Antec Earthwatts 500W EA500 PSU Review



As we’ve said before, the power supply is the most overlooked component when buying or building your own computer. Whether your computer is a simple email machine or calculates real-world weather patterns, all of your hardware depends on what is providing the power. It only takes one time to experience a catostrophic failure to a power supply to learn your lesson; and you’ll never buy a cheap power supply again.

One of the problems with computers is the heat they produce. The only reason that the current generation of computers are as powerful as they are is because they are more efficient than the previous generation. All CPUs and chipsets eventually reach a thermal limit, and the only way to get around this is to make the processor more efficient, either by rearchitecture, reducing its power consumption (by reducing its size), or both.

The same is true with power supplies: the more efficient the power supply, the less heat it produces. Or more accurately, the heat produced by electronics is the byproduct of wasted energy. Until the past few years, most power supplies have been anywhere from 65% to 75% efficient, which translates into additional heat, which results in a larger electricity bill.

Over a 5 year period, nearly $70-$100 can be spent on wasted electricity from one power supply. Many in today’s digital lifestyle have multiple computers, or computerized appliances, so even a 5% improvement over all of your equipment can mean hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars over time. I’m not an Al Gore-wannabe; I’m just pointing out that a slow leak of money adds up after a while. And it doesn’t make sense to buy an exhorbitantly expensive power supply to combat the problem, because that’s money out of your pocket, too.

Antec has introduced their EarthWatts line of power supplies to address this issue. These power supplies are available in three highly efficient models—380 Watt, 430 Watt, and 500 Watt—and are all 80 PLUS certified (the newest standard in power supply efficiency).
It isn’t easy being green, so let Antec’s EarthWatts power supply line give you a hand. These ATX12V 2.2 power supplies are 80 PLUS® certified, making them among the most efficient power supplies on the planet. Not only do they save you money, but they also save the environment!

  1. 80 PLUS® certified—the newest standard in power supply efficiency
  2. High efficiency saves power, saving you money on your electrical bill
  3. Universal power input and active Power Factor Correction—so it automatically works on any power grid in the world
  4. Dual 12V output rails
  • 80mm low noise cooling fan
  • Dual 12V outputs: 12V2 for Motherboard and peripherals; 12V1 for processor
  • Industrial-grade protection circuitry prevents damage resulting from short circuits, power overloads, over voltage, and under voltage
  • 80 PLUS® certified
  • 4 SATA connectors
  • PCI-E connector: one for 380W and 430W, two for 500W
  • Safety approvals: UL, CUL, FCC, TÜV, CE, CB, C-tick, CCC
  • Universal input
  • Active Power Factor Correction (PFC)
  • PF value up to 99%
  • AQ3 Antec Quality three-year parts and labor warranty


  • 3.39″(H) x 5.91″(W) x 5.51″(D)
  • 8.6cm(H) x 15cm(W) x 14cm(D)
  • Net Weight: 3.48lbs. (1.58kg)


DC output +5v +3.3V +12v -12v -5VSB
Max 34A 36A 12A 17A 0.8A 2.5A
Min 0.3A 0.5A 1A 1A 0A 0A

Antec Company Overview
Antec began in 1986, long before the tech boom of the late 1990’s, in Fremont, California. Now operating offices in the United States and Europe, Antec offers products to 25 countries worldwide. Presently, Antec maintains a popular range of products in: computer cases, power supplies, cooling fans, lighting components, and accessories. Antec is the original High Performance Upgrade company, which created the PC upgrade replacement category at retail. Their enclosures and power supplies have been the #1 seller by far in North American distribution and retail channels for five years running.