Models and packages
The TruePower Trio comes in three maximum power ratings: 450, 550, and 650. For most of today's systems, 450w is more than enough. Multi-CPU machines with a lot of RAM, a high-end video card, and a RAID array may need to go as high as 650, but that should be a relatively rare case. All of them are priced above most of Antec's other power supplies, with the 650w model being more expensive than any other PSU I've ever seen: U.S. $125 from Newegg.com. Taken into perspective, the 550w is probably the best deal compared to the pricing of the 450w and 650w models, but keep in mind that 550w may be overkill -- the trend in desktop computing is to consume less electricity, not more.
The 450w model has only one PCI-E 6-pin connector, while the other two models have two PCI-E power connectors and an 8-pin +12V connector for multi-CPU systems that require it.
Electrical and physical design
The primary selling point of the Antec TruePower Trio is that the +12V rail is double-redundant, which means that there are three instead of one. If a device that is powered through the motherboard suddenly needs a lot more electricity, then it won't unduly stress the power supply. In theory it could be a big problem if the +12V line delivered power inconsistently, though I have never seen this problem occur in real life. Overstressing a single rail could also blow the power supply, so three rails may provide a longer-lasting PSU, but most of the failures I have seen have been on +5V (which the hard drive and optical drives use) if they are rail-specific.
There's a gigantic 120mm fan integrated into the bottom of the TruePower Trio, which departs from the standard 80mm fan in the outward-facing side of the unit. This means that hot air from the PSU will be blowing into the computer, so it would make the most sense to put the TruePower Trio into a machine that has a rear-mounted 120mm fan to help ventilate the system. Aside from moving a more air, 120mm fans have a sound advantage over 80mm fans -- the general rule is, the larger the fan, the less noise it makes. On the other hand, the kind of system that this PSU would go into would probably not be built for low sound generation, considering the noise that high-end video cards and CPU fans make.
The TruePower Trio has a lot of drive connectors: 6 Molex, 1 mini-Molex, four SATA, two Molex fan, one 3-pin fan, two 6-pin PCI-E, and one 8-pin connector required on some motherboards that have multiple CPUs.
Putting it to the test
In terms of physical dimensions, the TruePower Trio is no different than any other PSU, except for the single concern that the exhaust fan have some space to operate. In most chassis this will not be a concern, but some have strange PSU mountings (the Antec Nine Hundred case being one of them) that allow different orientations for power supplies.
I don't like to stress test things that convert AC power to direct current; I've had enough devices blow up in front of me accidentally that I don't feel the need to put myself at risk on purpose; neither is there a reasonable scenario in which you would actually overstress a 650w power supply in a personal computer. So no stress test. What I will say is that this power supply appears to work as advertised, and it's made by a company that I've been using in various system builds for 6 years. By all indications, it's a high-quality supply -- or at least it worked for me and had more than enough drive connectors for all of my devices in my high-performance machines.
The TruePower Trio is an excellent power supply, but I think it'll be overkill for most people. Antec makes other PSUs that can do the job just as well at a lower cost. Still, if you're one of those people who goes high-end on everything in your PC, there's no doubt that this power supply needs to be in it. For multi-CPU systems that need a lot of power, the TruePower Trio 550 or 650 may be your best option.
|Device support||20- and 24-pin ATX motherboards. 6 Molex, 1 mini-Molex, 4 SATA, two Molex fan connectors, one 3-pin fan connector, 2 PCI Express 6-pin, one 8-pin extra motherboard connector for multi-CPU computers.|
|Market||High-performace desktop computers and workstations|
|Price (retail)||U.S. ~$125|
|Product Web site||Click here|