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Antec Phantom Users Poll
Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 9:49 am
Having read several posts by members about failed Antec Phantom PSUs, and the recent failure of the test sample I had been using in one of my PCs, I think it's time for a poll. Just to get a feel for user experience. Aside from answering the poll, please also post how long you've used it and in what conditions.
You must be an owner or user of an Antec Phantom! Please DO NOT POST if you are not a user. Otherwise, polls such as this will become useless and skewed. Anyone found to be breaking this rule will be immediately banned from SPCR.
EDIT: Also, please provide the serial number, purchase date and source of purchase if at all possible.
ALL Phantom users are encouraged to post, including those who have no problems, NOT just the ones who have experienced trouble.
Keep your posts CIVIL and ON-TOPIC! This thread is not an excuse for Antec-bashing.
Here's the details on my experience:
Used in A64-3200 PC (middle of the road) for 2 months before quiet failure. Found it frozen one moring, the thing refuses to start. Power draw of the machine was under 150W AC, it was folding @ home 24/7. Very quiet system had decent airflow with a 120mm Nexus exhaust fan directly below running slow (probably pushing 15~20 cfm) and an 80mm CPU HSF also on low (maybe 10 cfm). PSU just returned to Antec for analysis; will report their diagnosis on cause of failure.
Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 10:56 am
No trouble yet with mine, but based on some experiments I wouldn't trust this PSU to run in a system with zero airflow. I've made sure in my setup that there is a slight intake airflow through the PSU. I've had the unit since a few weeks after the product became available to the general public.
With the slight airflow, the temp on the hottest heatsink under heavy load can reach above 50C. Without the airflow (critical components are water-cooled), it goes into what looks like it could be a "death spiral" once the temps get to about 70C (temps seemed to be increasing faster instead of slower, but it could have been my imagination). I have idled fanless for a few hours w/o any trouble, but due to the poor ventilation of my case in the zero-airflow config, I much prefer to keep at least one fan on low.
Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 11:27 am
No problems with mine, mostly playing games.
K8V, 3000+, 9800Pro Ultimate 128MB, 7000-AlCu, 120mm rear Nexus.
Merely warm to the touch, not red hot (unlike 9800Pro).
The lack of noise (due to ramping up) is sheer bliss!
Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 9:01 pm
Mines been great, never had a problem.
It sits outside my case and gets zero airflow. It gets very hot to the touch sometimes - I'd equate it to a fresh cup of coffee. This is in summer, ambient temperatures of up to 30C. I run it normally for about 14-20 hrs a day. I've had it for 2 months.
Serial D04095162193, purchased around November 19th from Pacific Computers and Technology
Gee guys, now you have me all worried about mine failing...
Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 3:23 am
Mine failed quietly after 20 days - system found hanging one morning, psu cold, only the power light on the case and the light on the phantom indicated any power was getting through but after turning off it wouldn't boot. Phantom gives off a hissing noise when you try and turn it on. System was based around a mobile athlon 2400+ underclocked to 1500MHz and 1.3vcore running windows media centre most of the time (not quite 24/7) with folding @ home in the background (unless my house mate turned it off!). The phantom was always warm maybe 50 degrees C but stable. Was run externally and placed on the base of an aluminium speaker stand in hope to give it a little more cooling. Room temperature varied between about 15 degrees at night to 23 with the heaters turned up!
It looks like from eLekTRiK's post I should put an undervolted nexus nearby if I get a replacement! Thanks for the info.
Purchase date: 7th Jan '05
Source: Kustompcs (who were excellent with the returns)
Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 4:39 pm
I think it worked about a week. Suddenly the computer just shuts down. Light on the motherboard was still lit (so the PSU is not completely dead), but pressing the powerswitch won't start up the PC.
Used in open case. High temperature at idle load, quite a lot hotter during gaming.
System: AMD64 winchester 3000@ 2.2, 2x512MB DDR400, Radeon 9800Pro, 1 HD, 2 soundcards, 1 dvd-burner (+3 fans).
Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 4:50 pm
I got the same thing. Mine worked for a week before it died. It suddenly shut off while the computer was idle. Then it didn't start anymore, the blue light just goes on and off when trying to start it.
It was on 12 hours per day running Folding @ Home.
It was outside the case with no airflow. My computer used about 120W.
Serial number: D04115401692
Purchase date: 2005-01-22
Place of purchase: Datorhandel.com Sweden
Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 5:03 pm
Had no problems for the first 2 weeks then I started getting random reboots just surfing the net with no intensive applications. By the 4th week I experienced 2 power shut downs doing the same thing, I had to flick the power switch a couple of times before I was able to power it up again. I have 2 KingWin spinning at 1600rpms intake fans and 1 at 1800 at the back doing the exhaust, system temps are around 28C and room ambient at 21C
Posted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 12:04 am
*LAST EDIT*: Have got a replacement unit which has been running in my computer for quite some time now. Works great and no complaints about it.
Mine died after 21 days. After 20 days it shut down the computer, but was able to restart, on the 21st day it failed again and wouldn't restart, blue light flashes briefly when you press the power button.
Was in an open case, no extreme temperatures, failed while idling.
*EDIT*: I realized that my dates were a bit off and the phantom probably only ran for about 14 days or so before completely dying.
*EDIT2*: Serialnumber: D04095098506.
Bought in Sweden from www.datorbutiken.com
. Payed for on the 7th of Jan. 2005, delivered about a week later, died two weeks after that. This is the EU-version with APFC. Other than that the second paragraph of dperella's message below here is exactly what happened to me.
Posted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 5:15 am
Mine is still working fine. Sits outside the case not without any fans blowing at it. Runs climateprediction.net 24/7 on a A64 3000+ machine. Been on continuously for about 2-3 weeks now. Feels warm to the touch but not hot.
Serial number is D04125432010
Arrived from overclockers.co.uk 14th Jan and running since then.
Posted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 9:03 am
Could everyone who already posted here come back and provide the serial number, purchase date and place of purchase if at all possible?! Just EDIT your own post. This information will definitely add weight and substance to this poll.
Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:04 am
Mine worked for about 28 days. Unfortunately, I waited for about 4 days before installing it, so it failed more than 30 days after delivery. The merchant won't take it back after more than 30 days, so I'm stuck going to Antec for a replacement. I don't really want another one of these. I'd like my money back so I can buy a Seasonic Super Tornado 300. I'm not sure that fanless power supplies are ready for prime time yet.
Mine refused to wake up from standby. It was providing the trickle of power needed to light up the num lock, Ethernet and motherboard LEDs lit up and I assume it was also keeping my memory on, but every time I'd push the power button, the lights would flash and the fans would spin up, but it would only last for about a second. Replacing the power supply solved the problem and reinstalling the Phantom left me back in the same situation.
This was a huge disapointment. I was delighted with this power supply until it died. Except when my hard drive was busy my computer made no more noise than my uninteruptable power supply. I had 2 case fans pumping air into the case and had tried to create positive pressure, so it would vent throught the power supply. The fans were running slow (quiet), but ventilation was pretty good. My CPU and case temperatures were both reasonable, but I did not measure temperature in the power supply.
Lovely product, but it should last more than a month.
I'm sure this poll isn't representative because people who are happy are less likely to post, but the posts here suggest that this is not an isolated problem and these things just can't be trusted.
Edit: Sorry, I forgot to add that I ordered it from neutronexpress.com on 12/23/04, received it on 12/28, dead on 1/30/05. S/N d04115391317.
Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 12:46 pm
dperrella wrote:I'm sure this poll isn't representative because people who are happy are less likely to post, but the posts here suggest that this is not an isolated problem and these things just can't be trusted.
You're absolutely right about this. Previous experince with similar types of polls not only online but with all kinds of different consumer-related research shows that people who have bad experiences are more likely to share them that those who are reasonably satisfied. IE, it's the old squeky wheel syndrome, in a way -- it's working OK, so it doesn;t draw any attention.
SO... having said that, I would point out that...
1) The number of Antec Phantom PSUs sold in the world has to be at least a couple hundred. There's no way the fail/works ratio here is at all indicative.
2) We do not know whether the failures stem from a single "fatal flaw" or have different causes.
3) For the sake of database balance, ALL Phantom owners -- including the ones who are happy! -- should post their experience here!
I have alerted the folks at Antec to this thread, and they have indicated they will provide information if it is a single flaw behind these various failures. They've also indicated that for the US, the number of RMAs remains a single digit.
my Phantom failed after 11 days
Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:37 am
Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe
Athlon XP 3200+ cooled by Arctic Cooling Copper Silent 2M
EVGA Geforce 6800 GT w/ NV5 Silencer
92mm Nexus Exhaust fan was mounted where PSU should go (PSU mounted outside case)
Pabst 60mm Exhaust fan in first of 2 exhause mounts on LC10M (second 60mm exhaust mount was covered to avoid intake from rear of case.
My Phantom failed after 11 days of use. Had it outsite my case with no airflow. Like others, my PC just powered off unexpectedly while idling. Motherboard light would stay lit but PC would not power on, only the blue LED on the Phantom would blink on then off when PC power button was pressed. Upon trying another power supply in the PC, the ethernet chip on the motherboard started to smoke. Both the PSU and the motherboard were purchased at the same time. I DO NOT KNOW IF THE PHANTOM CAUSED MY MOTHERBOARD ETHERNET CHIP TO FRY OR IF IT'S THE OTHER WAY AROUND. Just wanted to make that point clear.
Phantom was purchased on 1/7/05 from Newegg.com I don't have my serial number handy as I've already RMA'd both the PSU and the motherboard back to Newegg. The funny thing is, that I did a repair RMA and was expecting them to send me a replacement, but they went ahead and refunded it. (they are sending me a replacement motherboard). I'm sort of glad about this because I don't think I really want another Phantom considering the problems people are experiencing, and the fact that I had to run it outside my case just to keep my case temps down.
This has been my experience with the Phantom. Again, like others, the Phantom seemed fine, never felt too hot. Gave no indication of problems up until it died.
Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:50 pm
Yup, experienced the same thing here, started to random reboot in thee 2nd week and then would shut down during idling and 2 days later it died ....kaput, I think Antec has a serious problem on their hands.
Purchased 31 December 2004
Serial No.: D04115401515
Failed 29 January 2005
Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 12:05 am
I mailed them a few days ago and I just reveiced the reply:
We are not aware of any "flaw" or a "bad batch" in our Phantom 350 power supplies.
We have released a lot of this power supplies worldwide and so far we never heard of any wide scale issue that would prompt us to investigate.
Europe Technical Support
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2005 4:16 AM
Subject: Antec Phantom 350W
I'm about to order the PSU in the subject but I was just alarmed that there is a problem with alot of the units. I read on a forum (http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewto ... ht=phantom) that many have experienced a dead PSU in just a matter of weeks after installing it. Some units have been sold in the US and some in Sweden so it seems that it's not just a single shipment of faulty PSUs. It seems more like a general flaw on this product. I'm about to purchase mine from a store in Sweden but I have my doubts now.
The people that have posted in this forum have just recently bought this PSU so it's not likely that this flaw has already been taken care of by you? And if it has been taken care of, how can I check on my unit that it is one of the good ones?
I very much like the idea of a fanless and 100% quiet PSU but I wont pay approximately 1.600SEK for one if it's going to cause me trouble within a month or 2.
I don't think the person who replied even read this forum.
Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 7:53 am
Here is some info for you all, with minor edits for clarity:
So far we have sold more than 2,600 units in North America and have received about 20 returns of which only 7 units were actually defective. Our Phantom has OTP (over temperature protection) which shuts down to protect the power supply when the unit is overheated. We suspect some of the returns and those discussed in the forum are good units but were returned to us because the power supply protected under OTP and the users didn't realize the units will work again once the temperature drops below the protection point. Also we need to remind the users that proper air flow inside the case is very critical to the power supply. A poor ventilated environment (no matter the unit sits inside or outside the case) will cause the Phantom to protect (via OTP) or fail to work
Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 11:25 pm
I must chime in here and state that OTP can have nothing to do with my phantom not running, since it had been turned off for an entire night and still wouldn't start... and it was not even luke warm when it failed.
Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 3:30 pm
Received my phantom last week. It's been running fine.
Antec 3700 series case.
Rear Fan: 120mm nexus
Intake fan: 120 mm nexus at bottom
CPU: Athlon 2800+ @ 1.2volts
Video: Gigabyte 6800 GT (STOCK heatsink, just received)
HDs: Raptor + 2 160gbs.
Survived a few marathon gaming sessions. PSU mounted in normal slot.
Was not aware of any temperature monitor on PSU, but will see if a probe thermometer can give me a reading.
Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 5:26 pm
My phantom is fine. I've probably had it for about two months. It's at home, so I can't check the serial number. I covered up the annoying blue led light with some tape (being careful, of course, not to cover any vents). This makes it much nicer. I hate light pollution as much as I hate noise pollution.
It's a 3.2 Ghz Northwood in a 3700bqe cases, with four harddrives, and a bunch of pci cards.
It has a 120mm exhaust fan and a Zalman 7000alcu.
Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2005 5:35 pm
Cros wrote:I must chime in here and state that OTP can have nothing to do with my phantom not running, since it had been turned off for an entire night and still wouldn't start... and it was not even luke warm when it failed.
Hear here, same thing with mine and why would it start to get worse over time, explain that Mr. Antec ? and OTP only kicks in when the temperature is over 110C ! I doubt its only 20 returns, or 7 defective, it would mean that half of the returns would been from this forum ...LoL
Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 4:30 am
I wouldn't be too sure about that - I reckon a fair percentage of sales so far will have been to forum members. Where else will you find large numbers of silence obsessives willing to spend lots of cash for a handful of dBs?
Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:10 am
Hello y'all, my first post here.
My Phantom died yesterday, after 26 days. The mainboard light was on, otherwise nothing happened when I pressed the main power switch. This happened during Standby-mode, case temp was around 35 degrees celsius.
Switched back to my Zalman, a bit noisier but it works.
Antec 1080 case
CPU + graphics card cooling: Zalman Reserator
Rear Fan: 2x 80mm Papst (19db)
CPU: Athlon 2400+
Video: Matrox P750
HDs: Raptor + Maxtor 120GB
Purchase date: 15th Jan 2005
Place: Verkkokauppa.com (Finland)
Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 11:52 am
My Phantom died today, 10 minutes after I woke up. System just shut down, and PSU was just a bit warm, not even close to being hot. (PSU was sitting on a random bunch of old CPU heatsinks, to "help" heat, and it did
Switched back to my old Antec 480W and system works again.
Lian Li PC-V1100
Intel P4 2.8ghz
WD Raptor 74GB
HIS x800pro Ice-Q
Purchase Date: 02 February 2005
Fail Date: 12 February 2005
Place of purchase: EIS, Uppsala, Sweden
Posted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 2:54 pm
I got the record i think, my phantom lasted 0 minutes!
Plugged in everything, lights on the mobo turn on but when i try to switch the computer nothing happens ( sometimes i hear a faint buzz for less than half second ) i tried it in several computers, same result.
Purchase Date: 12 February 2005
Fail Date: 12 February 2005
Place of purchase: Rimini, Italy
Posted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 7:30 pm
I got two units failed here.
I purchased the first one from NewEgg in September and died after 35 days 24x7. NewEgg refunded as they didn't have any in stock.
Purchase Date: 23 September 2004
Fail Date: 29 October 2004
Place of purchase: NewEgg, USA
I then purchased the second one as the replacement from ZipZoomFly in November and died after 25 days 24x7. ZipZoomFly replaced it and got the third one. The third one has been working fine for 66 days as of today. Hopefully it never fails.
Purchase Date: 11 November 2004
Fail Date: 30 November 2004
Place of purchase: ZipZoomFly, USA
BTW, the OTP has nothing to do with the failure. The PSUs never got extremely hot but they just got slightly warmer. The first one suddenly died in a morning and never powered up. The second one started randomly reboot each 1 - 3 hours.
Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 2:07 am
I have two failed units. I was hoping the first one was a fluke, but apparently not.
No serial for the first, since it was exchanged by Amazon a couple weeks back. Within a few days of installing it, I had my first inexplicable computer power off. Usually, I just leave my computer on. In order to get the PSU to turn back on, I had to turn the PSU power switch off, unplug and plug the power cord back in. After that, it seemed to stay on for shorter and shorter times until it wouldn't even finish booting before it turned off. I tried talking to Antec who suggested checking if the voltages were within 3% of the norm. I think the 5V was not, so I exchanged it via Amazon since Antec wanted me to pay for shipping while Amazon has much better support with free shipping and no-cost cross-shipping.
This one worked fine until 2/13/2005 when I found it off. I tried the above power-cycling trick, which caused the power to turn on. Shortly thereafter, I heard a bang accompanied by a spark in the PSU. The smell was consistent with a blow capacitor. I peered through the grate on the side opposite of the blue LED side and saw a black 10 uF electrolytic with white foam coming out of it. The black cap was between the yellow transformer and the heatsink with the voltage regulators. Pretty sure it's not OTP. I'm suspecting either faulty capacitors or bad design. Oh, another tidbit is that the 24-pin to 20-pin ATX adapter would not fit on the 24-pin power cable on the PSU on this one. Fortunately, I still had the first box around and the adapter from that one fit (thought not as smoothly as connectors should normally fit, IMO).
I was not able to vote in the poll (much less vote twice), so keep that in mind.
Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 6:37 am
It is unfortunate that only Phantom users with bad experiences are posting here. So many first time poster dropping in just to report this info? How are you all finding your way here?
Just to counterbalance the rough ride this product is getting here...
At the time this poll was started, I contacted Antec about this issue and was told that up to that time, over 2000 units had been sold in the US, of which there were 8 known failures. Most of those failed units were not in their possession but in the hands of resellers who had provided exchanges, etc. They had a strong suspicion that all the failures were due to a single component that in a few units, had not been installed properly during production, leading to inadequate heat conduction to the casing/HS.
Perhaps these numbers need to be taken with a grain of salt too, but that's a very different picture than what we're seeing from this poll.
Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 7:27 am
> It is unfortunate that only Phantom users with bad experiences are
> posting here. So many first time poster dropping in just to report this
> info? How are you all finding your way here?
I'm around in the forum since 1/2 months and trust me, i really wished my first post was in another thread
Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:05 am
I actually decided to buy the Antec Phantom partially b/c of the review of it here as well as reading various posts about it. I've never posted before b/c I've never really had any questions or useful comments about quiet computing, since I'm just beginning my foray into quiet computing. When my first Phantom failed, I was looking around for similar experiences and couldn't find any! I decided it was a fluke, so I exchanged it. Then the 2nd one failed and I find all these similar tales of woe! I actually wish I had found more "bad" experience posts earlier which would have saved me the bother of messing around with the Phantom the 2nd time around. After the 2nd one failed, I was much more certain my problems were not flukes (electrolytic capacitor exploding is pretty severe!) and felt I had to share the experience to warn other prospective buyers.
I do agree that people tend to be more vocal about their complaints rather than praise. As a result, I lean toward thinking no news is good news when it comes to personal post/reviews. While the percentage of failed units may be exaggerated here in this poll thread, I'm pretty sure that this much bad news means there is a pretty big problem with the Phantom.
After this my opinion of Antec has dropped considerably. I do have one of their cases and am pretty happy with it. I also have a TruPower 330 power supply which has been very reliable, though somewhat noisy. When talking to Antec tech support the first time, I suggested OTP and I was told that once OTP was engaged, the power supply would never turn on again! That sounded horribly wrong to me, since it would make a lot more sense for OTP to simply kick in until the temperature was safe again. On top of that, in order to RMA the device, I would have to pay for it to be shipped back to them. I contacted Amazon and they cross-shipped me a unit and paid for all shipping of the defective unit back! Antec really needs to work on their support. Instead of trying to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and trying to get their hands on any defective units for immediate analysis, they have a system that makes it much easier to simply exchange with the retailer, making it harder for them to get the defective units they need for analysis. If they let such a problematic product get to customers, they need to fix their QA Since, it's beyond that point, they ought to be doing everything they can to remedy the situation. I mean cross-shipping Phantoms, immediately analyzing defective units, and getting fixed units in the hands of customers who have in good faith adopted this new novel PSU.
I apologize for the rant. I probably wouldn't have thought much about the service, but there have been a couple of companies lthat I've bought from lately that have just superb customer service and they really make others look horrible in comparison.