Introduction, Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Antec is arguably the most well-known name in the computer power supply industry and rightfully so. They've been around since 1986 and have provided quality power supplies, cases, cooling products and more that fit the need of just about any type of build for both businesses and consumers. Over the last few years we've seen a large refresh in many of Antec's product lines, especially their power supplies. Today we are taking a look at the Antec High Current Pro 1200W power supply, the highest output PSU offered in the new HCP series.
The Antec HCP line consists of four PSU's available in 750W, 850W, 1000W, and 1200W. While the HCP-1200 features a total of eight 12V rails, the other three feature only four 12V rails. All of the HCP power supplies are rated for 80Plus Gold efficiency. Antec promises the High Current Pro PSU's to perform with rock-solid stability for cutting edge gaming and professional systems and the power supplies are all rated for 100% continuous output at 50C. Let's take a look at what the HCP-1200 has to offer on paper then see how well it performs.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Taking a look at the output specifications for the HCP-1200 reveals more than what we are used to seeing here. While most power supplies have a single 12V rail or up to four of them for higher wattage power supplies, the HCP-1200 features a total of eight 12V rails. Each of these are rated for 30A and have a combined total output of 99A. Both the 3.3V and 5V rails are capable of 25A with a combined total load of 25A. It would be nice to see a little more power out of these two rails since the HCP-1200 is rated for 1200W. Something we don't usually mention here is the 5VSB rail. The HCP-1200 has a rather beefy 4A rail for devices on standby.
As you would expect from a flagship power supply, the HCP-1200 has everything that you can find in a power supply. All of the voltage, power, current and circuit protections are present. The unit features both native and modular cables and all of them are fully sleeved. The HCP-1200 also has both a ATX 4+4 cable and EPS12V cable. All of the HCP power supplies are 80Plus Gold rated and do so with 100% continuous output at 50C.
The Antec HCP-1200 is widely available at all your major retailers and e-tailers alike. With an MSRP of $350, the HCP-1200 is certainly one of the more expensive units on the market. As always, some quick searching will yield much cheaper prices for the HCP. Currently you can pick up the HCP-1200 for $279.99 on Amazon with free shipping, while our favorite etailer Newegg is shifting it for $299.99 plus shipping. Antec backs the HCP-1200 with a 5-year warranty.
Antec keeps the packaging simplistic on the front with the yellow and black design. The SLI and 80Plus logos are displayed in the corner.
Flipping things around to the back and we'll get pummeled with bullet points highlighting some of the features of the power supply. There is also a connector availability chart at the bottom, but it does lack connector length.
One side tries to wow you over with plenty of logos. The three that stand out the most are the 80mm fan, Japanese capacitors and Advanced Hybrid cable management system of which we will go over later.
The other side depicts a chart for the noise and speed of the 80mm fan used in the HCP-1200.
Looking at the top, we get our first glimpse of the PSU and dimensions of the unit itself.
The bottom finally displays the I/O specifications of the HCP-1200.
Inside the Box
Antec's new packaging method seems to favor corrugated cardboard over foam to protect the power supply. While not the preferred method, it seems to work well.
The top is a blank slate with the exception of the Antec logo.
Both sides of the power supply feature the same Antec HCP-1200 sticker. As you can see by the way the case is put together, this is going to be a fun unit to try and take apart.
On the back of the HCP-1200, we find a single 80mm fan, the AC input and on/off switch. While most power supplies have moved towards the larger 140mm fans on the bottom, the HCP-1200 has a very good reason for the single 80mm which we will cover shortly.
Towards the front, we find an open design to call for better airflow as well as a handful of modular connectors. Note the lack of a grommet to protect the cables rubbing as they exit the power supply. At least some thought was put into this, however, since there is a zip tie that holds things in place.
The bottom reveals the I/O specification label for the HCP-1200.
Also included in the box are the user manual, power cable and modular cables.
Cabling Arrangement & A Look Inside
As you would expect from a 1200W power supply, there is quite a bit of cables and connectors available with the HCP-1200. The HCP-1200 features both an ATX 4+4 connector and an EPS12V connector should you need them. There are a total of eight 8-pin PCI-E connectors to power GPU's and while it is only certified for up to three video cards, it should have no trouble with four of them. Peripherals are powered by seven cables with a total of 12 SATA connectors and nine Molex connectors. Those still in need of a FDD connector can use the included adapter.
With a total of eight 12V rails, you would expect things to be complicated here, but it isn't. With the exception of the peripheral cables, each cable is on its own individual rail. The only bad thing about this is that it places all of the peripheral cables on a single 12V rail. This shouldn't be much of an issue as fans, hard drives and optical drives use little power, but in the event that you find yourself overloading 12V4, Antec has a solution for you. Their Advanced Hybrid Cable Management system allows you to connect the modular peripheral cables to the two modular PCI-E connectors, provided that you are not utilizing them for a third and/or fourth GPU. This lets you move some of the load off 12V4 and should keep it from being overloaded.
A Look Inside
Opening up the HCP-1200 reveals a dual PCB design where the primary is split between the two. This is the reason behind the single 80mm fan in the rear of the power supply. Since there is a PCB on both the top and the bottom, it would be impossible to utilize a larger fan on the bottom to cool things. This also explains the few modular cables since additional venting is required in the front to draw in fresh air through the use of the rear mounted fan.
Utilizing a dual PCB for power supplies is certainly nothing new, but Antec has a nice little twist on things here. While dual PCB designs typically feature the primary on one PCB and the secondary on the other PCB, the HCP-1200 has part of the primary on one PCB with the rest of the primary and all of the secondary on the other PCB. Here's part of the primary.
This side has a pair of Japanese made Rubycon caps.
The rest of the primary and all of the secondary for the HCP-1200 can be found on this PCB.
There are still a couple of smaller Rubycon capacitors for the primary.
The secondary side of things features a mix of more Rubycon capacitors with a few Nippon Chemi-Con caps thrown into the mix.
Cooling the HCP-1200 is an 80mm Sanyo Denki fan, model 9AH0812P4G131.
Test Results & Final Thoughts
Our load tests utilize a couple of FAST ATE active load testers and a variety of other equipment such as an oscilloscope, power conditioner, temperature probe and a power consumption meter. You can read more about our standard testing approach here.
The tests performed are based around six conceivable setups that are out there and progressively load down the PSU up to the power supply's limits or 1000W, whichever comes first. Since our test equipment's limits lower than that of the Antec HCP-1200, we can only test it to 1000W. Additionally, our equipment is only capable of creating four individual 12V loads. As such, each load created was shared between two rails on the power supply.
After running the Antec HCP-1200 through all of the tests, we were left with a bunch of rather impressive results. Voltage regulation stayed within 2% the entire time on ALL rails. The 12V rails were rock solid throughout all of the tests, with voltages never dropping more than .03V from start to finish. The 3.3V and 5V rails were nearly as impressive, with both rails showing a drop of .09V from beginning to end.
Ripple on the 12V rails were phenomenal. From the start, it was nearly impossible to even discern any noise on the oscilloscope. As the loads increased, ripple slowly crept up as well, reaching a maximum of 11mv peak to peak.
The HCP-1200 manages to sneak its way into passing the efficiency test for an 80Plus Gold rating. Usually we find that a power supply is cutting it close towards the end of the testing and might dip below the minimum efficiency required for a specific 80Plus certification. That isn't the case with the HCP-1200. It performs well at the beginning and the end, but cuts it real close at 50% load. The HCP-1200 edges its ways over the minimum 90% efficiency required to achieve the Gold rating.
Antec has brought a fantastic power supply to the market with the HCP-1200. The unit performs on a nearly flawless level from start to finish, is built really well, and is packed full of features. You simply couldn't ask for more out of the HCP-1200. It would be nearly impossible to find a better 1200W power supply and we highly recommend that you consider the HCP-1200 should you require that much power. We'd gladly name the HCP-1200 the Crme de la Crme of power supplies, but it has some serious competition. In fact, this unit is on the exact same level as the recently reviewed Corsair AX1200.
Taking a look at the two units, we tried hard to find a way to value one over the other, but no matter how we did it, the final score always came out the same. The difference between the two is going to come down to personal preference. Do you want multiple 12V rails or a single rail? Do you want fully modular or partially modular? Performance is so marginally better on the HCP-1200 that you'd never see a real world difference, but the Corsair has a longer warranty. Prices are the same. Are you an Antec fan boy or a Corsair fan boy? No matter how you choose, you can't go wrong.
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