Introduction, Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Antec is certainly well known throughout the industry for their quality power supplies at an affordable price. The units that we've taken a look at in the past have proven to be no exception to this and we wanted to take a look at another unit from Antec to see what they had to offer for our readers. Antec kindly responded to our request and sent us over the HCG-620.
The HCG-620 doesn't feature the same bold looking enclosure that you find in the HCG-750 and HCG-900, but it does offer a lot of the same features. While the HCG-620 might not be packed with all of the latest and greatest protections and features, it does promise to bring some quality power to the table at a great price point.
Just how much quality does it bring to the table for its low price? That's what we are here to find out, so keep reading as we go through the HCG-620 from the start of the AC input to the end of the DC outputs.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Antec's HCG-620 comes swinging out of the box with a single 48A rail capable of 576W. While it isn't capable of nearly 100% of the total output on the 12V rail, it is capable of well over 90%. The minor rails are rated for 24A of power each with a combined total output of 130W. This should be more than ample for any computer that wouldn't overload the power supply.
Antec's HCG line-up lacks both the over temperature protection and is not rated for 100% continuous output at 50C, and the HCG-620 is no exception. The HCG-620 doesn't have any modular cables either. It does, however, have a majority of the protections you look for including OCP and SCP. All of the cables are fully sleeved.
Trying to find an Antec power supply is never a problem as the company has excellent market penetration and the HCG-620 is no exception. While the HCG-620 retails for $79.99, a quick search will yield Amazon as the cheapest place to buy the power supply at the time of writing. Amazon offers it for $69.99 with free shipping. Antec backs the unit with a 3-year warranty.
The HCG-620 comes in the familiar black, white, red and yellow packaging just as we saw with the HCG-750.
Taking a look at the back of the box, we can see some specifications that are highlighted and a list of connectors available as well.
The top of the box finally gives us the dimensions of the unit and shows the 80Plus Bronze certification.
Flipping to the bottom, we find a few more features and the I/O specifications for the HCG-620.
One side of the box sums up most of the features in a more graphical manner.
The other side gives us a chart depicting the noise emitted by the HCG-620 as the load and fan speed increases.
Inside the Box
Antec packs the HCG series power supplies with two layers of cardboard around the unit to protect it during shipping. It isn't the best packing job we have ever seen, but it does seem to do the job.
It has become a common trend to locate the I/O specification label on the top of the power supply and the HCG-620 follows suit.
Since there are no modular cables, there isn't much going on at the front of the power supply.
Both sides feature the same red and black sticker denoting the power supply's make and model.
The usual honeycomb mesh grill covers the back of the unit and surrounds the on/off rocker switch and AC input.
On the bottom we find the 135mm fan cooling the HCG-620.
Also included in the box are the AC power cord, mounting screws, user manual and survey card.
Cabling Arrangement & A Look Inside
Antec does a great job with connector availability for the HCG-620. It is a little bit overkill, but covers just about every angle you could think of for the 620W power supply. The obligatory 20+4 pin and ATX 4+4 connectors are there. After that you are given a pair of 6+2 pin PCI-E connectors, six Molex connectors, six SATA connectors and a single FDD connector.
Rail distribution is kept simple with a single 12V rail.
A Look Inside
Some of the newer power supply designs are getting incredibly tiny. If it wasn't for the 135mm fan, Antec could have used a much smaller enclosure for the power supply.
There is a single Nippon Chemi-Con capacitor on the primary side.
Nippon Chemi-Con capacitors are found on the secondary side as well.
Antec chose the ADDA 135mm fan, model ADN512MB-A90, to cool the HCG-620.
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 are higher than that of the Antec HCG-620, we can test it to the maximum.
Antec's HCG-620 does an absolutely amazing job concerning voltage regulation. All three rails manage to stay within 1% of specification from start to finish. There was almost minimal voltage fluctuation across the board and it was just as noticeable on the 3.3V rail as it was the 12V rail, both dropping a mere .03V between tests 1 and 4. The 5V rail only dropped 0.2V between tests 1 and 4.
What the HCG-620 has in voltage regulation, it loses in DC output quality. The noise seen on the 12V rail is higher than that of most of the power supplies we have looked at recently under full load. During Test 1, we see a ripple of 27mV peak to peak on the scope. Moving to Test 2, we see a substantial jump to 39mV of ripple. This is still within the range of what we consider acceptable, but it is rapidly approaching the line of 50mV where we start to get uncomfortable.
During Test 3, we see the HCG-620 go past that line as it reaches 51mV of ripple on the 12V rail. This climbs up even higher to 62mV during the full load test of Test 4. While this is higher than we like to see, it is important to note that this is still well within the ATX specification and only half of the maximum 120mV allowed.
The Antec HCG-620 carries an 80Plus Bronze certification with it. This means that it must be 82%/85%/82% efficient at 25%/50%/100% loads respectively. Our first test is above the 25% load mark, but not too far off and doesn't even hint that it wouldn't pass the first part of the certification. The rest of the tests are within specifications, even if it is getting a little close towards the end.
Antec has a lot of highs with the HCG-620. You've got a quality built power supply with a great selection of cables and connectors. Voltage regulation is top notch across the board and you simply couldn't ask for more, even out of a high end, pure enthusiast grade PSU. Add in the low price and you've got a fairly decent list of reasons to pull the trigger on the HCG-620.
There are also many reasons not to pull the trigger on the HCG-620. The mediocre DC output quality would be one of the most prolific reasons to do so, but there are others that many will consider as well. As the power supply is squarely aimed at gamers, it is easily said that the unit will be tortured for many hours at a time. It's hard to see how you could market a power supply towards someone that is going to push it to the limit, but not include over temperature protection or not make sure it is rated for 100% continuous output at 50C. The HCG also only carries a 3-year warranty and is only capable of 80Plus Bronze efficiency.
What it comes down to is that you can't have your cake and eat it too when it comes to power supplies. If you want the high end power supply with all the features, high efficiency and quality power, you are going to have to pay for it. When it comes to budget power supplies, you have to give a little to take a little and the HCG-620 does a great job of finding a balance between affordability while sacrificing a bit of performance.