Antec HCG-520M PSU Review

We have a unique review today; I’ll be reviewing some PC hardware, something that I haven’t been able to do in years (Mac guy). Today I’m going to be talking about and reviewing the Antec High Current Gamer 520W power supply unit. If you want to see several pictures of it, check out the unboxing post I did early today.

The unit itself is actually a nice unit. For those of you that have messed around with power supplies, you know how simple these are to install but how much of a problem they are if you don’t have one that is strong enough. The install was simple, 4 screws, just like every other PSU out there. The next part of the install was obvious, hooking everything up to it. The HCG-520M has one of the less clutter/cable management types of system where all the cables detach from the PSU itself so you only have to use what you need. This type of system here is really what you want because you only have cables in your case that you need. It takes any excess out which then helps with opening things up for a better air flow inside your PC, and let us not forget just how much better it also looks. You don’t really want a rat nest inside your case. I did have a small problem with the cable management system though, but that’s really because it’s only a 520W unit, it only comes with one set of the PCI-E cables. Most likely you won’t need more than this, especially if you only need 520W’s, but it would have been nice for one more.

After the install I fired up my personal gaming PC; you can see its specs here (I have a few other things installed as well, like another HDD, USB hubs, and several USB powered devices). It stared up without problems. I wasn’t quite sure if the HCG-520M would have enough power to keep everything going but I had 0 hiccups. Alright, now that that’s done, how about if I overclock it a little bit. Again, not a problem. So I figured I’d put max my PC out with some benchmark tests, surely this would really draw some major watts. And yet again, not an issue, nothing. The PSU itself was cool to the touch. Not bad, not bad at all.

Antec’s HCG-520M really surprised me. I really didn’t think it would have enough juice it in to power everything under a long load. What sucks even more is that I spent around $140 on my Corsair CMPSU-750HX which I love but I could have went ahead and picked up the HCG-520M for about $50 cheaper as Energy sells it for $90.

Steve’s Final Thoughts: The Antec HCG-520M is a really nice PSU that’s made for the budget gaming PC. It’s affordable, and yet, has all the perks of the more expensive PSU: high continuous power (520W), a really nice cable management system, and the Antec name backing it. If you’re in the market for a budget PSU, you’ll be lucky to get such a great bang for your buck then what the HCG-520M is offering.

Here’s all of the official specs:

  • 520 watts of Continuous Power
  • 80 PLUS® Bronze certified — up to 87% efficient
  • High Current Hybrid Cable Management — special 10-pin and 5-pin modular connectors for High Current rail
  • Quiet 135 mm Double Ball Bearing cooling fan
  • Stealth Wires: all wires darkened for minimal visibility in chassis
  • All Japanese brand capacitors for reliability
  • Thermal Manager: an advanced low voltage fan control for optimal heat & noise management
  • Up to 90% power available on +12V rail
  • ATX12V version 2.32 and EPS12V version 2.92 compliant
  • Heavy-duty protection circuitry on all rails prevents damage from a variety of dangers:
  • AQ5 — Antec Quality 5 year limited warranty on parts and labor
  • MTBF: 100,000 hrs

Side Note: If you’re in the market for a CPU cooler, check out Antec’s KÜHLER H₂O 620. I bought that for my PC when I built to keep my Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core cool. Even with me overclocking my i5-2500k, it’s cooler then it running normal with the stock cooler. The other two great things about the KÜHLER H₂O 620 is its price because you can get it for only about $55, and the fact that it’s zero maintenance. You install it, it works, nothing else to do with its liquid cooling system. Ever.

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