One common mistake when building computers is overlooking the PSU. Most people on a budget end up lowering standards to buy a generic supply, because “all it does it power the system”. If you have been building PC’s for some time, then it’s clear just how important a solid power supply is. I have had generic PSU’s die on me left and right, and even take some components with it. Needless to say, that’s a lesson no one should learn the hard way.
Antec is one of the most popular names in power supplies. Although they can get expensive, it’s because of their extreme stability and superior build quality. We are taking a look at the top model in their Phantom line, which has a lot to offer as we’ll soon find out.
So what does the Phantom offer? You may wonder why they chose to call it the Phantom, and the reasoning is easy. They believe this to be one of the most quietest power supplies on the planet; noise will be nonexistent… or Phantom like. The reason for this is because the supply is designed to dissipate heat better than any other. The entire unit acts as a heatsink with a thick fin design. Since the PSU theoretically acts as a heatsink, there is no need for a fan unless your computer really pushes the load on it.
You can choose for the PSU to turn it’s fan on at 40°C, 47.5°C or 55°C. Obviously the lower the temp your PSU is, the better. I left mine at the default for that reason, since it will help prolong the life of the supply. Because of these few optimizations, the supply as a whole will generate up to 70% less heat than a standard one, and will use up to 25% less overall power.
To help add to the stability of the PSU, Antec implements Dual +12V outputs. Since a CPU uses a +12V rail, this is a way to provide clean and steady power to it. The other +12V output would be used to provide power to the other peripherals that make use of it. Dual +12V rails should help stability in overclocking as well, or even CPU’s that are absolute power hogs… like Intel’s ;)
The power supply includes all of the connectors you will need. There is a 24-Pin motherboard connector as expected, but if you still use a 20-Pin motherboard, then you can easily snap off the end four pins so that you can use it. A 4-Pin and 8-Pin 12v motherboard connector is also available. If you use S-ATA hard drives, you will have not two, but four connectors available to you. For your IDE peripherals, you have 5 4-Pin molex connecters, in addition to 2 4-Pin floppy connectors.
Even though they make no mention of the PSU being SLi capable, it does include two 6-Pin PCI-Express connectors, so you will have no issues at all if you want to set up an SLi or Crossfire system. To add to the ‘cool’ factor of this power supply, there is a bright blue LED strip on the rear of the unit whenever it is powered up.
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