- Brand: Antec
- Model: 620w Neo ECO
- Price: £60-65 (at time of review)
Power supplies are one of the major components inside your PC that you should never take for granted after all they’re like the heart of a PC. Therefore when purchasing one you need to make sure at the very least, the power supply meets the minimum requirements for your system. More importantly however is making sure the power supply is actually made from good quality components. After all, having a reliable power supply in your system ensures protection for your other components such as graphics cards from elements such as spikes and surges.
On my test bench today is an offering from Antec. Namely the 620w Neo ECO power supply which has an 80 Bronze rating, an 87% efficiency, and is of non-modular design. Will the ECO be a good offering for those that require a solid offering for single GPU setups or are there better choices out there? Let’s find out…
A little bit about Antec:
Antec, Inc., is the leading global brand of high-performance computer components and accessories for the gaming, PC upgrade and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) markets. Founded in 1986, Antec is recognized as a pioneer in these industries and has maintained its position as a worldwide market leader and international provider of efficient, quiet, and reliable products. Antec has also achieved great success in the distribution channel, meeting the demands of quality-conscious system builders, VARs and integrators.
- 80 PLUS Bronze certified
- Maximum Power: 620 W
- Type: ATX12V v2.3
- Fan: 1x 120mm Double Ball Bearing Low Noise Cooling Fan
- Connectors: 1x 24(20+4)pin Main Power Connector, 1x 8(4+4)pin ATX12V/EPS12V CPU Connector, 1x 8(6+2)pin PCI-Express Connector, 1x 6pin PCI-Express Connector, 6x SATA Connectors, 6x Molex Connectors, 1x Floppy Connector
Cases and Expandability
- Size (LWH): 5.9 inches, 5.9 inches, 3.4 inches
- Weight: 4.41 pounds
On the packaging of the Antec 620w Neo ECO, the front of the box has a black and yellow design which is quite striking and looks rather good on a retail shelf. On the bottom it states the wattage of the power supply which in this case is 620 watts. Which on a numerical scale is ample for single graphics card solutions with plenty of headroom left over for multiple hard drives and other peripherals. It has continuous power design which is designed to deliver a steady and stable power load throughout and has a maximum efficiency of 87%. The Neo ECO is also cooled by a 120mm fan which at this point is standard in power supplies.
On the rear of the box, we have the specifications of the power supply in the following languages – English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, Russian and Polish. The rear of the box follows the same white and black theme with the yellow stripe from the front following over from the front of the box.
Bundled with the Antec 620w Neo ECO is a 2 pin European power plug, which in the UK version, it should come with a 3 pin power adapter, an instruction manual which has a product overview and 4 x silver Phillips screws to secure the power supply inside your chosen case.
Taking an overall look at the Antec 620w Neo ECO, the main colour of the power supply is silver with yellow accents on the specifications sticker. The sticker displays all the relevant information regarding amperage on the two rails with a healthy 48A on the main 12v rail, with 24A on the other rail.
Taking a closer look at the sticker, you can see more information regarding other parts of the power supply itself. It has the 80 PLUS Bronze logo which is usually a good indication of efficiency and quality as the power supplies themselves are tested to standards to obtain this rating.
On the rear, we have a square effect grill which provides air to the key components of the power supply itself, which enables the parts to cool down properly. The 3 pin kettle lead connection is required to supply power to the mains supply and has an on and off switch.
The fan that cools the Eco NEO down is a 120mm offering from Antec and really blends in with the design of the power supply behind the fan grill. The fan is held in place by 4 x standard Phillips fan screws and as previously mentioned, blends in with the design.
The Antec 620w Neo ECO isn’t a modular power supply so the cables are pre-attached to the unit. The cables are multi-coloured and consist of yellow, red, orange and black cables which are in-cased in a black flex synthetic braiding. Personally, I’m not a fan of the black vinyl like braiding due to the multi colored cables being visible but given that the Neo isn’t exactly a top of the line power supply, there’s not reason to disapprove of this.
Inside the power supply, we can get a good idea of the internals and as you can see, there are five coils, two transformers and one rather large capacitor. The regulators seem to be adequately cooled and the design seems rather solid. However I did notice that the capacitors aren’t of the best quality, but given that this is for a single GPU solution, it should pose no real problem.
Since we don’t currently have access to an ATE load tester, a multi-meter is used to show each of the power supplies performance on the 3.3v, 5v and 12v rails. Although we can’t do full load tests, we can provide relative information regarding variance and fluctuation of current and ripple on the rails which is integral and indicative of quality in a power supply.
To perform the above tests, the methodology will be as follows:
I7 4770k @ 4.5GHz
ASUS Z87 Maximus VI Gene
16GB (4x4GB) Crucial Ballistix 1866MHz CL9
3 x 120GB Vertex 3 SSD
Antec 620w Neo ECO
Voltages will be monitored via a multi-meter and the AC power draw will be monitored via a power monitor when drew from the wall. For the idle test, the system will be simply booted up and let to run into windows and after 5 minutes when the power draw has levelled out, the readings will be taken.
To load and apply power to the power supply, a combination of IBT and Furmark will be run to put as much strain on the power supply as possible. After 10 minutes the readings will be taken and to ensure maximum strain, the CPU will be overclocked to 4.5GHz. Depending on the power of the power supply, multiple graphics cards will be used in line with how comfortable I feel the power supply will cope with such load.
ATX themselves specify that a fluctuation and variable of 5% is acceptable so to number crunch it means that:
3.3V = 3.135V-3.465V is acceptable
5V = 4.75V-5.25V is acceptable
12V = 11.4V – 12.6V is acceptable.
Any readings outside of these figures will be an automatic fail.
Total idle power draw = 112w which equates to just over 18% so it should effectively be right on the nail in terms of efficiency.
Total loaded power draw = 572w which equates to just over 92% so there plenty of load to test the power suppliers efficiency. The results were as follows:
3.3V = 3.314V
5V = 4.852V
12V = 11.945V
3.3V = 3.385V
5V = 5.105V
12V = 12.315V
As the results show, Antec are will within the limits set by ATX and all with reasonable performance making the Neo ECO a very efficient power supply indeed. I would have liked to have tested the maximum load but 572w of load isn’t far off the rated wattage of this power supply and it didn’t bat an eyelid meaning this power supply is more than ample for any single GPU gaming rig today.
Well now the Antec 620w Neo ECO 80 Bronze rated power supply has been on the proverbial test bench with plenty of load to not only test its capability but also test its efficiency. How did the Neo actually perform and is it good enough be a worthwhile purchase?
Well starting with the efficiency and the performance, the Antec 620w was a pleasant surprise. Its efficiency was well within the recommended guidelines and I saw no major fluctuations that would give me any indications that any of the 3 different rails were at any time unstable. Coupled with the fact I had a 90+% load placed on it, it held its cool and once again, never fluctuated rapidly meaning the Neo ECO is one tough nut to crack. At both idle and load, the 620 Neo ECO pretty much cake-walked the testing and although I would have liked to have put 700w + load through it via a Sunmoon tester, we currently don’t have one available but keep an eye for updates! It just might happen soon…
From an aesthetics point of view, I actually like the colour. Even though black would definitely fit better with the aesthetics of most custom builds that enthusiasts like to put together, the dark silvery grey is not at all a bad color choice given that there are more garish choices than grey. That isn’t to say that the dark silvery grey is an eyesore; this is simply not the case, it’s just not very fitting with the all black theme that most cases adhere to these days. There is one little gripe however: This power supply isn’t modular. Despite it’s rather sleek aesthetic the one other thing I don’t like about the Neo ECO is the quality of the braiding used on the cables. The braiding not only looks cheap, but also is transparent eliminating any actual reason for its inclusion other than binding the multi-coloured cables together.
As for the price, it currently retails for around £60 which by all standards is a very reasonable price. Because of the wealth of competition in this price range combined with a huge variety of good deals available, the money you pay for this can easily land you a decent modular power supply. Which makes this a reasonably priced albeit not immensely attractive offering at it’s current price. With that being said, I usually follow the £10 per 100w theory when picking my power supplies which at the very least this conforms to. While it isn’t a fool proof method, it is one that hasn’t let me down in nearly 10 years of buying power supplies.
What we have here then, is a solid offering from Antec and although it didn’t win any awards, it is certainly a top pick. So if you are looking for a power supply for around £60 and don’t need modular calbing, you can’t go far wrong with the 620w Neo ECO.
Many thanks to Antec for providing us with a sample today and I look forward to seeing more products from Antec in the near future.
The Antec 620w Neo ECO is a solid offering and in today’s competitive market, it clearly holds its own. With top quality performance combined with nice subtle aesthetics, the Neo ECO should be highly considered for consumers looking for a power supply for systems with 1 x graphics card installed.