Fortron-Source Zen fanless 300W ATX12V power supply

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Aug 14, 2005 by Devon Cooke and Mike Chin

*POSTSCRIPT added Oct 22, 2005*

FSP Zen FSP300-60GNF
300W ATX12V 2.0 Power Supply
FSP Group
Market Price
US$110 (GBP£70)

Fanless ATX power supplies have been on the market for some years now, and new models are being introduced with increasing frequency. The FSP Zen is a recent entry to the fanless category, but one look proves that it's not just a copycat product. While most fanless power supplies rely on hefty external heatsinks to transfer heat away from the internal components, the housing of the FSP Zen is as open as mosquito netting, presumably to allow air to flow through the power supply, not over it. Large heatsinks are still used, but the internal space is not as tightly packed as most other fanless models.

FSP claims an unheard of 89% efficiency for the Zen, although no load or input voltage is specified. At this level of efficiency, the heat generated inside the PSU at full 300W capacity would be just 37W ? about half of that of an 80% efficient power supply would and less than one third of a 70% efficient model. It suggests very cool operation, which is certainly good for a PSU that does not employ any cooling fan.

At the moment, the Zen is difficult to find in North America. An extensive search turned up only a single online store that carries the model, and this was by special order only. The new stock is only just finding its way into the retail channels.

The retail box is large and flashy: Good for sales but bad for the environment.

Our Zen came in a large, windowed box that invites retail sales. The marketing material is actually quite informative: The number and type of connectors are listed on the back of the box, as are the electrical specifications. Oddly, our box came with a prominently displayed "Intel only" sticker. This implies that the Zen is not compatible with AMD processors, which is, to put it politely, hogwash. The Zen is an ATX12V power supply, and should power AMD and Intel based systems equally well.

The number of connectors and the output specs are listed on the back of the box.

The usual accessories are included: PSU, screws, AC cable, and a multi-lingual instruction manual.

Feature Highlights of the FSP Zen FSP300-60GNF (from the FSP web site)
Products meet standard of Intel ATX 12V Version 2.0.
Same as most newer power supplies.
Active PFC circuit.
Required in the European market.
Full range input.
Worldwide compatibility.
Real No-noise Design, Full load 0dB.
Fanless, ergo "no-noise". We'll be listening for coil whine...
High Efficiency.
A whopping 89% is claimed in a press release, although this figure can probably only be achieved with a 240V input.
Four smart housing molex power connectors fulfill user?s needs.
Grips for the Molex connectors. A welcome feature that is becoming more common.
Two Serial ATA connectors enhance capability for future expansion. Standard issue.

Although the 300W capacity doesn't seem like much when compared to the 600W behemoths that currently occupy the top end of the market, it's fairly typical for a fanless power supply. It is more than enough for most systems. Only overclockers or heavy gamers are likely to push this unit to its limit.

AC Input
99 ~ 265 VAC @ 47 ~ 63Hz
DC Output
Minimum Output Current
Maximum Output Current
Maximum Combined

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