Antec SmartPower 2.0 SP-450 ATX Power Supply

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Compared to some of the recent power supplies we've seen, the SmartPower 2.0 is decidedly utilitarian in appearance. The casing is battleship grey, and the only attention paid to appearance is the stamped Antec logo near the intake, which is odd, because once the unit is mounted inside the case, it will be invisible. No matter; we care little about surface appearances.

The exterior of the case is battleship grey.

The Antec logo is stamped over the intake fan.

Apart from a small vent above cables exiting the casing, the SmartPower 2.0 is completely sealed except for the fan holes. The position of this vent is near the intake fan where you would expect to find a dead spot in the airflow.

Most of the air flows in via the front fan and exits at the rear exhaust. This should create a tunnel effect that pulls heat through the power supply and cuts down on dead spots. This is in contrast to a power supply with a 120mm where air is forced inside and left to find its own way out. Which approach is better depends on the exact layout of the internal components, but the airflow does not have to execute a 90 degree turn, and the straight airflow path should make it simpler to optimize the positions of the internal components.

A small vent beside the intake fan is the only "passive" outlet for air.

Both the intake and exhaust fans are protected by wire grills, which create less airflow resistance than most stamped grills.

Wire grills, which are lower impedance than stamped ones, are used for both the intake and exhaust fans.

The intake and exhaust fans are not aligned with each other; instead they occupy opposite corners so that the airflow does not bypass one side of the power supply. The internal components are quite sparsely distributed, and there is plenty of room for airflow. It is possible see this by looking directly through the power supply, in one fan and out the other.

The interior of the SmartPower 2.0 is dominated by two L-shaped aluminum heatsinks in line with the exhaust fan. The heatsinks are finned on both sides and quite substantial. The vertical part of the heatsinks divide the power supply into three parallel sections, each with its own airflow. Overall, the internal design seems to be well optimized for cooling.

Plenty of free space inside that allows air to pass easily from one end to the other.
Note offset position of fans so the airflow is forced across all of the components.

The fins of the heatsinks form channels that direct airflow (and heat) down the length of the power supply.

The wires are neatly organized along one side of the casing, where they merge together as they leave the power supply. These are the least heat-critical components of the power supply, so it makes sense to place them out of the main airflow path.

Wires are neatly organized along one side.

The intake fan is not a standard 25mm thick fan; it's only 20mm thick. This was probably done to keep the total length of the casing down, which is a surprisingly short 6.25" ? a quarter inch shorter than the usual 6.5". It also allows a slightly larger gap between the fan and the internal components, reducing impedance and back pressure. The low profile fan raises a warning flag for noise, however, as there are few fans of this thickness that we would consider quiet.

The short length is a contrast to the OCZ 470, another push-pull dual 80mm fan design PSU tested last year. The OCZ 470, a much higher priced model, measured at least an inch longer than standard ATX PSUs. Both of its fans were 80x25mm.

The intake fan is a thin 20mm thick fan.

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