FSP Everest 80Plus 700W PSU

Print

Product: FSP Everest 80 Plus 700W Modular 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 one of the latest units from FSP to see how it stacks up in the modular PSU market.  We've looked at FSP PSUs before and if you want to refresh yourself on the ones we've already looked at check out the three-way shootout over here.

 

Packaging & Bundle:

One thing I immediately noticed about the Everest 80 Plus PSU is the package upgrades.  While this may seem like a non-issue to many people there are a lot of consumers that make their purchasing decision at the store and attractive packaging with good information is very helpful in this regard.  There is even a window in the top so you can see what is inside.

Top Of Box
Top Of Box

The back of the box showcases the main power capabilities of this PSU as well as how many connections are included on this unit.  This is a handy piece of information to have and will definitely help some people decide if this is the right PSU for them.  The sides of the box hold more information regarding cables and features that this PSU has.  It's very well done and a dramatic improvement over their previous packaging.

 Back of Box
Back of Box
 Sides of Box
Sides of Box

 

The 700W PSU comes with enough cables to make it work and the connectors include the main 20+4 Pin-main connector as well as a 4-pin P4 connector, an 8-pin connector and a single PCIe 6-pin connector.  Modular cables include two peripheral cables that have six Molex connectors as well as a single floppy connector.  There are also six SATA connectors spread over two cables and a PCIe 6+2-pin cable.  All of these add up to provide a lot of power options on this PSU.

Bundled Cables
Bundled Cables

 

Also included in the bundle above is a standard power cable, some Velcro cable ties and a small bag of screws.  Not pictured is the small manual that outlines a few details regarding this PSU.

 

FSP Everest First Look:

This PSU looks a lot like other FSP PSUs that we've looked at in the past.  It has the same blue color and fan as the FX-Epsilon 700W PSU, but the Everest comes partly modular and hopefully with a bit cleaner power delivery.

 Profile Shot
Profile Shot
 Modular Connectors
Modular Connectors
   
 Grill, Switch, & Connector
Grill, Switch, & Connector
PSU Fan
PSU Fan

 

The modular connections include two PCIe power connections, three 4-pin connections for Molex cables, and three 6-pin connections for SATA cables.  Our sample only included a single extra PCIe cable, but according to the specs it should come with two - making me believe the last person to review it has an extra cable in their shop.  The fan is nice and quiet on this unit and provides good airflow and cooling to the internal components while the rear grill provides an unrestricted exhaust path for the hot air.  This PSU was very quiet throughout testing and was inaudible above other fans in the system.

Before we tear the Everest apart, we'll take a look at some of the features and specifications of this PSU.


Features and Specifications:

As of late there has been a few companies that have branded their PSUs with "SLI Certified" logos that weren't actually certified.  We decided to see if this feature was accurate so we went over to the SLI Zone and found the Everest 80Plus 700W unit in the list for dual GeForce 7900GTX or dual GeForce 7800 GTX 512MB cards.  These are pretty dated, and I'm sure that the PSU could handle newer cards, but this is what it is certified for.  Keep that in mind as you purchase a new PSU - check what cards it can handle.  If you figured that it could handle a pair of GeForce GTX 280's, you may have been hoping for a little more than it can give.  In short, the FSP Everest 80Plus 700W Modular PSU is indeed SLI Certified, but on four generation old cards only.  Why?  Check out the PSU label below for a hint.

PSU Label
PSU Label

 

The values on the label look pretty good and FSP is certainly conservative with their "Total Power" rating based on the amperage available to each rail.  Simple math says that the 3.3v and 5v rails should actually be capable of 268.8W.  The combined wattage of the +12v rails is 864W max and the -12v and +5vsb is 24.6W.  Total max output is theoretically 1132.8W, but this is where things get interesting.  The chart on the product page for this PSU shows something a little different.

Output

 

Obviously we don't expect any PSU to meet its theoretical output capabilities, and neither do the manufacturers.  That's why they state that a 18A Max +12v line (18A * 12v = 216W) is capable of 130W according to the PSU label.  What is more interesting is what the chart shows above.  The +12v lines are only rated at 9A under "normal" load which translates to a mere 108W / +12v rail.  "Normal" output is rated at a total of 578.7W and we must keep this in mind a little later on.

Now we can take a look at the features and specifications after seeing why this is only certified for 7x00 series SLI.

:|: FEATURES : :|: SPECIFICATIONS :
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
:|: MAIN 20+4.PIN | P4 4.PIN | EPS 8.PIN :|: EFFICIENCY: 85%+ TYPICAL

:|: SUPPORTS MULTI.CORE CPU SYSTEM

:|: LOW RIPPLE | LOW OPERATING NOISE
:|: ULTRA-QUIET 120mm B.B. FAN | ACOUSTIC :|: OPERATING TEMPERATURE: 10 TO +40C
:|: ACTIVE.PFC | ULTRA-HIGH EFFICIENCY :|: STORAGE TEMPERATURE: -20 TO +80C
:|: MODULAR CABLE MANAGEMENT :|: HUMIDITY: 5-95% NON.CONDENSING
:|: SLI CERTIFIED :|: OVP:  OVER VOLTAGE OUTPUT PROTECTION
:|: THERMAL CONTROL SYSTEM LINKED TO FAN :|: OCP:  OVER CURRENT OUTPUT PROTECTION
:|: ENERGY SAVER | 1.WATT STANDBY MODE :|: SCP: SHORT CIRCUIT OUTPUT PROTECTION
:|: THERMAL COATING CASING | LED SWITCH :|: 100% HI.POT TESTED
:|: MULTIPLE PCI-EXPRESS POWER SUPPORT :|: MTBF: 100,000 HOURS @ 25C AMBIENT 

 

This series of ultra-efficient PSU produces one of the highest ratio of power conversion available today, maintaining 80% at the very minimum, and up to 86% at optimal operating conditions.  Gamers In "GREEN" Heaven, this new Everest series of Advance ATX2.2 | EPS2.91 PSUs are designed specifically for PC Gaming enthuses who are seeking the ultimate performance and value.  Available in 500-WATT, 600-WATT, AND 700-WATT, the Everest series represents the latest breakthrough in PC power design and technology.  It features super-charge power distribution for even the most performance demanding PC system available on the market today, with GREEN power in mind.  YOUR "GREEN" power, the way YOU want it, whenever YOU are ready for it, all models feature a unique, well-layout MODULAR-CABLE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM that allows the most secured and flexible power bridging for your PC system integration needs.  The Everest series is proudly carry the legendary quality and performance tradition of FSP (Fortron-Source).  FSP Quality Assurance Program, a highly confident manufacturer’s direct service guarantees quality and performance for a period of 3-Year, included.  SLI CERTIFIED that includes 2 PCI-Express power output support, 1 standard 6-Pin and 1 GFX 150-Watt 6+2 (8-Pin) as standard for all model except for the 700-WATT, which has 1 (6-Pin) and 2 (6+2=8-Pin).  RoHS, Lead-Free, Green Product (G.P) global environmental friendly status.



Inside the Everest 700W:

As I cracked the case and broke the "Warranty Void if Removed" sticker on the PSU, I made sure that I was grounded and made a mental note not to discharge the capacitors with my finger.  Once the case was opened I got a good look at the backside of the fan and the main layout of the PSU.

Fan Inside
Fan Inside
PSU Inside
PSU Inside

 

There isn't really a whole lot of hardware inside this PSU and the heatsinks are pretty lean.  I was hoping for something a little beefier inside, but if the components are efficient they won't generate a lot of heat and won't require large heatsinks.  That being said, I have my doubts as to whether this PSU will deliver.

 Inside and HSFs
Inside and HSFs
 Soldered Backplane
Soldered Backplane

 

One of the tidiest spots inside this entire PSU is the modular backplane.  The wired enter in behind the PCB and the overall appearance of this area is clean, neat and well-done.  That quickly disappears though as you let your eyes wander down to the "floor" of the PSU as seen below.

 Messy
Messy

 

 

Test Setup & Info:

In the past, we've prided ourselves on real-world testing.  For graphics cards, CPUs and memory, what matters is what takes place in real applications and games.  We also held that philosophy for PSU testing, but after a while, we realized that there is more to a PSU that being able to run a machine stable over a few weeks or months.  In reality, if there is a lot of ripple, this can damage sensitive traces on your $700 graphics card or $1300 CPU.  A multi-meter alone is not good enough to check PSU voltage stability.  It's for this reason that we've updated our PSU testbed, and will continue to improve the detail and quality of our PSU reviews.  That being said, we will still be testing the PSU in a system and will be including stress tests from real components in the real world.

We recently purchased a Tektronics TDS2002 60MHz Dual Channel scope and it has already become invaluable around the shop here at BCCHardware headquarters.  I've used it to troubleshoot everything from PSU's to Radars, and we are using it today to check the stability of the FSP Everest 80Plus 700W Modular PSU on the next page.


Testing - 380W & 620W: 

We initially plugged the PSU into an EZ PSU Tester 3 in order to power it on for our "idle" measurements.  However, this PSU would not power on for more than a split second without a greater load applied.  Because of this, we decided not to include "non-load" tests this time around.  Although no PFC numbers are reported in the specifications, we measured this to be between 0.95 and 0.98 which is fairly good and is quite efficient.

Just before we jump into testing it would be helpful to know what each of the +12v rails do.  There was no information on the main part of FSP's site, but a download of their Tech Diagram helped clear things up a bit.

  • +12v1 = 8-pin power connector - Normal output is 9A = 108W
  • +12v2 = 4-pin power connector and connected 6-pin PCIe - Normal output is 9A = 108W
  • +12v3 = 24-pin motherboard power connector - Normal output is 9A = 108W
  • +12v4 = 2x Modular PCIe cables - Normal output is 9A = 108W or 54W / PCIe cable.

Because of the lack of PCIe cables and the rating of this PSU to handle 7x00 series SLI, I was only able to power a single 8800GTX card with the modular PCIe cables.  The non-modular PCIe cable ran to another 8800GTX while I used an extra PSU to power the other 8800GTX and a half in our Tri-SLI system.  We balanced the load as much as possible, although I'm sure the +12v4 rail is the one that had the most strain powering a single 8800GTX.

5v Measurement
5v Measurement
12v Measurement
12v Measurement

 

All of the rails managed to stay above their rated level and the lowest +12v rail dipped to a mere 12.1 even with a 620W load. The 3.3v line dropped to 3.28v, while the 5v line actually increased as more load was applied.  Click the chart below for full details.

Voltage
(Click chart for larger image)

 

The interesting thing I noticed with the FSP Everest 80Plus 700W PSU was the ripple.  When I examined the specs and saw that FSP has actually raised the acceptable noise and ripple from each line, I didn't have much hope that this PSU would deliver clean power.  Standard ATX specifications state that the 12v lines must not exceed 120mv while the 3.3v and 5v lines must not exceed 50mv.  FSP has lowered the bar and allows 140mv ripple on the +12v lines and 75mv on the 3.3v and 5v lines.  The +12v change of 20mv is not alarming but allowing 50% more ripple and noise on the 3.3v and 5v lines while "staying within spec" is very questionable.  With that in mind lets take a look at the noise and ripple measurement.

Ripple
(Click for larger image)

 

You can see that the FSP Everest 700W PSU has a lot more electrical noise that the 1200W Thermaltake Toughpower we've recently reviewed.  However, all 12v lines stay well with the real ATX spec, and don't require the relaxed FSP limits.  With a 380W load, all lines stayed within specs, but when the load was increased close to the breaking point of the PSU, the 5v line faltered a bit and hit 74mv ripple.  This is just under the FPS specs, but falls 24mv outside the ATX specifications.  Regardless, this didn't cause instability.

When we applied a load of 640W to the PSU it immediately shut off and partially corrupted our Windows installation as we were running a benchmark when the sudden shutdown occurred.  I'm sure that this is because the +12v4 rail is only rated at 108W normal usage and has to power a pair of PCIe 6-pin cables.  One an older gaming system this won't be an issue, but on a higher-end system, the PSU falls short of its 700W rating.

 

Conclusion:

While I was quite happy with the stable power, lower noise and ripple with this PSU, I was a bit dismayed to see that FSP has lowered the bar and relaxed the specifications for this unit.  That tells me that don't think this PSU can perform as well as it should.  Although it stayed entirely within the company's specs for their product, it still fell short in delivering us a full 700W of power in a well balanced system.  If we were to pull a bit more power from the Molex and less from the PCIe, I'm sure we could get 700W out of this unit, but the truth is the +12v rails that are rated at 9A "Normal" are too weak and are causing the issue.

Pros:

  • Looks good
  • Quiet PSU
  • Mostly modular
  • Provides ample power for older gaming systems

 

Cons:

  • 12v rails are weak at 9A "Normal"
  • Can't deliver full 700W
  • FSP has relaxed the specs so they stay within them

BCCRating

 

What FSP needs to do here is build a PSU with 2x 12v lines and make them heavier.  That way there would be less stress on smaller rated components if they chose to go with a couple of higher rated ones.  If this PSU had two 12v rails that were rated at 18A (normal) each, I believe it would do better than it does when configured as it is.

We've seen better PSUs, but we've also seen a lot worse.

I'd like to thank FSP for sending up this unit for us to review.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them in the forum at the "Comments" link below.