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 Post subject: Fortron Aurum Gold 400 or Seasonic ss-300et or ?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 11:18 am
Posts: 20
Hi, I'm in the process of upgrading my home file server. Efficiency and heat are more important than noise. I think the Fortron Aurum Gold 400 (80 Plus Gold Certified) and Seasonic ss-300et (80 Plus Bronze Certified) are the two highest efficiency PSUs in the sub 400w bracket.

I'm going to be running:
Core i3-2100 w/integrated video & 8GB DDR3-1333 (~40 watts idle, 80 watts load)
3Ware 9650-8ML (max 25 watts)
5x Hitachi 5k3000 2TB Drives (around 20 watts idle, 30 watts load)

So I think it will be around 85 watts idle, 135 watts load.

I will be running Hyper-V with one virtual machine, and maybe up to 3 VMs, but no real heavy load. So both PSUs should give me a TON of headroom with this config, and I'm basically interested in which one is going to be more efficient under idle and load. If there are any better PSU options in the US, please let me know.

I think the Fortron Aurum Gold 400 will be the more efficient one at idle and load, but please check my calculations and let me know if they look good or not:

Fortron Aurum:
85 Watt output requires 97.7 Watt input (assumes 87% efficiency)
135 Watt output requires 153 Watt input (assumes 88% efficiency)

Seasonic ss-300et:
85 Watt output requires 102.4 Watt input (assumes 83% efficiency)
135 Watt output requires 159.76 Watt input (assumes 84.5% efficiency)

I just guessed at the efficiency %, using the official certfication levels as a guideline, but they should be close. So in both cases the Fortron appears better. Am I right? Have I done my math correctly? The price difference doesn't matter a whole lot to me between these two PSUs.

I would love a Gold or Platinum option in the 250-300 watt range, but the only ones I've seen mentioned anywhere are the Fortron FSP250-60EGA, and the HuntKey HK400-52PP, neither of which look like they are in the US. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Fortron Aurum Gold 400 or Seasonic ss-300et or ?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:25 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:20 pm
Posts: 859
Location: Poland
Xbit Labs tested 2 higher power Aurums recently - decent PSUs but awfully loud. Can't say if the loud part applies to smaller units. But I wouldn't bet on it.
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cases/ ... m-psu.html

You could also try looking for these two FSP units:
FSP Fortron/Source FSP250-60EGA(90) 250W
FSP Fortron/Source FSP350-60EGN(90) 350W

Not sure tho if they're available over the pond :/


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 Post subject: Re: Fortron Aurum Gold 400 or Seasonic ss-300et or ?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 11:18 am
Posts: 20
kater wrote:
You could also try looking for these two FSP units:
FSP Fortron/Source FSP250-60EGA(90) 250W
FSP Fortron/Source FSP350-60EGN(90) 350W

Not sure tho if they're available over the pond :/


Thanks for the feedback. I tried searching for the FSP250-60EGA last night with no luck, and tried the FSP350-60EGN now, again with no luck.

Now what I did find is that it appears Fortron might sell direct in the USA:
http://www.shopfsp.com

They have the same address as http://www.fspgroupusa.com

They do sell a 400 Watt gold certified unit, which is probably very similar to the Aurum Gold 400:
FSP400-60EGN ($65.99 + shipping)

I'm emailing them to see if they have any info about availability of the 250 or 350 models.

On another note, I emailed Sparkle (Fortron's sister, if I'm not mistaken), trying to find out if they sell any of the following 80 Plus Gold certified models in the USA:
SPI250A8AG, SPI300A8AG, SPI350ACAG.

Hopefully I can find some of those lower watt 80 plus gold units in the USA...


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 Post subject: Re: Fortron Aurum Gold 400 or Seasonic ss-300et or ?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2005 8:35 am
Posts: 1253
Location: Pleasanton, CA
Another one to look at is the Seasonic X-series 400W (80 Gold). Some people have complained about buzzing, but mine is silent.

_________________
i7 2600K CPU@4.4 GHz, Asrock Z68, 8GB Corsair Vengeance 1866 CL9, Intel 335 240GB SSD + Samsung HD502HI 500GB, Internal i7 graphics, Antec P180 case, Seasonic X-400 fanless PS, Megahalems CPU HS, Nexus 3-pin & AC PWM fans ~ 600 RPM, AcoustiPack foam, homemade ducts.


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 Post subject: Re: Fortron Aurum Gold 400 or Seasonic ss-300et or ?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:30 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 11:18 am
Posts: 20
cmthomson wrote:
Another one to look at is the Seasonic X-series 400W (80 Gold). Some people have complained about buzzing, but mine is silent.


The Seasonic is ~$120 shipped after MIR on Newegg, whereas the FSP Aurum 400 is ~$78. The Seasonic is fanless, modular, and uses a single 12v rail, so there are some things that warrant the price premium, but for my needs, I'll probably save the $40. I had a sparkle years ago, used it for at least 5 years and retired it for a higher efficiency power supply. AFAIK, Sparkle/Fortron had a pretty good reputation back then. I've always been a fan of Seasonic's, and they've treated a few clients and myself well for the dozen or so I've used, but, again, I think I'll save the $40 in this case...although I'm going to give it a day or two and see if FSP/Sparkle reply regarding availability of any of the 250-350 watt Gold PSUs they list but I can't seem to find.

I usually build systems to be fairly quiet, but a little fan noise doesn't bother me. Currently, efficiency is the biggest issue, as I'm going to have 2 computers in a 10x10, and I'm really trying to minimize the heat in that room. Part of the problem is that I have one system in my bedroom, and it makes the room warmer so I run the AC more, so I'm paying more not just to run a lower efficiency power supply, but also to cool my sleeping area. So I should be able to save more than just the gain in efficiency. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Fortron Aurum Gold 400 or Seasonic ss-300et or ?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:02 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:20 pm
Posts: 859
Location: Poland
You could always void the warranty and simply run the PSU's fan at a constant, say, 600 RPM. You've done some very accurate power calculations for what I see and given such numbers and the Gold efficiency a fan barely moving air should be plenty to cool the PSU. I'm not sure about FSP's current policy but their older units (I used to have and MDN and HLN) did not have warranty stickers AFAIR. So, you know what to do.
A pity you can't use a BQ (bequiet!) PSU - they're typically European units. My brother runs a new BQ 350W. Awesome unit, whisper quiet.


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 Post subject: Re: Fortron Aurum Gold 400 or Seasonic ss-300et or ?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 7:44 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Florida
I think my i3-2100 on an Intel DH61WW board idles about 20-25W in a bare bones configuration. It's not in use at the moment or I'd test it, maybe later today.

I have just finished extensive testing on a tweaked Asus M4A785-M and AMD Sempron 140 unlocked to dual core (same power usage single/dual core), 2x1GB RAM, Intel 1000 PCI-e NIC (2W), 6 Samsung 2TB drives, one 120MM case fan (1W) in front, Seasonic 300ET. Stripped down it uses more power than above i3-2100, maybe 35-40W. Using Lubuntu Linux 11.04 running off a USB drive, softraid5 but no additional controller. It idles at 64W on the desktop, drives spun down it sits at 43W. It peaks very briefly at 124W very early on boot up, but most of the boot sequence it's at 82W. From memory it reads at 320MB/s, writes at 175MB/s, plenty fast for my needs and faster than gigabit networking throughput.

As I recall, the 300ET does use a little less power than the other older 330W Seasonics I have been using.

I'm trying to decide how to allocate a i3-550 (6sata Gigabyte H55 board), the i3-2100 (4sata, Intel 61 board), and the Sempron for a file server, SageTV server, and desktop.


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 Post subject: Re: Fortron Aurum Gold 400 or Seasonic ss-300et or ?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 11:18 am
Posts: 20
On the power supply front, I never heard back from Fortron, and Sparkle tried to convince me to buy one of their 80 Plus bronze power supplies, as they will not be getting any of the lower power Gold units in anytime soon. That leaves the Fortron Aurum Gold 400 and the comparable Seasonic. Since the Fortron is around $40 less, I'm going that route.

My file/virtualization server is running an overclocked Q6600, Corsair 80 plus ~460w power supply, 5 Samsung 500GB 7200 RPM hard drives, a 3Ware Escalade 9650, a lower end GeForce 7300GT, and a 7200 RPM boot drive. It used about 210-220 watts bootup, and is idling at ~140. I hope to cut that by close to half, at least for the idle power draw.

On a side note, out of curiosity, I tested my APC Back-UPS NS 1250, and it pulls 15 watts from the wall with NOTHING plugged into it, and with a full charge. That strikes me as terribly inefficient, and I could not find idle power level draws for any of their current models....I found that odd.


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 Post subject: Re: Fortron Aurum Gold 400 or Seasonic ss-300et or ?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 7:44 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Florida
I also am running a Q6600 for my SageTV server, it has 2x1TB black WD and 2x750GB Green WD, onboard graphics, pulls about 85-90W idle as I vaguely recall. My goal is less for 2 separate PCs.

I agree, we're lacking in the US for low power, good, very efficient PSUs. Kiddies here just want 1000W or whatever is bigger than their friends have. Reviewers don''t help matters either, not many sites will review a good 300W unit in the US.

There is a nice HuntKey Gold 300W unit, but not in the US AFAIK.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4069/hunt ... lus-gold/6

I'd say just get the Seasonic 300W for under $40 and go with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Fortron Aurum Gold 400 or Seasonic ss-300et or ?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:30 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 11:18 am
Posts: 20
I thought I'd post a follow up.

I went with the Fortron Aurum Gold 400. I had been running a Corsair 450VX in my server, which is 80 plus certified. Swapping in the Fortron, the idle power draw dropped from 140 to at least 130 watts, maybe a few less. I was actually measuring around 126 watts, but had pulled out a DVD-ROM and 120mm fan. The Fortron is at least 9% more efficient than the 80 plus certified Corsair.

A few other notes after I swapped almost all of the components out for the new build:
1. A core i7-2600k w/stock cooler, Asus z68 motherboard, 2x4GB 1.25 volt G.Skill RAM, Crucial 64 GB, and 1x 120mm fan idles at about 36 Watts!
2. Adding the Hyper-V role adds about 10 idle watts to around 46 watts (I'm still running Windows 2008, not R2...R2 is supposedly more efficient processing wise)
3. Adding the 3Ware 9650se controller added about 10 more idle watts to around 56 watts
4. Adding 5x Hitachi 5k3000 in a Super Micro hot swap bay adds about 24 idle watts for a total of ~80 idle watts (I suspect the hot swap unit draws more power than the drives need, but don't feel like tearing it down to test)

So old server = 140 idle watts, new server = 78-80 idle watts

As far as noise goes on the Aurum power supply, it's pretty quite, but audible from at least 1-2 feet away. The stock fan on the intel cooler is definitely louder. I went with the 2600k vs the i3-2100, as idle power draw is about the same, but I the 2600k should be more efficient in terms of watts per processing unit. Microcenter had a special, so it was only about $100 difference between the two CPUs.

The Fortron Aurum 400 Gold is probably the most efficient power supply in the 250-400 watt range you can buy stateside, aside from the Seasonic (which costs about $40 more).


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 Post subject: Re: Fortron Aurum Gold 400 or Seasonic ss-300et or ?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:19 pm
Posts: 9
Thanks for the follow up. Really interesting post since I'm planning on building a very similar system;
- i7-2600k, was planning to use a 2600S but saw that idle power was more or less the same anyway.
- MSI z68 board since they seem to consume a little less than the asus ones.
- 1x Ocz vertex 3 120gb SSD
- 1x WD Caviar Green 2TB WD20EARS

I've been looking for these FSP PSUs as well:
FSP Fortron/Source FSP250-60EGA(90) 250W
FSP Fortron/Source FSP250-60PFK(90) 250W

But I have not been able to find them, might as well give up I suppose. I was looking at a picoPSU 160XT which seem nice but then found out that the AC/DC power bricks are usually not very efficient anyway. The HuntKey JUMPER 300G 80+ gold that someone recommended looks interesting as well, will look into that one.

Maybe selecting between a 400w and a 300w 80+ gold PSU does not really make a real world difference on the electricity bill...? (What is a little bit annoying is that it seems difficult/impossible to find any efficiency curves for the PSUs under 10% load, which is what a 400w PSU would be at most of the time with the above system).


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 Post subject: Re: Fortron Aurum Gold 400 or Seasonic ss-300et or ?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:41 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 11:18 am
Posts: 20
If you have a two 80+ gold PSUs, one rated for 300w, and one rated for 400w, a 10% difference in efficiency at a load of 30w would be 3-4 watts. Even though I don't have any charts, I'm guessing the difference is under 5%, so maybe a difference of 1-2 watts. That's my guesstimate as to the difference you'll see if you got a 400 vs a 300 at 30w load.

That system will probably be at least 36 watts idle, and maybe closer to 40. The WD Green HD will probably offset any savings you might get from using the MSI vs. the Asus motherboard. The Corsair SSD I have idles under .5w (it might have been .25w), and I'm using low voltage memory. So really, it might be a 1w difference. If you can't find an 80+ Gold PSU at 300 or 350w (and I couldn't at the time), I'd just get the 400w.


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 Post subject: Re: Fortron Aurum Gold 400 or Seasonic ss-300et or ?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:14 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:19 pm
Posts: 9
Yeah I think I'll just have to go with the 400w Seasonic fanless since that is the only one that seems readily available. And as you say, in the end there wont be that much difference in watts anyway.

But it is a bit annoying that there seem to exist 250 and 300 watts 80+ gold PSUs but you can't buy them.


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