Update: The Asus A7N8X motherboard, which is installed in this system, powers the CPU from the 5 volt line without using the 12 volt input much. This is within the ATX spec. I retested this failed power supply on another motherboard, and still only 4.5 volts. So the A7N8X may have stressed it, but the Antec power supply is definitely bad.
Update: Eric provided a link to this discussion (with photo) of Antec's use of poor quality capacitors which causes this problem.
This page is a quick rant about the same failure experienced with two separate Antec "True" power supplies. Aside from venting some personal frustration, my hope is also that this page will serve a constructive purpose to warn other Antec customers about this problem, possibly solving troublesome problems, hopefully before they cause data loss.
Some people have told me Antec has a great reputation and they have not experienced problems. Well, that certainly isn't my experience. Stable power at correct voltages is important for reliable operation. Read on for details.
So what's the big deal? After months of regular use, the +5 volt output becomes approximately 4.5 volts, which causes system instability and difficult to diagnose problems. This happens even if you have a "normal" system that doesn't use nearly the full capacity of the power supply. If your system is powered by an Antec, you should probably check it's outputs.
Here is a photo of the screen on the second computer to the plagued by this Antec voltage inadequacy.
Ideally, you would like to see 5.0 on this screen. The ATX specification says it must be between 4.75 to 5.25. In practice, voltage as low as 4.7, maybe even 4.6 volts is probably still ok. But 4.27 is far too low. Amazingly, the system can still run pretty well like this, but strange problems and random crashes do occur from time to time.
Measuring the voltage on an unused drive power connector, which obviously doesn't have any current flowing in the wires, gives an accurate reading of exactly what voltage is being produced by the power supply. This photo shows the problem is clearly inside the Antec power supply:
The system in these two photos runs an AMD Athlon 2600 processor, 1 gig ram, one 120 gig hard drive, two cdrom drives, one scsi card (for one of the cdrom drives), a matrox g400 video card, a cpu fan and one 120 mm case fan (from the dedicated fan output of Antec's power supply). The video card uses little power and has a small heatsink without a fan. The measurements shown were taken while viewing the bios health monitor, so no graphics or 3D features were in use. All USB devices were disconnected.
The Antec power supply is rated at 380 watts. Certainly a single AMD 2600 CPU, 2 dimms, 1 drive, 2 cdrom, 1 card and 2 fans is a moderate load for a 380 watt power supply.
The Antec was replaced by a Cooler Master 450W "Real Power" supply, which includes a small power meter display. That display showed the power consumption at approximately 75 watts with the computer configured as shown in this test. With the original gforce4 video card installed, USB devices reconnected, and the CPU busy encoding a video file, the power consumption shown is only slightly over 100 watts.
The first one failed about a year ago, in a different but similarly configured system. That computer ran, but would experience all sorts of very strange problems. After replacing or swapping many other components, I finally discovered the power supply was at fault. I measured that one's voltage after it was removed, with only a single disk drive and a jumper between the green and black wire to make it turn on, and indeed it was only 4.5 volts. Replacing it with a different power supply (even one with a lower rated power) fully solved the problems.
I can accept one failure as random. But two? Failing exactly the same way? Not good.
In the case you see here, the computer suddenly would not recognize a cdrom. The disc would read in other computers. After a reboot, the computer would crash and reboot again when the operating system attempted to switch into a hi-res graphics mode. Strange. So I tried swapping out the graphics card. Then the computer would not even power up. Trying a third graphics card worked, and allowed it to at least run for the rest of the business day.
Engineers and overclockers know that CMOS chips operate at their highest performance when their power supply voltage is at the upper end of the usable range, and when the chips are cold. Using one of these failed Antec power supplies puts all chips that rely on the 5 volt power at their worst operating condition. The system still runs, and can appear to be normal for quite some time, but reliability is not good.
If you believe the system health monitor readings are accurate, it's clear that some voltage is lost as the current is delivered to the chips on your motherboard, which makes an under performing power supply output even more serious.
Because this problem is so insidious, and it's caused me grief not once but twice now, I've written this rant to help warn others about Antec's 5 volt output.
In fact, a salesman at Fry's yesterday, upon my trip there to purchase a replacement, strongly suggested an Antec. He was amazed to hear the details of my troubleshooting. His faith in Antec (even after my story) was much of the inspiration to write this page. If only I'd had a the voltmeter photo then?
I suspect many people simply don't have the capability to truly determine what is wrong with their PCs. Many just buy new ones. And this particular Antec failure seems to happen only after many months of regular use. The problems manifest as other peripherals not functioning. It's not obvious at first that Antec's inadequate voltage output is really at fault. The first time I tried "everything". This time, I figured out the voltage was too low in about an hour.
It's going to be a long time before I buy another Antec Power supply. This problem (2nd failed unit) was diagnosed on June 6th, 2005, and this web page written on June 7th. The first problem was several months prior, and I only recently took it to a computer recycling place, so it's too late to document that one with another photo. I did indeed measure it with a voltmeter at the time, and it was also 4.5 volts.
To be fair, it's quite possible Antec knows about this problem and has already fixed it, or soon will fix it in newer models. If you're reading this in 2007 or later, it's probably ancient history. I might not even still be bitter by then :-)
I should quickly mention that the Antec Sonata case (in the photo) is one of the quietest computer cases I've ever heard. If I need another case, I'd probably buy it again, but toss the power supply that comes with it. Then again, other case manufacturers seem to be copying Antec's low-noise approach recently.
Maybe you have dozens or hundreds of Antec's running perfectly and you went to every single health monitor screen to verify their voltages? Maybe you own just one Antec that's working perfectly, but you're a fan of Antec?
Maybe someone from Antec may someday read this and want to comment, or offer an explanation or apology?
Feel free to contact me by email, and if you like I'll post your comments at the end of this page as appropriate.
Hello, I don't have a voltage tester handy, but my system (brand new CPU and Mobo, 1.5 year old Antec 430 watt PSU) up and died on me tonight. No warning, just shut down in the middle of a Guild Wars quest (bonus no less!) Trying to turn the computer back on only ends up in it turning off after a few seconds. In the BIOS, temps are fine. As soon as you get past the post it shuts off. After reading your article, I will definitely NOT be buying another Antec product. I have computers at work that after 5+ years of 10 hour a day use power on every morning. - Ben Sprague
Hello: I am in the process of replacing the second Antec power supply in a box I put together about 18 months ago for one of my daughters. The original cheap power supply had a cheap fan in it which started to squeal about a month ago. An Antec replacement power supply was purchased at a local Micro-Center store and installed. In less than a couple of hours the box would lose power and could not be restarted. I suspected the 20 pin ATX connector was defective, as it really didn't seat too well and I had problems getting the clip to seat. I took the connector off and found that some of the wires going into the connector could move in and out slightly, so maybe the pins on the motherboard were not connecting too well with the female sockets in the connector. I replaced the Antec with the original el-Cheapo and the machine ran fine 24/7 for 2 weeks until the fan finally seized and killed the power supply. In the meantime the Antec was returned and a new one obtained. I replaced the dead power supply with the second, replacement Antec and let it run, without the covers on for about 2-3 hours. No problems. I put the covers back on and went home. We got a call less than 30 mins later that the machine was dead again. I think it is again, the ATX connector. It seated better than the first one but the cables have a mesh covering that makes the cable bundle very stiff. I think that maybe the cable bundle is pushing against the cover and levering one end of the connector off the motherboard. I know the power supply is not being overtaxed because the box is a micro motherboard with a relatively slow CPU and the el-Cheapo power supply is of a lower wattage. Replacement number three will not be an Antec!!! regards, Norman D.
I have exactly the same experience as you. My first Antec True power 430 lasted for 1,5 years and the warranty replacement True power 480(They were nice and gave me bigger one because 430 were not available) lasted 10 months. Both had the same problem 5V line too low. In my case I noticed it when one of my HD:s didn't get recognized anymore.(First time i got new HD because i thought it was failing.) What actually was happening was that when booting up the 5V line was at 4,5V, but if you let the power supply to "warm up" for 5min or so then the 5V voltage had risen to 4,8V or soand all the HD:s were recognized without any problems) --JL
Hi Paul, I spent months troubleshooting my PC trying to find out why the mouse and keyboard would freeze at random and why the CD drives would fail at random, and finally figured out that the "robust" Antex 430 Watt power supply I payed extra for so the package PC I bought would handle added devices couldn't handle an additional 40 MB hard drive. I just have a home PC with pretty much standard components. They add up to about half the wattage rating of this power supply. But when I checked the power settings at start up I found several went out of spec when my additional hard drive was hooked up. So I emailed Antec and received prompt attention; they would replace it within a week to 10 days after the unit was shipped to them. However, I need to use my PC in the mean time, so I have to go buy another power supply before I can take them up on their offer. Needless to say, I have a hard time believing all the hype in the trade literature about Antec power supplies. And as for service, Antec sells through retail stores like CompUSA that have service departments, but once sold, the convenience of the company apparently trumps the convenience of the consumer. While we expect this with government bureaucracies we have an option in the private sector, trying a different vendor. Sincerely, Nevada Bob
Hello Paul, After having problems with my new Antec PSU, I stumbled at your well written page about problems with Antec power supplies (http://www.pjrc.com/about/rambling/antec.html). Here is my experience... I bought Antec TruePower 2.0 430W a week ago (19-Aug-2005) to replace reliable but somewhat loud Chieftec PSU that came with the case. I also wanted to make sure I have enough juice for the newer graphic card I was planning to buy. So I followed advice from some review sites and bought a well-respected brand: Antec. At the first glance PSU looked good - big and presumably quiet fan on the bottom side of the PSU, sleeved motherboard cable, separate thermally sensitive fan connector etc... So I hooked-up the thing and started booting. Everything went well until Windows XP login screen appeared. At that moment I noticed a high-pitched sound coming from somewhere inside my computer. Strange... this sound was not there with the old PSU. My PC is decently strong for what I do (CAD programming), but is by no means a gaming beast, so Antec should handle it with ease. I logged-in to the system and started some applications (some heavy C++ builds and CAD processing) to test if system is stable? Well to be frank... it was. No crashes or strange behavior even at full load. But unnerving high-pitched sound was still there. I noticed the sound disappear and reappear in reaction to my usage of the computer. For example, just moving the window around the screen would cut the sound; the sound would reappear at the instant I stopped moving the window. Putting a load on CPU would sometimes diminish or completely cut the sound in seemingly random manner. Sound was not very strong but was clearly audible from my chair and definitely annoyed the hell out of me after listening to is for just a couple of minutes. Since PSU was the only component changed, it was not hard to figure our where exactly sound is coming from... OK nobody is infallible, even overclocker's darling. So I got back to the store, argued with the salesperson a while (regard for consumer's rights is still not very high here in Serbia) and eventually got my replacement PSU... which unfortunately exhibited similar symptoms (high-pitched sound was a bit duller, but never stopped under activity). At this point I'm completely disenchanted with Antec so I installed back my old Chieftec PSU. And since I don't have strength to go into another argument with sales people, Antec will probably continue its existence as dust collector on my shelf for old components... I should stress that I'm sure sound comes from PSU and not some other component - I placed PSU outside of the case so I could clearly hear the direction of the sound. Placing PSU in different position (on side etc...) or inside the case did not stop the sound. I have sensitive hearing and spend a lot of time programming, so this situation is clearly unacceptable. I never had any problems with earlier PSUs, even the no-name ones, so having Antec fail me 2 times in a row makes me wonder if Antec's "reputation" is just a marketing department hype. Also, how on Earth could Antec get constantly high grades at reviews?? My system: * Asus A7N8X2.0 Deluxe Motherboard * AMD Athlon XP Barton 2800+ with Zalman CNPS7000B-AlCu cooler * Tyan Radeon 9500 Pro * 1GB of Kingston DDR * 2 IDE HDs: 120 GB WD and 80 GB Maxtor * LG CD-RW/DVD Drive * Chieftec Dragon case (old PSU: rated at 340W) with AcoustiPack sound insulation * Pair of Zalman 80mm case fans spinning at low speed Yours sincerely, Branko Dimitrijevic Serbia and Montenegro
I have an Antec TruePower 480 and it has been the best power supply I've owned. I've been using it for about 4 years (I believe, bought it shortly after they hit the market). I now run a 3.4 Prescott, 1.5gb of Corsair ddr400 in dual channel, 2 SATA HDs (1 which is a 36gb Raptor), a BFG 6800GT OC, 2 opticals, Soundblaster Audigy2, Logitech MX1000 mouse, eluminX lighted keyboard, Nostromo N52 Speedpad, Netgear wireless network card, 3 80mm fans, 1 120mm fan, the "OTES RAMFlow" from the Abit boards, and a Coolermaster Aerogate II, all on an Intel D875PBZ motherboard. I don't really have testing equipment, but using Motherboard Monitor (latest version) it reads my +12v as having a low of 11.95 and a high of 12.02 and average is 12.01, my 5.5v as high of 5.02 and low of 4.99 and average is 5.01, for my core it high,low, and average are all 1.29. The bios seems to confirm that, but being in the bios really isn't a load on the system. And if Motherboard Monitor is accurate, I would say those readings are well within acceptable ranges. I thought I would need more power when I got my prescott and 6800 so I got a bigger PSU. The Stealth 520 by Vantec. I was in the middle of playing a game, and it died on me after just 2 weeks use. The replacement died on me as well. My friend recommended the Stealth 520 to me and has had no problems with his and has almost the same setup. Maybe it was a fluke, but my Antec is still alive and kickin with no random crashes that I can think of.
Hey, I just read your article and wish I had earlier. I JUST bought a brand new mobo, vid card... everything to build a new computer. I got a Sonata II case with a 450W SmartPower 2.0 power supply. I put it together and got a warning from the power manager that there was abnormal voltage activity. I tried to run a game, and the comp shut off. Happened 7 times already. The 5V is doing about 4.78 on average, and its brand new. And I'm mad. -Ashley L
Hi Paul, You problems seem identical to mine. My PC (Antec Sonata case/PSU and A7N8X mobo) has run fine for around 18 months but now struggles every time I need to turn it on from cold. Whenit does boot from cold I experience data corruption on startup. Checking the voltages in the bios on cold start reveals my 5v has dropped to below 4.5v. I've notified antec of the problem today. Thanks for the very informative site! John
My Antec 330W "truepower" lasted less than 9 months before the +12 volts rail started under volting, fished out my 5 year old Seasonic 200W SS-PS200 PSU and been running rock solid for 2 years now. I got an RMA number from Antec but they expected me to pay postage overseas for 2KG PSU!! no thanks I wouldnt want another Antec PSU anywhere near my system anyway. Jim Rivera (Antec Customer Satisfaction Manage) told me "keep it if you don't want another psu." wow great customer relations no apology or sorry for any inconvenience, thanks Jim I will keep it Im always short of a good door stop. Im glad to see a site detailing the problem with antec PSU just wish Id found it before I brought an antec PSU. -- Greg.
Hi, I found your article and I have the same problem with my sonata and my a7n8x. With the bios i have: 3.3V = 3.24/3.29 5V = 4.32/4.40 12V = 11.95/11.97 I try my voltmeter with the psu: 5V = 4.42 12V = 11.94 one of my hd is dead :) and try an other (ide): he doesn't boot, and a new hd (sata): doesn't boot too... have you bought a 2nd PSU to replace the 2 other failed or are you waiting an answer from antec? Rgds, John F.
Interested to find your page. I have an office full on A7N8X and similar motherboards running on Antec power supplies. I have lost count, but I think I have blown at least 6 separate power supplies. I was convinced that it was something in my office environment that was causing it, but at least now I have a possible explanation. My supplier has been very good at replacing the failed supplies, so other than the inconvenience, it has not been a big deal. I will get a multimeter out and check out the voltage on a couple of machines that are starting to show symptoms. The main symptoms prior to failure are that it takes several attempts for the PC to start up, this sounds similar to the email from JL where he talks about the voltage increasing as the power supply "warms up". Luckily my supplier has stopped replacing the failed supplies with Antec supplies, so maybe I'll get over this problem now !! Rgds, Bruce.
Paul! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! You've solved it. EXACT same problem. My Antec PSU is running around 4.5V on the 5V rail, and I'm using the A7N8X mobo. I've been beside myself trying to figure out what's wrong. I'm just so glad it's a reasonably cheap component to replace. I was preparing to buy new mobo, and/or video card. Many thanks to you for posting your page on the subject, well done. Cheers, Doug.
Hi Paul, I only wish I had found your article on the internet sooner as it would have saved me allot of time and money. I guess I have myself to blame in some respects since I didn't think to search the internet before embarking on my own solutions for repairing the computer. The computer I have and the problems I am experiencing are similar if not the same as yours and the others that provided feedback in your article. For the last 8 to 12 months or so I have been having problems with the computer hanging up for no apparent reason which started to get worse within the last few months or so. It finally go to the point where the computer would hang-up after just a few minutes of being booted into the desktop. I am running SCSI hard drives on my computer with an Adeptec 29160 controller card and the thing that I noticed when the computer would hang was that the motor in the boot drive (C:) would spin down and then back up again constantly as though it was loosing power. In the past when I noticed this happening I was able to get the system back up and running again by reseating the connectors on the hard drive but the problem would come back again in a month or so. When this first started happening I though it was just a poor connection problem on one of the cables. When it recently got real bad my first inclination was to think that it was a hard drive problem since my D drive didn't exhibit these same symptoms. I thought it might be a component on the hard drive that controlled the motor that was overheating and causing the problem. I got suspicious about what was really going on when I could not get the system up and running again after trying several hard drives, a new SCSI ribbon cable, a couple of 80 to 68 pin converters, & a new controller card. Unfortunately during the process of trouble shooting the problem my D drive crashed and became completely unreadable. The problem happened just before I was able to get a current backup done on that drive so now I am paying for a data recovery service to hopefully get back all or some of my valuable data. It was after I received the last hard drive that still exhibited problems that I decided to check the voltage at the power connector and found that it seemed a little low at 4.5V. The health monitor shows this voltage bouncing between 4.6 to 4.75V which seems to indicate that its not very stable either. The 12V read back seems to be bouncing around a bit also. The power supply I have in my computer is Antec model True 480. You know I just never expected a problem with the power supply since its fairly new 12 to 18 months old and it a component that I would really expect to last for the life of the system. Unless I can get some assurances that this problem has been fixed I will not be buying Antec power supplies for this computer or any that I build in the future. Again thank you for your article I only wish I had looked for it sooner. An expensive lesson learned here and that's to never rule out any possibility no matter what your past experience has been. Regards Jim Brown Antioch, Ca.
I read your article, and those that have provided responses. I believe I may have the same problem. My PC started randomly locking up, and always locks up when doing anything that puts a load on it. It has just recently started to restart itself randomly, usually after it has been on for a while. This PC has had an easy life, with minimal usage. The power supply is about 15 months old and I was having a hard time believing that this could be the problem. After months of reloading software and drivers, and replacing hardware, all that remains is the motherboard and power supply. After searching the web and reading your article along with other sites, apparently Antec has a problem with this one. Thanks, Terry.
hi there fellow unlucky antec user in my search for other people who have had this problem i have found you. my little story started with a video card upgrade going from a nvidia gf3 ti200 to a ati 9700 pro a couple of years ago the psu that came with my case was not powerful enough for all my stuff so i then upgraded to a antec truepower 550. and everything was fine and dandy for about 6 months ( pc on mostly 24/7) then one day after playing a rts game all of a sudden i got horrible graphic corruption im thinking hmm maybe vidcard went down so i begin the long long journey of trouble shooting check vid card for anything out of the norm.... nothing recheck psu connection everything is fine i try to boot pc and graphics crap out at post. now im getting worried my almost new $300 vid card seems broken, so i reinstall the the nvidia card and wouldnt you know it the graphics on that are corrupted to so it cant be the vid car.but wait whats that sound? i put ear to pc case and hear a light clicking noise as if hard drive turning on then off ohh crap hard drive failure having extra hd's laying around i swap out the one i think is broken for one i know works fine and proceed to install windows xp on the clean formatted drive. install goes fine on reboot poof graphics crap out again and yet again the click whirl sound now im thinking hmm maybe motherboard fried from suge or something so i swap out the gigabyte motherboard for a asus a7n8x yea yea i know anyways boot up and poof same darn thing. only power supply i have around is a 300w generic psu said what the hell took out the antec installed the generic booted up ..... and everything worked fine well everything cept the mrs pc that i took the psu from :) . well i be damned psu crapped out so i go out and buy another antec psu a 430w truepower install it and everything is fine for about a year then today all of a sudden u will never guess what happened? yep u got it graphics corruption, restarted pc about 12 times before it decided to boot for me still have not heard the click whirl of the hd's shutting down but i expect it soon . anyone surpised i suspet the psu? this is exactly how it started last time just seems to be taking longer for psu to totally crap out . i will never EVER buy another antec psu again .. all this time i thought i was the only one going through this but seems i am not alone over $200 bucks in psu's down the drain arghgh the anger .although i must say i never tested the psu to see exactly what failed .do you have any really reliable psu that you could reccomend? ive totally had it with antec crap. your brother in antec hell MAD
Thanks for the info. My Sonata 380watt supply was dead at first plug-in. Your info steered me away from a simple replacement. Don Mayhew
Thank you SO MUCH for making this webpage to help out people that have this mysterious problem and are racking their brain trying to figure out what could be the cause. I too am an unfortunate victim of this issue. My A7N8X is lucky to be alive, at least I hope it is.... My antec SL350 watt psu pulled this trick on me and is now on it's way back for replacement, but I figure I will just buy a better unit instead. Here are some pictures to tell my story. Luckily nothing caught fire.Note from Paul: It's quite possible something shorted on the motherboard, causing
Hi Paul! December 2005? I just installed two new Antec 380 watt power supplies in my two existing personal computers. These are used in my home for audio and video editing. Motherboards are both ASUS A7N8X and have been working flawlessly for about two years. I decided to replace the factory original 250 watt power supplies that came with the generic ATX cases because of the high fan noise and to increase the overall available power as I plan to add additional hard drives in the near future. I am experiencing major problems with both brand new Antec 380 watt power supplies - they shut off a few seconds after I hit the "power on button"! I have to repeatedly cycle the power supply rocker switch as well as the "power on button" just to get the power supplies to "catch" and begin to operate continuously. I am very very disappointed and am now attempting to return these two devices. Lloyd
Darn, wish I had found your site sooner. Have been having all kinds of problems with my pc lately (Sonata case, Asus AN78X-X, Matrox G550, 2 hd's, 2 CD's) and have replaced a hard drive and 1 gig of memory. The pc is about a year and a half old. The problem started out intermittently with the pc not booting in the morning. I'd get a blue screen with a memory error or sometimes it wouldn't find the boot device - the hard drive. I replaced both the memory and the hdd thinking I had it fixed. Nope, it kept getting worse and finally last week, it wouldn't boot at all. Kept getting the error that it couldn't find the boot device. The hard drive (tried several) made a sound like it was powering up and then back down several times during the boot process. Well, I spent the weekend ordering parts for a completely new pc as I rely on this one for work. I use two of them continously for work and I've been basically down for a couple of weeks fighting this issue. Now I've got a new mb, processor, video card and another Sonata case coming this week. I never suspected the power supply. After finding your site tonight I quickly put my old 'broken' system back together and excitedly checked the voltage. Voila! 4.4V on a cold start in the bios. I've emailed Antec and hopefully I can get this resolved with a better power supply. Thanks for putting togther this site - I'd have never figured this one out and would probably be facing the same problem again in a year or so. Poorer but smarter, Dave
Hi Paul, Read your web article: http://www.pjrc.com/about/rambling/antec.html I have an Antec 430 TruePower bought in early 2002. It worked great for the first 3 years. Wouldn't you know it, but right after the warranty expired, the 3.3v line started to fluctuate bad. I then came across this site: http://126.96.36.199/forums/viewtopic.php?p=355865&sid=44edf40df813ba64a0020db128556ec3 And sure enough upon opening my Antec 430, it had bulging capacitors (Fuhjjyu brand) just like the photo shown in the link above (scroll down that page). I replaced the capacitors myself with good ones. All the rails are now in spec. Seems Antec used poor quality Fuhjjyu capacitors. Cheers, Eric
Here's another Antec + A7N8X story for you... I'm in Australia, and have an Antec Sonata case with Antec True Power 380 with an ASUS A7N8X motherboard. The Antec was purchased in November 2003. Now, 2.5 years later (May 2006), I had the same problems as described on your page. The computer had been operating fine and was always on 24/7, but I had turned the computer off while away on a holiday and it would not startup reliably after I had returned. Several hard disks that I tried to connect were powering up/down, which led me to suspect the power supply. The BIOS was showing that it was only giving 4.39 volts on the 5 volt line. I replaced the power supply with an EZCool 500W, and everything's now fine. This could also explain problems I've been having with writing DVDs, but nothing confirmed. Unfortunately, some of my hard disk files got corrupt during the random disk power ups/downs, so I had to perform a repair install of windows, which had led to typical problems with drivers, etc. But I'm happy to be back and running! John R. Sydney, Australia
Hello Paul! I'm having some trouble with my Antec True Power 430W PSU and found your site (http://www.pjrc.com/about/rambling/antec.html) through google. The problem I am getting is the same as some of the people who have sent you e-mails. The hard drive seems to have trouble spinning up on a cold boot. It runs just fine otherwise so the problem is only on cold boot. I checked the voltage and it's below 5V just like everyone else's. I have now changed to a 300W Fortran/Source PSU that I had in another computer and it works just fine and the voltages are normal values. I have the Asus A7N8X (Deluxe) too and I was wondering if you have done any testing with other motherboards to see if it was only this board that have these problems? This would be very interesting information :-) Regards "Kalle" Sweden
Hi Paul -- Thanks much for posting your experience with the sagging 5V rails on Antec power supplies. My system with an Antec Tru480 recently started hanging and sure enough it's 5V line reads out between 4.38 and 4.44. A multimeter measure it at 4.57, definitely out of spec. It is still under warranty and after sending the unit in a received a new TruePower 2.0 one. So far so good with the new supply. Regards, Tom
Hello Paul, Thanks for having an amazingly informative site, I've been going nuts trying to get to the bottom the the problems I've been experiencing and your site has tied it all together. In my Antec Sonata I'm running: *A7N8X-E *AMD Athlon XP 3200 *ATI All-In-Wonder 9800 Pro *WD Raptor 74G *Seagate 160G *1GB Kingston *Samsung DVD R/W Drive *HP Floppy Drive It all started with a burning smell about a year ago when the Floppy drive started smoking so I disconnected it. Then about 2 months ago my display problems began intermittently at first then completely. The corrupt display with random patterns, lines, and zero functioning rendered my system useless. My first thought was vid card so I bought a new vid card that didn't require additional power, plugged it in and it I was back up. I returned the video card to ATI and they sent me a new card which only took three weeks but when I plugged in that new card I was shocked to see the same corrupt display problems. The troubleshooting continued and I began to notice electrical crackling and feedback coming through the speakers and I really started to worry about a bad mobo or power supply damaging my CPU. Did some more looking around and found your site where I saw problems other were having similar to mine. I went forward with replacing the power supply which solved all my troubles. Thank you. Jeff G. Pacifica, California
Hey have been having problems lately, and even worse today. Came across your site... Exactly the same. I have been wondering what it was for weeks now, maybe high stress on computer, too many components running, running at too high of fsb, electrical wiring in the house... and in the end its definitely the antec power supply, I have a true power version as well. Has been good for about 1.5 years... but now, no more. I have to put the fsb down to 166 just for it to be stable now. Anyway will be upgrading power supplies soon as I get some money. Joe
Hi Looks like you guys blazed a trial ahead of me. I was using cheap QTec PSUs in three of my PCs without any discernible problems though I bet the voltage was not stable. Reading reviews made me change these out and upgrade. I had an Enermax in one - I have had Enermax before and I like them. I bought an antec 430 because people rated them highly. Anyway it was there when I changed the Mobo to Asus A7V8X-X and XP1800 and seems to have become miffed. No sooner had i reinstalled Linux when the screen blanked out. First time it would reboot but not second time - anyway the aluminium heatsink on the Akasa 825 CPU fan was scorching hot. I thought I had fried the chip but the thermal cutout must have done it. Anyway I ran the Antec tester on it and saw the fan on the TP430 was idling rather than spinning and pushing air around. I could not get a 12 Volt reading - then it died. Replaced the unit with a spare (new) Aspire Chameleon 550 and so far so good. The Antec gets RMA'd back after just 8 months. Pitiful - my cheap QTecs worked just fine. I am not an overclocker and apart from running 24/7 this machine did not get a lot of stress. Just the China Syndrome I guess of ever cheaper innards.
I appreciate everything you are doing, it kind of, takes away some of the frustration I am feeling, at the moment. I purchased an Antec 1080AMG Case with Antec Power Supply. The Power Supply lasted about 18 months and then died. I then purchased an Antec True Power 430 and it is now causing startup problems after 17 months of service.. I checked the 5 volt rail and sure enough, it has sagged down to 4.3 volts. I am now in the process of receiving an RMA from Antec.. System: Asus A7N8X Deluxe, AMD XP 2800+, 1GB of Ocz 433 Eldorado mem, ATI 9700 Pro/OC, 2 x 36GB Sata Raptors.
Hi Paul Just found your page on the Antec power supply problem. After two and half years use my Antec 380SP gave out loud pop sound and died which I guess was due to a capacitor failure. Prior to that computer was making strange noises on startup which I now believe was the hard disks struggling to spin - perhaps due to low voltage? I thought Antec were a reputable brand but having experienced the failure and read your comments I will not be buying Antec again. Have previously used cheap power supplies with no problems after several years use - have yet to have one fail. How long should they last? Regards. John P. London UK
Hi Paul, In my opinion, Antec is SMOKE AND MIRRORS. They have somehow convinced the public that they sell a quality product. The following email correspondence with Antec should explain my whole problem and the shoddy business practices that Antec employs. What is the most troubling about it, however, is that cheap manufacturing IS NOT limited to the power supply! Returning these power supplies to Antec for replacement is not an option for my company. What does Antec think I am going to do with the replacements they send? Put more defective products into my customers machines? Not even IF hell freezes over! Attached is a picture I took and sent to Antec of their failed product and the email corerespondence with them FYI. If Antec treats their resellers like this, I would hate to be an end user. The techs at Antec are arrogant and obnoxious. Sincerely, Robin PS: Since this picture was taken, I have 2 more SL300's added to the stack. That is 11 failures. These are not the first batch of Antec power supplies that I have attempted to send in for RMA. I HATE ANTEC AND THE BOAT THEY ARRIVED ON!! I would rather pack all these up and send to you for further investigation then waste money sending to Antec.......... These power supplies are in the picture: 2 SL220's (D03063828513, D03063828857) on top of a PP-412X (21006462) 4 SL300S (I03123350257, I03103355894, 20013813, 20039652) NEO (D04084969370) on top of a NEO HE (S05090013260)
(((((check out how long it took them to reply to my last email.... LOL! From June 27, 2006 to July 12... THAT'S 3 weeks....... HO HUM..........))))) Wed 7/12/2006 12:30 PM Robin, We now exactly what went on between the NeoHE power supplies and Asus motherboards. Both parties modified their products slightly to work properly with each other. The NeoHE power supplies worked fine on other brand motherboards and also the Asus motherboards worked with other models of Antec power supplies. I'm wondering which Asus tech you spoke with so we can make sure everybody is on the same page. We have no problem with replacing your power supplies, but our AQ3 warranty (http://www.antec.com/us/warranty.php?value=en&Submit=Submit) still stands. We have to receive the defective items freight prepaid and then we cover the costs of shipping the replacements back to the customer. This part of our return policy. That line has not changed since the day you purchased these power supplies. I am more than happy to process the RMA order for you to get the replacements taken care of. Please review our RMA Policy & Procedures (http://www.antec.com/us/support_rma.html) and AQ3 Warranty (http://www.antec.com/us/warranty.php?value=en&Submit=Submit) before filling out our RMA Request Form. Please download the RMA Request form (http://www.antec.com/pdf/rma_form.pdf). Fill it out and fax (510-770-1288) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) it back to me with a copy of your invoice or receipt from the purchase. Be sure to reference your Customer Care Ticket ID number (if available) and put the attention to my name. Roscoe Bryant Customer Support t:510-770-2102 f:510-770-1288 www.antec.com ----- Original Message ----- From: Robin Ballard To: 'Roscoe - Antec CS' Sent: Tuesday, June 27, 2006 11:39 AM Subject: RE: WILL NEVER PURCHASE ANOTHER PRODUCT FROM ANTEC Roscoe, Attached to this reply is a photo of all the Antec product that is in my office because it is defective. Since I last talked to Antec, I have received 2 more Antec items. Let's get some facts straight here: 1: We have been in this business since 1991 AS OUR PRIMARY BUSINESS. We are registered with the State of Colorado as a LLC. We DO NOT do this as a hobby. We purchase through Distribution - Tech Data Corp. We are Authorized Resellers with ASuS, AMD, WD, Kingston, and Microsoft. Our primary business is Network Management for K-12 Education. We have 2 full time employees, and contract with other entities for Linux and Cisco support. We manage 22 servers on a 500 mile WAN with over 2500 clients. Additionally, we serve the needs of Home End Users and small government and non-profit networks (when time permits). All servers are built in-house. We also configure high end workstations to fill the needs that our clients have for graphic design and gaming workstation solutions. We HAD used Antec products exclusively for the last 8 years. 2: We DO NOT need to be told how to remove, or how easy it is to remove the front panel. We do not have any blind employees. THE FACT IS: DEFECTIVE! We own this machine, and if we didn't own it, it would have cost my company and the client time and money to do the replacement. 3: Please be aware that some people who buy your product are in a production environment before your Tech support team ASSUMES you are dealing with stupid hobbiest's. 4: Also, get your facts straight about what the real issues are with your product before replying to any email. I am referring to the issue of the NEO HE. If Antec released a new REVISION of the HE, and ASuS did not refer to ANY BIOS flash that solved an incompatibility issue with Antec power supplies, I am assuming that it is ALL Antec's issue. That was also the conclusion of ASuS, (although ASuS tech support was reluctant to blatantly point the finger at Antec.) Changing the power supply to a "generic" 450 silent power supply in the P180 that the NEO HE shipped in solved the problem, therefore the reasonable conclusion was the PSU WAS DEFECTIVE! A BIOS flash from ASuS could not have possibly solved the issue because we flashed the BIOS with the latest revision for that board (with the "generic" power supply installed, of course) and when we plugged in the HE the problem still existed.. Although you do not deny that the problem exists, I am still convinced that you knew about it, you did not post any advisories or recalls on your website, and your phone tech support vehemently denied ANY fault when I first attempted to obtain an RMA for it. And, as crazy as this seems, the first reply from David to my original email illustrates this FACT and I quote, "I respectfully submit that the ASUS tech you spoke to has no clue what he is talking about, and likely was giving you the easy answer which also conveniently obscures the facts." Makes ME wonder WHO IS OBSCURING WHAT! 5: My easy answer to #4 was to replace the PSU, and get the machine out the door. The HARD answer is dealing with Antec to get replacements or RMA's for DEFECTIVE product. (You CANNOT imagine how difficult it is dig up hard copy paperwork in previous years just to get a RMA number for a product that should have never failed in the first place, not to mention the FACT that it COSTS TIME AND MONEY, aggravates OUR clients, and damages both OUR reputation and YOURS. 6: We have purchased widely from your line of cases (Aria, Sonata, P160, P180, Minuet, SLK/AMB's , and a variety of server class enclosures.) Which leads me to the SL:220's - We have already previously replaced 2 220's before these 2 220's failed. Funny, we only sold 4 of that enclosure, and all 4 FAILED. I should have known, and been suspicious that the PSU's were DEFECTIVE due to the fact that you could fry an egg on the outside of the enclosure because of the heat generated by the PSU. I already replaced the power supplies in BOTH my customers machines with power supplies from retired Dell GX workstations, and the Minuet case is MUCH MUCH happier, and cool I might add. The PSU didn't quite fit right, but a bit of creativity solved the issue and they mounted quite nicely. The retired 1.2Ghz Intel based machines still have life in them, though, and were slated for donation to a local preschool here, BUT NOW IT IS GOING TO COST ME $26.00 EACH + SHIPPING FROM DELL TO MAKE THIS DONATION HAPPEN, and time to reinstall the PSU's back into the Dell's. On the brighter side, Dell was professional and prompt in sending me the parts, and they did not COST US $45.00 EACH PLUS SHIPPING AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY, OUR CLIENTS SUFFERED NO DOWN TIME. 7: Every time one of your products failed, (and this picture is just of my last batch), we have had to replace with a new one THAT WE PURCHASE. Once again, TIME AND MONEY. 8: Neither you nor David addressed the issues with SL300's. Silence is golden. LOL! The SL300's shipped in the SLK cases are a scary, scary thing. I have many of those in service and they give me chills worrying about when they WILL fail, and how much it's going to COST me. To sum this email up: David seems to take your product too seriously, lives in denial, and thinks he's talking to a load of noobs. The point about replacing the display panel is all about TIME and MONEY, and the disassembly of hardware that should JUST WORK CORRECTLY. I do not live in a dream world about hardware failing. It does fail, just not as often as Antec products fail. I do not live in a dream world concerning good, prompt, and HONEST customer service. That's Antec's job. Our goal is now, and has always been, supplying our clients with quality hardware and SERVICE. Add up the amount of money represented in the picture. Any dollar of revenue lost, IS LOST forever. My question to you is this: What is it going to take to effortlessly get these products replaced FOR FREE including FREE shipping on both ends? If Antec is "all that" , you will come to a reasonable response to this email without patronizing or excuses. Sincerely, Robin Ballard PS -I will also be sending a copy of this email and a printed picture of your failed product by certified mail to your company headquarters. I hope it is opened and directed to the right department for evaluation. Picture Map right to left: 2 SL220's D03063828513, D03063828857) on top of a PP-412X (21006462) 4 SL300S (I03123350257, I03103355894, 20013813, 20039652) NEO (D04084969370) on top of a NEO HE (S05090013260) THAT'S 9 COUNT 'EM 9! It's does make a pretty display though. Too bad that it's for all the wrong reasons. From: Roscoe - Antec CS [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Monday, June 12, 2006 3:53 PM Subject: Re: WILL NEVER PURCHASE ANOTHER PRODUCT FROM ANTEC Robin, The swivel panel on the P160 is held in by 4 screws. Two screws on the inside of the case and two of them on the outside. Once you remove the front panel, you will be able to see the two screws on the outside. The other two screws are visible from the inside of the enclosure. Yes there was an incompatibility issue between the early versions of the NeoHE power supplies and certain Asus motherboards, but both parties have modified their products to work fine together now. I can set you up for an RMA to get the newest revision of the NeoHE power supplies to take care of the problems you are experiencing with this combination. The SL220 power supplies are no longer available for purchase because they have been discontinued. The SL220's are still available for warranty replacement only. The power supply that will replace the SL220 is the MT300. This power supply can be purchased from our website through this link here http://www.antec.com/Detail.bok?no=462. For sending the RMA documents to Antec, you can send them to me instead so I can make sure it gets taken care of promptly. Either attach them to a reply of this email or fax them to (510) 770-1288. Be sure to put the attention to my name. Roscoe Bryant Customer Support t:510-770-2102 f:510-770-1288 www.antec.com ----- Original Message ----- From: David Forster To: Robin Ballard ; firstname.lastname@example.org Sent: Friday, June 09, 2006 5:54 PM Subject: Re: WILL NEVER PURCHASE ANOTHER PRODUCT FROM ANTEC Dear Robin, Given the amount of trouble you seem to have had, I am not surprised that you are upset. I hope you will give us the chance to rectify it, because Antec does care. I also strongly hope you will believe me when I say part of the trouble you perceive is the result of misinformation or poor communications, and give us a chance to set the record straight. Let me start with the issue of the Neo HE 430. I am very perturbed to hear your report, for what you were told by ASUS is almost completely false. There was an incompatibility between early revisions of their product and ours, but both companies investigated and worked on it together, BOTH companies made changes to their respective products, and it should not now be an issue. The BIOS revision fix was suggested by ASUS, and worked for many customers. (You may, however, have been given a BIOS revision number for another model of motherboard by our tech, and if so I apologize for that mistake.) I respectfully submit that the ASUS tech you spoke to has no clue what he is talking about, and likely was giving you the easy answer which also conveniently obscures the facts. I would appreciate it if you would give me the tech's name, a support ticket number if you got one, or other information we can use to initiate (again) a dialogue with them regarding their remote support office. For our part, changing the Neo HE to the latest revision should solve the problem, particularly given the uncertainty regarding the proper recommended BIOS version. Roscoe Bryant will contact you on Monday to arrange that, if you wish. Your customer may be happy with a "cheap" alternative, but in fact the Neo HE line is our best PSU line ever, in terms of stability, reliability, and the opinion of the experts. Roscoe can also send you a new display for your personal P160. I assume this is the case you meant, since the P180 does not have a top display. Replacing that part is not as difficult for most people as you seem to believe. I apologize for the apparent rudeness of our phone support rep. There is really no excuse for that, and I will discuss this with them. Regarding the price of the MT300 (300 Watt replacement PSU), that is in fact a PSU that offers over 35% more power than the SL220s - but if the SL220s are still under warranty then you shouldn't have to pay anything for that replacement. Roscoe will also go over that with you. If not, I would be happy to make an exception on the pricing and work something out with you. The same applies to the SL300S units. I hope we will be able to make you comfortable with Antec again, and continue our relationship. Since you have not been doing business much in the past with our overseas competition, I can only say I hope it won't be too painful for you to discover why Antec is known for having much better service than them. But mostly I hope that we can straighten all of this out, and put it behind us. Best regards, David Forster P.S. You certainly work fast when you threaten to take a product off your website. DAVID FORSTER Director of Channel Relations t: 510-770-2188 f: 510-770-1288 www.antec.com ----- Original Message ----- From: Robin Ballard To: email@example.com Sent: Friday, June 09, 2006 2:57 PM Subject: WILL NEVER PURCHASE ANOTHER PRODUCT FROM ANTEC To Whom it May Concern; My name is Robin Ballard. I am a reseller who buys from Tech Data. We have used Antec Products exclusively for 5 years. My company has been in this industry and doing business as Prairie Company since 1991. At this time, I have 4 SL300S power supplies, 2 SL 220's and a HEO HE430 all needing replacement. (I also have a top panel on a P180 that worked for 1 week before the display burned out. This is my personal machine and after looking at the design and the pain it would be to replace it, I decided to do nothing about it. Besides, I bought the case strictly for the aluminum. Had I known that for less money I could have had a case of much better quality from Thermaltake, and Tech Data carried Thermaltake's lineup, I would have bought that brand. For the high dollar you charge for the P180, it is cheap and flimsy.) As far as the SL300S power supplies go, I have replaced more than I can count prior to this. This product is defective. You know this and I know this. As far as the HEO goes. The HEO is not compatible with the ASUS A8N-E motherboard. Antec denies that there is an issue, blamed ASUS, and recommended a bios flash. What was humorous about the return email was that the tech recommended a BIOS Rev. Version that not only did not exist, but was not a BIOS Rev at all! I could have considered flashing with a beta bios. Instead I contacted ASUS and was told by their tech support that the HEO has been shown to be defective when used with that motherboard. They said that you knew about it, but obviously your company disregarded the information from ASUS and you still to this day do not warn potential customers of the incompatability. I replaced the power supply with a "cheap" silent 450 power supply, and my customer has been very happy. Next, the SL220's I have looked and looked for compatible power supplies and have failed to find suitable replacements. I called your company today and inquired as to where I could find this. Your customer service rep told me "from the Antec store." Well I had been to the Antec store, and was AT the Antec store when I called. I asked where on the Antec Store site, because I explained I had looked under the power supply category and had not found the product. Very rudely, he told me IT WAS AT THE ANTEC STORE. I ask him politely to help me find it there. He seems very put out that I would have the nerve to ask where it was. He directed me to click on the spare parts category. (Spare Parts? OK didn't know power supplies were spare parts, but ok!) I then asked where from there, because it wasn't on page one of multiple pages. Very rudely he said page 2. I clicked page 2 and I didn't see a picture of the power supply, so I asked him where it was on page 2. WELL, he was very put out by my request, and while he was fuming, I read the descriptions without the pictures. I found the power supply. THEN I WAS SHOCKED BY THE RIP OFF PRICE! I have only sold 4 of those cases and ALL 4 power supplies died. I should have know the first time I built and ran the machines that they would die due to the fact that you could not touch the case because it was so hot you could fry an egg on it. Good thing 2 of them died within the warranty period. As far as paying you that rip off price to replace the power supply, I will be able to get much better service purchasing new microtowers from Newegg and they will cost less than the power supply on your site. Best of all, my customer will get back a machine that is NOT ANTEC. I feel comfortable just getting your products phased out of my lineup, and off my website as an endorsed product. As far as your tech support dept --I have never had a good experience with your tech support dept. They ALL have been rude and condescending. This could possibly be from working all day with irate resellers and customers! I think you would be better off outsourcing to India, as Americans are far too rude to deal with other Americans. I cannot take back all these cases and replace them. The best I can do is serve my customers well by replacing the defective product with OTHER THAN ANTEC. I am deathly afraid of any power supply that you sell. We no longer sell or recommend any product labeled Antec. Also, your company makes it far to hard for a Reseller to RMA defective product. I know this due to the fact that getting replacements prior to these has been difficult and time consuming. Even after jumping through your 50 hoops and getting the fax sent off, getting a RMA fax back for the return takes over 2 weeks. This is unacceptable at the highest level. My customers cannot have their machines down for 2 weeks and I do not do business on that low of a level. I replace the power supplies with what I have in stock and take the loss on my own bottom line. I would like to personally drop the box of defective product square into your Board of Director's laps! Taking the time to write this email to your complaint dept. will be my futile exercise and a giant waste of time. After the past 3 years of bad experiences dealing with your company and your substandard product, I know the only comfort will be in getting this off my chest. Sincerely, Robin Ballard
Thank you for replying, Paul. Antec is in denial. Since I wrote you last to tell you about my experience with them, I have had 6 more power supplies fail. LOL. Well, it's costing me a fortune! They will replace any power supply that is (1)under warranty, and (2)can prove purchase date. Asus did not modify anything about their motherboards to make them compatible with a power supply! They would most certainly deny that. What could be so proprietary about any power supply? Either it has the correct voltages, or it doesn't.......... They know they have a defective product and they treat resellers like dogs. Even if I did dig up all the paperwork, I WOULD NOT WANT the product back anyway! Lololol I guess that I will be writing it off the book as a loss to my company. Irritating, but the only alternative. I have been replacing the "quality" Antec power supplies with "generic" (and cheaper) power supplies from Enlight and Coolmax. They work beautifully. I used to use Enlight many years ago, and still have machines that people refuse to part with that are 8+ years old and still chugging along. I think Antec is all smoke, mirrors, and false advertising. They CANNOT possibly claim they have a "quality" product if I have 17 dead ones! (And those are just the one I have now... I have already replaced others previously on RMA.) ANTEC SCARES ME! Anyway, cheers! And thanks for taking the time to create a webpage outlining your experiences with Antec power supplies. At least I knew I wasn't going crazy! Sincerely, Robin Ballard Prairie Company PS: Just to make sure that I am SURE that ASuS didn't modify anything, I thought I would give them a call. I did not get through to tech support, but did talk to the engineering department. They wanted a copy of the email correspondence so they could see what Antec was on about. She did say that they were having problems with Antec products, but it wasn't them who had the issue, it was Antec.... I wonder if ASuS will do anything about that? HuMMMMMMMM.......
Since november 2005 I have an Antec Overture II: http://www.antec.com/us/productDetails.php?ProdID=15730 which uses a customized SmartPower 2.0 450W power supply. After installing my system everything works fine. The day after installing I checked the space above the power supply as I had to decide if I would mount an extra harddisk there or not. To my surprise the metal just above the power supply felt hot while the pc hasn't been running for the last 24 hours! When I turned the system on, I felt warm air blowing out the ventilator of the power supply and it smelled a bit like burned/new electronics... I didn't like this and contacted Antec support which said to RMA the faulty power supply. While waiting on the new power supply I used an old Aopen 300W power supply and this one didn't heat up while the computer wasn't running (so it wasn't caused by the motherboard, an Asus A7N8X-Deluxe by the way...) I received the replacement power supply after 3 weeks and after installing it, it was exactly the same... When the PC is off it slowly heats up, when I turn it on the air blowing out the power supply is hot (and it smells a bit in the beginning). I'm using this system for 8 months now without problems but I don't like this... When I'm not at home for a longer time I'm disconnecting the power as I don't trust this. I've checked voltages with Motherboard Monitor (Windows) and at the moment they are quite normal: +3.3V = 3.28V +5V = 4.84V -5V = -5.36V +12V = 12.22V -12V = -12.77V best regards, Wim Pollet (Belgium)
I can't believe everyone is having the same problem as me. One and a half years old, and my True Blue 480 Watt true power (European Version) bit the dust. I would be interested if anyone knows which component it is that fails, as I would be quite happy to replce the bits to get another year or two's use out of it? thanks Brian Taylor
You would not believe the grief you have saved me. I was suffering from random hard drive clicks, then after the click my pc would lock up. Thinking my hdd was going bad i ran speedfan to check the drive's ratings and it was in almost perfect condition. So next i moved on to mobo drivers thinking that might be the issue. Nope. So i replace the hdd this week and i thought everything was fine, till yesterday. Click, and then Pow. Now the damn thing wouldn't even boot. I get the windows disk and get ready for a repair then the shit really hit the fan..... my monitor would die right as the Repair screen would pop up. I tried for hours, sometimes it would make it to repair, and chkdsk would repair some errors, the pc would boot up, and as long as i didn't do anything it was fine. Once i tried to start up any program though, Click and Pow. About to give up hope and throw out the PC thinking it was a bad mobo, i came upon your page (thank you google) and thought.... hrmmmm these symptoms sound familiar. But it couldn't be my Antec PSU, the damn thing is only 6 months old right?? So i booted into the bios and low and behold my Antec True Power 430 was showing the Exact numbers for the +5V that your screenshot does, 4.25 to 4.48. I just ordered a Cooler Master PSU and i have no doubt that once i get that in, i will have no more random hickups. Thank you again for the help :D Brian
Hi Paul, I discovered your site Friday while searching the net for info regarding Antec power supply failures. Your site was an eye opener. I had a 20 month old Antec SmartPower 350W power supply (came with the Antec case) give up on me Friday morning. The bottom fan in it died about 5 months ago. While getting ready for work, I heard a noise that sounded like firecrackers going off coming from the next room. The smell of burnt electronics told me right away that something had gone wrong. I thought it might have been my old stereo amplifier, but when I turned around I saw that my computer was no longer running. A few choice words later, the power cord was unplugged and the case was off. The the smell was definitely coming from the power supply. Glad I was home when it happened. I was planning to just go and buy another Antec PSU, but after reading the info on your site, there was no way in hell I was wasting my money on their product again. I gather that normally it's the caps that go bad. In my case, the caps (Fuhjyyu) look fine, but who knows. Looks like a resistor gave up the ghost Here's a pic of the damage inside the power supply. Replaced the power supply with a Seasonic S12 430W power supply, and was back in business. Luckily it didn't fry any of the other components in my system. Brad
Hi Paul, My antec power supply went down too. It makes a high pitch sound, like the one described by the Serbian person. And like Branko, I know its coming from the Power Supply. I won't buy another. Your site is very helpful. Thanks, Texas
Hello just doing some searching on the net as I have just had the same problem with my antec true power 480w I to ran it most 24/7.the other night I was 20mins into a film and the whole thing died I've had it for about 1 year. once bitten never again you would expect more life in it at those prices any way life goes on, hope you have a happy new year
Thank you so much for hosting this info. I found your site on the third page of my google search and I am glad to see that I'm not the only one with this issue. After the third hard drive I tried still made the same click and spin up noise I knew my problem was else ware. My voltage would drop to 4.61 Volt (tested with a meter) and that's when the clicks would start. Three days later my voltage has gone the other way, it hit 6.1 before it crashed. I have new one on the way. No more antecs for me. TrueBlue 480 = junk.
Hi, My name is Theo and live in Bucharest,Romania. So I very MAD about ANTEC because their power supply has burn my MB, video card,and 2 hard drive!!! So...the distributor change my PSU with a FORTRON 400PNF. But who has guilt for those parts broken?Who?Antec or my distributor? So I call in Holland to speak with tech support from Antec.I will go to Holland in person with those parts broken and the PSU.And I will fuck them! Please tell me if I will start a proceed against Antec I will win? There are hundreds of problems in internet about Antec PSU SP 400W!!! Regards, Theo
After a lot of searching, I have found someone (yourself) who is having the same problems w/ the Antec Smartpower. My computer is also dipping down below 4.5 and my problems were somewhat different. It began affecting the system standby. When the system went into standby, it would reboot and if unattended, this would continue until it was manually powered down. The new problem is that the system chooses when it wants to boot up. I was also under the impression that Antec was more reliable than it has proven to be in my case. Thanks for the info, Dan
I just read your write-up on the Antec SP 2.0 and would just like to say that I wish I had read it before I bought one. Without getting into the specifics, I'd only say that they are certainly crap. I bought a new one today and except for my fans turning on, none of my drives would boot, or my DVD burner. Won't be purchasing a PSU from these guys again... Regards, Emil
I am one of the unlucky ones that ended up with a failing Antec Smart Power 2.0 power supply. After a full month being engaged in a back and forth RMA process with Antec, I can firmly state I will never buy anything from their brand again. Antec has failed to reply to my concerns regarding an inherent defect with the type of capacitor used in these units (Fuhjyyu and Teapo) they have RMAed me twice the same model and both exhibit the same issue -- high pitch whine then computer reboots on it's own after a couple of days. Is there a possibility in launching a class action lawsuit against antec? -Joe
Many thanks for placing and maintaining your Antec PSU resource online. Here's the problem that arose with mine. In December 2005, when building a new PC, I purchased an Antec SLK3800B case along with an Asus A8V Deluxe. The case came fitted with an Antec SmartPower 2.0 400W PSU. I specifically chose this case because it included a quiet PSU within my budget and had received reasonably good reviews at sites like SilentPCReview.com. In mid-January 2007 -- after just 13 months of relatively light use -- starting up the machine became a problem. The power-up button now has to pressed several times each morning before it actually starts the POST and boot processes. Often, not long into the Linux boot process, the power cuts out and the machine restarts. Happily though, for the present, once the machine has completed the full boot process, it remains stable and functioning. To avoid the risk of burnt-out components and/or data-loss, I've just ordered a Seasonic S12-380W PSU as replacement (64 euros). When replaced, the Antec SmartPower2.0 400W PSU will safely demoted to doorstop duty. Cliff Delft, The Netherlands
I have read your article on problems with the Antec True Power supply. I have just replaced my second Antec in less than a year. I am running an Asus P5 motherboard with a standard Pentium 1.2 GHz processor. The second supply was an Antec True Power 500 watt and lasted 2 months. The first supply Antec 450 watts and was still in warrant but I made the mistake of opening the unit before checking warranty status. Needless to say, I received a nice letter from Antec explaining why the warranty wasnt valid. I suspect that the problems that I experienced were the same as yours. In lokking back, there was a week or so with some slower and less stable performance but I did not measure the voltages. My replacement supply is not an Antec. Thanks Thomas
My problem happens to be at the other end of the spectrum! I have an Asus CUSL2-C mobo with four harddrives and two DVD burners running on a modified version of Windows98se. The system is used solely for video editing. A couple of the hardrives were giving me weird issues that I figured were caused by a stressed 300watt SparklePower PSU-- so I decided to get a 500watt PSU on sale at Frys. It was an Antec Earthwatts 500 for $50. I installed it per instructions, and turned the computer on. The BIOS refused to allow the computer to boot, saying that there were power supply issues. Checking this out, I discovered that my -5volt supply was running at -6.24volts! The other voltages were barely acceptable. I took it back and exchanged it for another one. EXACT same problem! The -5v was again -6.24! I hope this brief usage of the computer at this voltage didn't damage anything..... Arrgg. Anybody have suggestions for a good unit? Thermaltake..? ? Cheers, Jeff
Thanks for setting up your web-page. I have an Antec 380W supply which gave my PC (very similar setup to the one you've displayed) strange behavior. HDD started and stopped, rebooting here and again. I thought the HDD was going so I replaced with no improvements. Later after reading your site I checked the voltage on the 5V rail which indicated 4.30V on the monitoring BIOS tool. I replaced it and all worked well. The funny thing that I wanted to mention is that the failed Antec Power Supply still passes the test at my local electronics store. What's even funnier is that the tester is made by Antec! SL
Came across your website http://www.pjrc.com/about/rambling/antec.html after googling answers for my power failures. I have an Antec P160W case and Antec Smart Power 500W (SP500) PSU. My PC started experiencing false first starts. You had to press the power button twice to get the PC to boot. The local PC technician tested the PSU and the +5V was faulty as described on your website. Luckily it's still under warranty. I sent it back today to the Australian distributor and am hoping to get another brand PSU such as Silverstone. No more Antec PSU's for me. Cheers, Jon
your page dedicated to failing Antecs is an entertaining read. In Nov 2005 I bought a NEO HE 380 watt PSU to replace a perfectly good Nexus NX3000 (300 w), as I was about to install a nvidia 6600gt gfx card, and assumed I would need a few more amps. The Nexus is extremely quiet, and the NEO was supposed to match it in this respect (I live in a studio-flat, a quiet PC is a necessity), and indeed it did - in terms of fan noise. However, after a few days I realised something was bugging me, and it turned out it was *coil whine* coming from the Antec. This is NOT something you expect from a "premium" quality PSU. The other thing I noticed from day-one was that the -5v rail was well over (or is that under?) -6v, and although this didn't seem to affect anything, it's slightly worrying all the same. After a couple of weeks I decided I couldn't bear the coil-whine (however faint - it probably wouldn't add any dB on a noise-meter reading), and the Nexus went back in, where it remains, quite happily powering a system that is theoretically on it's ragged edge. As for Antec's "customer services" - my experience thus far hasn't been great. Immediately installed the Neo, I asked them about obtaining an extra lead as the ones included in the 'modular' Neo range assume a system with all-SATA drives and don't provide enough olde-worlde molex connectors. Complete lack of interest. And RMA'ing the PSU because of the coil whine? Again, complete lack of interest - told me to take it up with the the retailer (now 120 miles away on the other side of the UK, since I've moved). As an aside, only a few weeks ago I decided to check the 5 and 12 volt rails of the Nexus with a multimeter, as MBM was reporting 11.49v. The readings were *5.00* and *12.00* volts!! I couldn't believe it and rechecked several times, finally managing to get them to fluctuate between 4.99 - 5.00 and 12.00 - 12.05 by running Prime95!! That is what a call a good PSU! regards, Rainer.
I too wish I had found your article earlier. I have had 2 Antec SmartPower 2.0 450W ATX12V v2.01 power supplies blow on me in less than 12 months. Virtually from day one of getting my new PC I was getting BSOD's and freezes. I am often reluctant to point to hardware failure as it is usually software issues that cause me problems however after 6 months when I smelt the sweet smell of burning electronics and the final "POP" of the power supply failing I thought I had got to the bottom of the issue. New (identical) power supply was installed and almost immediately the same problems continued until the other day the second PS went. Well this one is also being replaced under warranty but I am now out of warranty and don't want the same issue again so I am going to ask for an alternate PS. BTW my MB is an ASUS 8AN SLI Premium running AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ As long as Antec and ASUS keep passing the buck I can't afford to have their products together in one machine. Charles Australia
Your web site is well written and describes my exact experiences with Antec power supplies. I have an Asus 87N8X-X motherboard and I have gone through 4 Antec power supplies. The first two were in an Antec Sonata I case. The second two were Antec True Power 2.0 450Watt Power supplies. All four power supplies failed in the same way. The system started randomly rebooting. Then the hard drives would spin up and down randomly. Just before failure, the power supply would not boot the computer from a cold start. After allowing the power supply to warm up for an hour, then I could restart the computer. Do you have any brand name or model number recommendations for a replacement PSU that does work with an ASUS board? Coolermaster, Thermaltake, Rosewill? Thanks, Mark
I just came across your page http://www.pjrc.com/about/rambling/antec.html after my NEW Antec Earthwatts 500 blew up. I installed it and it seemed to work fine for a few hrs that night. Next morning i got up and turned on the pc, nothing happend! then i could hear a whining sound that lasted a few secconds before a loud hiss and white smoke started pouring out the back of the power supply at a great rate of knots, i quickly turned it off at the wall but it took a while for it to stop spewing smoke everywhere...pretty much filled the room! and had a wierd smell about it. So i suspect it blew one of the cheap "Fuhjjyu capacitors" or something. Anyways im sending it back, probly won't get another Antec again. Just thought i'd let ya know. Cheers.
Just found your site about Antec Power Supplies and their low quality. My SmartPower 500W just died after 4 days usage. I RMA'd it to Antec. They are out of stock on this PSU and will not send another model even if I pay the difference. My new machine will be down at least three weeks. I bought a new 500W SeaSonic because I wouldn't put another Antec in anyway. I can't understand how Antec can advertise more than 80,000 hours MTBF in their spec sheet for this PSU. I believe that there should be a class action lawsuit brought against Antec because they have to know what is going on. I will never again purchase anything with an Antec label on it. I consider what they have done with these power supplies to be fraud. Another dissatisfied Antec customer..............