It has been a long time since we reviewed, let alone liked, a non-modular power supply in Atomic. When building a PC it’s far more convenient to not have to deal with extraneous cabling than it is to save the few bucks by going with an all captive cable design. But we make an exception in the case of Antec’s Earthwatts Platinum 650 for one very good reason – it offers high efficiency at a very reasonable price.
We’re used to seeing at least 80Watt Bronze ratings slapped on every PSU we encounter. Higher efficiency is always a good thing – not only does it mean a PSU is generating less heat but it also means that power bills will be a touch lower. But historically high efficiency ratings are relegated to the high end of the PSU market, which is great if you’re building a Quadfire beast, but it keeps it out of the average gaming or general purpose PC build.
As the name suggests, the Earthwatts Platinum 650 has an 80-Plus platinum rating; the second highest in the scheme. 80 Plus Platinum means at least 90% efficiency under all loads and is roughly 10% more efficient than an 80 Plus Bronze model. This rating is achieved through a few means, most notably through the aforementioned use of captive cables.
This means that it isn’t a design for everyone. There are two PCI-E 6 or 8 pin plugs, which means a single graphics card, although the four molex and six SATA connectors will be enough to power most hard drive setups.
The unit itself is quite short at 140mm, which makes it quite a tempting option for smaller systems (and gives a bit more space to tuck away cabling). It also has a nice, quiet 120mm fan.
Unless you plan on using multiple graphics cards, this is a great option for the price. We can see it particularly shining in Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX builds where the reduced length will come into its own. As long as you’re prepared to give up modular cabling for the 80 Plus Platinum status, this is a fantastic little PSU.