Antec High Current Gamer HCG-550 Plus ReviewManufacturer: Antec
UK price (as reviewed):
MSRP £85 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed):
Your PSU certainly won’t affect your frame rates (unless it’s too underpowered for your PC, of course) but that hasn’t prevented Antec from targeting its new line of PSUs at gamers. It claims that its new premium mid-range power supplies, which are actually made by Seasonic, include special, high-current connectors and cabling, while also sporting premium double ball-bearing fans.
The PSU's Plus designation also indicates that it's modular (captive models in the standard High Current Gamer (HCG) range lack this suffix), with only the 24-pin ATX connector and one of the two 6+2-pin PCI-E sockets permanently attached to the PSU.
Click to enlarge
The HCG-550 Plus sports four 12V rails, which is an unusually high number for a PSU below 600W, each of which is rated at 40A. The first of these rails powers the 24-pin ATX socket and the two black modular sockets, where the four Molex connections attach. The second rail powers the 8-pin EPS12V socket and a single one of the four red modular sockets, into which any of the other SATA or PCI-E modular cables can be plugged. This leaves the third 12V rail powering the captive 6+2-pin PCI-E cable and a single modular socket while the 12V4 rail only has to deal with the remaining two modular sockets.
12V ripple at 50 per cent load
12V ripple at 100 per cent load
Spreading the major connections over a number of rails is a sensible choice, but you’ll want to make sure that you plug at least some of the modular cables into the two sockets connected to the 12V4 rail, or this rail will be left unused.
Our load testing of the HCG-550 Plus showed some excellent results at 10 and 50 per cent load, with all rails reporting voltages within the ATX spec. Unfortunately, however, there was one fly in the ointment. The HCG-550 Plus’ nemesis proved to be its 12V2 rail, which dipped to 11.2V – that’s 0.2V below the ATX specification under 100 per cent load.
This is a shame, as the HCG-550 Plus proved relatively efficient, recording a result of 88 per cent efficiency at half load and of 85 per cent efficiency at full load. It performed well in our ripple test too.
Its holdup results were a little more varied, however; its result of 31ms on its 5V rail was excellent, while the 13.7ms it returned when we tested its 12V1 rail was below the minimum of 17ms that the ATX spec recommends.
The HCG-550 Plus has some good premium features, but we can’t overlook the fact that the PSU strays from the ATX spec. The Seasonic X-560
may be more expensive but at least you can be sure it won’t cause instability in your PC.