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How To Buld an HTPC: Part 3 : PSU - Antec EA-380D PSU Review Video

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Antec EarthWatts EA-380D Review Summary

Antec EA 380D PSU


4.3 out of 5
For my MythTV Frontend/Backend HTPC I chose the Antec EarthWatts EA-380D PSU to power my system. The EA-380D is an ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V compatible power supply which delivers up to 380 Watts of continuous power. The 80+ Bronze Certification means it has been tested to be at least 82% efficient.

The Antec EA-380D feels like a solid power supply. I haven't had any issues with it since I built my HTPC. The exhaust fan for the power supply is near silent which is a great bonus for a media pc.

Note: Antec decided to not include a power cord for environmental reasons. 
Check Prices: Amazon, NewEgg,

Why I Chose The Antec EA 380D PSU

My only requirements for a power supply for my HTPC build where that it had a quiet fan, was at least 80+ certified and that it had more than enough capacity to power all the HTPC components I selected (less than 250W with all drives I plan on installing, determined using the eXtreme Power Supply Calcuator.) Oh yeah... It should be affordable too.

The Antec EA-380D seemed to be a perfect fit. Other reviews claimed that the fan was quiet and it received and Editor's Choice award from AnandTech.

I normally buy Seasonic PSU's because I've found them to be very reliable and ultra quiet. I was considering buying the Seasonic S12II-380W ATX Power Supply but it cost around $20 more. The Antec EarthWatts EA-380D PSU has similar specs and had many favorable reviews.

The Seasonic PSU has the fan configured as an intake fan instead of an exhaust fan which I believe provides for a quieter PSU and better airflow. Since the fan is further inside the case noise should be slightly less. One key difference is the Seasonic S12II-380W has a 2 year longer warranty.

For a $20 savings the EA-380D seemed like a good deal and good reviews lead me to believe it should last a long time. When I received my EA-380D PSU I was not disapointed.

Antec EarthWatts EA-380D Video Review & Installation

Watch me unbox the EA-380D, describe it and install it into my nMediaPC 6000B HTPC Chassis.  I had an issue with screw alignment for the power supply which was a common complaint amount other 6000B owners.


3 year warranty on parts and labor provided by Antec.

EA-380B Technical Specifications

ATX12V v2.3 and EPS12V Compatible

The EA-380B will work with both ATX12V and EPS12V compatible motherboards. These specifications include requirements for a 24pin main connector (20+4pin is equivalent) and an 8pin secondary connector (4+4 pin on the 380D).


1 x 20+4pin
supports motherboards that required 20pin or 24pin main connection.
1 x 20+4pin
 supports motherboards that require 20 pin or 24 pin main connection
1 x 4+4 ATX/EPS
can be used on motherboards that require 1 4 pin or 8pin auxiliary connection
1 x PCI-E
for graphics cards that require additional power
5 x SATA
for SATA hard drives
4 x 4pin molex connectors
dommon for case fans and other items. Can be used with adapters
1 x Floppy
for use with 3.5" floppy drives.

Universal Input

Works with an input source of 100V - 240V without needing to manually set a switch as was common in older power supplies.


The EA-380D features dual 12V output circuits. From what I understand this is more of a safety issue. Although the 12V1 and 12V2 rail can handle up to 17A and 15A respectively, the maximum combined output is 328W, or 28A. It's common for the combined output to be less than the total maximum of both channels.

Max Load 20A 20A 17A 15A 0.8A 2.5A


A quiet 80mm fan combined with ample ventilation keep the PSU cool. I have to get right up to my HTPC to notice any fan hum which isn't bad considering it has 4 fans in it.

Safety Approvals

Approved by UL, cUL, FCC, TÜV, CE, CB, C-tick, CCC, BSMI.


RoHS (EU Restriction of Hazardous Substances), AQ3 (Ontario Electrical Safety Authority), 80+ Bronze

80 Plus Bronze Certification

80 Plus is an initiative started in 2004 to increase the energy efficiency of computer power supplies. Typical un-certified power supplies have an energy efficiency around 60-75%. The rest of the power is wasted as heat. The recent ATX12V v2.3 specification requires a minimum of 70% energy efficiency but recommends 80%.

The Antec EA-380D is 80+ Bronze Certified which it has at least 82% efficiency at 20% and 100% of rated load and 85% efficiency at 100%. The certified efficiency is 82.14% @ 20%, 85.76% @ 50% and 83.55% @ 100% according to their certification report. The EA-380D is up to 22.5% more efficient than an ATX12V v2.3 PSU that meets the minimum efficiency requirement. ( (85.76-70)/70 ) Over the life of the HTPC that translates to a substantial savings in energy consumption.

Continuous Power Rating

Antec measures the power of their power supply as continuous power instead of peak power which some other lower cost PSU makers use. Peak power is only available in short bursts while continuous power is what the PSU is able to deliver at a sustained rate. The Antec EA-380D delivers 380 Watts of continuous power.

To be honest, I think Antec stresses this point in their marketing too much, at least when it comes to 80+ Certified PSUs. Any PSU manufacturer that over states their power rating would have a tough time meeting the efficiency requirements for certification. Since Antec PSUs are priced lower than other high-quality PSUs, I can understand that they don't want to be confused with the cheap PSUs that they're priced closer to.

Other Specifications

Active Power Factor Correction (PF up to 99%): Reduces line loss and power distortion.

Industrial-grade protection circuitry prevents damage resulting from short circuits, over voltage, and over current


Bottom line, this is one of the least sexiest parts of the system and I didn't want to go crazy and spend a lot of money but I did want something that was built well and was energy efficient. I'm very happy that I tried the Antec EarthWatts EA-380W and would buy Antec PSUs in the future.

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