Antec Power Supply Trouble

Update: Many people have reported this same problem with other motherboards. It's not just the A7N8X. Read the many user comments below. As of January 2007, the emails of failed Antec PSUs keep coming in. Sadly, lots of websites still recommend Antec as a top-quality brand and people only seem to find this little web page after their Antecs dip to 4.5 volts (or worse) and their computers start having lots of difficult-to-diagnose problems.

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.

Checking The Easy Way

Most modern computers have a system health monitor screen in their bios menus. Just enter the bios at startup (usually be pressed the Del key), and the health monitor shows you the voltages.

Here is a photo of the screen on the second computer to the plagued by this Antec voltage inadequacy.

Not Good: "+5V Voltage" Should NOT be 4.27V

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.

Real Voltage Measurement

The system health monitor screen isn't always very accurate. On the other hand, it's measuring somewhere on the motherboard, where the power is actually consumed after being delivered through wires, connectors and traces on the circuit board, all of which likely reduce the voltage somewhat due to resistive losses when current is flowing.

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:

At Only 4.48 Volts, The System Runs But Has "Strange" Problems

Lightly Loaded Test

You might suspect the real problem is a simply a computer requiring massive power. But indeed that is not the case. This is a "normal" system, and for the sake of these tests, I put in a low-power video card and disconnected all USB devices that might be using 5 volt power.

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.


This is the second Antec power supply that has developed this problem after regular 24/7 but only moderately loaded usage. These systems are used for light duty applications, not high performance 3D gaming. They are both in air conditioned rooms and have never seen ambient temperature over 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

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.

Poor Power = Poor Reliability & Strange Problems

My point is that a drooping 5 volt power line, running at 4.5 volts, still allows a computer that isn't running at maximum power to operate for quite some time. Many components on the motherboard use the 3.3 volt and 12 volt power. But a good 5 volt power output is still essential for fully reliable performance.

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.

Not Trusting Antec Again

Antec seems to have a good reputation for quality power supplies. From my limited experience with two units, that reputation certainly does not seem to be well deserved. I'm not surprised. It's well known that nearly all the computer reviews published are funded by a payola-like system by hardware manufacturer's marketing departments. Nobody seems to review long-term (1-3 year) reliability.

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.

Feedback Welcome

Perhaps I was unlucky? Twice! Perhaps you're experiencing similar Antec power problems? If so, please speak up. Email: paul AT pjrc DOT com. (home page PJRC Electronic Projects) .... or create a link to this page to help others find it!

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.


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


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)


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

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
( 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

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
    * 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

Thanks for the very informative site!


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. 

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?


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 !!


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.

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.

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. 


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

your brother in antec hell

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
massive current on the 5 volt lines, rather than a failure inside the power supply.

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

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.


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,

Hi Paul,

Read your web article:

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:

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


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

John R.
Sydney, Australia

Hello Paul!

I'm having some trouble with my Antec True Power 430W PSU and found your
site ( 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 :-)


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.



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:
*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. 

5 volts reads 4.3


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

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?


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.



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 


    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
( 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
( and AQ3 Warranty
( before filling out
our RMA Request Form. Please download the RMA Request form
( Fill it out and fax (510-770-1288) or
email ( 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


----- Original Message -----
From: Robin Ballard
To: 'Roscoe - Antec CS'
Sent: Tuesday, June 27, 2006 11:39 AM


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

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
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

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,

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.


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 []
Sent: Monday, June 12, 2006 3:53 PM



    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 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



----- Original Message -----
From: David Forster
To: Robin Ballard ;
Sent: Friday, June 09, 2006 5:54 PM

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.

Director of Channel Relations

t: 510-770-2188
f: 510-770-1288 

----- Original Message -----

From: Robin Ballard
Sent: Friday, June 09, 2006 2:57 PM

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.


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.)


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!

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?

Since november 2005 I have an Antec Overture II:
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
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

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?
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

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.

burned up parts

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.


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.



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. 


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!!!



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,


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...

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?


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

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.

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.

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!


Came across your website
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.

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!


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.


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

Do you have any brand name or model number 
recommendations for a replacement PSU that does work
with an ASUS board?  

Coolermaster, Thermaltake, Rosewill?


I just came across your page
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..............