Antec True Control 550 - Installation and Performance
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Installation and Performance
Nothing too back breaking here. Normal psu install. 1) Remove old PSU. 2) Insert and secure new PSU with the provided screws. 3) Connect all the cables. Here we can see the True Control installed, as well as the cabling issue in full effect. If the cabling exited the opposite side of the psu, they are easily tucked against the back wall of the case. And a shot of the front control panel which I used to house my floppy drive.
ABIT NF7-S (V 2.0 BIOS 11)
AMD XP2500+ Barton
2x512 HyperX 3500
ATI 9700 Pro
Seagate SATA 120GB
LiteOn 16X DVD
5x80mm Blue LED fans
3x120mm Delta fans
Mean Well S-320-12 12V (Activated by relay off of Antec TC-550)
Swiftech MCW462-UHT (Powered by Meanwell 320 PSU)
Swiftech MCW50-T (80W peltier powered by Antec TC-550)
Danger Den Z-Chip
BIX2 Pro (Peltier Loop)
BIX Pro (Northbridge H2O Loop)
Hydor L30 (Peltier Loop, powered by Criticool PCI relay card)
Hydor L20 (Northbridge H2O Loop, straight to wall outlet)
12" Blue Cold Cathode
As you can see, there are some serious power requirements going on here. Let's see if we can bring the Antec True Control 550 to its knees. We'll start off with some voltage readouts running the system at stock speeds and voltages, then do some overclocking with some nice voltage increases and see if the TC-550 can hang.
Here is a graph noting the specified minimum and maximum voltages compared to actual measurements with a voltage meter and the readout from Motherboard Monitor running at stock speed and voltages (1.6V CPU 11x166, 2.6V Memory 166 FSB)
Very impressive. With the addition of the voltage adjusting, you can now dial in your voltage to your liking. Now we'll turn up the voltage and overclock the system a tad to see how the True Control 550 handles the additional load. The following measurements were taken with the CPU running 12.5x200 at 2.0V with the memory in sync running 200 FSB at 2.9V.
Well, to say the very least, outstanding. The only noticeable change was on the +3.3V line, and it was a drop of only 0.01V. Antec has put together one serious psu.
Antec has always put out well built power supplies that have always fallen in the ±5% tolerance. With the introduction of the True Control 550 Antec has made many extreme overclocker's dreams come true. Sagging voltage lines can be your worst enemy for those late night overclocking sessions where you know you can get that extra couple of MHz out of your system, but the voltage lines keep sagging and dropping the BSOD bomb on you. With the True Control 550, you can pretty much rule out sagging lines. The front control panel looks good, and is well laid out. Also being able to still utilize the bay for a 3¼" drive is a nice plus.
Antec Quality and performance
Plenty of molex connectors
On the fly adjustable +3.3, +5 and +12 Volt rails, plus fan speed adjustment from the front of your case
Very stable voltage rails
Front control panel doubles as a 3¼" drive bay
External molex connector
Cabling comes out of the right hand side of the unit making cable routing difficult
The True Control 550 power supply is to date the best performing unit that has come across my desk. Antec easily gets the Dev Hardware Essential Hardware Award for providing rock solid voltage to today's most demanding systems as well as easily being able to adjust the critical +3.3, +5, and +12 volt rails on the fly.
I would like to thank you for hanging in there for the duration of the review. If you have any flames/statements head on over to our forums and drop 'em there. Also a big thanks to Antec for providing the unit for review, and answering questions along the way.
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