Antec Phantom 350: Super-efficient Fanless PSU

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Sept 28, 2004 by Mike Chin

Product
Antec Phantom 350 Fanless PSU
Manufacturer
Antec
MSRP
US$199

We first heard about Antec's fanless power supply almost a year ago. At the Las Vegas CES in January, Antec showed an early pre-production version of the Phantom, but it remained out of sight through the year, staying true to its moniker. A week or two ago, just after a production sample showed up at the SPCR lab, Antec finally released the Phantom 350. It is now featured on their web site. Antec representatives were eager to see a quick SPCR review; I've tried my best to be thorough in the short time I have had with this unit.

By now, after several SPCR reviews of fanless ATX power supplies from other brands, you should be familiar with their basic pros and cons:

PRO: They are essentially silent. Coil hum is the only real potential source of noise. Silence is the reason for the existence of a fanless PSU for the PC.

CON: They run hotter because they don't have a fan, and rely mostly on massive heatsinks to conduct the heat to the case. This means case airflow has to be carefully managed to avoid a shortened service life. Despite the ATX form factor, fanless PSUs cannot be simply dropped into any case and be expected to work well. While its silence means there's one less noise source to deal with, it does not mean the system can be fanless; in fact, case cooling must be managed even more carefully because not only does the PSU run hotter, the secondary case cooling function of the fan in the PSU is also gone.

With those generalizations on the table, let's take a look at this long-awaited Phantom.


The usual Antec packaging: Attractive, a larger box than usual.


Well packed in a cradle of closed-cell foam.


Manual, mounting screws, 24-pin to 20-pin adapter, AC cord and the PSU are the contents.

The manual is quite complete and well-written. Intelligently, they advise the user to ensure that there is adequate ventilation in the case that the Phantom will be used in. They also suggest removing the PSU from the chassis for safe transportation.

FEATURE HIGHLIGHTS

This information comes from the Antec web site product page.

FEATURE & BRIEF COMMENT

350 Watts ATX12V2.0 with 24-pin main connector

The latest standard, good for PCI Express compliance. High power rating for a fanless PSU.

Fanless design ensures absolutely silent operation

Yes, if no coil buzz or whine.
Ultra-high-efficiency circuitry (at least 85% efficiency at full load) saves energy and reduces heat That's quite a claim; it would be the highest efficiency PSU we've ever seen.
Extruded aluminum casing is directly attached to internal heatsinks, for maximum heat dispersion Common for fanless PSUs.

Dedicated output circuits for each voltage eliminate combined-output limitations

A good thing in theory, but non-dedicated circuits also work well in good PSUs.

Advanced voltage-feedback circuitry provides maximum system stability by ensuring accurate power delivery.

The Truepower series also has this feature and seems to work well to maintain voltage stability.
Dual +12V output circuits provide server-quality power This is the route recommended by Intel.
2 SATA connectors to power Serial ATA drives Good.
Protections against Overvoltage, Undervoltage, Short-Circuit, Over-current, Overload, and Over-temperature
Pretty complete!
AQ3 Antec's unbeatable 3-year parts and labor warranty Nice: 3 years is generous!

Safety / EMI Approvals: TUV, UL, CUL, CE, CB / FCC

Generally, the more the better.

SPECIFICATIONS

Most reader probably do little more than skim these tables. I would point out that the Ambient Operating temperature range of up to +65°C is the highest I've seen specified for any ATX PSU. Note too, that the US version does not have an power factor correction and is much more efficient than the EU version which does have Active PFC. Finally, efficiency was already mentioned in the features, but it's impossible not to notice the 86% claimed efficiency repeated below.

ANTEC PHANTOM 350 SPECIFICATIONS
AC Input
90~135VAC @ 6A, 47~63 Hz or 180~230VAC @ 63A, 47~63 Hz
DC Line
+3.3V
+5V
+12V1*
+12V2
-12V
+5Vsb
Max Output
28A
30A
18A
16A
0.5A
2A
Min Load
0.3A
0.4A
0.4A
0.3A
0
0
Regulation
±5%
±5%
±5%
±5%
±5%
±5%
Ripple & Noise
50mV
50mV
120mV
120mV
120mV
50mV
Max Power
92W
150W
216W
192W
6W
10W
334W
350W
* 12V1 line feeds only the main 2x12V connector

OTHER ANTEC PHANTOM 350 SPECIFICATIONS
Ambient Operating Conditions 0 to +65°C, 20~85% Relative Humidity
Power Efficiency at full load US: 86% with no PFC
EU: 82% with Active PFC
Net Weight
5lbs. or 2.3kg
\
ANTEC PHANTOM 350 CABLES
1 - main ATX cable w/24-pin connector
2 - 30" cables w/ 2 standard 4-pin connectors and one floppy drive connector
1 - 30" cable w/ 3 standard 4-pin power connectors
1 - 20" cable w/ 6-pin PCI Express graphic card connector
1 - 20" cable w/ dual-12V aux power connector
1 - 24" cable w/ 6-pin PCI Express graphic card connector
1 - 6" adapter: Cable w/ 24-pin to 20-pin ATX connectors
Standard AC cord



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