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Antec HCG900 900W PSU Review

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Founded in 1986, Antec is recognized as a pioneer in the high-performance computer components and accessories for the gaming, PC upgrade and Do-It-Yourself markets, and has maintained its position as a worldwide market leader and international provider of quiet, efficient and innovative products. They recently sent us their HCG900 power supply which is the top model of their High Current Gamer series of PSUs.

The concept arose from the need to have 4 rails of high power and current at 12v to deal with the increasing demands of todays GPUs. Power requirements of processors have been relatively stable in the last few years, even going down with the Sandy Bridge range launched in January. Other components have followed a similar trend with HDDs being constant despite their ever increasing size and SSDs consuming less power than their mechanical counterparts. Only increasingly powerful graphics cards are driving the need for larger power supplies. It was to address the needs of gamers with dual, triple and even quad GPU configurations that the High Current Gamer series was envisaged.


PSU Specifications

Making quad rail power and highly advanced power supply design available at a popular wattage, the HCG-900 features special High Current connectors and heavy-duty cabling, earning it NVIDIA® SLI®-Ready and ATI™ CrossFire™ certifications. At the same time the HCG-900 is also 80 PLUS® Bronze certified for efficiency, and features active PFC with a swift, quiet 135 mm double ball bearing fan that provides not only High Current, but also high efficiency and excellent cooling. If loads of power, High Current engineering and exceptional efficiency are what is needed, the HCG-900 may be ideally suited to the task.

 •900 watts of Continuous Power
 •NVIDIA® SLI®-Ready certified, ATI CrossFire™ certified
 •80 PLUS® Bronze certified - up to 88% efficienct
 •Quad High Current +12V rails with high maximum load for better graphics card compatibility
 •Quiet 135 mm double ball bearing cooling fan with low start voltage
 •Four gold-plated 8(6+2)-pin PCI-E connectors for multiple-graphics card configurations
 •All Japanese brand capacitors for reliability
 •ATX12V version 2.3 and EPS version 2.91 compliant
 •Gold-plated High Current terminals for optimal conductivity
 •Universal Input - works on any 100V - 240V grid
 •Active PFC with PF: 0.99 - less harmonic pollution, greater efficiency
 •Full suite of industrial grade protection: 
    - Over current protection (OCP) 
    - Over voltage protection (OVP) 
    - Short circuit protection (SCP) 
    - Over power protection (OPP) 
    - Over temperature protection (OTP)
 •MTBF: 100,000 hours
 •Meets ErP Lot 6: 2010 requirement: 5Vsb < 1W
 •Safety: cUL, TÜV, CE, CB, FCC, C-TICK, CCC, BSMI, Gost-R
 •AQ5 Antec Quality 5 year limited warranty on parts and labor
 •Unit Dimensions 
    - 86 mm (H) x 150 mm (W) x 180 mm (D) 
    - 3,4" (H) x 5,9" (W) x 7,1" (D) 
•Package Dimensions 
    - 124 mm (H) x 310 mm (W) x 180 mm (D) 
    - 4,9" (H) x 12,2" (W) x 7,1" (D) 
    - Net: 2,7 kg / 6,0 lbs 
    - Gross: 3,4 kg / 7,5 lbs
HCG900 Connectors
ATX 24-pin
ATX 24/20 Pin
EPS/ATX 12V 8-4 pin
EPS/ATX 12V 8-4 pin
PCI-E 6+2 pin
PCI-E 6+2 pin
4-pin Molex
4-pin Peripheral


PSU Packaging  


We always like to see a nice colourful box, even in todays market where such items are usually bought online. At large PC stores it can be very daunting to see row after row of shelves stacked with white boxes and having to examine them closely to see what they are. The box the HCG900 comes in is strong and well built with extra corrugated cardboard inserts the protect the PSU body.

The back of the box contains all the key data to make a purchasing decision and shows the connectors in graphical format. This is of particular benefit to those occasional (as opposed to hardcore or professional) PC builders who may not be able to name every connector type but would recognise them on sight.


Side views show the performance at different workloads and a host of certifications and key features at a glance. No space is wasted on gimmicky advertising.


The two remaining views list other technical information which may not be that important but may form selection criteria for some customers.


PSU Build and Cabling  

Antec supply the HCG900 in a cloth case (as with some of their other ranges) and this helps to protect the finish of the PSU and keep dust away during extended storage. The design is not modular since the target audience are gamers with possibly multiple GPUs so would end up using most of the cables from the start. This is not a real problem as most enclosures these days have a cable management system and/or space between the back wall and back cover where unneeded cables can be tucked away.



The orange and black colour scheme can be found on the 750W and 900W models whereas the lower rated models in the HCG range are all black. This is identical to the schema on the Quatro range. The instantly recognisable Antec Brand, showing that they have been around since 1986, is designed to be visible through transparent side panel windows.

Cabling is protected by a strong plastic braiding which ends in rubber to protect against fraying and the length of each cable should be sufficient for even a full tower case.


The sticker shows the important details of power by voltage and rail and it is crucial in our opinion to understand the way the power is distributed (treating the 900W as a lump sum could lead to problems if things are not carefully balanced in a heavy duty system). We recommend downloading and reading the detailed manual on Antec’s web site (we can’t post a direct link as its dynamic).


Providing some air ventilation in the sides is a mixed bag. On the one hand some hot air will escape back into the case but we think it more important that the much overlooked effect of cooling components on the edges of a PSU is addressed. In most power supplies the bulk of cooling goes to the components directly under the fan with the rest having to rely on heat propogation. By allowing some air out the sides those components will also benefit from convection cooling. It's a fine balance to make the amount of space on the sides just right and it looks as if Antec are spot on.

Looking at the back we see the traditional rocker switch and mains connector and also that the rest of the plate is devoted to ventilation. We've seen some power supplies with less than half the back surface area making up the grill and this can lead to pockets of heat building up.


No review would be complete without removing the warranty sticker and exposing the PSU internals. The layout is spacious and appears to be based on a Delta Electronics design. Strong adhesive is used for stability and cables are neatly tied off. Most notable are the two high quality Japanese capacitors. These are 420v/330uF Nippon components rated at 85 degrees as well as smaller Rubycon ones rated at 105 degrees. The four 12V rails are rated at 40 Amps each and Antec are keen to point out that the PSU is rated at 900W continous power at 35 degrees Centigrade and not simply 900W peak.


The 135mm fan by ADDA is a thermally regulated 9 blade DC brushless model specified at 12V/0.44A in operation. The fan is designed to shift 82 cubic feet per minute of air at a noise of 36dB. At first glance is seems that the plastic flap is blocking half the airflow but it's actually a clever design where the flap bends downward at an angle when the fan is running, forcing the air to go to the back (opposite the exhaust) of the PSU housing and then reverse direction under the flap and out the exhaust grill and in the process flowing smoothly over all the components horizontally.


PSU Performance

We tested the HCG900 under a variety of different loads and configurations. Efficiency varied from 89% at half load to 83% at full load. At a room temperature of 25 degrees the exhaust temperature varied from 28 degrees at idle to 39 degrees at full load. Similarly, noise from the PSU went from 31dB at idle to a maximum of 44dB.

Temperatures are very good and no doubt helped by the clean and tidy layout of the main PCB. Noise levels are effectively silent and even at their loudest will probably be dwarfed by GPU and CPU cooler noise in a typical system.



Antec have produced another winning PSU series and one that is well suited to the target market. Externally, a high quality finish and strong colouring make the unit stand out from competitors. Braiding on all cables is a welcome addition as is the rubber termination of the braids to prevent fraying.

Internally, a clever design that routes airflow across all components horizontally and the use of high quality components including premium Japanese capacitors show why Antec offer a 5 year warranty with this product.

For excellent build, price/performance and overall consumer appeal, we award the Antec HCG900 PSU our Gold Award:

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