Fortron-Source Power Blue Storm AX500-A PSU

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January 14, 2005 by Devon Cooke with Mike Chin

Product
Fortron Source Power Blue Storm AX500-A
460W ATX/BTX power supply
Manufacturer
Fortron Source Power

Market Price

~US$89

The FSP Blue Storm AX500-A is designed in-house by a major producer of power supplies: Fortron, who happen to make many of the PSU sold under other brands as quiet products. They are also active in the OEM business. We have reviewed one other Fortron power supply before; the FSP350-60PN Aurora was the first 120mm PSU that we reviewed, nearly a year and a half ago. That power supply was OK for noise but otherwise unremarkable. The Blue Storm is aimed at higher end market.

The PSU casing is a deep metallic blue, and the fan is a matching colour. Even the power switch on the back glows blue when it is flipped on. It is easy to see where it got the "blue" in its name. However, we are more interested in the "storm" part of the name, which leads to a central question of this review: Is it quiet?


A standard retail box with all the necessities but no extras: PSU, power cable, mounting screws, 20-24 pin adaptor, and an instruction manual.


The Blue Storm is very... blue. The blue mesh sleeving on the cables is helpful for cable management.


The blueness continues: The fan, power switch and Molex connectors are all blue.

FEATURE HIGHLIGHTS of the FSP Blue Storm AX500-A

FEATURE & BRIEF COMMENT

Latest ATX12V v2.0 with backwards compatibility

Supports most motherboards.

BSCC (Blue Storm Cooling Control) with optimized structure for whisper-quiet operation

It has a fan controller.

Environmentally friendly with the incorporation of PFC

Passive.
Separate 12V rails for CPU and peripherals, in accordance to TUV safety requirements
An increasingly common feature, required in ATX12V v2.0

Mesh sleeving on all output cables

For ease in cable management. And... they're blue!
Flexi Connect with: 6 x Smart Housing Molex connectors Easy-off grips for the Molex connectors. A welcome feature.
CE, TUV EN60950,/ UL60950, CSA, NEMKO Approved Generally, the more the better.

SPECIFICATIONS: FSP Blue Storm AX500-A

AC Input

115Vrms±10% or 230Vrms±10% at 47-63Hz

DC Output

+3.3V

+5V

+12V1

+12V2

-12V

+5VSB

Maximum Output Current

30A

28A

15A

15A

0.5A

2.0A

Maximum Combined

160W

285W

6W

10W

445W
16W

461W

This table is compiled from this document on the Fortron-Source USA website. The maximum wattages for the +12V lines, the -12V line and the +5VSB line have been extrapolated from the rather sketchy information in this document. Note that even though this unit is sold as a 500W unit it is only rated for 461W. This discrepancy is apparent when comparing the rating on the box (500W) to the rating on the unit itself, which is correctly labelled at 460W.

In practical use, this discrepancy will have little effect; building a system that draws 460W is almost unimaginable. The extra 40W of headroom is unlikely to be missed in any real-world application. Still, selling this power supply as a 500W unit is very misleading; it contradicts Fortron's own specifications.



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