Introduction, Specifications, Availability and Pricing
We've taken a look at each iteration of the Antec High Current Gamer series that Antec has launched so we thought it would be a great idea to take a look their latest entry to the HCG product line as well.
This time around, Antec has introduced modular cabling to the lineup. Let's dig deep inside of the new HCG-620M to see what it is made of.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Nothing seems to have changed between the previous generation HCG-620 and the new modular version as far as specifications go. There is still a single 12V rail rated for 48A along with 24A 3.3V and 5V rails. The minor rails are rated for a combined output of 130W and the unit as a whole is rated for 620W.
Features are pretty much the same as well. The unit still lacks the 50C rating as well as over temperature protection. As this unit has modular cables, Antec does manage to add another green check on the list and it will likely help the series appeal to a wider range of users.
Antec has an MSRP of $99 on the HCG-620M unit. We were able to find it cheapest at Provantage at the time of writing this article for $97.64 after shipping. Antec backs the Antec HCG-620M with a three year warranty.
Packaging hasn't changed much for the new HCG line of power supplies when compared to other Antec PSUs.
The back has a decent list of features as well as a connector availability list.
One side features just the logo and 80Plus Bronze branding.
The top presents us with the unit dimensions.
A few more specs can be found on the bottom.
One side contains a simplified feature list.
Turning things around to the other side we find a graph depicting fan speed and fan noise relating to the load of the power supply.
Inside the Box
The unit is shipped with only a layer of cardboard surrounding it for protection. It has been working well for Antec for some time apparently as they haven't changed it since the original HCG power supplies.
The top gives us a good shot at the matte black finish and the I/O specification label.
One side of the unit has the HCG-620M logo stickered on it.
The other side shows the same logo, but also has the Antec logo stamped in it.
On the back we find the standard honeycomb mesh grill with on/off rocker switch and AC input.
Flipping things around to the front we find the freshly added modular connectors. Note that the red connectors are for both PCI-E and peripheral cables.
The bottom houses the 135mm fan that cools the unit.
Six modular cables are included; two for PCI-E connectors and four for peripheral connectors.
Included with the power supply are the user manual, AC power cord and mounting screws.
Cabling Arrangement and A Look Inside
Cabling for the HCG-620M is a good mix of functionality and flexibility. Out of the box it comes with the 20+4 pin main and single ATX 4+4 cables natively wired. Modular cables include two 6+2pin PCI-E cables, two SATA cables, one Molex cable and one Molex + FDD cable.
Antec also offers additional PCI-E cables that can be purchased to give you two more PCI-E connectors and allow for the use of multiple video cards, but this does come at the cost of losing two peripheral cables. Not exactly the most ideal solution, but at least it is an option.
Rail distribution is as simple as it gets with a single 12V rail.
A Look Inside
Cooling is kept simple with a pair of heatsinks running front to back.
A single Nippon Chemi-Con cap adorns the primary side of the power supply.
The secondary side uses a mix of capacitors. Here we see a Rubycon cap.
Moving over a little bit we find the Nippon Chemi-Con's are present as well.
Antec uses the 135mm ADDA ADN512MB-A90 fan to provide cooling for the HCG-620M.
Test Results and 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-620m, we can test it to the maximum.
Let's start by taking a look at the voltages to see how well this unit did during testing. Starting with the 12V rail, we see 2% regulation from start to finish with a total drop of .14V from start to finish. The 5V rail also stayed within 2% voltage regulation and displayed a total drop of .04V. Moving towards the 3.3V rail, we see that regulation was dropped to 3% with a total voltage drop of .04V.
DC output quality was okay from start to finish, but could have been better. Starting out, we were clearly able to see a ripple on the scope during Test 1 where we measured noise 25mV peak to peak. This steadily increased as the loads also increased. By the time we had reached around 50% load, the unit ripple had crept up to 33mV. Under full load, we saw that the noise on the 12V rail had crept up to 44mV.
The Antec HCG-620M is rated for 80Plus Bronze efficiency. This means that the power supply must perform at 82%/85%/82% efficiency at 20%/50%/100% loads respectively. As you can see, the Antec HCG-620M had no trouble achieving this while on our test bench. At no time was the unit close to failing for efficiency.
Our review sample of the Antec HCG-620M left us wanting more.
Antec has literally taken the HCG-620, added modular cabling and charged $20 more for the unit. The only difference is that our unit performed worse than the previously tested HCG-620 in almost every area except for DC output quality.
Antec's HCG-620M isn't a bad unit; it just isn't a great unit either. With nothing changing between the units and more than six months in passing, it feels like nothing more than a marketing ploy to extend the lifespan of a current model.