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Antec Neo HE 550W PSU Review

At first glance, Antec’s Neo HE PC power supply series may seem pretty ordinary. It doesn’t claim to be silent, it doesn’t claim to be revolutionary. Even though it’s true that the Neo HE is neither silent nor revolutionary, it’s still one of the best power supplies on the market. You may find, if you shop for PC power supplies, that power and sound usually have a correlation. If you get a silent PSU, it has no power, and if you get a powerful PSU, it sounds like a jet engine. The Neo HE doesn’t break this trend, but instead of trying to, it finds the sweet spot in the middle.

You get all the power you need, up to 550 Watts (with nVidia SLI support), and the silence you want. As you may have read in my review of Antec’s Lifestyle SONATA II case, it claimed to be silent and was most certainly not. Strangely, the Neo HE, coming from the same company, claims only to be “quiet” and is actually closer to silent that which came with the Sonata case, which was a great surprise. In addition, when I built my most recent PC with the Sonata II’s integrated PSU, I thought something was wrong with my second DVD drive, as it was not being recognized correctly. Ends up it was receiving insufficient power and now it works completely fine. Same goes for some PC games crashing after short periods playing them, and a long hang on the booting up POST screen, all fixed now that it has more power.

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In addition to its high power/low noise design, the Neo HE has some other notable features. It has no voltage switch on the back, which means you can plug your PC in anywhere in the world and not have to worry about blowing your power supply up if you forget to switch over to 220 volts. I don’t personally know anyone who takes their PC overseas regularly, but it’s still a nice feature. Also, it has cable management, meaning the only cables that MUST come out of the PSU are for the motherboard. All other cables are optional and can be plugged into the power supply when needed, eliminating unused cables from hanging around inside your case.

It includes a total of 7 power cables, making a total of over a dozen outputs, internally divided into three 12 volt outputs, to provide separate power to your CPU and other vital power hungry items. According to Antec, “Industrial grade protection circuitry prevents damage resulting from short circuits (SCP), under voltage protection (UVP), power overloads (OPP), excessive current (OCP) and excessive voltages (OVP).” In English, the Neo HE can take whatever you throw at it and never interrupt perfect power output to your system. All of these are nice features that make a solid power supply something worth buying.

The only negative I can find with the Neo HE line of power supplies is the price. You can get a 550 watt power supply from another brand for half of this price, if you don’t mind the extra cables hanging around, the noise, and the voltage switch. As far as power supplies go, Antec is setting the new standard with the Neo HE, utilizing the latest in PC power supply technology while keeping it quiet.

As a note, this review originally included a paragraph about a certain incompatibility issue with ASUS motherboards. Antec has worked with the motherboard manufacturers and the issue is completely resolved, and you should not expect any compatibility issues with Neo HE.