Date: October 26th, 2006
Article by: Mike Carter (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Antec
<--CLICK FOR DEALS ON AN ANTEC POWER SUPPLY IN THE UNITED STATES
<--CLICK FOR DEALS ON AN ANTEC POWER SUPPLY IN CANADA
PRODUCT PICTORAL AND WALKTHROUGH
As far as connectors go, the Trio is not lacking.
The main power connector is a convertible 20/24 pin affair. Antec has chosen a “hinged” setup, rather than a removable 4-pin plug. Unclip one side of the plug, and rotate it out of the way. Neat, tidy, and it doesn't interfere with older, 20-pin power connectors.
Aside from the main plug, the Trio has six 4-pin Molex plugs, four SATA plugs, a pair of PCIe plugs, and both 4 and 8 pin auxiliary plugs. Rounding out the mix is a single floppy drive plug, a pair of fan-only plugs, and a two-pin motherboard plug. This last plug is a standard Antec feature, which allows the main cooling fan, as well as any fans connected to the fan-only plugs, to spin down as case temps drop.
One thing to note here. The fan-only plugs should only be used with non-LED fans, and fans of 80mm diameter. Due to power requirements, larger LED-lit fans may not spin up at all, causing damage to the fans. In my case, connecting two 90mm fans and one 120mm LED-lit fan resulted in the 120mm fan lighting up brightly, but not spinning at all. These two plugs will be fine for “extra” fans, such as a top blowhole fan, or extra rear exhaust fan, which will spin up as case temps increase. I wouldn't use them for your main system fans. Antec also states that these plugs are not to be used for a CPU heatsink fan.
PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
I really wanted to put the new Trio to the test, so I installed it in a rather power-hungry rig.
Specs are as follows:
- Intel P4 2.8c Northwood processor
- Chaintech 9CJS motherboard
- Sapphire X800GT video card
- GeIL 1gb (2x512mb) RAM
- 2x Maxtor 200gb DiamondMax 9 HDDs
- 1x Maxtor 300gb DiamondMax 9 HDD
- M-Audio FireWire 1814 outboard sound
- Pioneer DVR-111D DVD burner
On top of this, I also tossed in a rather large watercooling seup, with a triple 120mm fan radiator, along with three other case fans.
I ran several passes of Prime95, a few hours of gaming in SWG, and some power-hungry Cubase mixing.
Over several days of monitoring with my trusty multimeter, the results are as follows:
Honesty, I was impressed by the results. Even my older Antec PSU's weren't as tight on voltages as the Trio. Granted, there were some fluctuations, but all well within the allowable range, and then some. I would have no problems installing the Trio in an SLI- equipped rig,
The Trio is also very quiet, audible only at full load. Even then, the sound is more than a whisper. I had to strain to hear it over the sound of my case fans. This would be an excellent choice for a larger HTPC, which doubles as an occasional gaming machine.