Antec Phantom 500

Upon hearing the word “Phantom”, I instantly think “Phantom Power”, which is a method used for providing power to microphones, where needed. I suppose this is considered “Phantom” because the power is transmitted through the same cable as the signal. Actually, inside there are separate wires but from without it almost appears to be magically getting power.

In this case, the Antec power supply is called the Phantom due to its silent nature. It is a fairly large and heavy black power supply, using its casing as a heatsink. Although the heatsink will dissipate some of the heat passively, a little bit of case cooling could make a huge difference to performance. There is a single thermally controlled 80mm fan with three settings, where the fan will switch on at 40, 47.5 or 55 degrees Celsius. Annoyingly, the switch for this adjustment is on the inside of the case where the fan is, rather than on the outside where the kettle lead connects. This is irritating as you need to open the whole machine up to change the setting. Antec has included a UV light on the outside of the PSU, which seems a strange place for it to be as the light can’t reach internal components which are often UV reactive.

When the fan is switched on, it rotates at its lowest spin speed and doesn’t make much noise at all. If anything the fan can be considered a failsafe as in most cases it will never switch on.

The ATX power connector is braided, but the rest of the cables aren’t. There are only five molex connectors, which seems a little on the low side, but there are two PCI-E connectors for SLI support.

Testing went as planned with voltages staying well within specification. The unit did get a little warm, but it took a lot longer than I thought before the fan kicked in. However, this was tested at a fairly low room temperature. Inside a case, relative temperatures will probably be a bit higher so the chances of the fan turning on are also increased.

The power supply is a dual-rail design, with the PCI-E connectors coming off 12V1, leaving 12V2 to power the processor. These rails are fairly ample at 17A and 18A respectively, although combined they can only draw 32.5A. This should be enough to power a fairly decent system though.

At £93.50 this is a very reasonable price for a completely silent power supply that still packs a punch.

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