That PSU looks pretty damned good, and I only have one negative thing to say about it, it could be cherry picked.
I know this has been discussed at length over a period of years, but this product more than any other needs to be verified that it has not been cherry picked. The fact that Antec have actually sent a load out to reviewers in special boxes with aditional information enclosed is if anything a sign that the PSU's themselves have been cherry picked. I would really like to see that every Signature PSU is as good as the one that has been reviewed by SPCR, but I am dubious in this instance.
Would SPCR be able to swap their PSU for another with a reseller/distributor and give it a test for noise, efficiency and voltage regulation. A single wattage would do just fine to verify that everything is in order, and if it is then Antec really need a big pat on the back for making an excelent PSU.
Firstly, Antec is not at all unique in sending extra info to reviewers. It's the norm
. I think this might be the first time they actually went as far as providing a reviewer's guide, which some companies have done routinely -- Intel, AMD, Corsair are names that come quickly to mind. The PR guys have jobs to do, and this has become one of the things they do -- "added value info & data" so reviewers can be "guided" to look at the product in the most positive way. It's usually just more pointed and comprehensive versions of the standard marketing materials for the product, tho sometimes even detailed instructions about how to test are included. I have to say some of those instructions are probably very useful for less experienced reviewers.
Do I think engineers or techs ever get involved to tweak the individual samples just for the reviewer? I've said this before, and I'll say it again: NO!
In over six years of rubbing shoulders with umpteen reviewers and journalists at multiple trade shows and tech events. I've never seen or heard anything that points to this practice, despite my openness to all kinds of conspiracy theories.
It would not pay anyway -- imagine a superlative review causing thousands of people to rush out and buy who then become disappointed because the products they got is not what the reviewer described. The returns would be catastrophic, especially with the power of negative viral communications on the web.
If anything, it's the biggest players like Intel that are guilty of any real tweaking of products for reviewers. I'm talking about the tweaking of CPUs prior to launch, performance tests conducted in the mfg's own facilities under their tight control, etc. And there, everyone knows
that the tweaking for better PR is going on.