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FSP Hydro X 650 Power Supply Review

Correctly testing power supplies is a complex procedure and KitGuru have configured a test bench which can deliver up to a 2,000 watt DC load. Due to public requests we have changed our temperature settings recently – previously we rated with ambient temperatures at 25C, we have increased ambient temperatures by 10c (to 35c) in our environment to greater reflect warmer internal chassis conditions.

We use combinations of the following hardware:

• SunMoon SM-268
• CSI3710A Programmable DC load (+3.3V and +5V outputs)
• CSI3711A Programmable DC load (+12V1, +12V2, +12V3, and +12V4)
• Extech Power Analyzer
• Extech MultiMaster MM570 digital multimeter
• SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa)
• Digital oscilloscope (20M S/s with 12 Bit ADC)
• Variable Autotransformer, 1.4 KVA

DC Output Load Regulation

Combined

DC Load

+3.3V
+5V
+12V
+5VSB
-12V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A V
152W
2.05
3.34
2.04
5.03
10.12
12.16
0.50
5.01
0.20
-12.03
270W
3.03
3.34
3.05
5.03
19.14
12.13
0.50
5.01
0.30
-12.03
400W
4.05
3.34
5.02
5.02
29.18
12.11
1.00
5.00
0.30
-12.04
523W
6.09
3.33
7.04
5.01
38.18
12.09
1.50
4.99
0.30
-12.04
650W
8.00
3.32
9.00
5.00
48.00
12.06
2.50
4.99
0.30
-12.05

Load regulation is excellent across the output range.

FSP Hydro X 650 Maximum Load
722W

We managed to get the PSU to deliver 722 watts before it would shut down, delivering around 72 watts more than the rated specifications.

Next we want to try Cross Loading. This basically means loads which are not balanced. If a PC for instance needs 500W on the +12V outputs but something like 30W via the combined 3.3V and +5V outputs then the voltage regulation can fluctuate badly.

Cross Load Testing +3.3V +5V +12V -12V +5VSB
A V A V A V A V A V
590W 1.0 3.33 1.0 5.03 48.0 12.05 0.2 -12.02 0.50 5.02
145W 12.0 3.31 15.0 4.98 2.0 12.14 0.2 -12.01 0.50 5.00

The unit passed our cross load test without any problems.

We then used an oscilloscope to measure AC ripple and noise present on the DC outputs. We set the oscilloscope time base to check for AC ripple at both high and low ends of the spectrum. ATX12V V2.2 specification for DC output ripple and noise is defined in the ATX 12V power supply design guide.

ATX12V Ver 2.2 Noise/Ripple Tolerance
Output
Ripple (mV p-p)
+3.3V
50
+5V
50
+12V1
120
+12V2
120
-12V
120
+5VSB
50

Obviously when measuring AC noise and ripple on the DC outputs the cleaner (less recorded) means we have a better end result. We measured this AC signal amplitude to see how closely the unit complied with the ATX standard.

AC Ripple (mV p-p)
DC Load +3.3V +5V +12V 5VSB
152W 5 10 20 10
270W 10 10 20 15
400W 15 15 25 15
523W 15 15 35 20
650W 20 20 40 25

Ripple suppression falls within industry rated parameters although it is far from the best we have seen from an 80 Plus Gold rated power supply in recent months.

Efficiency (%)
152W
89.34
270W
91.87
400W
91.98
523W
90.75
650W
89.19

Efficiency is very good, hitting a peak around 92% – and dropping to around 89% at 100% load.

We take the issue of noise very seriously at KitGuru and this is why we have built a special home brew system as a reference point when we test noise levels of various components. Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on components we are testing. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.

Today to test the Power Supply we have taken it into our acoustics room environment and have set our SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa) one meter away from the unit. We have no other fans running so we can effectively measure just the noise from the unit itself.

As this can be a little confusing for people, here are various dBa ratings in with real world situations to help describe the various levels.

KitGuru noise guide

10dBA – Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refrigerator
50dBA – Normal Conversation
60dBA – Laughter
70dBA – Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA – City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA – Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA – MP3 Player at maximum output
110dBA – Orchestra
120dBA – Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA – Threshold of Pain
140dBA – Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA – Instant Perforation of eardrum

Noise (dBA)
152W
<28.0
270W
<28.0
400W
<28.0
523W
30.6
650W 33.1

This is a quiet power supply and will likely be drown out by case fans. At maximum load noise levels hit 33 dBa, but the pitch of the fan is quite loud so it is never intrusive.

Temperature (c)
Intake
Exhaust
152W
36
38
270W
39
42
400W
42
47
523W
43
53
650W
45
58

The large fan holds a good ambient curve throughout the range of load.

Maximum load
Efficiency
722W
88.7

For those interested, we measured efficiency when stressing the unit to breaking point. 88.7 percent efficiency at 722W … hardly practical, but interesting regardless.

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