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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.
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
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