Fortron-Source Zen fanless 300W ATX12V power supply

Power
Viewing page 2 of 5 pages. Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next

EXTERIOR EXAMINATION

The majority of the casing is made from a rigid metal mesh which protects the internal components while allowing air to circulate freely. One side effect of this is that the internal components are visible through the mesh, which should appeal to those who like to show off the inner workings of their PC. The corners and edges are solid metal, to prevent the casing from being easily dented or deformed.

Aesthetically, the Zen is a tranquil blue color. Personally, I prefer this look to the highly polished titanium finish that so many other power supplies, but this is really only significant in the retail showroom; there is no practical benefit to the blue paint. There is a dim blue LED behind the power switch but no other light sources, which should make the Zen bedroom safe, visually as well as aurally.


The wire mesh that encloses the Zen makes it possible to see the internal components of the power supply — mainly heatsinks.

Five sides of the power supply use the mesh: The top side is solid steel. This is unlikely to affect the airflow much, because the internal PCB that sits against this side of the power supply would block the airflow anyway. Furthermore, when it is installed in a typical case, this side of the power supply is flush against the ceiling of the case.


Only the top of the unit is not covered in mesh.

The front and rear faces of the Zen both have vents of metal mesh. These vents seems quite small, roughly 7 cm x 7 cm, and the mesh obstructs nearly 50% of the surface area. In a fanned power supply, this would be a bad sign, as the airflow would be limited by the small size of the vent. It is probably not so good here either. It seems a design error not to stretch the grillwork across the entire back panel, especially when FSP already uses such designs in their 120mm fan PSU cases.

It is difficult to judge what effect this will have on a fanless power supply, where the main sources of airflow are convection and peripheral airflow from other fans in the case. The direction of the airflow will change depending on how the fans in the case are set up. In an negative pressure system typical in quiet computing, the rear vent would act as an intake, drawing fresh air through the power supply. A positive pressure system (such as our test box) will use the rear vent as an exhaust.

With such low airflow, the amount of airflow does not matter as much as where the airflow is, so the relatively small exhaust vent may not be as important as its position. We can only speculate about the actual engineering intention of these vents, but the thermal portion of our testing should give some indication of its success.


The rear exhaust is fairly small.


The front end of the unit has another patch of mesh, plus three small intake slots.



Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next

Power - Article Index
Help support this site, buy from one of our affiliate retailers!
Search: