Antec’s Earthwatts EA500 500W continuous power block is one of the most popular power supplies around. Either this is because Antec has a great name in the industry (they do) or it’s a solid product (it is). Power supplies don’t have to be full of bells and whistles to be popular, they just have to do what they advertise, and Antec’s EA500 does just that.
With a maximum rating of 34A on the 12v rails you shouldn’t have any trouble keeping consistent power to your components. And an added benefit is that its 80+ certified which means it is about as energy efficient as it gets for power supplies.
Antec definitely went “no frills” on the construction of this unit however. A lot of units from different manufacturers are modular so you can remove the extra plugs that you don’t use. This isn’t the case here. You need to have some extra room or be good at hiding zip-tied plugs because there are a lot of them. It is painted and doesn’t have any fancy lights, but that’s not what you buy this unit for.
There should be plenty of plugs for anyone shopping in this range of power units. Two 6pin PCI-E connectors are available so you know you can attach at least one high end video card or possible a dual core and use both of these and it is SLI certified incase that was ever a question. It also runs with 4 regular SATA connectors for your hard drives among other things.
Plenty of people have commented on the quietness of this unit. However, there appears to be small contingents who get a loud humming noise from the unit. A simple RMA swap or use of their 3 year warranty should take care of this.
The average reviews around the internet give this particular Antec unit a ~79% for five-star rating with a fairly small trickle down due to unit failures and that sort of thing. Another thing to note is that it did win a “Golden Award” by hardware secrets. I would definitely recommend this unit if you are building a medium end system.