Once an oft forgotten part of the enthusiasts PC, the humble power supply now gets a lot of attention. Gone are the days when any old PSU would do, these days you have PSU's that cover a large range of the enthusiasts PC building spectrum, from high output monster PSU's from people like PC Power and Cooling and Enermax, to silent mATX units for those building custom small form factor machines.
It's also now understood that high output doesn't necessarily make a good PSU capable of running your high spec machine with lots of peripheral devices and fans. A lower output PSU with a solid, clean power delivery can often outperform a PSU with higher output but shaky delivery.
Then you have PSU's that aim to cater for 2 markets at once. Clean reliable power delivery with decent output and also very quiet.
Enermax were one of the first manufacturers I noticed that supplied PSU's with the noise aspect as a selling point as well as high output. With thermostatically controlled cooling fans within the PSU and then a dedicated range of 'whisper quiet' PSU's, it's clear that PSU manufacturers now understand that enthusiasts dont want PSU's that are louder than the cooling fans on their CPU's.
So while my current PSU isn't exactly noisy, I was more than keen to take a look at a 'quiet' power supply when the oppurtunity came up.
FSP Group aren't a company I'd heard of before but according to their press literature they've been in the power supply business since the late eighties and have a dedicated PSU division called SPI. The SPI part of FSP Group seems to manufacture their ATX line of power supplies and then they carry the FSP big brand name when they are sold.
Also according to the press literature they have manufacturing capacity to make 2 million units a month so it's quite likely that they supply the OEM industry so you may have an FSP/SPI power supply in your OEM box without knowing it.
They do a range of ATX supplies including high output versions (up to 550W), FlexATX supplies for smaller machines and the range of PSU's they want to push as being near silent which include todays review unit, the FSP300-60ATV (PF).
Let's take a quick look at the pertinent specifications.
• 300W maximum output
• ATX12 compatible (supports P4)
• 15A on +12V rail
• 30A on +5V rail
• 28A on +3.3V rail
• 2A on +5V standby rail
So while we don't have huge output, what we hopefully have is clean output combined with low noise. So how do we test things?