Insights from the Inside: Interview with Antec’s Senior Vice President
VR-Zone: Recently, we are seeing power supplies that are heading into the 90% efficiency category. Will we see Antec come up with such solutions?
Scott Richards: Antec was one of the first companies to support the 80 PLUS program. 80 PLUS Gold gets pretty close, but that’s just a standard. Efficiency is one aspect of power supply design. While being more efficient means less electricity wasted and less heat, you do get to a point of diminishing returns. Look at our 80 PLUS Gold line and some of the competition’s - it’s very expensive compared to 80 PLUS Bronze design. Gold is no guarantee of quality, it just talks abt efficient. Yes, to get a Gold badge, you probably have to build a pretty good quality power supply - you need to have some engineering and thinking, but in theory it’s not a guarantee of quality.
You pay a lot more than 80 PLUS Bronze, which is already at least 82% efficient. For 7% to 8% more efficiency, you have to pay double the price maybe? That takes a long time to recoup in terms of savings from your electrical bill. Maybe if you’re a business with a thousand PCs, then perhaps it does make sense over the long run.
The 80 PLUS group does not police the rating - Hardware Secrets reported that there are power supplies with fake 80 PLUS badges on their boxes. Also, some manufacturers might submit golden samples to 80 PLUS to get a high rating, but their production doesn’t make that. The group does not go out on the market to buy it and test it again – testing is based on the two samples sent to the labs.
There is too much focus by end-users that somehow 80 PLUS is an indepedent verification of quality.
VR-Zone: The HCG and HCP, are they targeted at any specific models from other power supply companies?
SR: Well, I’ll let the other companies speak about themselves (laughs). We’re making the best power supplies for our potential customers. Let the other companies decide what can compete.
VR-Zone: So what is going to happen to the other high-end products such as the Signature and TruePower Quattro PSUs?
SR: We won’t kill anything too quickly; consumers still want it. But of course we expect some of these (new) models will precede the sales of the old ones. The old ones will probably just die… you don’t kill your grandfather, but eventually he just dies a natural death, so… (laughs)