Introduction

Antec, Inc. is the global leader in high-performance computer components and accessories for the gaming, PC upgrade, and Do-It-Yourself markets. Founded in 1986, Antec is recognized as a pioneer in the industry and has maintained its position as a worldwide market leader and an international provider of quiet, efficient and innovative products. Their product lines include PC Chassis, CPU Cooler, PSU, Fans, etc. Antec is headquartered in Fremont, California, with additional offices in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, as well as in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, China, and Taiwan. The company’s products are sold in more than 40 countries throughout the world.

Antec has sent us their VP500PC 500W PSU for the review. This is an entry-level budget PSU from the Antec. It comes with compliance to the ERP Lot 6 certification. It is built with APFC technology which enhances product reliability and performance. Being compliant to the Erp Lot 6 and CE it can lower the utility expense by power saving. Since we don’t have proper testing equipment at the moment; we will be giving you an overview of the PSU and the details of the PCB and circuitry used in this PSU. This PSU has dual +12V rails for stable power. It features a 120mm fan for quiet cooling.

  • Item:                     PV500PC
  • Manufacturer:       Antec
  • Price:                    PKR 5499/- [At the time of the review]
  • Availability:          PakDukaan

Specification

 

Packaging and Unboxing

The power supply comes inside a black/yellow colors cardboard box. On the front side, the Antec brand name is printed vertically on the yellow color background. Quiet Computing label is printed on the top right side. Antec’s promise of Full Watts, No Cheats is mentioned in the form of a stamped label on the right side. This is their 500W ATX PSU complying to 12V v2.3. It has a 120mm fan. Its maximum efficiency is 82% with A-PFC and continuous power. The model of the PSU is printed on the bottom.

The backside of the packing box has salient features of the unit printed in 8 different languages. The Antec brand name is printed in a vertical layout on the left side. Info labels of Quiet computing, Erp and Energy Efficient are printed on the top right side. The model of the unit is printed on the bottom left side.

This side of the packaging box has the same salient features printed in 4 different languages as can be seen on the backside of the box. The Antec brand name is printed on the top left side. VP500PC Strictly Power 500-Watt Power Supply is printed on the bottom.

This side has the specifications and the power table of the PSU printed in the tabular format. Company’s contact info is printed on the bottom for different regions. VP500PC Strictly Power 500-Watt Power Supply is printed on the bottom.

The bottom side of the packaging box has info labels of various certifications to which this unit complies. Serial no label is pasted on the right side. The unit is made in China.

The top/opening cover has the Antec brand name printed on the top side. The picture of the unit with the dimensions is printed below the brand name.

Opening the box would reveal the PSU tucked inside the air-filled container for safety during the shipping. The info guide is placed right on the top of the unit.

Accessories

We have a user guide, 4 screws and the standard power cord.

Closer Look

The unit is wrapped inside the air pocket container for extra safety during the shipping. This is a non-modular PSU hence all the cables are pre-installed and coming out from the PSU like the standard non-modular PSU. The unit follows the Intel Form Factor of ATX 12V V 2.3. It has a dimension of 150 x 140 x 86mm. The input AC is 230VAC. The input frequency range is 47 – 63 Hz. Efficiency is 82% at typical load. MTBF is ≥ 100,000 Hours. The unit has basic protection features of OVP / OPP / OTP / SCP.

The top side of the PSU has a standard 120mm fan for cooling the circuit of the PSU. There is a sticker on the motor hub of the fan with Antec printed on it. There is a warranty void label pasted on one of the screws removing which voids the warranty. There is a fan grill on the top side. The fan is thermally controlled with low voltage fan control for optimized heat and noise management.

This side of the PSU has a plain surface area without any label or branding.

This side of the unit has the power info label pasted on the main section. The serial no info label is pasted on the right side. The model of the unit is VP500PC. It is a switching power supply with Active Power PFC. AC input is 220V with 4A and 47-63Hz. It has dual +12V rails with 24A on rail 1 and 21A on rail 2 making the total output on the +12V rails to be 408W.

The rear side has a mesh covering the entire side for effective heat dissipation. There are a 3-pin power connector and power on/off button.

The bottom side of the unit has a solid cover without any vent. 5 screws are coming out of it indicating that the PCB is screwed on the base.

The unit has 24-pin ATX power cable sleeved in black color. All other cables are not sleeved or braided. Connectors’ info is as under: –

Connector Quantity Length of the Cable (Approx)
MB 20+4 Pin 1x 500mm
CPU 12V 4+4 Pin 1x 540mm
PCIe 6+2 Pin 2x [On a single cable] 600mm
SATA 4x [2x on one cable] 930mm
Peripheral 4 Pin 3x [2x on one cable, 1x on the second cable] 940mm
FDD Cable 4 Pin 1x [On the Molex connectors’ cable]

 

It is time to take a closer look at the PCB and circuit design. As the computer is comprised of multiple sophisticated circuits, it necessitates one to ensure uninterrupted availability of different stable voltages i.e. +5V, -5V, +12V, -12V, 3.3V, etc at respective terminals of a power supply. In addition to consideration of stable voltages, current requirements also change on run time – gets steered by the load connected at the output stage of power supply. But that consideration of parameters does not end only in voltage and current requirements, it stretches up to the features like harmonic factor, cross load regulation, noise resilience and other safety parameters including overvoltage protection OVP and overcurrent protection OCP, etc to ensure the optimized and standardized provision of power to PC.

Antec’s V500PC 500W caters a low cost and entry-level power supply in a decent budget. It is equipped with active power factor correction circuit, power supervisor ic, EMI suppression techniques and meets IEC standards. Active Power Factor Circuit (APFC) installed at its input rectification stage is used to ensure the prevention of superimposition of noise on input grid AC supply. Appended image is showing an unboxed supply, drawn from its shock resistant transparent case. The fan has been placed separately after disconnecting it from a JST type connector soldered in the main PCB board. Following paragraphs contains the introduction of its main components which when played in harmony provides efficient, stable and continuous power.

 

An X rated yellow capacitor can be seen, is soldered across the live and neutral AC wires for Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) filtration. Shortening of which will cause to blow the fuse, also located nearby it. Similarly, 02 Y rated capacitors are connected across the earth and live/neutral wires for the same purpose. Further moving onwards is the circuit for transient EMI/EMC filtration. It contains 02 common mode inductors, 01 Metal Oxide Varistor (MOV), 01 yellow colored, X rated capacitor and 02 blue colored, Y rated capacitors.

After the EMI filtration circuit, then comes the turn of Active Power Factor Correction (APFC) circuit driven by PWM/PFC combo controller IC CM6805. APFC circuit contains IPA60R125CP MOSFETS, enclosed ferrite coil, and the CM6805 IC. After this, a large capacitor with a rating of 270uF is connected for DC filtration. It is manufactured by CapXon, which is not top of the line capacitor; however, as rated at 400 V and can operate up to 85 ˚C. It can be seen at the left behind the large heat sink holding PFC MOSFETs at its other side.

Then comes the turn for the introduction of the all subs systems that play their respective role in tandem with each other. Full layout of the power supply from the input stage to the output rectification & filtration stage has been shown in below image.

Further, coming towards the secondary side of the main ferrite core transformer, it performs the function of the rectification along with filtration for smoothness of DC outputs. Since this transformer accounts for the multistage voltage, so keeping a stable voltage of either output level in response to variation in load, becomes a defining criterion to grade the power supply. Here comes the role feedback control, which is ensured by feeding the scaled output voltage back to the PWM IC controller. As said aforementioned multiple voltage levels e.g. 3.3 V, 5V, 12 V, -12V are sprouting out in tagged colored cables from PCB to feed the respective loads.

The backside of PCB is sufficiently protected with solder mask. Likewise, variation in trace width is reflecting the requirement that current of different magnitude has been taken into account. Apparently, soldering has nicely been done with having shining joints all around without any exception.

Henceforth, V500PC 500W sufficiently suffice the need of the medium machine, for it caters to provide all basic components, which are to be expected from a typical SMPS. Feature of Active Power Factor correction is an additional in contrast to the fact that the same was not used to available in the supplies of this cadre.

Testing

As we don’t have adequate equipment to measure the performance of the PSU particularly its waveforms to determine to the true performance potential, we have used Thermaltake Dr. Power II to test the sample unit.

Thermaltake Dr. Power II has the functionality to test the ATX 20+4 pin, CPU 4+4 pin, PCIe 6 or 8 pins, SATA, and peripheral connectors and report the corresponding voltages by putting a load on the PSU. It also has the ability to report the issues with the PSU.

The reported voltages need to be compared with the Intel Standard and the Measuring Range of the testing equipment. The below-mentioned table has the Intel Standard, Measuring Range, and the Reported Voltages:

All the tested voltages fall within the Intel’s standard. Here are the connectors’ wise reported voltages:

Connector Tested Voltage (V)
ATX 24-Pin +12.2
CPU 4+4 Pin +12V +12.3
PCIe 6/8 Pin +12V +12.1
Peripheral +5.1, +12.3
SATA +5.1, +3.3, +12.3

 

Conclusion

The Antec VP500PC is an entry-level, budget power supply. It is a green power supply as it conforms to the ERP Lot 6 certification. That and CE would enable this unit to save more power and put less load on your utility bill. The unit has a dimension of the 150mm(L)x140mm(W)x86mm(H). Here is what the Antec is saying about the PSU: “Antec’s VP500PC power supply promises one thing: quality performance at an incredible value. This entry-level solution gives you everything you need in a power supply, nothing you don’t. Like a quiet 120mm fan for blustery cooling, dual +12V rails for amazingly stable power or a heavy-duty protection circuitry for peace of mind, no matter how demanding your system. The VP500PC does not have time for twinkly lights or fancy paint jobs. With this power supply, you get only the features you need, including Antec’s Quality 2-year warranty. No bells. No whistles. No nonsense. Get strictly power with Antec’s VP500PC.

The model no of the unit is VP500PC. This is a non-modular PSU hence all the cables are pre-installed and coming out from the PSU like the standard non-modular PSU. The unit follows the Intel Form Factor of ATX 12V V 2.3. The input AC is 230Vac. The input frequency range is 47 – 63 Hz. Efficiency is 82% at typical load. MTBF is ≥ 100,000 Hours. The unit has basic protection features of OVP / OPP / OTP / SCP.

Connectors included in the packing box are 1x 20+4 Pin Motherboard connector, 1x 4+4 Pin CPU connector, 2x 6+2 Pin PCIe connectors, 4x SATA connectors, 3x 4-Pin Peripheral connectors, 1x FDD Cable 4-Pin which is a part of the Molex connectors’ power cable. The PSU has dual +12V rails with 24A on rail 1 and 21A on rail 2 making the total output on the +12V rails to be 408W.

The differentiating factor for this PSU is the provision of the Active power factor correction circuit. This PSU has a price of the PKR 5499/- at the time of the review. This price and the provision of the Active Power Factor Correction circuit makes this PSU ideal for the basic or entry level budget builds and for the office use. The Antec is providing 2 years of warranty on this unit.

No bells, no whistles, no nonsense is the slogan of Antec with their VP500PC and they are delivering on this aspect though lack of Japanese Capacitors is a big Con that would go against this slogan again, in this price bracket, one can’t complain much. This unit is using CapXon’s manufactured capacitors with a voltage rating of 400V and can withstand temperatures of up to 85°C.