Antec CP-850: Unique PSU with Top Performance

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Antec CP-850: Unique PSU with Top Performance

Post by MikeC » Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:07 pm

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Post by JamieG » Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:29 pm

I really liked how this review included an open air simulation of how the CP-850 would function in one of the compatible Antec cases. I was surprised at how much of a difference there was between the results.

I wonder if Antec will release more new cases (or modify existing cases) to optionally be compatible with this PSU. The bracket-like PSU mounting plate on the P183 for normal ATX PSUs could be adapted for other cases.

The Antec 300 with its bottom mounted PSU comes to mind - just make it an inch or so taller so that a standard ATX motherboard does not conflict with a CP850 if installed and use the P183's ATX-compliant PSU mounting bracket. (Alternatively, using a mATX board and with some judicious cutting to an Antec 300, I'm sure you could make the CP-850 fit...)

Thanks for the review Mike - it was worth the wait!
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Post by MikeC » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:57 pm

You're welcome Jamie. Surprised you're reading on a Sat eve at the end of Aug. lol!

[edit -- oh wait, never mind -- you're in Melbourne, it's midday Sun, and a cool 13C. More like mid winter.]

The main requirement for a case to be adaptable to the CP-850 is height. It has to be tall enough to accommodate the extra 1.2" -- which is more than a single PCI slot. For DIYers, I think some of the large non-Antec cases with bottom mount PSU might be adaptable. If a portion of the PSU exhaust is a bit blocked, in many setups it would not be a big deal.
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Post by alphabetbackward » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:22 pm

I forget but I think you mentioned how you'd go about putting this into a P182; possibly in another thread.

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Post by whispercat » Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:01 pm

Another interesting PSU review, Mike. It looks like the CP-850 is almost neck and neck with the Nexus Value; it really has impressive SPL readings up to 500W load. Maybe not the most efficient PSU, but obviously a great choice for power users who already have or want an Antec case.

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Post by MikeC » Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:22 pm

whispercat wrote:Another interesting PSU review, Mike. It looks like the CP-850 is almost neck and neck with the Nexus Value; it really has impressive SPL readings up to 500W load. Maybe not the most efficient PSU, but obviously a great choice for power users who already have or want an Antec case.
imo, it's so much better than the Nexus 430, there's no comparison whatsoever. There's no chance the CP-850 will cook in any system; there is, in my view, a great chance the Nexus will cook in anything but a minimalist system. The Nexus does only one thing exceptionally well: stay really quiet. Everything else about it is mediocre. The CP-850 does everything super well (and has better efficiency), and in the 3 Antec cases it fits, it'll be quieter than just about any PSU you can use with them, from minimum all the way to full load. If you missed it, look at the "Hot Box vs. P183 case" table in the yellow box at the bottom of page 6.
Last edited by MikeC on Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by JamieG » Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:53 pm

MikeC wrote:You're welcome Jamie. Surprised you're reading on a Sat eve at the end of Aug. lol!

[edit -- oh wait, never mind -- you're in Melbourne, it's midday Sun, and a cool 13C. More like mid winter.]

The main requirement for a case to be adaptable to the CP-850 is height. It has to be tall enough to accommodate the extra 1.2" -- which is more than a single PCI slot. For DIYers, I think some of the large non-Antec cases with bottom mount PSU might be adaptable. If a portion of the PSU exhaust is a bit blocked, in many setups it would not be a big deal.
Yep, Melbourne winter at its best. :?

Good point about larger cases possibly fitting this PSU in. I've noticed some cases have an extra 8th rear PCI slot (even though the ATX standard is for only 7 expnasion slots) to allow things like rear-mounted PCI slot fan controllers and Tri-SLI setups room. As you say though, it probably isn't enough room by itself.

An mATX motherboard in an ATX case with a bottom mounted PSU shouldn't be a problem in terms of space though. A few new drilled holes for securing the PSU could be all that is needed to mount it if you don't mind the partially blocked exhaust like you mentioned.
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Post by whispercat » Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:39 am

MikeC wrote: If you missed it, look at the "Hot Box vs. P183 case" table in the yellow box at the bottom of page 6.
Yeah, sorry I only glanced through that part. The CP-850 is definitely a rugged, well built component judging from the results of that torture test. Seems as if we have a new champion PSU here (?)

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Re: Antec CP-850: Unique PSU with Top Performance

Post by new2spcr » Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:58 am

Excellent review. Love the way Antec thinks out-of-the-box!
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Post by rpsgc » Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:25 am

Finally! I've been waiting for this review for quite some time now :) GJ
Now you just need a quick test inside a P183 :P
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Post by Torajirou » Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:04 am

I've been waiting for this PSU to be available in Belgium for months now. It's the only missing part for my new P183 rig. Reading this review has only made me even more impatient. It should become available next week. I can't stand the waiting ! >.<

I hope that by reading this, all the standards-obsessed enthusiasts will change their minds and cut Antec some slack; after all, they created a great product. Period.
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Post by Oklahoma Wolf » Sun Aug 30, 2009 6:35 am

Hint: The Wolf really geek-drooled over his sample. lol!
Hey! I resemble that remark! :lol:

Good review.

I'm running my review sample 24/7 in my main computer... couldn't bear to get rid of it. It kicked out a Signature 850W, which is now running my office rig.

I'm two feet away from the thing right now - it's got the only fan in the Twelve Hundred I can't hear. Most of the time, it runs stone cold.

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Post by lopgok » Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:48 am

Overall a great review.
One thing I disagree with though is:

"One thought is whether the extra wiring and soldering between the two PCBs could cause current losses or voltage drops, compared to single PCB designs. Certainly, resistance would be lower with one PCB. "

If the circuit board is for transient filtering, it is likely working at 120-240vac.
If so, the wires are plenty thick to ensure no voltage drop. It would take a very thick
layer of copper on a PCB to have less resistance than what looks like approximately 16 gauge wire.

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Post by chahahc » Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:20 am

Great review.

I read a bit back on Head-fi that ac ripple can affect the sound quality of high fidelity sound cards like the asus xonar essence stx. There was a topic in which some of the posters who were using a separate, ultra low ripple, psu for the sound card noticed improved sound quality over the computer psu. Though the psu's they were using had ripple in the nanovolts......:mrgreen:
Wonder how this psu would compare... :P
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Post by frostedflakes » Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:16 pm

Very interesting product, have to hand it to Antec for their unconventional thinking. Sounds like the CP-850 would be a fantastic and affordable power supply for mid-range or high-end systems.
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Post by MikeC » Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:27 pm

rpsgc wrote:Finally! I've been waiting for this review for quite some time now :) GJ
Now you just need a quick test inside a P183 :P
We didn't make a lot of noise ( ;) ) about it, but the CP-850 was used in our review of the P183. It never came into the discussion becauses its noise contribution to the system was negligible -- we actually had an x-fire 4870 setup w/ 125W Phenom that drew 636W AC at full tilt, and the video cards drowned out everything else.
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Post by MoJo » Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:32 pm

Thanks, another nice review. The cable length details and photo is a nice touch, presenting important information that other sites usually overlook.
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Post by rpsgc » Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:33 pm

:D


So those open air (noise) values are close to what one would expect inside a P183?
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Post by MikeC » Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:01 pm

rpsgc wrote::D


So those open air (noise) values are close to what one would expect inside a P183?
Yes.

We are going to be working on an Antec 1200 case review soon, and we'll pay special attention to the CP-850 noise in testing that. I'm not sure how we can isolate the PSU noise while making the components draw >600W AC, tho. Hard to think how to make the video cards and CPU run at such high load without any noise! Maybe we'll get hold of some massive passive VGA coolers for this task. Or just add enough dummy resistive loads in with the system to make it draw that much power w/o component noise (other than the PSU).
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Post by audiojar » Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:54 pm

What's your opinion on this PSU versus a Nexus Value 430 for a build that doesn't need the huge amount of power, like say a system that runs at 200W or so at load? Is the overall quality of the CP-850 worth it even if you don't need the power?

It would be sweet if they came out with a CP-500 or something similar, mostly just for higher efficiency at low power.

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Post by MikeC » Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:09 pm

audiojar wrote:What's your opinion on this PSU versus a Nexus Value 430 for a build that doesn't need the huge amount of power, like say a system that runs at 200W or so at load? Is the overall quality of the CP-850 worth it even if you don't need the power?
Isn't it just a question of price? One can be had for ~$80, the other for $115. The CP-850 is better in every single way, even efficiency at low power (marginally). If I had one of those three cases, the choice would be a no-brainer for me.
It would be sweet if they came out with a CP-500 or something similar, mostly just for higher efficiency at low power.
Won't happen. It only works officially with 3 cases, the market is way too small. At least for now.
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Post by rpsgc » Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:17 pm

What they could do though is bundle say, the P183 with one of these.


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Post by Erssa » Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:22 pm

Excellent review. I'm glad you did the open air testing.

Superb product from Antec. I wish I could fit one in my Solo.
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Post by netmask254 » Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:33 pm

It's an excellent PSU, but the power is too much to me.

I agree it is very cost-effective with superb performance. But for a moderate system used by silencers (no top VGA, e.g. E8400 + HD4670), whose full load power consumption is no larger than 200W, and the idle (when browsing webpage & listening music, in most time) power consumption is 60~80W, the efficiency is a bit embarrassing.

I saw Antec release another CP-1000 PSU, but don't know whether it is possible for them to consider lower power models (it can be less cost effective :-)).

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Post by Jipa » Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:05 pm

Thanks for the great review!

This right here MIGHT just be the PSU to get me interested in Antec PSUs once again :roll:

On the other hand these just leave me wondering one thing... If you REALLY need 850 Watts then how on earth are you going to keep the rest of the system quiet enough for the PSU to even matter in the first place? Air cooling is hardly going to do that, water cooling maybe. That's like overclocked i7 and GTX295, or crossfire something, and dang are those cards noisy.

I just had my crash course in somewhat recent graphics with the HD4870, and while this is noisy as hell, the rig with OC'd C2Q only manages to draw some 250 watts from the grid... Three-four times this power consumption.. wheew.
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Post by MikeC » Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:29 pm

netmask254 wrote:...But for a moderate system used by silencers (no top VGA, e.g. E8400 + HD4670), whose full load power consumption is no larger than 200W, and the idle (when browsing webpage & listening music, in most time) power consumption is 60~80W, the efficiency is a bit embarrassing.
You haven't looked at the data; it is not different from many others. From the reviews --

CX-850 measured eff. at 65W, 90W, 150W & 200W (rounded off):
74%, 82%, 83%, 85%

Same power points for Nexus Value 430 (~$80):
76%, 81%, 82%, 84%

Same power points for Seasonic M12II-430 (~$80):
79%, 81%, 83%, 85%

Same power points - Silverstone Nightjar ST45NF (80+ bronze, fanless, ~$170):
77%, 81%, 83%, 88%
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Post by MikeC » Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:39 pm

Jipa wrote:Thanks for the great review!

This right here MIGHT just be the PSU to get me interested in Antec PSUs once again :roll:

On the other hand these just leave me wondering one thing... If you REALLY need 850 Watts then how on earth are you going to keep the rest of the system quiet enough for the PSU to even matter in the first place? Air cooling is hardly going to do that, water cooling maybe. That's like overclocked i7 and GTX295, or crossfire something, and dang are those cards noisy.

I just had my crash course in somewhat recent graphics with the HD4870, and while this is noisy as hell, the rig with OC'd C2Q only manages to draw some 250 watts from the grid... Three-four times this power consumption.. wheew.
I'm not sure you're getting the point. 850W is the rate max rated power, not "consumption". If your system doesn't demand it, the PSU simply does not deliver it.

I think Antec's point of view is that the price is low -- so why? With the CP-850 in one of those Antec cases, you will never have to worry about overloading the PSU or hearing it over any other components.
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Post by netmask254 » Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:21 pm

MikeC wrote:
netmask254 wrote:...But for a moderate system used by silencers (no top VGA, e.g. E8400 + HD4670), whose full load power consumption is no larger than 200W, and the idle (when browsing webpage & listening music, in most time) power consumption is 60~80W, the efficiency is a bit embarrassing.
You haven't looked at the data; it is not different from many others. From the reviews --

CX-850 measured eff. at 65W, 90W, 150W & 200W (rounded off):
74%, 82%, 83%, 85%

Same power points for Nexus Value 430 (~$80):
76%, 81%, 82%, 84%

Same power points for Seasonic M12II-430 (~$80):
79%, 81%, 83%, 85%

Same power points - Silverstone Nightjar ST45NF (80+ bronze, fanless, ~$170):
77%, 81%, 83%, 88%
Thanks for remind! I didn't compare the data with other models :D

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Post by kike_1974 » Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:50 am

Did anyone try to fit the PSU in a P180/P182 case (modding the case...)?
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Post by DAve_M » Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:11 am

Looks like the PSU could fit in standard cases by taking up 3 of the 5.25" drive bays. But I think the case will need to be cut a bit on the inside to get it to fit width ways.

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