Antec Signature 850W PSU

December 5, 2008 // 8:25 a.m.

Tags: #100 #850w #benchmark #chroma #heat #load #noise #performance #power #psu #review #signature #supply #voltage

Antec's Signature

Antec Signature 850W PSU Sign Here, Please, Mr. Antec

In its bold, black style, Antec could be accused of being somewhat boring in its design, however it seems many PSUs are going this way having been through the "LEDs and lighted fans everywhere!" phase in the last few years.

Just like the OCZ EliteXStream, Cooler Master Ultimate UCP and the Akasa PowerMax 1000W - all these have gone for simply black looks at their high end. What's more, every company has given the exact same reason: they want you to have and recognise that you've purchased a premium PSU, but leave it to exist as is and not have it constantly reaffirm its existence.

From a personal standpoint, we like this idea and we're not denying the matte black finish and single, recessed metal Antec logo does indeed look good, especially in a case with black internals, but we also prefer the Cooler Master UCP hard wearing textured finish. That, however, is entirely a personal preference.

Antec Signature 850W PSU Sign Here, Please, Mr. Antec Antec Signature 850W PSU Sign Here, Please, Mr. Antec
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One thing we have to complain about though is that bloody ugly Antec warranty sticker! Way to go in ruining a look. Apart from this and two stickers on the side that's it though, an overall "clean" design.

The rear has the usual power switch and plug socket, as well as a single 80mm fan that cools the whole unit instead of the preferred 120-140mm in the roof like almost everyone else uses these days. The single 80mm design is actually better because it ducts air right along and through the heatsinks rather than forcing it down onto them. It also puts less stress on the fan axle that's usually left hanging and holding the entire weight of the fan.

Antec Signature 850W PSU Sign Here, Please, Mr. Antec Antec Signature 850W PSU Sign Here, Please, Mr. Antec
Click to enlarge

As a semi-modular PSU, Antec has divided the cables into ones that are required and those that are generally considered optional - this way there's no extra cable mess but the wired cables don't have a potential voltage drop a modular cable affords. Also, because the 80mm fan requires an intake at the back, there is limited space available for modular connectors.

That said, the cables erupting from the casing are very ugly: the thin cables combined with nodules to seal the braid looks like a diseased plant. While we appreciate this is easier given the space, it's not an elegant solution.

Antec Signature 850W PSU Sign Here, Please, Mr. Antec Antec Signature 850W PSU Sign Here, Please, Mr. Antec
Click to enlarge

The modular connectors are split between red for PCI-Express and black for Molex and SATA, and while they have an accurate fit with a firm connection are a little difficult to get a finger in to unclip. The Enermax modular connectors with clips on either side are much better in this regard.

Antec's four rail design spreads the rails evenly between #1 for ATX and peripheral, #2 for CPU power, then #3 and #4 for PCI-Express, with a slight weighting for graphics. With 780W out of 850W dedicated to 12V - that's nearly 92 percent - there's an excellent weighting for 12V which is the main use of power in modern PSUs.
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