Poor quality Antec SL350SPs inside 3700BQEs

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mellon
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Poor quality Antec SL350SPs inside 3700BQEs

Post by mellon » Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:36 am

I'm a long-time lurker at the forums and I know this is a somewhat negative way to start posting but here it goes:

I bought two Antec 3700BQEs last autumn for the company I work in as cases for development computers. It's very nice to have room inside the case and being a smallish company it doesn't matter that the computers aren't from standard parts.

Out of these two (purchased with a chronological separation of about two months) the first had the PSU dead on arrival. I got it replaced, though the shop strangely gave me a more powerfull Chieftec PSU as replacement for the standard SL350SP.

After this experience I was still thinking that it must have been a fluke to get a dead PSU straight out of the box. I was still thinking it was after I got the second 3700BQE and the PSU inside that one worked fine. Unfortunately early this week the PSU died on that one too. Not messily (lucky me), but rather just fizzled out.

Overall I will not buy a single Antec PSU after this for a long time. Antec PSU's were also said to be the most prone to failures by computer repair techs quoted by the Finnish magazine Mikrobitti (in a magazine issue that came out sometime during the winter). I't's really surprising that Antec makes PSUs that are so prone to failure. Having read exceedingly many reports about Antec fanless PSU failures it seems that the problem isn't limited to one model or one production batch either.
Last edited by mellon on Thu Apr 21, 2005 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

m0002a
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Post by m0002a » Thu Apr 21, 2005 5:46 am

I think that you have to temper the statistics with the fact that Antec PSU's are very popular and therefore more likely to have reported failures in raw numbers.

In the US, they often report the most widely stolen brands of automobiles, and "surprise" it basically corresponds with which brands are the most widely sold, although there are sometimes other factors. So the raw statistics would have to be analyzed in terms of units sold to have any meaning.

I also wonder if there is a higher incidence of problems when running on 240V than when running on 120V. That is certainly possible, and not just because some people forget to flip the voltage switch when the first power it up.

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Post by pedxingx » Thu Apr 21, 2005 7:39 am

I must have had bad luck with antec PSUs because I don't know anyone else who had such problems. I have purchased 4 different antec PSUs in the past. Three of them had to be exchanged because they were dead on arrival. However, each working antec power supply I owned are still functional or had a long operational life. When they failed, at least they did not fry my computer like some other cheap PSUs.

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Post by roo » Thu Apr 21, 2005 8:12 am

i bought an antec psu back in 2001, it emitted too much power and toasted the motherboard overnight.

bought a SLK3700BQE, the psu's +3.3V line went dead after a year, RMA'ed it.

that's my experience with Antec, not saying it's a bad one, I know generally psu are prone to failure.
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mellon
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Post by mellon » Thu Apr 21, 2005 9:05 am

What I'm saying is not that we should outright judge Antec PSUs as being total failures but that we should look at them with a critical eye instead of automatically believing them to be of good quality.

The perspective I have with this is that I have never had any other PSU than an Antec fail in systems I have built or bought (about 20 or so) and some of these systems have been using no-name el cheapo PSUs. Excepting Antec PSUs the only problems I have had with power supplies have been fan bearings wearing out after several years of use. Considering this I find it very difficult to feel comfortable having Antec PSUs inside any computer I'm responsible for.

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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Wed Apr 27, 2005 6:50 pm

mellon wrote:What I'm saying is not that we should outright judge Antec PSUs as being total failures but that we should look at them with a critical eye instead of automatically believing them to be of good quality.

The perspective I have with this is that I have never had any other PSU than an Antec fail in systems I have built or bought (about 20 or so) and some of these systems have been using no-name el cheapo PSUs. Excepting Antec PSUs the only problems I have had with power supplies have been fan bearings wearing out after several years of use. Considering this I find it very difficult to feel comfortable having Antec PSUs inside any computer I'm responsible for.
the case is amazingly easy to work with, looks kinda nice actually too. It breathes so well that my rear exhaust actually causes a draft in the room after a while. (pabst 120 from directron at around 9 volts)

The antec packaged power supply is great sitting in my box of unused parts. I think this is where all pre-installed psu's should go! save it for a friend or a rainy day when you rma your better one.

I have to write a positive here because I wouldnt want anyone to consider this case a bad case. The psu might be terrible, but thats a bit unusual for antec as a whole. Never know though.

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Post by Elixer » Wed Apr 27, 2005 9:28 pm

At my work we built 25 computers from the sonata case. Every single ps worked when we got the cases, and not a single one has failed in the ~9 months of operation that they've had. Maybe the power supply in the sonata is especially good; I don't know.

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Post by Straker » Thu Apr 28, 2005 11:13 pm

Didn't Antec previously (i.e. before 2002) only sell Enermax PSUs with its cases, to guarantee consistent high quality (and maintain their reputation blah blah)? You can conclude based on that alone that they don't make crappy PSUs; why would they bother?
Anyways, the Antec PSU I currently own has been running 24/7 for 3 years, not that that means anything. Been running pretty much at capacity for the last few months too. Its fan completely died once, came home and found my PC off, turned it on a couple times and it'd politely shut itself off after about 5 mins with no permanent problems. I've never had problems with any PSU though, not even a 200W Sparkle with >50K hours on it.

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Post by Ralf Hutter » Fri Apr 29, 2005 4:58 am

Straker wrote:Didn't Antec previously (i.e. before 2002) only sell Enermax PSUs with its cases, to guarantee consistent high quality (and maintain their reputation blah blah)?
As far as I can remember, other than the one 350W that was sourced from HEC, Antec used Channel Well PSUs in the vast majority of their earlier cases.
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Post by AntecRep » Fri Apr 29, 2005 6:30 am

And Enermax being a direct competitor of ours, that wouldn't make a lot of sense.
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Post by Tibors » Fri Apr 29, 2005 9:24 am

Sorry, but that last statement doesn't make much sense. Here is a simple counter example:

The imaging and printing part of HP (printers, scanners, camera's) buys the engines for all their laserprinters from Canon, who manufacture...... printers, scanners, camera's.
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Post by ilh » Fri Apr 29, 2005 9:29 am

Tibors, here is the counter-counter example: Enermax and Antec do not actually manufacture the PSUs. If Antec could get it from the original OEM, why would they pay Enermax to put their label on it?
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Post by Tibors » Fri Apr 29, 2005 1:05 pm

Do you by any chance know who does manufacture (the designing is more important actually) the Enermax PSU's? This is the first time I see mentioned on this forum that they are made by someone else.
Last edited by Tibors on Fri Apr 29, 2005 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by ilh » Fri Apr 29, 2005 1:11 pm

I admit that I do not. Maybe that is a bad counter-counter example.
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Post by Straker » Fri Apr 29, 2005 6:47 pm

Fair enough, my bad. That's really odd though, as I definitely remember reading something very close to if not exactly what I said (well, I was originally paraphrasing anyways). Might well have been by Antec regarding another brand of PSUs, or another case manufacturer regarding Enermax, but I've never even heard of Channel Well and basically don't know anything about other case manufacturers (don't really care about CM/Lian-Li/TT, most others are one hit wonders). Weird.

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Post by Ralf Hutter » Sat Apr 30, 2005 5:51 am

Straker wrote:Fair enough, my bad. That's really odd though, as I definitely remember reading something very close to if not exactly what I said (well, I was originally paraphrasing anyways). Might well have been by Antec regarding another brand of PSUs, or another case manufacturer regarding Enermax
You better increase your dosage of Ginko Biloba homes. :) Channel Well's been doing Antec PSUs for a long time, and it looks like they still my be sourcing the new "True Power 2" PSUs as well.
Straker wrote:but I've never even heard of Channel Well. Weird.
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Post by Straker » Sun May 01, 2005 5:36 pm

Easy enough to find their site etc, still doesn't mean I had actually been familiar with them at the time of writing. :)
Ralf Hutter wrote:You better increase your dosage of Ginko Biloba homes. Channel Well's been doing Antec PSUs for a long time, and it looks like they still my be sourcing the new "True Power 2" PSUs as well.
Yeah, that was why I said "remember" instead of "Antec did this!", memory is pretty plastic. :P Anyways, I wasn't disputing that anyone in particular manufactured Antec-labeled PSUs - I was only under the belief that a longass time ago, Antec sold Antec cases with Enermax-labeled PSUs in them. Ah well.
Tibors wrote:Do you by any chance know who does manufacture (the designing is more important actually) the Enermax PSU's? This is the first time I see mentioned on this forum that they are made by someone else.
After Ralf's post, I just checked out of curiosity. It's really hard to find any concrete info, since everyone who puts a label and some cable ties on a PSU seems to call themselves a manufacturer, and most users don't really know/care. Same goes for "OEM", I guess most people think anything without LEDs counts. Not much different from the situation with RAM though, I guess (though at least with RAM, there's no point even trying to get it from the OEM). At any rate, it looks like Channel Well there too.

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Post by AntecRep » Mon May 02, 2005 6:39 am

Tibors wrote:Sorry, but that last statement doesn't make much sense. Here is a simple counter example:

The imaging and printing part of HP (printers, scanners, camera's) buys the engines for all their laserprinters from Canon, who manufacture...... printers, scanners, camera's.
How often do you see a CWT PSU in say Fry's etc? Whereas you'll see Enermax in many of the same retail/etail locations. (yes I know you can find CWT PSUs on the market but they're not as prevalent)

I'm guessing the confusion comes in from when Enermax sold their version of the SX line of cases with their PSU's (Chieftec/Chenming dragons).

Also, nitpick time, as far as I'm aware it's not that easy for an end user to buy the engines for various consumer products. PSUs though are pretty easy to find.
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Post by manni » Tue May 03, 2005 11:47 am

My neightbours Antec SLK3700AMB's PSU broke down after 1½ years of use. It smelled like it has burned from inside. Good for him, system didn't suffer anything from it. I have also SLK3700AMB, the PSU lasted fine, but replaced it with Nexus NX-3500 to lower noise level.

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Post by larrymoencurly » Wed May 11, 2005 2:45 am

Could some of the duds be due to circuit board shorts? The wires on their boards are bent over, and some seem to come very close to touching adjacent wires or copper foils. In fact my first Antec was one thrown out by someone else. It seemed dead except for the standby power, and because I couldn't find any obvious defects I examined the board and pried up or cut wire leads that seemed to be touching, The PSU then worked fine until it developed some swollen electrolytic capacitors a year later (actually still powered the computer OK, but it was drawing < 100W).

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Post by mellon » Sun Jul 01, 2007 6:06 am

This thread is really old but I think this update might be relevant:

I just replaced a broken power supply in an old TBird 1,4GHz computer. The power supply fan went to max RPM and there was a smell of burnt electronics although the computer still could be shut down normally.

Not too surprisingly, the broken power supply was an Antec (model PP-303XF). So far this means that out of four Antec power supplies that I have direct knowledge of three have broken. Otherwise I have only seen one power supply failure and that was just a broken fan in an el-cheapo PSU. On a positive side, the worst damage these Antecs have done has been an out-of-sync RAID1 array.

Anyways, still no Antec power supplies for me in the future. This one was replaced by a Seasonic S12II :)

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