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 Post subject: Fortron Zen fanless 300W ATX PSU
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 9:11 am 
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Fortron Zen fanless 300W ATX PSU reviewed.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 11:40 am 
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Any information on how this would affect systems based on an Antec 3x00 series case with respect to hard drive cooling? Opening up the PSU as an intake would likely require putting a low speed fan infront of the hard drives.

Also, does anyone know if Fortron plans to create a fanned version of this PSU? I realize it's not the point of this particular unit, but perhaps they will come out with derivatives of this unit.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:01 pm 
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Good job notifying AOpen about their video card, it means they can respond if Fortron lays the blame on their doorstep.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 12:03 pm 
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ive been running my system on this kind of psu for about 3 months.
asus p5gd1-vm mobo, 3.0ghz lga775 p4, 1024mb ddr, 200gb maxtor sata, 400gb seagate sata, a geforce 6600 256mb pci-e and all that other small stuff[fans, dvd etc]
ive never had any problems with power failures and shutdown issues.
runs smoothly always, i also have my computer going 24/7 so im very happy with my fsp zen psu.
you guys really must have gotten an odd sample :-/
although i agree that for example the 24 pin cable is a little short.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 1:02 pm 
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<Don't Do This>

The first (incredibly unsafe) idea to come to mind was: how much better would the airflow be if the mesh was cut away?

</Don't Do This>

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 1:29 pm 
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It wouldn't be at all. The point of the mesh is so that air enters/exits over the whole surface area of the vent. It decouples the interior airflow from the exterior.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 1:41 pm 
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FSP have a claimed high efficiency fanned PSU, the Green Power, with a 120mm fan. The fan isn't great (makes a clicky noise at low speeds) so I swapped mine out for a Yate Loon D12SL - it's now effectively silent. No idea how efficient it is (claimed >85% at full load), though thanks to some figures from another owner MikeC did some back-of-a-fag-packet calculations which indicated >80%. Funnily enough they've gone the opposite route on the heat sinks in the Green Power - they're minute, though the insides of the PSU are very minimalist overall. Relatively cheap too :)


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 1:41 pm 
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ddrueding1 wrote:

The first (incredibly unsafe) idea to come to mind was: how much better would the airflow be if the mesh was cut away?
Heh, I was wondering myself how easily one could remove the rear mesh..... maybe it just unclips or something.

Sounds like a good product, although I'll be interested in what comes up with the PSU/video card analysis and what lead to the failure.

vertigo wrote:

It wouldn't be at all. The point of the mesh is so that air enters/exits over the whole surface area of the vent. It decouples the interior airflow from the exterior.
Why wouldn't airflow be greater? :? "Decoupling" interior and exterior airflow sounds like marketing doublespeak to me. :P


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 1:44 pm 
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nuts, forgot to ask - what happened with the PSU tests at 240V? thought they were on the cards? Be interesting to see if there really is that much difference and how consistant it is, so we 240 users can interpret the 120V figures a bit more accurately :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 3:28 pm 
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240V testing is on hold until we manage to find a meter than can accurately read power draw at both 240V and 120V. Keep your eyes peeled for other revisions to the PSU methodology coming soon though!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 2:48 am 
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Quote:
Why wouldn't airflow be greater?


When little air flows, the mesh is not overly restrictive, and the air moves pretty much as it would otherwise. If the pressure is a bit greater, the mesh will restrict the air somewhat, the pressure will be just about equal over the whole surface area. Air will be introduced all over, it's like having a mini-fan in each little mesh hole. Surely you can see this is better than a small band of fast moving air which doesn't encompass the whole unit.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:15 am 
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Greetings,

vertigo wrote:
Good job notifying AOpen about their video card, it means they can respond if Fortron lays the blame on their doorstep.


The interesting thing is that Fortron Source builds all or most of the power supplies that AOpen sells! So, they have a better chance to solve this issue.

My take on the Zen is that it would be better if it had a larger and more open rear grill -- that "encouraged" a natural heat siphon, to help exhaust heat out of the case. And it should be used with a neutral-to-positve air pressure system.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:33 am 
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There's something about this PSU which makes my heart smile a little bit. It reminds me of my own fanless power supplies... :twisted:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:07 pm 
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We didn't mention it in the review -- maybe because it's so obvious -- but any heat issues about this Zen PSU would be completely pacified in a P180 with just a minimal airflow 120mm fan. But this holds true for so many PSUs...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:30 pm 
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"Aug 14, 2004 by Devon Cooke and Mike Chin"

It should be 2005 =)

$110 sounds a bit high for this kind of design. Any idea on the real street price once it hits the retail channel?

Also, will there be a SFF version of this PSU?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:45 pm 
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The $110 figure is from the only North American vendor I could have that listed it as an orderable item: NCIX.

It's a special order item, and will probably remain at that price until (and if) it becomes readily available on this continent. Personally, I think $110 is pretty good when you consider that most fanless PSUs come it at $150+.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:07 pm 
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Devonavar wrote:
The $110 figure is from the only North American vendor I could have that listed it as an orderable item: NCIX.

It's a special order item, and will probably remain at that price until (and if) it becomes readily available on this continent. Personally, I think $110 is pretty good when you consider that most fanless PSUs come it at $150+.


$110 for a fanless is certainly very good, but this one uses a new approach that is much cheaper to produce. So I expect this PSU to go down in price. If it goes down to mainstream PSU prices ($60-90), then that would be very beautiful!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:39 pm 
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vertigo wrote:
When little air flows, the mesh is not overly restrictive, and the air moves pretty much as it would otherwise. If the pressure is a bit greater, the mesh will restrict the air somewhat, the pressure will be just about equal over the whole surface area. Air will be introduced all over, it's like having a mini-fan in each little mesh hole. Surely you can see this is better than a small band of fast moving air which doesn't encompass the whole unit.
I'm sorry, but I still don't see how airflow might not be better. With airflow so weak to begin with I think you should do everything to improve it, especially since the volume of heated air trying to get out of the PSU is being fed by the case components as well as the PSU heatsinks. Just like a case fan setup where you try to make sure the intake and exhaust are both free flowing. Even the review said that the mesh looked like it blocked 50% of the area and that this was probably detrimental...

cotdt wrote:
$110 for a fanless is certainly very good, but this one uses a new approach that is much cheaper to produce. So I expect this PSU to go down in price. If it goes down to mainstream PSU prices ($60-90), then that would be very beautiful!
Heh, funny you say this, because personally I'm worried that the price is going to go UP if demand is high. It's a great deal for a totally silent and super efficient power supply. (Crosses fingers on reliability.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:00 am 
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Is there a reason to expect 240V.supplies to be a bit (a very tiny bit) more quiet then a 110, with the higher efficency? (with a thermally controlled fan)

AtW


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:19 am 
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Quote:
Even the review said that the mesh looked like it blocked 50% of the area and that this was probably detrimental...


What was detrimental was not the mesh per sé but the limited area for air to exhaust. The review said that it would have been better to have the mesh over the whole back panel, to let more air out. They went on to say that a 50% mesh is too restrictive, but my Nexus 350W has the same mesh, so it seems typical. The problem is the small area of the mesh on that back face.

Correction: Now that I have taken a look at the Nexus mesh it seems about 30% at most, so I will concede that 50% is perhaps stretching it. However, with no fan the mesh walls aid to eliminate hotspots, as I tried to explain previously.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:22 am 
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very nice review. I think I will buy this actually for my 1.2 ghz tualatin server. It has 3 120 mm fans, one intake one exhaust and one on cpu.


My only gripe with ALL of MikeC's tests is the usage of Pentiums. Who buys one who also intends to run silent? i'd say 10% of the people here do at maximum.

I guess its the ultimate test of the crappiest system which means it would work great on an amd system?

Always been a question of mine. At least the 2.4ghz is finally ditched. thats like 3 years old.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 7:43 am 
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Quote:
My only gripe with ALL of MikeC's tests is the usage of Pentiums.


I don't see that there's a difference. I mean, a psu works for all cpu's anyhow, the rating is all that counts. If they show the rating is accurate, that a 300W runs stably at 300W, what does it matter if it was an Intel or AMD?


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 Post subject: Fortron PSU's have it where it counts
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:49 am 
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Tom's Hardware has conducted a demanding test of several PSU's for reliability, stability & acoustics. Multiple failures amongst various vendors. Antec units were toast.

They have reviewed the same Fortron 60GNF - and it passed with flying colors.

http://www.tomshardware.com/howto/20050 ... st-12.html


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 9:15 am 
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vertigo wrote:
Quote:
My only gripe with ALL of MikeC's tests is the usage of Pentiums.


I don't see that there's a difference. I mean, a psu works for all cpu's anyhow, the rating is all that counts. If they show the rating is accurate, that a 300W runs stably at 300W, what does it matter if it was an Intel or AMD?


I think its nice they use Intel, as it puts the most demand on the PSU power-wise and thermally. If it works with a prescott, it works with everything :)

AtW


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:38 pm 
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yeah i guess, i wish Mike would put that as an aside on every interview, i hate those things.

:x


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 5:03 am 
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A couple of minor errors I noticed in this review:

1. The link to Intel's website (right under "A Good Second Sample") doesn't work, as it uses a href of htto:// instead of http://

2. The motherboard used in the second test can't be the Intel D945PLM. Intel's 945P series motherboards don't have integrated video, but the 945G series does.

Otherwise, great review guys.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 10:53 am 
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My mistake, the board is a D945GTP. For some reason, both model numbers are listed on the board, which suggests to me that the two models are mostly identical. Thanks for pointing that out, I'll have it fixed shortly.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 4:05 am 
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I could predict the end result as soon as i read that you were going to make it power a 3.6G, 110W P4 :roll:

Tbh, i think its due to the weak 12v rails. if they were combined into one rail, the psu would have probably ran that system fine. Imho, in a powersupply with such weak power rails, its foolish to have dual 12v rails.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 9:47 am 
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TMM wrote:
I could predict the end result as soon as i read that you were going to make it power a 3.6G, 110W P4 :roll:

Tbh, i think its due to the weak 12v rails. if they were combined into one rail, the psu would have probably ran that system fine. Imho, in a powersupply with such weak power rails, its foolish to have dual 12v rails.

Wrong. 110W = 12V x 9A. The Zen's 12V2 output is 14A, which is 50% higher than required by the CPU. The total power drawn was just 240W AC, which was 100W less than the maximum load with which the unit worked fine on the test loader. Besides, chances are, either of the two 12V lines can put out at least 18A; the current limit on the 12V lines is usually ~20A per line. See the sticky on this topic in the PSU forum: http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewtopic.php?t=23916

It was something else that caused the failure.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 6:17 pm 
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Looks identical except colour, though the reviewer only mentions one 12 V rail.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/gengoods/247/1/


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