Antec TruePower Trio 550

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7. TEMPERATURE & COOLING

The temperature rise in the PSU was very good for the load range it is specified for. The maximum difference between the intake and exhaust was a fairly low 12°C at 550W. Once the fan started to ramp up at around 200W, the PSU temperature rise responded in kind and we are able to see a dip in the recorded values. The high speed fan played a key part in the cooling. Another aspect may be the lack of any other air escapes except the rear exhaust. All air blown into the PSU by the fan has to circulate across the heatsinks and out the back of the unit.

One word of warning: Due to recent changes in our test bench, thermal results are not perfectly comparable to many of the earlier tests that we have done. Our new test bench uses a larger 120mm fan that provides a more realistic simulation of the kinds of low-noise systems that are in use today. Earlier tests used an 80mm exhaust fan which means the newer PSU cooling data may look a bit better; it may stay cooler to a higher load point.

8. FAN, FAN CONTROLLER and NOISE

The fan voltage started out at 4.3V which is a little higher than other (Seasonic) controllers with this fan (3.9 - 4.0V). At startup, the PSU measured 22 dBA@1m. The fan speed/noise remained unchanged until the load was increased to 250W, when the fan voltage rose to 5.3V. The fan ramped up quickly beyond the 250W load, and by the time we reached 400W, the fan was at maximum speed. The maximum speed would most likely have occurred between 350W-375W had we tested in that range.

When we took load off of the power supply, the fan speed stayed high for about a minute and then ramped down slowly. For the crossload test we let the PSU cool down for a few minutes under minimal load (~65W). When we loaded up the PSU again the fan speed increased quickly. Between the regular and cross load tests this gives us an indication that if you were to be using the PSU at the 200W range in idle (a little high for a typical SPCR computer) you would be able to hear the fan ramp up and down with variations in load.

In the lab we were wanted to be surprised by the way this PSU ramped up, but honestly I think we were expecting it. The build quality did not seem as high as the best on our recommended PSU list. Comparing the TruePower Trio to the TruePower 2.0 it seems like Antec has reused the fan controller, but this time with a slightly higher ramp point to match the higher power output.

Power Supply SPL (in dBA@1m) Vs. Power Output
Model
65W
90W
150W
200W
250W
300W
400W
Antec TruePower Trio 550W
22
22
22
22
30
37
45
Corsair HX520W
22
22
22
22
22
22
29
Seasonic S12 Energy Plus 550/650
20
20
20
20
21
25
38
Silverstone Element Plus ST50EF-Plus
23
23
23
25
34
41
43
Antec TruePower 2.0 430W
23
23
24
28
36
39
~40-42
Antec Neo HE 430W
20
20
21
26
31
37
~38-40

The table shown above compares the Antec TruePower Trio to recently reviewed models with similar power output capacity as well as a couple of other Antec models. You can see that compared to the Corsair and Seasonic, the Antec becomes noisier at a lower power output. Compared to the Neo HE, the residual noise level is a bit higher, but actually ramps up in noise less quickly. This may be an effect of the recent change made to our PSU test box, from an 80mm exhaust fan to a 120mm exhaust fan. In the newer version of the test box, the NeoHE (and other PSUs tested earlier) would probably ramp up at higher power loads.

MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS

  • Antec TruePower Trio 550W at 0~200W, 22 dBA@1m: One meter, One foot (30cm)
  • Antec TruePower Trio 550W at 300W, 37 dBA@1m: One meter (you don't need the 1ft recording, not with 37 dBA@1m)

Sound Recordings of PSU Comparatives

HOW TO LISTEN & COMPARE

These recordings were made with a high resolution, studio quality, digital recording system, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review. Two recordings of each noise level were made, one from a distance of one meter, and another from one foot away.

The one meter recording is intended to give you an idea of how the subject of this review sound in actual use — one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. For best results, set your volume control so that the ambient noise is just barely audible. Be aware that very quiet subjects may not be audible — if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

The one foot recording is designed to bring out the fine details of the noise. Use this recording with caution! Although more detailed, it may not represent how the subject sounds in actual use. It is best to listen to this recording after you have listened to the one meter recording.

More details about how we make these recordings can be found in our short article: Audio Recording Methods Revised.

CONCLUSIONS

As with the TruePower 2.0, the Trio is a very capable PSU, but it's not remarkable by today's SPCR standards. (Yes, they keep going up as PSUs improve.) This unit is a step up from the previous generation, though; it is fairly efficient and has excellent voltage regulation. The power supply looks good in all tests except those regarding the fan controller and noise. The noise rose at a somewhat lower power load than the best, but not until 200W was exceeded, which is still pretty good. It's fairly quiet, certainly better than much of the competition, but it's not quite up to the best, including Antec's own NeoHE series.

This PSU would shine in a gaming system where the purchaser wants to save some money on the power supply while still getting a good quality unit. It will be very quiet at low to middling loads, and ramp up only when the computer is pressed harder. For a typical gamer (with all the sound effects in most games), this will hardly be an issue.

The TruePower Trio is approximately $20-40 cheaper at the time of writing than many of our recommended products at comparable output power ratings. Is this a worthy savings? Well, you be the judge of that. In the gaming world an extra $40 on a video card can make a big difference in performance. The same could be said about silent computing as well.

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SPCR Articles of Related Interest:
Power Supply Fundamentals Units
Recommended Power Supplies
Power Distribution within Six PCs
SPCR PSU Test Rig V.4
Corsair HX520W and HX650W
Seasonic S12 Energy Plus 550 and 660
Silverstone Element Plus ST50EF-Plus
Antec Neo HE 430
Ante TruePower 2.0 430W

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