Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w ATX PSU Page: 1
Introduction
 
In the two years that I've been reviewing PSU's for Overclock3D I've certainly seen a lot of different designs. From the boring black ones, to the brushed aluminium ones and even ones with metallic paint jobs. It seems that PSU manufacturers will do anything to separate their latest kilowatt monsters from the rest of the bunch. However, when I was tipped off that a well known manufacturer had started a new line of PSU's with go-faster stripes, the boy racer inside me got a rude awakening!
 
So, who could possibly come up with the cunning idea of plastering their latest high-end PSU with the decals used on an 80's sports car? Well you can cross off the highly respectable manufacturers such as Antec for a start......err, OK maybe not!
 
 Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w PR Image Audi Quattro!
Did Antec borrow some ideas from the Audi Quattro?
 
Today we're going to be test driving Antec's latest and greatest PSU: the Quattro 1000w. It's been a while since we last heard anything from Antec on the PSU front, so it'll certainly be interesting to see if they've still got what it takes to keep up with the competition. However, before we get down to business let's do the obligatory ego check of Antec by visiting the "About us" section of their website:
 
About Us
Antec, Inc., is the leading global brand of high-performance computer components and accessories for the gaming, PC upgrade and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) markets. Founded in 1986, Antec is recognized as a pioneer in these industries and has maintained its position as a worldwide market leader and international provider of efficient, quiet, and reliable products. Antec has also achieved great success in the distribution channel, meeting the demands of quality-conscious system builders, VARs and integrators.

Antec’s offering of enclosures includes a large range of cases, such as its technically advanced Performance One Series, cost-effective New Solution Series and server grade cases designed for the needs of all workstation and server markets. Antec’s products also include front line power supplies such as its TruePower Trio series, Quattro series, and EarthWatts, the most environmentally friendly power supplies available. PC gamers are an increasingly significant consumer of performance components, and many Antec products are geared toward the gaming demographic, like the Nine Hundred, the premier gamer enclosure. Antec also offers a computing accessories line comprised of many original products, including its patented LED Fans and Notebook Cooling solutions.
 
I'm pretty confident that almost all enthusiasts will have heard of Antec at some point, so I'll spare any additional detail on the information above. However, if you're interested in some of Antec's previous products that have been reviewed here at Overclock3D, please check some of the following links: NeoHE 550w PSU, Phantom 500w PSU, P182 Case.
 
Now that we've got the boring stuff out of the way, let's check out the spec sheet ...
 
Introduction
You could search the four corners of the earth for a stable and reliable power supply, but you won't find better than Antec’s TruePower Quattro™! Available in 850 and 1000 Watts, the Quattro™ is more compact than most competing power supplies of the same wattage, yet ideally suited for handling the most demanding system specs. Four 12V rails increase your system stability by letting you distribute your power more than ever before. The Quattro comes with four PCI-E connectors for powering one (or even two) of the newest generation of video cards. All modular cables are sleeved and labelled to give your system a clean and professional look-while the racing stripe paint job adds extra style.

Features
* NVIDIA™ SLI™-ready certified
* 80PLUS® Certified
* Universal Input, automatically adjusts for 100V to 240V power grids
* Active Power Factor Correction (PFC) helps reduce electrical waste
* Supports EPS12V v2.91 and ATX12V systems
* Four 12V output circuits provide supreme system stability
* Accurate power rating allows TruePower Quattro to deliver its full rated power (24 hours a day rated at 50ºC)
* Up to 85% efficient
* 80mm low noise cooling fan
* Heavy duty protection circuitry prevents damage resulting from short circuits (SCP), over voltages (OVP), under voltages (UVP), and over current (OCP)
* 2 x 8-pin PCI-E connectors and 2 x 6-pin connectors for PCI-Express graphics cards
* MTBF: 100,000 hours
* Safety approvals: UL, CUL, FCC, TÜV, CE, C-tick, CCC, CB
* Gold plated connectors for superior conductivity
* AQ5 -Antec Quality five-year parts and labor warranty
* Dimensions:
- 3.4"(H) x 5.9"(W) x 7.1"(D)
- 8.6cm(H) x 15cm(W) x 18cm(D)
* Net weight:
- 5.75lbs / 2.6kg

Output table:

Output Voltage

Load Range
Surge
Reg.
Ripple
Noise
Min
Max
+5V
0.2A

30.0A

N/A
±3ï¼…
50
50
+12V1
0.1A
18.0A
N/A
±3ï¼…
120
120
+12V2
0.5A
18.0A
N/A
±3ï¼…
120
120
+12V3
0 A
18.0A
N/A
±3ï¼…
120
120

+12V4

0 A
18.0A
N/A
±3ï¼…
120
120
-12V
0 A
0.5A
N/A

±5ï¼…

120
120
+5VSB
0 A

3.0A

N/A
±5ï¼…
50
50
+3.3V
0.1A
25.0A
N/A
±3ï¼…
50
50
Total Power: 1000W continuous output @ 50C
+5V and +3.3V combined max. output: 200W
+12V outputs combined max. output: 840W(70A)
 
With four +12v rails rated at a total of 18a each (total combined output of 70a) and four PCI-E connectors (2x 6-Pin / 2x 8-Pin) we can certainly see where the "Quattro" name comes from. While we're on the subject of power output, the Antec also sports a healthy output on both its +3.3v and +5.0v rails rated at 25a and 30a respectively.
 
Other aspects of the Quattro are as you'd expect for a new PSU entering the market: 85% efficiency, safety features such as SCP (Short Circuit Protection), OVP (Over Voltage Protection),  OCP (Over Current Protection), UVP (Under Voltage Protection) and a generous 5yr warranty.


Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w ATX PSU Page: 2
Packaging
 
Antec have always kept a rather professional look to their products and packaging and the Truepower Quattro certainly isn't any different. Using only Black and White as the primary colours with a picture of the unit contained within the large "1000" text towards the bottom of the box, the Quattro is likely to stand out on retailers shelves for its simplicity and fresh looks.
 
Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Box Front Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Box Back
 
Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Box Front Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Specs Box
 
Despite the minimalist approach to the top of the box, Antec have printed a full specs listing in three different languages along with a table detailing the layout of all rails on the Quattro around the back of the box. Potential buyers can also see at a glance  the type (and number) of connectors found on the unit thanks to the row of thumbnail-style images shown above (lower-right).
 
Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Box Side Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Box Side
 
In contrast with the plain white theme used on most of the box, the sides feature a chequered effect black background. One side shows pictures of the unit with the modular connectors both connected and disconnected, while the other side has a total of eight small images which represent the most prominent features of the Quattro series.
 
Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Box Open Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Contents
 
With the unit weighing in at close to 3kg the last thing you want is poor packaging that allows the unit to freely move around the box destroying everything in its path. Thankfully Antec have sandwiched the Quattro within two large moulded styrofoam blocks that keep the unit firmly in place and protect it from damage by any butter-fingered couriers. Also included inside the box are the following items: Two packs of modular cables, Mains Cable, 4x ATX case screws, Manual.
 
 
Appearance
 
Rumour has it that when Antec set about designing the Quattro, they enlisted help from a group of teenagers found performing hand-brake turns in their local supermarket car park on a Friday night! Ok, not really - but as mentioned earlier, everything about the Quattro, from it's go-faster stripes to it's vented grills certainly give off a car-like feel. However, let's put the jokes aside for one minute and see exactly what the unit has to offer...
 
Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Top Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Side
 
Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Front Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Back
 
The top of the unit sports two large white stripes in parallel down the length of the casing along with a racing-style oval team number section containing the number 1000. Both the top and side of the unit feature ventilation grills which undoubtedly assist in keeping the unit cool, but at the same time also give the unit a mean look. It's also worth noting at this point that the 850w version of the unit is finished with yellow decals, and the upcoming 1200w version in orange.
 
Interestingly, Antec have opted for a single 80mm fan on the unit. With many manufacturers moving to 120mm and 135mm fan based PSU's, some users may find this a rather strange choice. However, as we've discussed in the past, the use of an 80mm fan allows the use of much taller components inside the unit and the direct pull of air through the unit (rather than in an L shape like on 120mm based PSU's) is often more efficient.
 
Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Side  Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Switch
 
The specification sticker can be found at the side of the unit, and it's good to see that Antec have made every effort to blend it in with the black and white theme of the PSU. However, when we move around to the back of the unit we can see that Antec have opted for a rather small switch. While this will undoubtedly be rated to cope with the current being pulled by the unit, I've often found that this style of switch is more prone to failure than the larger, industrial style switches found on other high-wattage units.


Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w ATX PSU Page: 3
Internal Components
 
In the past, many people have judged the quality of a PSU on its weight and size of internal components. However, with many manufacturers moving on to newer and more efficient ways of designing their PSU's, it has become increasingly obvious that this is no longer a reliable method for gauging a power supply's quality. By popping the hood on the Quattro we should be able to identify some of the components used and get a good feel for the overall build quality of the unit.
 
Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Top-Down Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Heatsinks
 
As we can see from the images above, Antec have utilized every single inch of space inside the casing leaving very little leeway between each of the components. Generally this kind of claustrophobic layout leads to cooling issues, but with the oversized aluminium heatsinks that span almost the entire surface of the unit, hopefully this shouldn't be a problem.
 
Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Internals Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Internals
 
Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Internals Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Internals
 
Taking a closer look around the interior we can see that Antec have opted for a single, large transformer (yellow component) to power all four of the +12v rails. A smaller transformer can also be seen towards the back of the unit, which is undoubtedly responsible for powering both the +3.3v and +5v rails.
 
A cut-out has been made in the heatsink towards the front of the unit to accommodate the height of the Hitachi capacitor (blue component). Markings on the capacitor indicate that it is rated at 560uF / 450v with a maximum operating temperature of 105°C.
 
Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Fan
 
We've already mentioned that the Quattro uses a single 80mm fan located at the back of the unit for cooling, however let's take a closer look at the specifications:
 
• Model: AD0812UB-A70GL
• Size (mm): 80x80x25
• Bearing: BALL
• Speed (RPM): 3900
• Airflow (CFM): 50.0
• Noise (dBA): 41.0
 
While the 41dBA output of the fan may seem intimidating to those who enjoy some level of silence from their PC's, Antec will have undoubtedly installed some kind of monitoring to ensure that the fan speed only increases under heavy load or high temperatures.
 
 
Cables & Connectors
 
Despite the surge of modular PSU's entering the market recently, the Antec Quattro is quite unique in the fact that it's one of very few modular PSU's based around an 80mm fan. The reason that this kind of design is not used very often is that it prevents manufacturers from utilising all the available space at the front of the unit for the modular connector system.
 
Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Modular Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Fixed Cables
 
The problem is extremely apparent in the image above-left, where the Quattro unit only has a total of 5 modular plugs (two of which are dedicated to PCI-E power) available for use. This severely limits the number of devices that can be plugged into the unit making it almost impossible to fully utilise the 1000w output.  Most other 1000w+ modular units we've tested recently have featured 8-10 connectors, so unfortunately Antec have lost some major points here.
 
Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Modular Cables Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Cables
 
Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Cables Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Sleeving
 
Putting aside the fact that half of the modular connectors provided with the Quattro can't actually be plugged in at the same time, credit has to be given to Antec for the quality job they've done on the sleeving. Not only is every cable sleeved right up to the last connector, but each length of sleeving is held in position with a moulded plastic stopper.
 
Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w ATX
 
Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w PCi-E Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w EPS-12v
 
The ATX connector on the Quattro is native 24-pin. However, as you can see above, a small block of 4 connectors can be broken off to switch the connector to 20-pin. As many motherboards still make use of the P4-12v 4-Pin connector, Antec have chosen to include two separate cables for P4-12v (4-pin) and EPS12v (8-pin) standards.


Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w ATX PSU Page: 4
Load Testing

To provide our readers with the most accurate results, Overclock3D uses a custom built PSU load tester on all reviews. This not only gives much more reliable results than the testing methods employed by other sites, but also allows for all current and future review results to be compared side-by-side.
 
Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Load Tests
 
Due to a limitation with the power supply testing hardware, the maximum load that we could place on the Quattro across each of the six rails listed above was 919w. However, despite having a shortfall of 81w against the units maximum rated output of 1000w, the tests still give a good representation of how the unit performs under full load.
 
As the results above show, the Antec Truepower Quattro is actually a very capable unit. All rails stayed well within ATX recommended fluctuation margins of 5%, with the +12v and +5v rails not even falling outside of their rated voltage outputs.
 
 
Efficiency Calculations
 
Efficiency tests are performed by measuring the wattage consumed by the power supply at the mains (Mains Draw) against the power consumed by the OC3D power supply stress tester (PSU Load). These results may not be 100% accurate, but have proven to be extremely close to results obtained from professional equipment.
 
Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Efficiency
 
Antec quote the Quattro as being "up to 85% efficiency" and the results obtained above certainly reinforce this. Interestingly the unit seemed to reach it's peak efficiency in the 450-650w range (managing almost 86%), and then began a downwards curve to 85.62% as we approached the maximum load of 919w.
 
 
Temperature vs Noise Output
 
As with all components in the modern computer system, the performance of a PSU can be directly affected by heat. Excess heat inside the PSU can easily have a negative effect of the maximum power output of the unit and lead to voltage instability. Most respectable manufacturers measure the maximum output of their PSU's while running at temperatures of 40-50°C (upper temperature of an average PSU at full load), while less respectable manufacturers tend to rate their PSU's at  temperatures of around 25°C (average room temperature). For this reason, Overclock3D includes temperature recordings taken from the PSU's exhaust using a thermal probe to highlight any potential issues that the PSU might have obtaining its rated output.
 
While keeping the temperature of a PSU under control is often just a case of increasing the speed of a fan, this can have a negative impact on noise levels. Therefore, Overclock3D also records the dBA output of the PSU (from a distance of 30cm) in order to gauge it's suitability for use in a silent environment.
 
Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w Temperature vs Noise
 
As we can see from the graphs above, the 80mm fan installed inside the Antec Quattro managed to keep the temperature of the unit below 45°C. This is extremely good news considering that the Quattro is designed to deliver its full 1000w at temperatures up to 50°C.
 
Under normal load conditions the unit was reasonably quiet, with the noise output being recorded at around 30dBA. However under full load, the  fan speed increased significantly with the unit reaching almost 40dBA. With these results in mind, the Quattro may not be suited to those who are looking for a silent PSU to power a high-end PC.


Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w ATX PSU Page: 5
Conclusion
 
Jokes aside, the Antec Truepower Quattro is one extremely good looking unit. Sure the go-faster stripes may not suit everyone tastes (or PC colour schemes), but it's certainly a fun and refreshing change from the drab black unit's that are available in abundance.
 
Moving on to the more important stuff, the voltage stability and efficiency of the Quattro is certainly among the best that we've seen. Managing to keep both the +5v and +12v rails above their ideal voltages and the +3.3v rail well within ATX's recommended specs of ±5% at an almost full load of 919w, the unit certainly won't have any problems powering a high-end Crossfire or SLI setup. Efficiency was also just as Antec advertised, with the unit managing around 85-86% throughout the testing.
 
Unfortunately the Quattro does have its flaws with the biggest being the total lack of modular connectors. While most ~1000w units we've tested recently provide the user with around ten plugs for attaching their modular cables, the Quattro only provides five - severely crippling the unit's ability to power multiple devices located in different areas of the users PC case.
 
The Antec Truepower Quattro 1000w can be purchased for around £125 over at Ebuyer.com, making it possibly one of the cheapest 1kw units available on the market at the moment.
 
 
The Good
• Excellent voltage stability at full load.
• High efficiency at medium to high load (85-86%).
• High quality sleeving on cables.
• Amazing price for a 1kw unit.
 
The Medicore
• Go-faster stripes! Good thing or bad thing, you decide!
• Noise levels may be unacceptable to some users under full load.
 
The Bad
• Severely lacking in modular connector plugs.
 
 
Overclock3D Recommended Award Overclock3D Value for Money Award
 
 
Thanks to Antec for making this review possible. Discuss this review in our forums.