Power Supplies: Antec Signature 850 Watt Power Supply

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Antec Signature 850 1When it comes to building a new PC, be it for a server, media center or gaming machine, the power supply is often overlooked, especially with the multitude of more exotic components to consider (graphics, processor, mainboard etc.).  However, as it powers everything in your new machine, a stable and competent powers supply is essential and can determine the stability and life of a system.  Many lower range cases come with power supplies included, however although these may be sufficient for low specification PCs, a better power supply should be found for anything else, especially if you are likely to be running high spec graphics cards.

At the top of the range of Antec's power supplies comes the Antec Signature 850.  It boasts features that are not generally available in a consumer power supply and are only saved for the best. The Signature 850 features DC to DC voltage regulator modules which ensures greater system Antec Signature 850 2stability, and an 80mm Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) fan which can run up to 50% quieter than standard fans. The Signature 850 has also passed 80 PLUS® Bronze certification, a rare distinction in energy efficiency attained by very few other power supplies, which provides greater than 82% efficiency and above at all loads.

As the name suggests the Antec Signature 850 is rated to 850W and is also Nvidia SLI-Ready Certified, making it ideal for the lastest power hungry graphics cards.  The box is well finished in a black gloss with a simple ANTEC badge fixed to the top surface.  Antec has provided a hybrid advanced cable management system, which effectively means that the main cables required are hard wired for better power transfer, including most peripheral cables, and there is the option to add further cables on the additional 12V rails to power Triple and Quad graphic card configurations.

Antec Signature 850 3The main thing that you will notice about the Antec Signature 850 power supply is the weight, it really weighs a lot.  Due to the heavier duty components and heat sinks, the power supply weighs in at 2.78 kg.  The power supply is designed with high quality Japanese fan and capacitors to ensure long-term reliability and the circuitry controlling the power supply is set on two separate circuit boards orientated to face each other with a large channel through the center for improved airflow, meaning that only one 80mm cooling fan is required.  The PSU fan features Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) for whisper-quiet operation.  The

In order to ensure rock steady rails the power supply features DC to DC Voltage Regulator Modules ensure supreme system stability and built in circuitry prevents damage resulting from short circuits (SCP), over voltages (OVP), over power (OPP), over temperature (OTP), and over current (OCP).  So that's the safety aspects covered.

Published Output table (Antec website):

Output Voltage

Load Range
Reg.
Ripple
Noise
Min
Max
+5V
0A

24A

±3%
50
50
+12V1
0A
22A
±3%
120
120
+12V2
0A
22A
±3%
120
120
+12V3
0A
25A
±3%
120
120

+12V4

0A
25A
±3%
120
120
-12V
0A
0.8A

±6%

120
120
+5VSB
0A

3A

±3%
50
50
+3.3V
0A
24A
±3%
50
50

Antec Signature 850 4We installed the power supply in our test rig (Antec 1200, Abit IP35, Q9450, 4GB OCZ, ATi graphics (PCI-E)) and fired the machine up, which worked as expected.  In order to test the PSU, we opted to conduct just a simple 1hr run on OCCT to load the CPU and monitor the 3.3V, 5V and 12V rails.  As expected there was almost no variation in the voltages and the maximum ripple we observed was on the 3.3V at 0.02 (0.5%).

The Antec Signature 850W power supply is a top quality and definitley among the best, if not the best in the 800w-900w power range and it even comes with Antec's market leading 5 year guarantee.  It is definitely recommended for any top end gaming machine or server where there is the need for the extra power.  Since the Antec comes with such a strong power efficiency, it also means that you could eventually save money to boot (and save the environment).  If you can afford it, buy it, you won't be dissappointed.

Available from:

Amazon: Antec Signature 850