Antec EarthWatts EA 380D Green 380W

 

Antec has been around for nearly a quarter of a century, making them one of the grandfathers of the modern computer industry. Well known for their cases and power supplies, we've looked at the EarthWatts line a couple of times in years past. Antec has updated the EarthWatts line with their new Green models, sporting a dark green exterior and more environmentally friendly packaging—including the removal of the power cord, since most users already have a surplus.

Unlike so many other power supplies, it's nice to see a sensibly rated unit for a change. 380W is still plenty even for a midrange system, and with optimal efficiency generally coming at 50% load this is a power supply that should run closer to its "sweet spot" when idle as well as under load. There's still enough power on top to run a Core i7 or Phenom X6 processor and a discrete GPU, but you'll want to stick with graphics cards that only require a single PCIe power connection to err on the side of caution.

The EA-380D like any decent modern power supply also carries an 80 Plus certification, this time for the Bronze level. That means the PSU should run at 82% efficiency with a load of 20% (76W), reaching 85% efficiency or more at a load of 50% (180W), and still maintain 82% efficiency at the maximum 380W rated load. This is nothing ground-breaking in late 2010, but it does fit perfectly with moderate systems that can idle at under 100W. Just how green is the new EarthWatts? Let's find out as we explore some of the other features.

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  • decto - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    I've used and installed many of the older EA 380 units which are also 80+ rated and now a couple of these.

    You can power a lot with them, a 3Ghz Q6600 and power sucking Radeon HD2900 or how about Q6600 and 8800GTS G92 512MB SLI. Both ran fine for regular extended gaming sessions.

    I currently have one in an X2 5000 home server with a nvidia 7025 itx mainboard. Consumption is around 40W at idle so a quick calculation later (77% net @ 38W) and It's £7 ukp ($11 usd) per year of waste electricity for 24 / 7 / 365 operation.

    While pico PSU and mini itx can be more efficent, the cost of the hardware negates the energy savings over a typical system lifetime.

    As per a previous post, it would be good to see an article for low power systems <50W and <100W as more of us are using a purpose built 'efficient' home server or media centre and the data to make environmental and TCO based buying decisions is very hard to find.

    Congratulation on the real world review.

    More please.
    Reply
  • Spazweasel - Thursday, October 14, 2010 - link

    Using the power supply calculator at http://extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine with a typical moderate gaming build:

    Clarkdale i5 650 with a modest overclock (3.6ghz, 1.33v vcore)
    4gb DDR3 RAM (2x 2gb)
    GTX 460 1gb (single card)
    1 SATA hard drive
    1 DVD-RW
    Using on-board audio
    1 additional 120mm cooling fan
    25% additional capacitor aging factor

    Their recommended power supply? 392 watts.

    Yeah. This power supply for a moderate gaming rig is JUST FINE. If you're running a high-end system, sure, get that 750w unit. But recognize that even among gamers, that's hardly the typical build. And really, this "alpha nerd" BS where people get sneered at because they're not running water-cooled +50% overclocks with quad-SLI video subsystems... we can do without that. Nice system, sure, but the degree to which someone gets to look down their nose at someone else isn't tied to FSB speed.
    Reply
  • Matias - Wednesday, December 7, 2011 - link

    For the record, this Antec Earthwatts 380D PSU is enough to power my overclocked i5 2500K, EVGA GTX 460 1Gb FPB, SSD, HDD, DVD-ROM and PCI soundcard. Runs Skyrim just fine.
    The video card requires 24A and this PSU gives up to 25A per rail before the OCP protecion kicks in.
    Sure, no headroom whatsoever, but these current draws are already worst case cenario, so I guess there is no need for headroom.
    Reply
  • mrawesome421 - Friday, May 17, 2013 - link

    I don't know what I am more impressed with. This PSU or this review. Really, terrific job here.

    Great unit too. I use this to run my old XP box and its quite, reliable and I actually like the green paint job. I would totally buy this thing again for a future HTPC build. In fact, I know I will.

    Great review man. Thanks.
    Reply

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