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FSP is a traditional OEM manufacturer that is also offering some retail products. One of their latest offerings is the Aurum Gold series, with 400 W, 500 W, 600 W, and 700 W models featuring 80 Plus Gold certification. Let’s see if the 700 W model is a good buy.
Like most OEM manufacturers, FSP is plagued with an identity crisis: they have four different websites, https://www.fsp-group.com.tw, https://www.fspgroupusa.com, https://www.fsplifestyle.com and https://www.fspgroup.com, which only causes confusion. Not to mention the brand Sparkle (SPI), that belongs to FSP and has a separate website at https://www.sparklepower.com and no one at FSP could explain us exactly why they maintain this separate brand. Like what happens with other manufacturers trying to move from being an OEM manufacturer to a retail brand, they try (without success) separate each branch of business in a different website, but this only causes confusion with consumers. After all, the company is only one. It would be easier for everybody if they only had one website.
The Aurum Gold 700 is only 5.5” (140 mm) deep, with a 120 mm fluid dynamic bearing fan (Protechnic Electric MGA12012HF-A25, 2,400 rpm, 84.8 cfm, 37 dBA) on its bottom part.
The new FSP Aurum Gold 700 doesn’t have a modular cabling system. All cables are protected with nylon sleeves. The power supply comes with the following cables:
- Main motherboard cable with a 20/24-pin connector, 22” (56 cm) long
- One cable with two ATX12V connectors that together form an EPS12V connector and one EPS12V connector, 22.4” (57 cm) to the first set of connectors, 5.9” (15 cm) between connectors
- Two cables, each with two six/eight-pin connectors for video cards, 22.8” (58 cm) to the first connector, 3.9” (10 cm) between connectors
- One cable with four SATA power connectors, 21.6” (55 cm) to the first connector, 5.9” (15 cm) between connectors
- One cable with two SATA power connectors and two standard peripheral power connectors, 21.6” (55 cm) to the first connector, 5.9” (15 cm) between connectors
- One cable with one SATA power connector, two standard peripheral power connectors and one floppy disk drive power connector, 21.6” (55 cm) to the first connector, 5.9” (15 cm) between connectors
All wires are 18 AWG, which is the minimum recommended gauge.
The number of connectors available is adequate for a 700 W unit, but we found it strange the use of a cable with two ATX12V connectors and an EPS12V connector, since the two ATX12V connectors already provide an EPS12V connector when placed together, and with motherboards that have two EPS12V connectors it is better to have the EPS12V connectors on separate cables. We also prefer to see the video card power connectors on separate cables.
Let’s now take an in-depth look inside this power supply.
[nextpage title=”A Look Inside The FSP Aurum Gold 700″]
We decided to disassemble this power supply to see what it looks like inside, how it is designed, and what components are used. Please read our Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies tutorial to understand how a power supply works and to compare this power supply to others.
On this page we will have an overall look, and then in the following pages we will discuss in detail the quality and ratings of the components used.
[nextpage title=”Transient Filtering Stage”]
As we have mentioned in other articles and reviews, the first place we look when opening a power supply for a hint about its quality, is its filtering stage. The recommended components for this stage are two ferrite coils, two ceramic capacitors (Y capacitors, usually blue), one metalized polyester capacitor (X capacitor), and one MOV (Metal-Oxide Varistor). Very low-end power supplies use fewer components, usually removing the MOV and the first coil.
The transient filtering stage of the FSP Aurum Gold 700 has two Y capacitors and one ferrite coil more than the minimum required, however it doesn’t come with an MOV, component in charge of removing spikes coming from the power grid.
In the next page we will have a more detailed discussion about the components used in the FSP Aurum Gold 700.
[nextpage title=”Primary Analysis”]
On this page we will take an in-depth look at the primary stage of the FSP Aurum Gold 700. For a better understanding, please read our Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies tutorial.
This power supply uses one GBU1506 rectifying bridge, which is attached to an individual heatsink. This bridge supports up to 15 A at 55° C so, in theory, you would be able to pull up to 1,725 W from a 115 V power grid. Assuming 80% efficiency, the bridge would allow this unit to deliver up to 1,380 W without burning itself out. Of course, we are only talking about this component, and the real limit will depend on all the other components in this power supply.
The active PFC circuit uses two IPB60R165CP MOSFETs, which are capable of delivering up to 21 A at 25° C or up to 13 A at 100° C (note the difference temperature makes) in continuous mode, or up to 61 A in pulse mode at 25° C, each. These transistors present a 165 mΩ resistance when turned on, a characteristic called RDS(on). The lower this number the better, meaning that the transistors will waste less power and the power supply will achieve a higher efficiency.
The capacitor used to filter the output of the active PFC circuit is Japanese, from Rubycon, and labeled at 105° C.
In the switching section, FSP decided to use a very unique design, called active clamp reset forward, and it seems that FSP put a lot of effort in developing this design. The switching transistor is an SPA17N80C3 MOSFET, which is capable of delivering up to 17 A at 25° C or up to 11 A at 100° C (note the difference temperature makes) in continuous mode, or up to 51 A in pulse mode at 25° C. This transistor presents a 290 mΩ RDS(on). A second transistor (resetting transistor) is used to turn off the switching transistor and is controlled from the secondary side.
The primary is controlled by an FSP6600 PFC/PWM combo controller, which is either developed by FSP or a rebranded integrated circuit. In either case, we couldn’t find more information about it.
Now let’s take a look at the secondary of this power supply.
[nextpage title=”Secondary Analysis”]
This power supply uses a synchonous design in its secondary, meaning that the diodes were replaced with transistors in order to increase efficiency.
The +12 V output is rectified using two IRLB3036 MOSFETs, each one capable of handling up to 270 A at 25° C or up to 190 A at 100° C in continuous mode, or up to 1,100 A at 25° C in pulse mode. This translates into a maximum theoretical current of 271 A at 100° C or 3,257 W!
The +5 V and +3.3 V outputs share the same circuitry and are rectified by two IPD031N03L MOSFETs – 90 A at 100° C in continuous mode and 400 A at 25° C in pulse mode, 3.1 mΩ RDS(on) – and two IPD050N03L MOSFETs. The four transistors are located on the solder side of the printed circuit board.
The secondary transistors are controlled by an FSP6601, another proprietary chip from FSP.
The secondary is monitored by a WT7579 integrated circuit, which is manufactured exclusively for FSP. This chip supports over voltage (OVP), under voltage (UVP), overcurrent (OCP), and over temperature (OTP) protections. There are four +12 V over current protection (OCP) channels, matching the number of +12 V rails advertised by the manufacturer.
All electrolytic capacitors used in the secondary are from CapXon and labeled at 105° C.
[nextpage title=”Power Distribution”]
In Figure 17, you can see the power supply label containing all the power specs.
As you can see, the manufacturer lists this unit as having four +12 V rails. Analyzing the circuit, we could clearly see four “shunts” (current sensors), matching the number of rails advertised by the manufacturer, see Figure 18.
The available +12 V rails are distributed like this:
- +12V1 (solid yellow wire): Main motherboard cable, SATA and peripheral power connectors
- +12V2 (yellow/black wire): ATX12V/EPS12V cable
(yellow/blue wire): One of the video card power cables
- +12V4 (yellow/white wire): The other video card power cable
This distribution is perfect, as it separates the CPU and the video card power cables on individual rails. However, if you have only one video card with two power connectors, we recommend you to use one connector from each available cable instead of using the two power connectors available on one of the cables.
Let’s now see if this power supply can really deliver 700 W.
[nextpage title=”Load Tests”]
We conducted several tests with this power supply, as described in the article Hardware Secrets Power Supply Test Methodology.
First we tested this power supply with five different load patterns, trying to pull around 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100% of its labeled maximum capacity (actual percentage used listed under “% Max Load”), watching the behavior of the reviewed unit under each load. In the table below, we list the load patterns we used and the results for each load.
If you add all the powers listed for each test, you may find a different value than what is posted under “Total” below. Since each output can have a slight variation (e.g., the +5 V output working at +5.10 V), the actual total amount of power being delivered is slightly different than the calculated value. In the “Total” row, we are using the real amount of power being delivered, as measured by our load tester.
The +12VA and +12VB inputs listed below are the two +12 V independent inputs from our load tester. During our tests, the +12VA input was connected to the power supply +12V1 and +12V3 rails, and the +12VB input was connected to the power supply +12V2 rail.
|Input||Test 1||Test 2||Test 3||Test 4||Test 5|
|+12VA||4.5 A (54 W)||9.5 A (114 W)||14.5 A (174 W)||19 A (228 W)||25 A (300 W)|
|+12VB||4.5 A (54 W)||9.5 A (114 W)||14.5 A (174 W)||19 A (228 W)||25 A (300 W)|
|+5V||2 A (10 W)||4 A (20 W)||6 A (30 W)||8 A (40 W)||10 A (50 W)|
|+3.3 V||2 A (6.6 W)||4 A (13.2 W)||6 A (19.8 W)||8 A (26.4 W)||10 A (33 W)|
|+5VSB||1 A (5 W)||1.5 A (7.5 W)||2 A (10 W)||2.5 A (12.5 W)||3 A (15 W)|
|-12 V||0.5 A (6 W)||0.5 A (6 W)||0.5 A (6 W)||0.5 A (6 W)||0.5 A (6 W)|
|Total||137.5 W||277.1 W||414.5 W||538.7 W||695.1 W|
|% Max Load||19.6%||39.6%||59.2%||77.0%||99.3%|
|Room Temp.||44.8° C||43.9° C||44.9° C||47.1° C||47.5° C|
|PSU Temp.||42.4° C||42.9° C||43.4° C||44.3° C||46.5° C|
|Ripple and Noise||Pass||Pass||Pass||Pass||Pass|
|AC Power||153.1 W||304.2 W||459.9 W||606.1 W||801.0 W|
|AC Voltage||117.6 V||116.1 V||114.7 V||113.2 V||111.3 V|
The FSP Aurum Gold 700 can really deliver its labeled wattage at high temperatures.
Efficiency was extremely high when we pulled between 20% and 80% of the power supply labeled wattage (i.e., between 140 W and 560 W), between 89% and 91%, dropping to 86.8% at full load.
Voltage regulation was very good, with all voltages within 3% of their nominal values, except the -12 V output and the +3.3 V output during tests one and five. The ATX12V specification allows voltages to be up to 5% from their nominal values (10% for the -12 V output). Therefore this power supply presents voltages closer to their nominal values than necessary most of the time.
Noise and ripple levels were below the maximum allowed, but a little bit high for us to consider this a “flawless” unit. Below you can see the results for the power supply outputs during test number five. The maximum allowed is 120 mV for the +12 V and -12 V outputs, and 50 mV for the +5 V, +3.3 V, and +5VSB outputs. All values are peak-to-peak figures.
Let’s see if we can pull even more from the FSP Aurum Gold 700.
[nextpage title=”Overload Tests”]
Below you can see the maximum we could pull from this power supply. We couldn’t pull more than that because the power supply shut down, showing that its protections were working just fine. Under this extreme scenario efficiency dropped below 80%.
|+12VA||33 A (396 W)|
|+12VB||33 A (396 W)|
|+5V||15 A (75 W)|
|+3.3 V||15 A (49.5 W)|
|+5VSB||3 A (15 W)|
|-12 V||0.5 A (6 W)|
|% Max Load||133.93%|
|Room Temp.||40.4° C|
|PSU Temp.||43.6° C|
|AC Power||1,234 W|
|AC Voltage||110.2 V|
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The specs of the FSP Aurum Gold 700 include:
- Standards: ATX12V 2.3 and EPS12V 2.92
- Nominal labeled power: 700 W
- Measured maximum power: 961.3 W at 40.4° C ambient
- Labeled efficiency: Above 90%, 80 Plus Gold certification
- Measured efficiency: Between 86.8% and 91.1%, at 115 V (nominal, see complete results
for actual voltage)
- Active PFC: Yes
- Modular Cabling System: No
- Motherboard Power Connectors: One 20/24-pin connector, two ATX12V connectors that together form an EPS12V connector, and one EPS12V connector
- Video Card Power Connectors: Four six/eight-pin connectors on two cables
- SATA Power Connectors: Seven on three cables
- Peripheral Power Connectors: Four on two cables
- Floppy Disk Drive Power Connectors: One
- Protections (as listed by the manufacturer): Over current (OCP), over voltage (OVP), under voltage (UVP), over power (OPP), over temperature (OTP), and short circuit (SCP)
- Are the above protections really available? Yes.
- Warranty: Five years
- More Information: https://www.fspgroupusa.com
- MSRP in the US: USD 129.00
The FSP Aurum Gold 700 is the perfect solution for users that wanted an 80 Plus Gold power supply but never bought one because of the price. At only USD 130, this unit provides a terrific cost/benefit ratio. The highlight of the product is, of course, efficiency: it was between 89% and 91% when we pulled between 20% and 80% of the power supply labeled wattage (i.e., between 140 W and 560 W), dropping to 86.8% at full load.
Although the perfectionist user may complain about little things here and there (absence of an MOV, cable configuration, voltage regulation could be a little bit better, noise and ripple could be a lot better, efficiency at full load could be a tiny bit better), we think this unit is perfect for the mainstream user who wants to go to the next level in terms of efficiency.