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Thirteen PSU Roundup
Date 30th March 2005
Author James "Agg" Rolfe

Antec TrueControl 550W, Antec TrueBlue 480W

Antec TrueControl 550W:
All the Antec PSUs in this test were provided by Altech Computers and boast a 3-year parts and labour warranty. Antec have been well regarded for the quality of their power supplies for some time now, but in terms of extra features and cosmetics they'be been a little left behind lately. They are attempting to address this with more fancy units, but this particular one looks very traditional at first glance.

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The plain aluminium case and non-sleeved cabling takes us back to the days when a PSU was something that came free with your case. There's an external Molex connector on the back which is handy for people powering radiator fans etc - but the really special feature is the TrueControl bay.

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This 5.25" bay can hold a hard drive, or perhaps a 3.5" card reader, but the main thing is that it can be used to adjust the voltages of the +12v, +5v and +3.3v rails. Antec recommend using a multimeter on a molex connector to trim the values to within spec if the PSU is reporting high or low on your system. They note that you can't adjust the +3.3v line in this manner because the molex connector doesn't have a +3.3v pin, but this PSU has the older style AT connector which is still used on some server motherboards. This connector does have +3.3v pins, so I was able to use the multimeter on that to adjust that rail.

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The bay has a little screwdriver that you can pull out and use to turn the adjusters. The default voltages were reported as fairly low, but I was able to trim them right up to the "correct" voltage for our test motherboards. You could push them higher if you like, of course, but the maximum variation is +/-5%. So, for example, if you were reading +12v by default, you could adjust to a maximum of +12.6v.

The manuals are excellent, including one for the "TruePower" range that this unit is based on, and another for the TrueControl feature. It's not ATX 2.0 compliant, but allows for a combined +5v, +3.3v and +12v load of 530W, with a total of 550W. It has Antec's thermal fan-speed control and can control additional system fans via the "Fan Only" cable. It provides 7 molex, 2 floppy, 2 SATA, 20- and 4-pin ATX and the older AT-style power plug.

Antec TrueBlue 480W:
As the name suggests, this unit is from Antec's TruePower series, which has been well regarded for some time. The main difference is that it contains some bright blue LEDs which glow when the unit is in use and shine out through the clear fans.

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In terms of extra features there's not really much to report on. There is the rear-mounted molex connector we're becoming used to from Antec, useful for powering external devices such as waterpumps or radiator fans. Like most Antec PSUs it adjusts its fans according to temperature, so in a well cooled case it's very quiet. There's also "Fan Only" molex connectors for controlling other fans in your system according to temperature as well.

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The package is minimal, with just a manual, power cord and mounting screws in addition to the unit itself. Only the main 20-pin ATX cable is sheathed, and on the others are a total of 7 molexes, 2 floppies, 2 SATA, the 4-pin additional ATX power as well as one AT-style power connector. This unit is not ATX 2.0 compatible so has no PCI-E connector, but is rated to 460W on the +5, +12 and +3.3 rails combined with an overall total of 480W.


All original content copyright James Rolfe.
All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.
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