Introduction, Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Antec is one of the names that has been around the longest in the power supply industry. They have had ups and downs throughout their history, but have innovated time and time again to deliver industry leading power supplies. It has been quite some time since we've taken a look at what Antec has to offer, but that is coming to an end as we've got one of their latest units on the test bench today.
The power supply in question today is the Antec High Current Pro Platinum 850W. The High Current Pro Platinum is an update of the High Current Pro line. We took a look at the HCP-1200 a couple ago and it proved to be a spectacular example of a flagship power supply.
The updated HCP Platinum series simplifies things a little bit by reducing the number of 12V rails, while also upping the efficiency of the units a little bit too. Antec offers the new HCP-Platinum in three wattages - 850W, 1000W and 1300W. Today we are taking a look at the 850W model.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
One of the big changes for the HCP-Platinum is the reduction in 12V rails down to a maximum of four. The HCP-850 Platinum has four 12V rails. Each of them are rated for 40A each with a combined maximum output of 850W. Both the 3.3V and 5V rails are rated for 25A each with a combined maximum output of 130W. The 5VSB rail is rated for 3A or 15W. Maximum combined output for the HCP-850 Platinum is 850W.
As a flagship PSU, you would expect to see nothing but a full list of features, and the HCP-850 Platinum doesn't disappoint. All of the protections are present including SCP, OVP, OCP, OPP and OTP. The power supply features fully modular cables, all of which are fully sleeved. As the name suggests, the HCP-850 Platinum is rated for 80 PLUS Platinum efficiency. Antec also states that the HCP-850 Platinum is rated for 100% continuous output at 50C.
Antec has an MSRP of $249.99 on the HCP-850 Platinum. Directron has the best price on the unit at the time of writing and it comes out to $232.63 after shipping. That price puts it much more in line with the rest of the competition, but it is a little bit on the expensive side if you can't catch a deal on it. Antec offers a seven year warranty on the HCP Platinum line of power supplies.
The front of the packaging for the HCP-850 Platinum is highly reflective. There are a few pieces of information at the bottom worth noting, such as the high efficiency of the unit and the fact that the unit is fully modular.
Flipping around to the back, we find a bulleted list of features listed in plenty of different languages.
The top right of the back gives us a few logos including some warranty information letting us know that Antec backs the HCP-850 Platinum with a seven year warranty.
This side of the box presents us with the I/O specification of the HCP-850 Platinum.
Turning things to the other side, we see some figures pertaining to what you might save if you were to make the switch to the HCP-850 Platinum depending on how efficient the power supply is that you currently have. Also present on this side are the number of connectors available with the HCP-850 Platinum.
The last of the information on the outside of the box can be found on the bottom of the box. This is the first that we have heard about the ability for the HCP Platinum units to be linked together to increase the power available to beyond what a single power supply can offer.
Inside the Box
As expected from Antec, everything is well packed inside the box.
Antec houses the I/O specification label on the top of the power supply.
Both sides of the HC-850 Platinum feature the same logo with it being inverted on the other side.
The back doesn't feature anything out of the normal. Aside from the normal honeycomb mesh grill, you will also find the AC input and on/off switch back here.
The front features all of the modular connectors. All of the connectors are well labeled, but it can be a bit confusing if you don't know what you are looking for. This is because all of the 12V power is supplied via 16-pin connectors of which I'm relatively sure even we haven't seen before. They are simply 8-pin connectors side by side, as we'll see in a bit.
The 135mm fan inside the HCP-850 Platinum is covered by a black wire mesh grill on the bottom.
All of the modular cables are fully sleeved.
It isn't unusual to see black wires in place of color coded wires. Antec has taken things a step further to use black striped cables, but the stripes are very subtle so as to help hide cables, but allow them to be easily identified when needed.
Rounding out the contents of the box is the AC input cord, Velcro cable ties, mounting screws, a user's manual and warranty card.
Cabling Arrangement and A Look Inside
Antec has stepped up the game a little bit here in the cable selection department. The PCI-E cables being available in different lengths are a very nice addition and some of it is due to how they have configured the 12V rails. Aside from the dual CPU connectors, there are six PCI-E, nine SATA, six Molex and a single FDD connector available for use.
The way the four 12V rails are set up are totally up to the user with the exception of 12V1. It must power the peripheral devices. The rest depend on what the user wants to do because of the use of the 16-pin connectors. Let's look at the front of the power supply again to explain this a bit more.
As you can see, each of the 16-pin connectors are powered by two different 12V rails. What makes this so special is that there are 8-pin and one 16-pin connectors that can be used to pull power from these. This means that you can choose to use 12V1 to power the 24-pin Main connector and 12V2 for the CPU power or you can swap them the other way as well. In the same token, you can also split the rails that power each individual video card if you wish. It really offers an unparalleled flexibility with the 12V rails and lets the user configure them to specifically fit their needs.
A Look Inside
Inside the unit we find that the HCP Platinum is a complete redesign. You can tell by the design of the unit and lack of significant heat sinks that the unit is meant to run cool from the start.
A pair of Nippon Chemi-Con bulk capacitors sit on the primary side of the power supply.
The secondary side is littered with a bunch of Nippon Chemi-Con caps.
Antec chose to cool the HCP-850 Platinum with the Delta AFB1312M 135mm fan.
Something that we don't normally see are additional heat sinks on the daughterboard for the modular connectors, but they are certainly present here.
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 HCP-850 Platinum 850W power supply, we can test it to the maximum.
The above tests represent typical loads that we have measured from various systems and are meant to give a rough idea of where your computer might fall in line with our tests. Please keep in mind that each system is different and actual loads can vary greatly even with similar hardware.
Let's start by taking a look at the voltages to see how well this unit did during testing. Starting with the 12V1 rail, we see 2% regulation from start to finish with a total drop of .21V. 12V2 fairs the worst, staying within 2% regulation from start to finish with a total drop of .25V. 12V3 once again stays within 2% regulation with a total drop of .21V. Finally we have 12V4 which fairs the best, staying within 2% regulation once more with a total drop of .19V. The 5V rail managed to stay within 3% of specification with a total drop of .15V from start to finish. Moving towards the 3.3V rail, we see that regulation was within 4% of specification with a total voltage drop of .11V.
DC Output quality for the Antec HCP-850 Platinum 850W was excellent and well within specifications. During Test 1, we saw 7mV of noise on our scope. When we increased the loads in Test 3, the ripple climbed to 14mV at a little over half load. During Test 5 under a full load of 850W, the oscilloscope showed a maximum of 20mV on noise on the 12V rail.
Antec HCP-850 Platinum 850W is rated for 80 PLUS Platinum efficiency. This means that the power supply must perform at 90%/92%/89% efficiency at 20%/50%/100% loads respectively. As you can see, Antec HCP-850 Platinum 850W passed on our bench, and wasn't close to failing at any point.
Antec has quite the reputation for quality units and that is exactly what is expected when looking at one of their new flagship units. Starting by looking at the features, the HCP-850 Platinum starts out very strong. It features a full set of protections and some powerful 12V rails that are all but impossible to overload individually.
More often than not it is the performance of flagship units that separate them from their competitors and that is exactly what separates the HCP-850 Platinum from other options on the market. The Voltage regulation on the 12V rails is relative good. Things stay within 2% across the board for all four of the 12V rails.
Unfortunately, things start going downhill from there as far as voltage regulation is concerned, as the 5V rail slips to 3% regulation and the 3.3V rail goes down to 4% regulation. At least both the DC output quality and efficiency of the unit was superb and close to the best on the market.
The other piece of the puzzle that separates power supplies from the competition is the price. The HCP-850 Platinum is a little bit pricey, especially if you don't find a deal on it. Even if that ends up being the case, it is one of the few high-end multi-rail units left on the market, and if you're in search of the multiple rails, you may just have to pay a little bit more for it.
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