For most of the last decade we've carried Seasonic and Corsair power supplies as our the bulk of our lineup. We've been extremely happy with both, but we've also slowly branched out and have been testing some other highly rated models. Over the last few months, we've quietly added the Antec CP-850 to our lineup – and we've been extremely happy with it. So with a few extra minutes today I wanted to write a little post about some of its impressive qualities!
Antec carries a lot of power supplies, with something like 9 different lines and various models within each category. We've started carrying their CP line, which is marketed as "high quality and energy efficient".
Design: What makes it unique, and could potentially be regarded as the major drawback, is that this power supply fits a non-standard form factor and won't fit in most computer cases. It's been designed specifically to work with the Antec P183, P193 and Twelve Hundred cases. Fortunately, the P183 and P193 make up a majority of the higher-end systems that we sell – so the unique form factor isn't usually a problem. As a result, this larger-than-normal power supply offers more effective cooling, which is always a good thing.
Noise Level: Because of the customized design of this power supply it needs a lot less airflow to keep cool. That means its 120mm fan can spin slowly and quietly, giving this power supply some of the lowest noise levels of any actively-cooled unit. We give very careful consideration to the loudness of components before we add them to our product line, and we're extremely happy with this power supply in that regard.
Reliability: We've only been selling the CP-850 for a few months, but so far it has amazed us *zero* failures. As of the time I'm writing this, we've moved 175 of these units, so that's a decent sample size. On a related note, the big-brother version of this power supply (CP-1000) has had two fail testing… but zero failures have been reported in machines we've shipped.". That's a pretty good track record!
Modular Cabling: As is the case with many higher-end power supplies, most of the cables for the CP-850 are modular. This means you only need to install the cables you will be using in a given build, which makes cable management easier and keeps the inside of your case less cluttered. Some brands of power supplies see increased failure rates due to problems at the point of connection – but as the above entry notes, reliability isn't a problem for the CP-850.
Price: The CP-850 is one of the more affordable power supplies available in its quality and wattage range. This is in part due to the easier manufacturing allowed by the larger physical size.
So, overall this new Antec power supply is really a great unit – with the caveat that it's not going to fit into just any chassis out there. That said, if you're planning on using an Antec P183, P193 or Twelve Hundred case then this is really an excellent choice.