Daniel Schuhmann and Bert Toepelt of THG together with the technicians from Antec.

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Antec Phantom 500 (500 watts)
Test Phase 1
Test DescriptionLower LimitUpper LimitResult
Increase load from 20% to 100% of nominal load limit100 watts500 wattsPassed
Test Phase 2
Test DescriptionLoadResult
Steady load at 100% nominal load500 wattsPassed
Test Phase 3
Voltage Stability
Power RailMeasurementMin/Max according to ATX Spec.Result
+ 3.3 V+ 3.14 V+/- 5% (+3.14 to +3.46 V)Passed
+ 5 V+ 4.80 V+/- 5% (+4.76 to +5.25 V)Passed
+ 12 V+ 11.98 V+/- 5% (+11.4 to +12.6 V)Passed
+ 12 V CPU+ 11.82 V+/- 5% (+11.4 to +12.6 V)Passed
+ 5 V Standby+ 5.00 V+/- 5% (+4.76 to +5.25 V)Passed
- 12 V- 12.24 V+/- 10% (-10.8 to -13.2 V)Passed
Power RailMeasurementMin/Max according to ATX Spec.Result
+3.3 V44 mV50 mV (Peak-Peak)Passed
+12 V CPU54 mV120 mV (Peak-Peak)Passed
Further Data
Noise Level (max.)54 dB(A)
Voltage215 V
Current2.23 A
Cos Phi (Phasenverschiebung)0.98