Introduction:

There’s one amateur mistake we, in the PC industry, see many people make when they’re building a custom system. It is selecting the top of the line hardware for the system and going with the cheapest high wattage PSU option available in the market. Even our local market that deals in the used PC components are filled with such PSUs, without any 80+ rating or protections. In my opinion, or rather I should say, in Johhny Guru’s, a well-known and knowledgeable PSU reviewer’s opinion, PSU is the most crucial part of your system. Since this is the main component that will be pumping blood to the whole system, in this case, voltage.

What makes a PSU the most crucial part of the system is that it’s turning your A/C current from the wall into DC current that your whole system will use as its energy source. And if done wrong, this could damage, or in the worst case scenario, blow up your whole system. And that is why we have power supplies with surge and other protections. And selecting the right power supply can also save some bucks on the electricity bill. Because power supply actually takes more watts from the wall than what they provide to the system as some of the electricity is wasted as heat. And this is where the 80+ efficiency ratings come into play. And thanks to Pakdukaan, today we will be taking a look the Antec Neo Eco 550W power supply unit. We also reviewed Antec’s P8 mid-tower chassis recently, now let’s see what this PSU from them has to offer.

The Antec Neo Eco 550M is a 550watt semi-modular ATX power supply and it’s 80+ Bronze rated and also comes with Antec’s Circuit shield protection. The Antec’s Circuit shield protection includes Over Current Protection (OCP), Over Voltage Protection (OVP), No Load Operation (NLO), Short Circuit Protection (SCP), Over Power Protection (OPP), Over Temperature Protection (OTP) and Surge & Inrush Protection (SIP). So even if there’s an issue with the electricity or wires, the PSU will safely turn off before it can damage the hardware. It also comes with a 120mm DBB fan to keep the heat and noise to a minimum. And it’s also a Continuous Power PSU which is what you want to be in your system. Now there are also PSU available in the market with very high wattage yet rated as peak power which means they can only provide that number at certain times. These PSUs aren’t stable, hence we go with PSUs with Continuous Power. What this means is that our Antec Neo Eco 550M will be able to provide a stable 550watts of continuous power to the system when required.

About the brand itself, Antec has been in the PC parts industry for about 3 decades and they’re known for their top quality power supplies with a very low failure rate in the global market. And Antec is not only limited to PSUs but rather they also make chassis and cooling solutions.

So let’s check out the PSU on the next page after having a look at what Antec has to say about this PSU.

Get economical power today with the NeoECO Modular series, Antec’s high-efficiency power supply solution. Featuring advanced hybrid cable management, 80 PLUS® BRONZE certification, a quiet 120 mm DBB fan, Japanese Heavy-Duty capacitors and Universal Input with Active Power Factor Correction, NeoECO M gives you a cooler, quieter system, all powered by Continuous Power.

Specification:

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Model NE 550M
Series NeoECO Modular
Part Number 0-761345-10587-3
Type Power Supply
Compliant with ATX12V 2.4 & EPS12V 2.92
Efficiency 80 PLUS® BRONZE
Wattage 550W

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

OUTPUT
+3.3V +5V +12V -12V +5Vsb
MAX 18A 16A 42A 0.3A 2.5A
TOTAL 110W 504W 3.6W 12.5W
550W

 

STATIC CHARACTERISTICS
+3.3V +5V +12V -12V +5Vsb
Regulation ±5% ±5% ±5% ±10% ±5%
Ripple & Noise ?50mV ?50mV ?120mV ?120mV ?50mV

 

OTHER SPECIFICATIONS
Input Voltage 100VAC – 240VAC ~ ±10% (Active PFC)
Input Current 8A – 4A
Input Frequency 47Hz – 63Hz
PFC active
Operating Temperature 0?C – 40?C
MTBF ? 100,000 hours
PROTECTIONS CircuitShield™
Safety Certificates CE, TÜV, CB, EAC, FCC, cTUVus, RCM
Origin Made in China

 

DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT
Dimensions 3.4″ x 5.9″ x 5.5″ (HxWxD) / 86 mm x 150 mm x 140 mm HxWxD
Net Weight 3.2lbs / 1.5 kg
Unit Carton 8.3″ x 9.1″ x 4.3″ (HxWxD) / 210 mm x 230 mm x 110 mm HxWxD

Unboxing:

This is what the front of the box looks like. We have a picture of the actual PSU and some features listed here. On the top right corner, we have the Antec logo and 80+ Bronze certification. At the bottom, we have the watt supply, continuous power, 88% max efficiency and 120mm DBB fan mentioned.


At the back of the box, we have some more features and specifications mentioned in multiple languages.


At one side, we have some technical specs and accessories listed. This PSU has a single 12V rail capable of providing 504w.


And at the other side, we have I guess specifications listed in various other languages.


At the top of the box, we have a small picture of the PSU with its dimensions mentioned. Also, this PSU comes with a 5-year warranty internationally, however in Pakistan, you get only 2 years of limited warranty for this product.


At the bottom of the box, we have some certifications and bar code stickers.


So this is what we found inside the box. The PSU is well protected in massive bubble wrap, molded to its shape. Then we have a plastic container with lots of cables. As for paperwork, we got a product overview booklet and warranty policy.

Now let’s have a closer look at the PSU and accessories on the next page.

Closer Look:

Here it is again, well protected within a cylindrical shape bubble wrap, molded according to its shape. Only a set of cable is unprotected.


And these were the two cables that were out of the bubble wrap. Like any other semi-modular PSU on the market, the 24pin ATX and 8pin EPS cables are soldered to the PSU.


As for modular design, we got about 6 ports here. Four of these ports are for SATA/PATA connections and the other two in red are for PCI-e connections.


The 24pin ATX and 8pin EPS cables are pretty long. You won’t have any problem reaching the 8pin EPS and 24pin ATX ports on your motherboard.


This is the side that’s most likely going to be visible on your PSU. They’ve made sure to include as much information here for the viewer. We have the wattage rating, 80+ Bronze, and other certifications along with some technical details mentioned here. We also seem to have some good Amphere ratings at the rails, with +12V rail topping at about 42A. That’s very capable of running a single high end GPU.

 

This is what the back of the PSU looks like. We have a switch here for direct power on/off. And to blow out the hot air from the PSU, we have a honeycomb design covering 1/3 of this area.


On the non-visible side of the PSU, we only have an Antec logo.


And at the bottom, you’ll find the 120mm double ball bearing fan. There’s an Antec sticker on the center with continuous power written across its edges. Also, there’s a warranty sticker on one of the screws preventing you from opening the PSU without voiding the warranty. Well, we shall see about that in a while.

As for the wires, we got a bunch of them. All of them has a net sleeve on them, hiding the red, black and yellow wires midway. Our Antec Neo Eco 550M came with a US Type B power cable. This may vary in your case. So I had to use a different power cable. As for other cable, we have 2x 6pin to 3 sata head cable, 2 8pin to 6+2pin PCIe cables, 1x 6pin to 3 molex head cable and 1x 6pin to 2 molex head and one floppy cable. Also, the PSU comes with 4 mounting screws.

Antec Neo Eco 550M 550Watt 80+ Bronze PSU
And yes, we did that. We just voided the warranty of a brand new Antec Neo Eco 550M PSU for the sake of this review. So, let’s see what we have here. To open up the PSU, you’ll need to unscrew the 4 screws on the fan side. And this is the site that you’ll get to witness. You cannot remove the top shroud completely without getting the fan cable-free by cutting the cable tie on the wires. Also, we don’t recommend opening your PSU for whatever reason unless you know what you’re doing. If you’re having any issue with your PSU, contact any repair shop or brand support.


And here’s a top view of the disassembled Antec Neo Eco 550M. The OEM for the Neo Eco series is Channel Wall Technology (CWT) and it uses the GPK platform. However, the newer Neo Eco series production OEM is being replaced by Andyson. I myself am not too experience to talk much about the details of what’s going on here, so let’s have a look at some closer look and solve this mystery together in the next few pictures.


So here, we have about 3 coils, and in between them is something I’m not familiar with.


We have two more coils near the set of wires.


Between the set of wires and the coils, we have a number of different size capacitors. Antec is using Japanese heavy-duty caps in this PSU to assure it’s stability.


Between the two heatsinks, we have what I believe are the transformers.


There’s an Antec logo present at the PCB.


Near the edge, we have a huge capacitor on one corner while a few smaller ones are also visible. The huge bigger capacitor in the picture is rated 240uF 420VDC 105C. There’s also a small heatsink over here, covering something. Not sure what the black thing is here in the middle.


The modular ports are soldered to a smaller PCB which then is connected to a primary PCB via wires.


Here are the wire soldering points. The PCB has ratings printed over them as not to be mistaken.


And here’s a closer look at the 120mm double ball bearing 7 blade fan by Yate Loon Electronics.

Performance:

Test Rig

CPU: Intel Core i5 8600K – 4.8Ghz OC
Motherboard: Aorus Z370 Gaming 5
GPU None. iGPU.
RAM: ADATA XPG Spectrix D40 3200MHz 16GB CL16
SSD: PNY Optima 120GB for primary OS
SSD2 ADATA XPG SX8000 250GB
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM
HDD2:  Seagate Barracuda 750GB 7200RPM
PSU Antec Neo Eco 550W 80+ Bronze
Chassis: Antec P8
Cooling solution: Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate 360mm AIO

 

Methodology:
Reviewing a PSU properly requires special equipment which can cost a few hundred dollars. In our review, we will only be looking at the voltage stability of the PSU which can easily be done by a multi-meter. The multi-meter we used in our test was UNI-T UT202. We ran Aida64 Extreme Stability test on all components to put some load on the system. Readings were taken a few minutes into the stress test. These readings are for 3.3v, 5v, and 12v lines. Minimum and maximum readings were noted.

We also noted down the readings via Hwinfo to get a better idea grasp of the readings. However, the readings in the software aren’t too credible compared to our multi-meter test.

Note that our CPU was overclocked to 4.8GHz to put max load that this system could without a GPU. We were sitting at around 85Watts on CPU only with the Aida64 Extreme stress test. That’s less than 20% power consumption than the total wattage the PSU can handle. So the values may change in difference settings.

Performance:

So according to our multimeter, we are off by 0.06v at best on the 3.3volt rail. That’s about 1.8% off. When it comes to 5v rail, we have a margin of 0.12 volts. That’s 2.37 in percentage. And our most stable line was the 12volt one. It mostly stayed at 12v however there was a dip of 0.02 volts here and there. So the readings here are very promising. Power Supplies have a tolerance rating and anything under 5% on the three rails mentioned above are acceptable. And it’s good to see that we haven’t even crossed half the limit here. So performance-wise, this seems like a good PSU.


And here’s our readings from the Hwinfo64 software. The 3.3v rail seems to be sitting idle on 3.344volts. There’s a difference of 1.74% in the 5v rail while the difference is even lower at the 12v rail. So once again, this seems like a solid performer. Staying away from the tolerance limits.

Conclusion:

The Antec Neo Eco 550M seems like a decent PSU. The voltages on the rails aren’t far off then what they should be at, and stays under the ATX 2.4 tolerance limits. Also, the 120mm DDB fan doesn’t make much noise at low load. However, that should change when there’s more load on the PSU, which we couldn’t put on it due to the absence of a GPU.
Also, the rated as a continuous power PSU, it should be able to deliver up to 550 watts of continuous DCpower to the system. However the input from wall would be around 650-670 watts at that stage because the PSU is 80+ Bronze rated. And the efficiency varies from load to load, but it should drop below 81%. So in a bigger picture, if want to save some more electricity, a PSU with better 80+ rating would be a better option. But that doesn’t mean the Neo Eco 550M isn’t up to other tasks. The +12V rail on the Neo Eco 550 delivers 45A which is more than capable of handling a system with single high-end GPU. As our GPUs are advancing into the technological race, their TDP is also starting to drop as they’re becoming more and more power efficient. This equates to lower wattage power supplies being more capable of handling high-end components. The GTX 1080Ti shouldn’t reach more than 350watts in a gaming session, and other components in your system most likely won’t be able to pull more than 150 watts at best. So this makes the Antec Neo Eco at the core of your gaming system a good option.

But how is the pricing? The Antec Neo Eco 550M is available in the international market for a price tag of $53.40 which seems like a very competitive price as other PSUs with same wattage and certification are also found around this budget. As for the local market goes, the PSU is available for about 7099PKR at Pakdukaan and competitively speaking, this seems like a good price as you can either get a non-modular 600Watt 80+ White PSU for a little more, or you can get yourself a none-80+ rated non-modular 650Watt PSU for a little less. So it’s doing good in the price area.

So let’s conclude the review now. The Antec Neo Eco 550M seems like a really good option for the price, with its additional benefits of semi-modular design and a stable voltage flow. So in the end, I would like to give the Antec Neo Eco 550M our Editor’s Choice Award.

PGR-editor-choiceA huge shout-out goes to Pakdukaan for arranging the sample for us to review. You can buy the Antec Neo Eco PSU or other Antec products directly from Antec’s official distributor, Pakdukaan, at a very competitive price.