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 Post subject: FSP300-60GLS mATX PSU: a pictorial & a fan swap
PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:18 pm 
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You probably have read the reviews of the FSP400-60GLN Green 400W PSU and the Zalman ZM460-APS. This post is about their little cousin, the FSP300-60GLS. This is a microATX powersupply that has all the same environmental properties that the two reviewed PSU's have. In the picture above you can see the typical row of small vent holes near the roof of the PSU that all these recent Fortron powersupplies have.

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The batteries of my camera were empty when I received the powersupply. I am pretty impatient too. So by the time the batteries were recharged, I had already disassembled the powersupply. Here you can see the fairly open stamped fan grille. There are some vent holes next to the opening for the wires too.

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Pretty standard hex grille on the rear. This PSU has "Full Range Input" (100-240V,50-60Hz), so there is no voltage selector.

Image Image
There are three heatsinks. Just thin aluminium sheets, to keep the weight low. The white stuff on the rightmost heatsink is thermal goop. If you look to the right picture above, then you can see where it connects to the outer shell. When the PSU is assembled, there is a screw holding the heatsink to the shell.

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Some more pictures of the electronics.

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Fairly typical Forton labels. If you are German speaking, then you are allowed to open the PSU. If you are English speaking, then you are not.
"vor dem öffnen des gerätes netzstecker ziehen" would normally translate into "pull the power plug before opening the appliance"

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The main ATX plug is 24-pins. The last four pins are detachable, so it can transform into a 20-pin plug. From right to left (in the right picture):
  • 24-pin ATX = 32cm
  • 4-pin AUX12V = 32cm
  • SATA = 32cm
  • Molex & Molex = 32cm + 16cm
  • Molex & Floppy = 32cm + 15cm
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These are the specs of the Protechnic Electric MGA8012XS-A15 pictured above:
  • Sleeve bearing
  • Size 80x80x15 (mm)
  • Voltage 12 (VDC)
  • Operating Current 0.23 (A)
  • Power 2.76 (W)
  • Air Pressure 4.07 (mmAq) 0.16 (InchAq)
  • Air Flow 0.905 (CMM) 31.92 (CFM)
  • Speed 3400 (RPM)
  • Noise 39.4 (dBA)
As you can see this fan is way too loud for a silent or even for a quiet system. When I first tested this PSU with the system below, it sounded a little louder than the fan on the AC Freezer at full speed. SPCR measured that one as 33dBA@1m. I kind of expected this, so my plans for modding this PSU were already made.

I don't have a big testing rig for measuring efficiency. The best I can do is putting several PSU's in the same test setup.
  • Two level wooden platform
  • MSI RS480M2-IL motherboard
  • AMD Athlon64 3000+ (Winchester) processor (OC: 1980MHz @ 1.4V)
  • Corsair 256MB XMS DDR-400 memory (2x)
  • Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 CPU cooler
  • Seagate 7200.7 40GB PATA harddrive
  • LG GCC-4520B optical drive
  • Nexus 120mm Real Silent case fan
  • CoolerMate Silver Leo bay bus
Normally I power this with a Seasonic OEM PSU (SS-301HT). Of course I tested it with the FSP300-60GLS. Next I put one of my old Antec Sonata PSU's (True380SP) to work, this one is modded with a clicking Papst 8412NGLE. I took the power consumption I measured and some efficiency numbers from the SPCR reviews of the Antec True380SP and Seasonic S-12 430. With them I made a guestimate of the DC power consumption of the test system. I think it is somewhere between 60W and 65W, but probably closer to the first. This resulted in a guestimate for the efficiency.
Code:
 PSU         SS-301HT    FSP300-60GLS    True380SP
Power consumption (W)
 Off         1           1-2             5
 Idle        50          51              69-71
 CPUburn     76          79              101-102
"Efficiency" (%)
 60W         79          76              59
 65W         86          82              64

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5) Intel D525MW | Intel 320 40GB | Vertex II 180GB


Last edited by Tibors on Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 11:37 pm 
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Thanks for your effort Tibors. :)

Really tiny heatsinks. :shock:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 3:39 am 
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Wow, great work Tibors! Those pictures are good enough to be in a proper SPCR review!

Two really notable features of this PSU:

1) Thin heatsinks with minimal corrugations or fins; if this PSU had to deliver its rated power for a long period of time I think that would negatively affect its thermal performance.

2) FSP chose to go with one HUGE capacitor instead of two smaller ones, which is more common; whether this has any implications for normal use I couldn't say; I doubt it.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 4:08 am 
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That looks very similar to my micro-Fortron. Apparently mine is an earlier version that uses the same brand fan, only mine is 20mm thick, and is mounted partially sticking out of the PSU case.

At idle speeds mine is extremely quiet.....and I never heard it ramp up. My version looks to have slightly larger heatsinks. Just how noisy is it at full speed? I've been considering installing a Sanyo Petit Ace 80x15mm, if only to get an rpm signal. My version is only 180w.....this more powerful version is available at Newegg for $38.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 4:24 am 
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Thank you (all),

Don't know about one vs. two capacitors. Remember that this an SFX PSU and not an ATX PSU. The Seasonic SS-300SFD that SPCR recently reviewed has only one capacitor too. There probably just isn't any space for two of them.

It's a shame Fortron didn't put the fan in a "bulge" like the Seasonic and the older Fortrons have. They could have used a far more quiet 25mm thick fan then.

As I wrote above, it was louder than 33dBA@1m when just powering that 60W system and having ambient air for intake. I haven't tried putting the fan on 12V, as there is no connector on it. It is (was) wired directly to the PCB.

I have another post with a series of pictures on the way. In it I describe how I modded this PSU for quietness, but for some reason ImageShack isn't accepting my pictures at the moment. So it will come later.

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5) Intel D525MW | Intel 320 40GB | Vertex II 180GB


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:12 am 
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Depending on the space you have, you could just cut out the grill, and mount any 80mm fan external to the psu case, using the original four fan holes. Easy mod for the design.

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 Post subject: Fan swap with RPM monitoring
PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:17 pm 
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Bluefront wrote:
Depending on the space you have, you could just cut out the grill, and mount any 80mm fan external to the psu case, using the original four fan holes.

You read my mind ;)
The first PSU I ever modded is the AOpen PSU on the right. That was almost two years ago and it was an imitation of two of your mods. The one where you put the fan partially on the outside and the one where you move the PSU forward in the case. It powered and cooled my Prescott 3GHz machine. It was a lot quieter than unmodded, but not quiet enough.
Image
___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

Image
This is the final plan I came up with. An earlier plan included soldering an extra connector to the fan leads to act as a "Fan Only" connector. But then I realised I could use the 4-pin pass through connector of the Nexus fan for that. One of the reasons to solder connectors to the fan leads and not soldering the leads of the new fan directly the the leads from PSU, was that I wasn't sure the Nexus 80mm fan I was planning to use was powerfull enough to cool this PSU. I it wasn't, then this would allow me to easilly swap in a faster fan or a 92mm fan. Though that last option would require enlarging the hole in the PSU cover, I still wouldn't need to resolder anything.

Image
The first step was cutting the leads to the stock fan and stripping the outer insulation. Then I got interrupted and shelved the project for over two weeks.

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Here are the tools and materials I gathered before the project. I forgot to get the zip-ties and the fan for this foto. In the end I used other heatshrink than the green one pictered too.

Image
With a jewelers screwdriver I pushed on the middle contact of the female connector. This allowed me to slip the red wire out. That (two wired) end of the cable will be used to report the PSU fan's speed to the motherboard.

Image Image
I cut the wires. Then I stripped and tinned the ends. The right picture clearly shows the absence of any skill in soldering.

Image
Next I soldered the appropriate ends together and hid the joints under some heatshrink.

Image
Everything neatly zip-tied. Ready for closing the PSU.

Image
Here the PSU cover is put back on. Note the absense of the fan grille. Tin snips are really wonderful tools.

Image Image
Lastly a fan is mounted on the PSU. The rubber fanmounts allow me to just push the fan on the PSU from the outside. With a little force the fan can be removed from the outside again. The rubber fanmounts survive this. At least, if you don't do it too often. If I had used screws, then it would have been necessary to open the PSU to switch the fan.

To check if the 80mm Nexus fan was powerfull enough, I measured temps at four places before and after the mod. The system used for this is the same one as in the first post in this thread. Since the PSU is not not installed in a case the intake temps are the room ambient temps. The temps in the column "Wires" are measured at the small exhaust vent next to the wire bundel leaving the PSU. The column "Roof" contains measurements taken at the row of small vents at the side of the PSU near its top. Lastly I measured the temps at the middle of the "Rear" exhaust.
Code:
Temps (°C)
Load                         Intake  Wires   Roof    Rear
Unmodded:
   Idle (51W)                23      30      31      28
CPUburn (79W)                23      31      29      28
Modded (Nexus 80mm):
   Idle (51W,6.05V,710RPM)   24      30      36      30
CPUburn (78W,6.27V,745RPM)   23      31      39      31

The PSU startup fan voltage is 3.60V. The 80mm Nexus fan doesn't start at this voltage. After about two minutes (while the system is folding, room temp 18°C) the voltage rises to 4.95V at which point the Nexus fan starts. After about one and a half hour (still folding) the room temp was 22°C and the fan was fed 6.21V. (No it wasn't the PSU nor the rest of the computer that caused the room temp to rise that much. I just turned on the central heating.)

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5) Intel D525MW | Intel 320 40GB | Vertex II 180GB


Last edited by Tibors on Mon Feb 27, 2006 5:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 6:43 pm 
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Nice-looking mod.....I also finished my little project. I wanted to read the RPMs and use a quieter fan. So I removed the 20MM thick fan, and mounted a Sanyo Ace (15mm thick) 23mm further outside the PSU case......using Zip-Ties and rubber grommets. The increased space between the fan and the guts of the PSU does help out due to less back pressure.

Since this PSU is completely inside the case, I also cut out the exhaust grill...that helps also. The output temp stays around 32C, and at max usage the RPMs peak around 1700rpms......could go to 2100rpms. So I think there is enough airflow.

The duct to the front intake closes up the spaces between the fan and the PSU case.....good so far. :D


Image

Image

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 8:23 pm 
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Why two or only one capacitor in PSU: If PSU has APFC - only one cap is used, in PSU with PFC or without - two caps.

Antec is last in PSU efficiency comparision again. Some time ago i compared efficiency of 2 FSPs (300w, different models), one Antec smartpower 300w, and Codegen 350w :wink:. FSP was the first, then Codegen (!) and last was Antec. Some time ago i build computers for my friends using Antec PSUs only, and about one year later i had to reCap the first one 300w, and a few months later the last 2 PSUs (smartpower 350w and True380SP), so no more Antec for me and will not recommend to others, they are not so cheap, low efficiency and then i have to replace low quality caps like Fuhjyyu TNR/TMR...i have a few FSPs starting from year 2001 and still no bad/leaking caps! Btw Tibors, check your Antec PSU for leaking caps, if your unit use Fuhjyyu caps, i recommend to check their condition from time to time. If somebody wants, i can put some photos of bad caps here


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 4:23 pm 
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One of the reasons I bought the Fortron was the low efficiency of the Antec. The other reason was its size. Like in Bluefront's system above, it's going to sit on the bottom of a case. But mine will be taking air in through the bottom. I might sell this sytem once it is finished, so I think I'll leave the rear grille as it is.

The Antec True380SP's (I have two of them) are no longer in use. (I see I need to update my sig.) One is scheduled to be demolished. I need the AC power socket and the 4-pin and 20-pin connectors for some mods. The other will be spare. I only included it in this test, because it is actually reviewed by SPCR, so I could make the efficiency guestimate. I don't think it is really fair to compare a ~3 year old design with some new designs and conclude the old one is bad. It is more: "Wow, great progress in those years."

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2006 3:27 am 
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I had to mod my 180w version of this PSU again.....a short warm-up of ambient temps around here lead to the PSU fan ramping up quickly. I can tell this because my new fan reads rpms, and I can hear it at max rpms.

Time for another mod.....I opened up the PSU intake slightly and fitted a quiet 92mm fan. Works better, but I think the fan control in this PSU is too sensitive to temps. It simply ramps up too fast.

Next project....acquire this newer 300w PSU and start modding all over. :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 1:30 pm 
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My new PSU arrived today.....the same version as Tibors. And I give it a big thumbs-up. It is 300w rather than my 180w version. And it runs a bunch cooler. I cut out the fan grill, and installed the Sanyo Petit Ace I was wanting to use, external to the PSU case (like Tibors mod).

The fan will not start at the default voltage, but after a minute of warm-up, it starts ok. With an ambient today of 24C, the PSU fan idles about 1100rpms (about 1/2 speed). The output temp at the fan grill holes is about 35C.

This is a great PSU.....well worth $38 USD. :D

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 9:35 am 
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how is it for coil whine??


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 9:43 am 
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I didn't hear any coil whine. If I did, then I would have written about it.

On the other hand this is no guarantee. Coil whine is often caused by interaction between components, not a single component by itself.

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Last edited by Tibors on Sun Mar 12, 2006 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 9:45 am 
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None I can hear....either inside or outside the case. Of course YMMV. :) This PSU from New Egg arrived in a plastic wrapper....no box or documentation.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 3:08 pm 
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replies from both of you within 10 mins of posting..impressive! :D

anyway, i have mine now 8) ..thinking of ducting one of the ehausts at the back of the case into an intake for the psu and ditching the internal fan..
trouble is if i do a right-angled thing it will still be to off to one side of the psu fan hole :? ..so awkward duct.. it isn't going to look as nice as yours either bluefront lol.

mine arrived without box too, assuming u were talking about the 300w version.. (but better packaged from the sounds of it..), so maybe they only sell OEM?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 3:36 pm 
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FWIW....I installed an internal slim80mm fan in front of the PSU, blowing straight at the MB. Man that helped the board temps a bunch...lowered the sys temp 4C and the video card almost 10C. I tapped into the PSU fan connection, so this extra fan runs at the same voltage as the PSU fan. No problems.....

Image

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:43 pm 
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does the PSU fan vary with load (ie watt output), psu temp, cpu temp.. or not atall?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 9:05 pm 
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The PSU fan speed varies with PSU temp. There is a thermistor stuck to one of the heatsinks. IIRC to the largest one.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 3:23 am 
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i've modded mine now 8) .. i cut the connection from the fan to the PSU (annoying it doesn't have a 2pin connector like 90% of PSUs!, especially when u dont have to break any 'warranty void' stickers to open it..) and hooked it up to the PWM-controlled cpu-fan header on my mobo.. the fan starts at 25% (~32pwm values*(?), assuming 3v?).. it stays very quiet at up to 28% (3.36v?)
at 30% (3.6v?) there is a noticeable jump in the noise, and air turbulence noise can be first heard. ironic how this is the min voltage!, according to bluefront.

i have also ducted the top of the 2 former rear exhautsts to the intake of the psu, providing it with cool air.

using the cpu fan header for the psu fan meant that i had to use a non-pwm enabled one for the CPU fan. i'm using it with a fanmate (clone) but at minimum its still louder than it was. the overall noise level has come down considerably still, however.

anyway.. i have it set to stay at 32 PWM values until the cpu temp hits 40*C (cpu temp should provide a pretty good indication of load, since the cpu cooling is now constant speed :( ), and +4/ *C above that. and provides a little more security if strongly overclocking/gaming.

*the pwm values range to 127, so.. used percentages of that, same with voltage. it seems to be fairly accurate with regards to pwm values. and i'm pretty sure it is with voltage too.

i'll post pics if i can borrow a digicam sometime..
crt buzz is now audible. (which i should see as a good thing :? ..)

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:39 am 
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Yeah the stock fan starts at a lower voltage than any fan I ever tested.....which is puzzling because this is a powerful fan, blows a lot of air at 12v (much more than necessary for this PSU), and gets fairly noisy. But at low voltage it's ok.

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 Post subject: Re: FSP300-60GLS mATX PSU: a pictorial & a fan swap
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:22 pm 
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Last month, after five and a half years of daily use (approx. 5 hours a day), the narrow vents near the top of the PSU had become clogged with dust. Consequently something in the PSU fried :(

Now I use an Asus Eee Box with an SSD for the light computer work I used to do on this system.
2) P4R800-VM | P4 2.8C | XP-120 + Nexus 120 | FSP300-60GLS + external Nexus 80 | 7200.7 PATA 40GB

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5) Intel D525MW | Intel 320 40GB | Vertex II 180GB


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 Post subject: Re: FSP300-60GLS mATX PSU: a pictorial & a fan swap
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:01 am 
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Hi, I know this is an old thread but its still viewed a lot I'd guess.

I've just built a HTPC and I've decided the PSU needs to be quieter. Your thread has been very useful in making my decision on how to go about this.
I was unsure about mounting a fan outside of the PSU but its obviously worked out ok for you. If my PSU lasts 5 years then thats fine as it cost me like £20 (CiT 500w).

I'll check some pics up later if anyone is interested.

Thanks for the guide though!!

Also incase I totally knacker my PSU, would anyone have recomendations for a quiet mATX PSU. It needs to be min of 400w but 500 preferably.


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