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Environmentally friendly with 80% efficiency

Antec today announced it has started shipping its environmentally friendly EarthWatts power supply. The EarthWatts power supplies reduce energy consumption and 80 PLUS compliant. This is the latest rating system for energy efficiency. EarthWatts power supplies increase power efficiency to 80% over the 70-75% of other power supplies currently available. These power supplies are also RoHS compliant and feature no lead or mercury in the production. Lastly on the environmental friendly feature list, EarthWatts power supplies use active PFC to reduce electrical waste.

Antec claims: "As consumers take action to protect the environment, Antec encourages everyone to look for solutions that help conserve energy and eliminate waste and pollution," said Scott Richards, senior vice president for Antec.
"EarthWatts is our most energy efficient design, and it provides users with the power and stability they have come to expect from Antec products. With the 80 PLUS certification, EarthWatts is leading the way in reducing energy consumption and protecting the environment."

Three EarthWatts models are available—380W, 430W and 500W. EarthWatts power supplies are ATX12V 2.2 compatible and feature a single 80mm. The single 80mm fan is a low noise unit. Included connectors on EarthWatts power supplies include four SATA, dual  12V and one PCIe. Pricing on EarthWatts power supplies range from $64.95 for the 380W to $99.95 for the 500W models.

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What's new?
By Omega215D on 11/20/2006 8:19:02 PM , Rating: 2
I just bought a True Power Trio 550W and it's efficiency is above 80%. Even the Neo HE gets above 80%.

What is so different about these anyhow?

RE: What's new?
By natewildes on 11/20/2006 8:24:54 PM , Rating: 5
They're constructed with environmentally-friendly resources; no lead or other non-biodegradable substances. The prices don't vary all that much for the different wattages, which is another nice trend starting to appear.

RE: What's new?
By flatblastard on 11/20/06, Rating: 0
RE: What's new?
By YanBiz on 11/21/2006 9:45:19 AM , Rating: 2
I think the issue is not that companies who sell such products don't care, it's more that their products don't have that great of an impact on the environment. Think about it, a 500-1000 Watt PSU is using considerably less power than your fridge, laundry machine, toaster, and many other common appliances; the other half of the issue is that appliances that use electricity are much, much less harmful to the environment than automobiles or other technologies that require the burning of fossil fuels.

Sure, in theory if the whole world was to pay the extra for energy saving appliances, then lower power usage appliances like this would force the companies to care because it means more business, as they can charge more for specially appliances such as this one.

That being said, it is most certainly a step in the right direction, just my humble opinion.

RE: What's new?
By JNo on 11/21/2006 10:15:50 AM , Rating: 2
the other half of the issue is that appliances that use electricity are much, much less harmful to the environment than automobiles or other technologies that require the burning of fossil fuels.

er.. but the electricity used to power electrical devices is generated from fossil fuel power stations! So you have an extra layer of inefficiency compared to a fuel burning car! (Especially in the US where environmental issues go out the window). Am not saying that we should have internal combustion powered computers though (lol).

RE: What's new?
By RandomFool on 11/21/2006 10:29:14 AM , Rating: 2
You can get 100% green energy in some places for a couple pennies more.

RE: What's new?
By mindless1 on 11/22/2006 2:04:17 AM , Rating: 2
There is no such thing as 100% green energy, unless you can manage to pull a vine into your window and have lightning strike it. Otherwise, there's always the equipment, infrastructure, customer support, maintenance, etc.

RE: What's new?
By YanBiz on 11/22/2006 7:39:34 PM , Rating: 2
er.. but the electricity used to power electrical devices is generated from fossil fuel power stations! So you have an extra layer of inefficiency compared to a fuel burning car!

This is true, however power stations create energy much more efficiently then a car or a house hold scale generator.
If only we go all nuclear power, if only we could just ship our unusable nuclear waste towards the sun - eventually it would be consumed and completely destroyed causing no harm to anyone.
Just my humble opinion.

RE: What's new?
By fic2 on 11/21/2006 12:49:43 PM , Rating: 2
Well, according to the average 19 cu ft refrigerator uses 509W, but is only on 33% of the time. Most common appliances aren't on 100% of the time, but a lot of computers are. Most companies that I have worked at leave computers on all the time. A lot of friends the same thing.

Oh and unless you are getting wind/solar/nuclear power then your computer uses fossil fuel at the energy source.

RE: What's new?
By Zoomer on 11/22/2006 7:41:31 PM , Rating: 2
Well, what about your heater / air conditioner then?
Bet that pulls a lot more.

RE: What's new?
By frobizzle on 11/21/2006 10:30:33 AM , Rating: 2
Um, moron, this PS is obviously RoHS compliant otherwise they won't be able to sell it in Europe. And get used to long before the US adopts the RoHS standards here now that the Dems will be in control?

RE: What's new?
By AstroCreep on 11/21/2006 2:20:27 PM , Rating: 2
Very true; only a matter of time before more 'enviroment friendly' appliances are required.

RE: What's new?
By Omega215D on 11/20/2006 9:10:06 PM , Rating: 2
They are mostly advertising about how it wastes less electricity and also has an active PFC. A lot of their power supplies and many other companies already do this.

RE: What's new?
By KorruptioN on 11/20/2006 10:25:29 PM , Rating: 2
They are fully 80PLUS compliant, the TP Trio and the NeoHE are not.

RE: What's new?
By Hare on 11/21/2006 3:14:26 AM , Rating: 3
80plus requires power supplies to have >80% efficiency at multiple points (20%, 80% etc). Nowadays it's easy to get >80% efficiency aroun 75% load specially with 230VAC, but doing it across the power range is difficult.

Good job Antec (or should I say Seasonic). Antec just re-brands the Neo HE, Trio and Earth Watts.

RE: What's new?
By Spoelie on 11/21/2006 6:43:34 AM , Rating: 2
It's a bit more than simple rebranding then, coz the cooling configurations are entirely different.

RE: What's new?
By Hare on 11/21/2006 9:21:17 AM , Rating: 2
True. Seasonic makes these PSU's and even though they have many things in common with the S12 series they are not identical. Still these PSU's are Seasonics with Antec stickers.

Seasonic -> Antec (he, trio, earthw)
Fortron -> OCZ, Zalman etc.
Topower -> BeQuiet, Tagan etc.

By Duwelon on 11/20/2006 9:01:04 PM , Rating: 2
It's about time Antec got up to speed. I used to be a huge Antec fan but my enthusiasm for them has dwindled greatly lately.

I wonder, do they not want the enthusiest market since they seem to do well with OEM's(as far as I know)?

I'd never buy a 500W PSU these days when for a little bit more I can have more watts and amps from a seasonic or enermax. I love my 550W True power in my midrange A64 system though.

RE: ...
By Duwelon on 11/20/2006 9:05:06 PM , Rating: 2
Nevermind, Antec does have a 650W PSU now which is more acceptable for a newer system to have some power headroom.

RE: ...
By Hare on 11/21/2006 3:19:42 AM , Rating: 2
Haha. I think the marketing people would refere to you as "easy prey".

x6800 + 7950G2S (sli) setup eats just 200W. The power requirements and FUD around the internet is just sad. A decent 400W power supply with the juice in 12V-lines will be more than adequate.

There's no way you could dissipate ~600W from consumer grade cpu and gpu. Your entire computer would melt.

RE: ...
By Wonga on 11/21/2006 6:20:41 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. I have a 350W Antec PSU powering my dual core/mid range graphics system and it doesn't struggle at all - hell, I'll go even further and mention my friends PC with a generic 350W PSU running a dual core CPU and 6600GT. I find it crazy when people recommend a 500W+ PSU "just to be on the safe side".

Maybe for a Presler (god forbid)/SLI setup, but who the hell uses one of them these days?

RE: ...
By ogreslayer on 11/21/2006 7:08:06 AM , Rating: 3
2 7950GX2 are at about 280 watts by themselves. If you think a Quad SLI system is gonna stay up under load with a X6800 on any 400 watt PSU you are not thinking straight. Take into account the raid array, a storage drive, an optical drive, the ram, and add in cards and you are way over your 200 watts.

GamePC did a measurement under load and got 206 w/ a single 7900gtx 512, and 288 w/ a single 7950GX2. Anandtech hit 172 without 2 raptors and without taxing the graphics card. We aren't talking about a power sipping 6600GT(~50W) or even a 7900GTX(~90W). This is a 7950GX2(~140W) aka 2 chips per card in one rig; by itself you are looking at a 300W rig under load. PSU depends on what you are buying and I don't remember seeing a single reviewer say anything about needing 500-600W PSU for single card operation lately.

Yeah, you have one card and stay mainstream/midrange 400W is more than fine (otherwise the OEMs would be in trouble), but as soon as you go high-end and SLI you start to push the envelope with cards in that class.

RE: ...
By Wonga on 11/21/2006 9:02:09 AM , Rating: 2
While I agree with you there, with a quad graphics card system, my postition on power supplies was more geared towards mainstream systems. So often people on message boards post advice about upgrading to a 500W+ PSU "just to be on the safe side" when in actuality a 300-350W PSU will suffice just fine for single GPU/dual core systems.

RE: ...
By Duwelon on 11/21/2006 10:27:08 PM , Rating: 2
Oh i'm a sucker for marketing all right, but one thing I won't skimp on is a power supply and a UPS to go with it. I've replaced over 10 power supplies that i've personally put into computers before I knew the company was crap. For my own stuff especially, I don't buy what I think I can get by with and neither do most people who visit this site unless they're an up an' coming enthusist.

RE: ...
By Duwelon on 11/21/2006 10:30:34 PM , Rating: 2
By the way, the 10+ PS's that died on me within warranty period were 400 Watt Powmax's that were going into Athlon 1600+ and 2000+ systems. HardOCP has a great thread if you want to know which manufacturers to avoid like the plague. After i think the first that died on me, (within a month), I never got the rest warrantied. I tossed them all into the trash and ate the cost and learned my lesson.

RE: ...
By Zoomer on 11/22/2006 7:44:22 PM , Rating: 2
If you were shelling out the money for 4-way graphics, what's the price of a puny power supply?

A quality 430W supply is good enough for most economically-sane configurations: dual core + 1 graphics core.

RE: ...
By Spoelie on 11/21/2006 6:46:55 AM , Rating: 2
Hmm maybe, but if you start pushing a kentsfield cpu with 8800gtx sli to the limit, as well as some 4gig ram overclocked and overvolted, and some hard drives/fans/lighting thrown in -- I think you might be getting close to the 600w barrier; and better have some headroom.

Spin, spin, spin
By The Boston Dangler on 11/20/2006 9:08:50 PM , Rating: 4
Anything made or sold in Europe MUST be RoHS-compliant. It's offered here in the States because noone wants to make different PS's for different regions. There are enough 80+ PS's that I wouldn't consider using one that wasn't.

This is just marketing hype on top of mandatory legal and economic changes. Antec could have, and should have, done this a year ago.

RE: Spin, spin, spin
By ceefka on 11/21/2006 5:08:12 AM , Rating: 2
Why wouldn't anyone prefer RoHS over non-RoHS if they had the choice?

RE: Spin, spin, spin
By IGx89 on 11/21/2006 8:40:31 AM , Rating: 2
At least in chips, the materials that replace the lead are often more toxic and more prone to failure.

RE: Spin, spin, spin
By bob661 on 11/21/2006 9:37:49 AM , Rating: 2
Why wouldn't anyone prefer RoHS over non-RoHS if they had the choice?
That's not his point. The point is they aren't doing this because of their "care" for the environment, they HAVE to do it.

By krotchy on 11/20/2006 7:48:07 PM , Rating: 2
Nice to see Antec putting out something that is efficient, however I still have to give Seasonic credit for paving the way in efficiency and quality. Looking at they have 27 80%+ products, as their entire line is over 80% now, I think all PS manufacturers need to have their entire lines 80plus approved.

By kamel5547 on 11/20/2006 8:02:39 PM , Rating: 2
Well at least recently their (Seaconic) entire line wasn't 80+... in fact I struggled to find a retail model that was. In fact looking at their site now it appears that out of the retail supplies you either need to get a specially designated "energy+" supply or a M12 series, the S12 line still isn't 80plus.

By Howard on 11/20/2006 9:52:55 PM , Rating: 3
Seasonic makes the EarthWatts PSUs.

why do people insist active PFC saves power?
By bohhad on 11/21/2006 1:30:29 AM , Rating: 2
it's an extra circuit that generates a ton of heat.

RE: why do people insist active PFC saves power?
By Hare on 11/21/2006 3:23:31 AM , Rating: 3
It's just couple of watts that enable you to use the same power supply in different countries (110V-230V) and have other benefits: "cleaner electricity". (Ultimately less production/material cost thanks to a one universal model).

If active pfc was that bad, why do you think the manufacturers use them?

By bob661 on 11/21/2006 9:39:37 AM , Rating: 2
If active pfc was that bad, why do you think the manufacturers use them?
Because people like you buy them.

What I want to know is
By Cullinaire on 11/21/2006 9:18:33 AM , Rating: 2
Has Antec finally switched to caps that don't start spewing their guts out after 6 months? (proud owner of a Truepower 430 (RIP) and a Smartpower 2.0 (came with case))

RE: What I want to know is
By Hare on 11/21/2006 1:31:23 PM , Rating: 2
Previously CWT made Antec PSU's. Seasonic (current OEM) is high-end compared to CWT and the caps are good. This applies to Neo HE, Trio and Earth Watts. The truepower and smartpower series are low-end.

RE: What I want to know is
By mindless1 on 11/22/2006 2:09:59 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, the current Antecs are about equivalent to the CWT designs so far as "high end" or other type of generic classification. CWT merely had some cap issues as have many manufacturers over the past few years.

Even so, having a propensity to pop caps is enough of a reason to avoid them.

nice but
By yacoub on 11/21/2006 10:40:16 AM , Rating: 2
i'll stick with the TruePower series with its essentially inaudible 120mm fan and also >80% efficiency. =)

RE: nice but
By Hare on 11/21/2006 1:34:34 PM , Rating: 2
Truepower inaudible? Better let the doctor take a look at your ears.

Happy with new NEO HE 550W for $70
By BPB on 11/21/2006 7:34:46 AM , Rating: 2
I'm still happy with my new Neo HE 550W for $70 from CompUSA last week. I know I saw one or two reviews that said it isn't really quite 80%, but I'll take it. It's Active PFC combined with my active UPS should mean I'll do quite alright.

I thought about Seasonic, but their prices are simply too high. I couldn't find one close enough to others like Antec to justify the price difference.

Google wants more efficient PSU's
By vailr on 11/21/2006 9:35:22 AM , Rating: 2
Sep 26, 2006:
"The New York Times reports that Google is calling 'for a shift from multivoltage power supplies to a single 12-volt standard. Although voltage conversion would still take place on the PC motherboard, the simpler design of the new power supply would make it easier to achieve higher overall efficiencies ... The Google white paper argues that the opportunity for power savings is immense — by deploying the new power supplies in 100 million desktop PC's running eight hours a day, it will be possible to save 40 billion kilowatt-hours over three years, or more than $5 billion at California's energy rates.' This may have something to do with the electricity bill for Google's estimated 450,000 servers."

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