FSP PSU Roundup - 500W, 700W and 1kW

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Products:      FSP 500W Blue Storm II PSU
                     FSP 700W FX-Epsilon PSU
                     FSP 1000W Kingcraft PSU
Provided By: FSP Group USA
Price: Buy direct from ShopFSP.com

Introduction:

Computers today have a wide variety of uses and require a wide variety of components.  No one setup is good for everything and there are a lot of choices out there.  When picking components, it's really important to spend wisely and choose something that fits your needs of both today and tomorrow.  One component that stands out in my mind in this regard is the Power Supply.  There are literally thousands of different makes and models on the market today for you to spend your money on, and we will be looking at three from FSP to see which one will fit your needs and what needs they can actually fill.

We've got a lot to cover with the BlueStorm II 500W, Epsilon FX 700W, and Kingcraft 1000W units so let's not waste any time and jump right in.  We are starting off small and getting bigger and will be keeping a rapid pace throughout the review. 

 

500W Blue Storm II:

This is the smallest and lightest unit from FSP that we have on our bench and it arrived in a beat up box without a power cable.  The box was a bit disturbing, but the lack of power cable is actually a relief as I've got a drawer full and didn't need another one to add to the mix.

 Beat Up Box
Beat Up Box
 In The Box
In The Box

 

As you can see in the pictures below the Blue Storm II is named for its color - it's blue.  The fan is also blue, but doesn't have and LEDs to make it glow brightly in your dark case.  On the near side of the unit we've got the PSU label that tells us just how much power FSP is prepared for you to pull from this unit.

 Back & Fan
Back & Fan
PSU Label
PSU Label

 

The label states that the Blue Storm can dish up 18A on each of the +12v rails for a total of 432W, along with the 250W available on the 3.3v and 5v rails.  FSP rates this much lower, but components should be able to perform as they AMP load states.

 

Also "Blue" on the Blue Storm is the Power Switch and the cable sleeving.  This unit comes equipped with a pair of PCIe Connectors for a little SLI action.  It also has six Molex, one floppy, four SATA connectors and rounds things off with a 20/24-pin connector as well as an additional 4-pin connector.  There is not 8-pin connector as most high-end motherboards have, but then again, this isn't a high-end PSU.

 PSU Switch
PSU Switch
 Cable Bundle
Cable Bundle

 

This 500W unit fits the standard ATX Specification in terms of size and we thought we've open it up as it felt pretty light.  We were surprised to see how empty the unit was.  The components all seem to be large enough, but there aren't a lot of massive heatsinks clogging up the unit.

 Lots Of Room Inside
Lots Of Room Inside
 Inside
Inside
   
 Inside
Inside
Fan Close
Fan Close

 

On the next page, we'll cover the testing of this PSU before we head on to the 700W sibling.


 

Test Setup:

While we don't have a perfect test setup for testing power supplies, we do not rely on software programs to tell us how the PSU is doing.  We have an oscilloscope that we use for testing and we measure power draw through a P3 Kill-A-Watt.  Our power is filtered through an APC UPS and we put these units to the test in a real-world scenario with a high-end test machine.

  • Intel Q6600 CPU @ 3.2GHz
  • nVidia 780i Motherboard
  • Crucial Ballistix Tracer 2GB Kit
  • 2x 8800GTX in Tri-SLI
  • 2 x 500GB Seagate HDDs
  • Freezone Elite

 

Testing:

In this PSU roundup we're going briefly through the numbers individually and will lay out how these performed at the end of the review.  You can click any of the image below and then click the next button to go through the gallery and view all of the pictures as we'll only be including a few of them for reference as we go along.

No-Load (7W) Tests: 

 3.3v 7W
3.3v 7W
5v 7W
5v 7W
   
 12v1 7W
12v1 7W
 12v2 7W
12v2 7W

 

The 500W PSU held quite solid without a load, but we'll load it up below.

 


 

380W Load Tests:

 3.3v 380W
3.3v 380W
5v 380W
5v 380W
   
12v1 380W
12v1 380W
 12v2 380W
12v2 380W

 

Things get a little shaky at a medium 380W load, but we're not done yet.  Take a look below and see how it holds up when we pull 529W through this unit.

 

529W Load Tests:

3.3v 529W
3.3v 529W
5v 529W
5v 529W
   
 12v1 529W
12v1 529W
 12v2 529W
12v2 529W

 

Although the PSU isn't producing 529W of power, its consumption peaks over its rated output and that is uncommon with the some of the last PSUs we've tested.  It is providing over 430W of power to the system and does this continuously without physically faltering and causing instability.  That being said, if we tried to ask any more from this PSU it would simply shut down, but without being able to place specific loads on specific rails, I'm very impressed with this unit in terms of system stability.  That being said, you can see that the rails are very noisy and in fact the 3.3v and 5v rails are out of spec by over 60mV and that is not a good thing.


FX-Epsilon 700W FSP PSU:

This is the middle of the road unit from FSB that is labeled as "Ultra High Performance" on the box.  This box too looked like it had been opened by several dozen people, but there was a power cable included this time.  The Epsilon has four +12v rails and offers users a little more performance and hopefully stability that comes with additional rails.  This is a non-modular unit as you can see by looking in the box, and it comes with come Velcro cable management straps which are actually a simple, yet welcome addition.

 PSU Box
PSU Box
In The Box
In The Box
Bundle
Bundle

 

There are a lot of cables on this blue PSU and like the 500W little brother, they are sleeved as well.  These cable come sleeved in black and blue though and the blue cables are for the PCIe connectors.  Speaking of connections, this thick bundle comes with two Floppy connectors, six Molex, six SATA, 4/8-pin power, 20/24-pin motherboard and the afore-mentioned two PCIe connectors.  It's got enough for most SLI systems if you're not using 8800GTX or 8800Ultra graphics cards.  The cables all exit the PSU at a single point as this is a non-modular PSU.  After using modular PSUs for so long, I have to admit that I'm a little spoiled and I'm not enjoying the fist-full of cables that have to be tucked somewhere in a mid-range system.

 Bundle Of Cables
Bundle Of Cables
 PSU Profile
PSU Profile

 

On the near side of the unit is the label for the specifications.  The FX-Epsilon can serve up 18A on each of the four 12v rails as well as 36A on the 3.3v line and 30A on the 5v rail.  These give us a raw total of 864W on the 12v rails while FSP conservatively states 525W.  The 3.3v and 5v lines are capable of a combined 268W, but once again FSP has wisely taken the conservative route and claims only 155W.  I like to see companies under-rate their rails in the specifications as no PSU will fully reach its rated output per rail.  Total theoretical output on this PSU is over 1150W, but I'm sure it cannot come anywhere close to that.

 

PSU Label
PSU Label

 

This PSU is physically quite small for a 700W unit and it was with great interest that we pulled it apart to see what was inside.  There is not as much room inside as they 500W sibling, but it is still pretty empty.  Once again this is due in part to the lack of massive heatsinks.  If a PSU is efficient, it won't generate as much heat and it can easily be cooled with a single 120mm fan.

 PSU Fan
PSU Fan
 PSU Inside
PSU Inside
PSU Inside
PSU Inside

 

On the next page we'll briefly cover testing before we take on the 1000W Kingcraft.


 

Test Setup:

While we don't have a perfect test setup for testing power supplies, we do not rely on software programs to tell us how the PSU is doing.  We have an oscilloscope that we use for testing and we measure power draw through a P3 Kill-A-Watt.  Our power is filtered through an APC UPS and we put these units to the test in a real-world scenario with a high-end test machine.

  • Intel Q6600 CPU @ 3.2GHz
  • nVidia 780i Motherboard
  • Crucial Ballistix Tracer 2GB Kit
  • 2x 8800GTX in Tri-SLI
  • 2 x 500GB Seagate HDDs
  • Freezone Elite

 

Testing:

In this PSU roundup we're going briefly through the numbers individually and will lay out how these performed at the end of the review.  You can click any of the image below and then click the next button to go through the gallery and view all of the pictures as we'll only be including a few of them for reference as we go along.

No-Load (8W) Tests: 

 3.3v 8W
3.3v 8W
5v 8W
5v 8W
12v1 8W
12v1 8W
     
 12v2 8W
12v2 8W
 12v3 8W
12v3 8W
 12v4 8W
12v4 8W

 

While this PSU has very little noise in the non-load situation, there is some noticeable ripple as you can see above.

 


380W Load Tests:

 3.3v 380W
3.3v 380W
5v 380W
5v 380W
 12v1 380W
12v1 380W
     
 12v2 380W
12v2 380W
 12v3 380W
12v3 380W
 12v4 380W
12v4 380W

 

Under a moderate load we see the +12v1 rail pretty noisy and both the 3.3v and 5v rails exceed the 50mV specification.  Please keep in mind that we are averaging 16 samples of data, and if we back this off to 4 samples, the noise averages much greater.  It's because of our precise test equipment that we see higher numbers that other sites.

 

580W Load Tests:

 3.3v 580W
3.3v 580W
 12v1 580W
12v1 580W
12v2 580W
12v2 580W
     
 12v3 580W
12v3 580W
 12v4 580W
12v4 580W
 -12v 580W
-12v 580W

 

With the PSU running an 8800GTX SLI system with an attached Freezone Elite the system managed to run stable although you can see that the voltage line were a little noisy and some had a very pronounced ripple at full load.  Once we drew more than 600W through this PSU, it would shut down but that is likely due to one rail being loaded more than it should.  There are only two PCIe connectors and we had to use a couple of adapters to power the other GTX card.  We'll cover these numbers in more detail after we talk about the 1000W FSP PSU on the next page.


FSP 1000W Kingcraft PSU:

The 1000W Kingcraft series is one of the biggest PSUs that FSP offers.  They have a couple of 1010W models available as well, but that's like splitting hairs.  If you have a system that is too powerful for a 1000W PSU a 1010W unit isn't going to help you out much.  This PSU arrived in a much tidier box and leads me to believe that it hasn't been reviewed much before if at all.  This box is designed for the retail shelf and should catch your eye if you're shopping for a new PSU.  FSP claims to support the newest Quad core systems, and the boast about their four +12v rails and four PCIe connectors on the box.  They also have some ATI branding on the box to let you know it's ready for a toasty Crossfire setup.  In the box you get a manual with specifications, some Velcro cable management straps and a nice power cord.  That is about all you can expect from a PSU bundle.

 Box Of King
Box Of King
Bundle
Bundle

 

What absolutely amazes me about this PSU is that it's tiny.  It actually is about the same physical size as the 500W Blue Storm II and the FX-Epsilon PSU.  As soon as I laid eyes on it I had my doubts if it could deliver enough power to a system and then I picked it up.  This sucker is heavy. Inside it doesn't have a bunch of wasted space for a large 120mm fan.  It is cooled by a single 80mm fan located at the rear of the PSU.  You'll also notice that there is no power switch.

 PSU Profile
PSU Profile
PSU Fan Profile
PSU Fan Profile

 

There is a lot of gear stuffed into this PSU as we can see by peeking through the well ventilated front side of the PSU.  The insides are stacked in order to fit everything inside and this could create some overheating problems unless the fan provides adequate cooling.  If the fan can cool off this pile of components, it will probably be quite loud though.

 


In terms out wattage output, the Kingcraft claims 1000W but when we break it down, we discover that once again FSP has been conservative with their overall wattage numbers.  Each of the 12v rails are rated at 20A for a full total of 960W instead of the FSP 840W rating.  The 3.3v and 5v rails can output a total of 242W and this combines to make over 1200W of power.  They've accounted for loss and inefficiency and wisely label it as a 1000W unit.

 Front Grill
Front Grill
 PSU Label
PSU Label

 

This unit is also non-modular and this makes the bundle of cables required for a high-end system a little bulky.  This thick bundle comes with two Floppy connectors, six Molex, six SATA, 4-pin power, 8-pin power, 20/24-pin motherboard and four PCIe connectors.

Bundle Of Cables
Bundle Of Cables

This unit amazed me in regards to internal design and we've included a few more pictures of the inside of this unit than the other PSUs in this roundup. 

Inside The PSU
Inside The PSU
 Double Decker
Double Decker
   
 Heatsinks
Heatsinks
Large Transformer
Large Transformer


Flat Wires

Flat Wires

 

Due to the tight confines of this PSU, some of the wires have been squished quite flat in order to get the cover on.  I don't see any problem with this in the short term, but if you open this unit make sure that you get everything back in place or you could pinch a wire a little too sharply.

On the next page we'll test out this 1000W beast and see how good it is. 


 

Test Setup:

While we don't have a perfect test setup for testing power supplies, we do not rely on software programs to tell us how the PSU is doing.  We have an oscilloscope that we use for testing and we measure power draw through a P3 Kill-A-Watt.  Our power is filtered through an APC UPS and we put these units to the test in a real-world scenario with a high-end test machine.

  • Intel Q6600 CPU @ 3.2GHz
  • nVidia 780i Motherboard
  • Crucial Ballistix Tracer 2GB Kit
  • 3x 8800GTX in Tri-SLI
  • 2 x 500GB Seagate HDDs
  • Freezone Elite

 

Testing:

In this PSU roundup we're going briefly through the numbers individually and will lay out how these performed at the end of the review.  You can click any of the image below and then click the next button to go through the gallery and view all of the pictures as we'll only be including a few of them for reference as we go along.

As soon as we plugged in this PSU my fears were realized - it is loud.  Even when running a non-load test it measures 52.5 dBA at a distance of 1 meter.  Ouch. 

No-Load (9W) Tests:

 3.3v 9W
3.3v 9W
5v 9W
5v 9W
12v1 9W
12v1 9W
     
 12v2 9W
12v2 9W
 12v3 9W
12v3 9W
 12v4 9W
12v4 9W

 

While this PSU has very little ripple in the non-load situation, there is some noise than the other PSUs as you can see above.

380W Load Tests:

 3.3v 380W
3.3v 380W
5v 380W
5v 380W
 12v1 380W
12v1 380W
     
 12v2 380W
12v2 380W
 12v3 380W
12v3 380W
 12v4 380W
12v4 380W

 

Under a moderate load we see the +12v1 rail pretty noisy and both the 3.3v and 5v rails exceed the 50mV specification.  Please keep in mind that we are averaging 16 samples of data, and if we back this off to 4 samples, the noise averages much greater.  It's because of our precise test equipment that we see higher numbers that other sites.  While this may be harsher than other sites, our results with other Power Supplies are comparable as we keep the platform and test methods consistent.

 

695W Load Tests:

 3.3v 695W
3.3v 695W
 12v1 695W
5v 695W
12v1 695W
12v1 695W
     
 12v2 695W
12v2 695W
 12v3 695W
12v3 695W
 12v4 695W
12v4 695W

 

This setup involved 3 8800GTX cards and an overclocked Q6600 cooled by a Freezone Elite.  We managed to pull over 750W at times but were able to run consistently at 695W for testing.  System stability was good but with the large amounts of noise we've seen from the voltage rails as well as the PSU fan, it's hard to love this 1000W unit.

On the last page we'll compare all the numbers and draw some conclusions.



Conglomerate Results:

If you've been paying attention to the tests on the previous pages and clicked through some of the thumbnails to look at the gallery pictures, you'll have noticed that all of the FSP PSUs get a noisy under load.  You'll also have noticed that the voltages remain very solid and constantly stay above their nominal rated value.  The 700W unit has the highest +12v rails as they stay at 12.5v or higher even when under a heavy load.  The 1000W unit has the most consistent voltage results though at we see the voltage fluctuate a mere 0.1v on the 12v rails 0.03v on both the 3.3v and 5v rails.  This PSU puts out rock solid voltage numbers.  Unfortunately it's about as noisy as riding in a MACK truck.

Voltage
Click for full-sized image

 

Ripple and noise is something that every company brags about and at which they test and measure differently.  We use a very sensitive Tektronics TDS2002 Scope and this reports wider fluctuations than results from other sites.  We've average the results, but we still see pretty high numbers.  Please refer to our PSU Testing Methods here for more details.

During non-load tests the 1000W PSU had the most noise on its rails and right off the bat we saw the 3.3v and 5v lines out of spec.  This only got worse as we increased the load on the PSU.  The 500W and 700W units were within spec at idle, but that disappeared quickly as we added a 380W load.  The 12v rails generally stayed within spec, but the 3.3v and 5v rails were well out of their 50mV allowance.

Ripple & Noise
Click for full-sized image

 

 

Conclusion:

All of these PSUs showed some promise for their target market but when we loaded them up we found the ripple and noise on all of these units to be excessive.  They exceed specification on 3.3v and 5v consistently and even some of the 12v lines are out of spec at times.  While it's true that we measure more precisely than other sites, our results are also consistent from review to review and these have shown some of the most noise of all PSUs tested.

That being said, they all provided good system stability at tested loads and the little 500W PSU is a trooper than can put out a bunch of power from its relatively empty case.  We'll rate them all individually below.

 

500W Blue Storm II:

Pros:

  • Nice looking
  • Quiet
  • Provides ample power for most systems

Cons:

  • Voltage runs high
  • 5v and 3.3v lines out of spec at load.
  • Non-modular

BCCRating - 500W

 

700W FX-Epsilon:

Pros:

  • Nice looking
  • Quiet
  • Provides ample power for gaming systems

Cons:

  • 12v lines are at maximum of spec'd voltage
  • 5v and 3.3v lines noisy and out of spec at load.
  • Non-modular

BCCRating - 700W

 

1000W Kingcraft:

Pros:

  • Nice looking
  • Fits ATX Form Factor
  • Provides ample power for high-end 3-Way SLI systems

Cons:

  • Lines are noisy in all situations
  • 80mm fan is LOUD!
  • 5v and 3.3v lines noisy and out of spec by double under load
  • Non-modular

BCCRating - 1000W

 

I'd like to thank FSP for sending over these PSUs for us to review.  Please feel free to post your thoughts, comments and questions in the forum at the "Comments" link below.