High Power Astro APT-700

Previously established as Sirfa Electronics and having over 20 years of experience, High Power was founded in 2008 and their headquarters are located in China. They mainly specialize in making power supply units. Today we are testing the High Power Astro APT-700 PSU, which has an 80Plus Platinum certification and was also the winner of COMPUTEX design & innovation awards 2012. 

 

 

 

 

Let’s take a quick look at its specs, taken directly from the company’s website:

 

Let’s take a look at the PSU’s features as well:


As we can see, the PSU has some not so common features, like the real time power consumption LED and the OFF-Delay fan. Let’s continue to see how the PSU packaging looks like.

 

A Closer Look – The Package

The High Power Astro APT-700 comes in a silver and black cardbox, whose front side has a picture of the unit and the back side contains a connector listing and a feature overview.  At the sides of the box there is a mention to the www.highpower-tech.com in 14 different languages in order to find more information. When the cover is opened, a luxurious cardbox can be found. There is  foam material to protect the unit from damage during shipping.

 

A Closer Look – Accessories

High Power has included a neat bag inside the package to store the modular cables, which is classy and surely adds up to the whole bundle. The package includes a power cable and 4 screws for mounting the PSU inside the case, as well as a High Power logo sticker. 

The flat modular cables are easily detachable and flexible, fact that helps in organising your wiring inside the case and keep it neat. You can use only the cables you need and thus reduce clutter from unused connectors and enhance the air flow inside your system. The molex connectors are easy swappable for quick and flexible installation. Of course, inside the package you can find a User Manual in silver color.

Above you can see the number and types of connectors provided. Generally you will not have any problem getting any modern system running on the APT-700. The fixed cables are a 20+4pin ATX cable, a 4+4pin EPS12V/ATX12V power cable,a 8 pin power cable and a 6+2pin PCIe cable.

 

A Closer Look – External View

The unit comes in a matte black finish on the main unit and silver finish at the top of it.The build quality is solid, you can tell that by the first time you have the PSU in your hands. At the left side we can find the PSU’s technical specifications, while at the right side we can find an Astro PT logo. Its H-shaped fan guard provides efficient ventilation and really gives the extra points in the production.

At the bottom there is a nice High Power curved logo, while at the back side we can find an open mesh grill for better airflow, the AC input and an On/Off switch.
At the third picture we can see the Eagle-eye, the patented Real Time Power Meter, which is a tri-color LED indicator that shows the real time power consumption. Simply get the power supply status at a glance. This is a very nice and handy feature that we do not meet often in other PSU’s.
The modular panel is cleanly arranged, colour coded and labeled. This ensures that the installation procedure is  straight forward, even for an inexperienced system builder. The sockets for the modular cables are six in numbers.

 

 A Closer Look – Internal View

The unit uses high quality components that should last a very long time.The components are strategically placed so that maximun heat dissipation is achieved. The unparalleled DC to DC converters for 3.3V & 5V outputs are designed to reach high efficiency.The APT-700 uses a single X and two Y Caps on the AC receptacle. There are two pairs of Y and X caps, an MOV, two CM chokes and a thermistor on the main PCB. The transformer is combined with the heatsink.

The 13.5cm dual ball bearing Golf-Surfaced fan comes from  Globe Fan . It is a Golf-Surface quiet double ball-bearing fan(up to 800W) of 13.5cm, that brings more airflow volume while keeping noise down.

The Off- Delay Fan patent keeps the fan running after system shutdown. For you this means that the heat is going away faster and this in longterm conditions means that the lifetime of your unit is enlarged.

The PSU comes equipped with” Intelligent Fan Control” design, which offers three Types of operation modes, fanless mode, silent mode, and cooling mode. The fan’s RPM are automatically adjusted according to system temperature. Note that under 25% (+/- 5%) of the max output, the fanless mode is activated, so even if you try to, you will not hear the unit operating.

At the above pictures you can see the real-time LED monitor in action. Besides being very impressive in sight, it is actually very useful, showing the PSU load real-time.

 

Test Setup and Procedures

The machine’s specs on which we tested the psu are:

Processor: Intel Core i7 920
Motherboard: Asus P6X85D
RAM: 6 GB Mushkin 6-7-6-18
VGA: Gigabyte GTX480 1536MB
HDD: Velocity Raptor 150GB
PSU: High Power Astro APT-700
Case: Thermaltake Armor VA8003BWS
Operating System: Windows 7 64-bit

The tests that we ran included:

 

  • Idle Voltages (Rails)
  • Load Voltages (Rails)
  • Full Load Voltages (Rails)
  • Ripple (mV)
  • Efficiency Test
  • Noise Levels

 

Test Results

 

Voltages (Rails)

 
 
 
 

Ripple (mV)

 
 

Efficiency and PFC 

 
 

We measured all rails during idle, load and full load settings. The 3,3V was rock stable like with pretty much every PSU on the market.When it comes to the 5V rail we actually saw very stable results, we had a 3 second period with some flickering between 5,08-5,16V but otherwise the rail stayed stable and we had no more flickering.The 12V rail was stable during all system states.

The ripple values were low under all circumstances as we can see from the graph.

At 10% load the power supply reaches a higher efficiency than many power supplies reach at their optimal output. The starting value of just under 0.8 surely means something and quickly rises up to the >0.92 range.
An efficiency of 92% can be achieved during 50% load, which is surely an impressive result. Having 90-92.8% efficiency is considered to be a very high value and at 20-100% of load you have minimal electricity loss, as the PSU converts power that comes from the plug very efficiently.
Practically, for users this means they could save money on the electricity bill in long term.

The ” Intelligent Fan Control” design, which offers three Types of operation modes, fanless mode, silent mode, and cooling mode, seemed to do the job, as the PSU remained under minimal noise levels during all our tests. Only after reaching 25% load you can actually slightly hear the unit working.

All in all, a solid performance by the Astro.

 

Verdict


There is no doubt that the Astro APT-700 PSU is a capable, well designed power supply, with solid build quality and great in terms of performance. It is designed to remain as quiet as possible and this is ensured by the quality fan selection, with the Astro APT-700 remaining inaudible until  25%  of the max output.You will also find features, such as the Eagle Eye (The patented Real Time Power Meter) in its back and a patent digital + VRM(D-VRM).

This power supply would be ideal for a media center, as the fan would be hardly audible when watching movies. When gaming, the fan would kick in to ensure stability under load. In general it is a fine quality PSU with decent 80+ Platinum efficiency. The modular system is exceptionally organized to keep the system tidy inside.

Overall, we can say that the High Power Astro APT-700 is a solid choice for mid-end and high-end systems, incorporating top notch technologies and features that we do not meet every day in PSU’s.

Costing around 160.00EUR across Europe, it is surely not for everyone’s pocket, but it is guaranteed that you get what you pay for. After our previous High Power reviews, we really feel that High Power should be a major player in the market and more widely spread across users.

Pros

(+) Solid build quality
(+) Efficient and silent
(+) Innovative features

Cons

(-) Price (but you get what you get in terms of performance)

 


Thus, we can surely give the High Power Astro APT-700 our Editor’s Choice Award.

 

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