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Power Supply Roundup - Six PSU's fight to the death - Vantec VAN-350N

Today Cameron Johnson has posted a power supply roundup comparing some of the latest units from OCZ, Thermaltake, Vantec and Coolermaster. We'll check out the appearance and features of each PSU and then put them up against each other and measure the type of minimum and maximum voltages each is able to deliver with a standard system and then an overclocked system based around an Intel Pentium 4 Prescott processor.

By: | Other PSUs in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Sep 9, 2004 4:00 am

Vantec VAN-350N


The Vantec VAN-350N is the smallest wattage power supply we were sent for this roundup coming in at 350 watts. Most of the latest trends are for 400 watt minimum and pushing into the high 500 watt (and even 600 watt range) in order to keep up with power hungry users who overclock to the extreme.



Vantec has gone for a black hammer-tone finish on its PSU to match the more common case modders preferred PC colour of black - if you have a black case, this baby will fit right in.



Vantec take the same approach to cooling the unit as the Thermaltake Polo12. No rear fan has been placed on this cooler but rather one large 120mm fan sits at the bottom of the PSU and draws air from the inside of the case. This is then blown across the internal components. As the air has no other path to follow but out the rear grill, the air is expelled quietly and efficiently.



Cable management has been one of Vantec's add-on kits for power supplies, so it's without a doubt that we would see Vantec's own PSU with the cable sleeving included. While not colour coded like the Thermaltake PSU, it is all in black to match the PSU. As far as cables go, you get the following:


1x 20pin ATX power connector


1x 4pin CPU voltage power connector


1x 6pin AUX connector (these are now redundant, it is only for legacy this is added)


7x 4pin HDD Molex connector with EZ-Grip removal


2x 4pin FDD Molex Connector


2x SATA Power Connector


For the cables Vantec provides enough power ports for a 350 watt PSU to handle, in fact it is the most we have seen on such a small PSU.



Vantec has not only done a good job outside but inside the PSU as well which is where it really counts. Two large gold heatsinks are bolted to the 4 main voltage regulators in order to give as clean a power signal as possible by reducing the heat. While it's not the most aggressive cooling setup there is, it sure does keep a tidy layout with plenty of quality parts.




Vantec put its specifications for the VAN-350N as follows:


+3.3v Rail: 14A


+5v Rail: 30A


+12v Rail: 15A


-12v Rail: 0.8A


-5v Rail: 0.5A


+5vSB Rail: 3A


Maximum Rated Output: 350 Watts


One thing was surprising, while it does lack high amperage on the main lines, its 5VSB line that is used to give standby power to the USB, PS/2 ports for external wakeup is the highest of any PSU, Vantec seems to think that this will be needed, as it does also supply voltage to the memory when in STR mode. In all with the low 15A on the 12v rail I wouldn't recommend this to a Prescott user as it will be extremely taxed under default voltages, let alone an overclocked situation.




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Further Reading: Read and find more Cases, Cooling & PSU content at our Cases, Cooling & PSU reviews, guides and articles index page.

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