We first learned about the new VPF units with 80 PLUS Bronze efficiency and 350 to 650W capacities at this year's Computex. Antec's latest effort targets the average user who wants a budget-oriented PSU that's reliable and geared toward a mid-range system. Company representatives let us know they decided not to use the VPF nomenclature in the U.S. market. Instead, the VPF series is available under the EarthWatts Green name. According to Antec, the only difference between units sold in Europe and in the United States is the name on the boxes and labels. In Europe, the VPF supplies sell at an attractive price (around $57 for the VPF650); in the United States, the EarthWatts Green series goes for a bit more, with the EA-650 priced at $75.
Today we're evaluating the most powerful model in the VPF (EarthWatts Green) line with up to 650W output. To lower production costs, this unit doesn't utilize modular cabling, and only the main ATX cable is sleeved. The rest of the cables are left naked, which looks a little strange since even the most affordable PSUs—at least the branded ones—feature sleeving throughout. But this isn't a cheap supply; it's manufactured by Delta Electronics, which is the largest and one of the best PSU manufacturers around. Its implementations don't come cheap. Currently, Delta makes desktop PSUs exclusively for Antec. That’s probably because Delta no longer has an interest in this market, and only Antec managed to keep an active contract with the company.
The older VPF series carried a plain 80 PLUS certification, so the upgrade to Bronze makes a significant difference. In addition, the VPF650 can support up to two high-end graphics cards with its four PCIe connectors. Moreover, it is compatible with the sleep states that Intel's Haswell CPUs introduced (S6 and S7). That is, it can deliver full load on the minor rails (5V and 3.3V) without any problems while the +12V load is very low (Intel's test procedure demands only 0.1A).
The official specifications list all available protection features, including over-temperature protection (OTP). The max temperature at which the PSU can deliver its full power continuously is 40 degrees Celsius, and although the ATX specification recommends 50 °C, 40 degrees is still high enough for a mainstream PSU. The cooling fan uses a sleeve bearing, which is expected in a budget PSU. As for the unit's dimensions, the VPF650 has restricted length, meaning it will fit in every ATX case. Finally, the warranty is set at three years.
|Total Max. Power (W)||650|
There are two +12V rails that can deliver the VPF650's full power. This means that the minor rails are regulated by DC-DC converters, and their maximum combined power is high enough for the needs of a contemporary PC that draws power mostly from the +12V rail.
Cables And Connectors
|Description||Cable Count||Connector Count (Total)|
|ATX connector 20+4 pin (510mm)||1||1|
|4+4 pin EPS12V (560mm)||1||1|
|6+2 pin PCIe (510mm+120mm)||2||4|
|SATA (470mm) / four-pin Molex (+120mm+120mm+120mm) / FDD (+120mm)||1||1 / 3 / 1|
Although all cables except for the main ATX cable aren't sleeved, Antec still equips this budget PSU with enough connectors to easily deliver its full power, driving a system equipped with up to two powerful graphics cards. In addition, the SATA connectors are adequate for this capacity. We did find the mix of a single SATA, three four-pin Molex and a FDD connector installed on the same cable to be a bit weird, though. Looking at cable length, it would be better if the ATX cable were 55 centimeters long and the EPS connector were at least 60 cm away from the PSU. Since this PSU will most likely be installed in a medium-size case, however, the current cable length shouldn't cause any problems. Finally, all connectors consist of standard 18-gauge wire.
|12V1||ATX, PCIe, Peripheral, SATA|
The single EPS connector is powered by a dedicated rail and it isn't mixed with the PCIe connectors. This is definitely the way to go. But we don't like the fact that the 12V1 is overloaded with connectors, while the 12V2 rail has only the single EPS to worry about. If it were up to us, we would power all PCIe connectors from 12V1 and all the rest from 12V2. This way, the load would be much more balanced.