FSP Hydro PTM+ 850W (Page 4 of 4) | Reports

Page 4 - Minor Tests and Conclusion

Power supplies are interesting products -- because often, reviews of products in this category are conducted and tested in methods that make it difficult to distinguish one power supply from another. Many aspects must be taken into consideration -- of which certain criteria consists of efficiency, noise, power ripples, and of course the ability to pull out the rated specifications. Because many cannot afford such equipment to obtain results regarding those aspects, articles covering power supplies often come out with less than adequate and acceptable information. As this is a product report -- not a review -- what we are doing is a close examination of the power supply and the internal hardware and build. But what we can do for you is do some minor testing with the results we can present to you with and let other review sites with professional equipment show you the actual test results. We are not going to try to create useless test results by installing the power supply into the latest gaming rig and try to take readings from that, as this is not even remotely the correct way to test power supply units. We understand that many websites do that as a means of load testing, but the results, even if you use an oscilloscope and multimeter at each output location, it is not sufficient, nor does it accurately reflect the performance of the power supply.

Using our power supply tester which exerts minimal load on the power supply, the initial consumption was 8W as measured by our wall meter unit -- indicating that the basic load-free power consumption of the power supply was excellent. At press time, there are no independent reviews from websites with professional load testing equipment showing its efficiency, voltage regulation, and ripple. However, judging by our teardown on Page 3, I expect this power supply to perform well. This is an 80 Plus Platinum certified power supply.

Voltages with minimal load are generally accurate, which is a basic requirement of power supplies out of the box. In this situation, all were within 2%. The PG (Power Good) delay is well within its rated range and general power supply standard of 300ms.

Active power correction is important to correct AC load line loss. In AC power, there are three components to it; as there is a phase difference between current and voltage. This makes up the power triangle, which consists of the following: Average usable power (P, measured in watts), reactive power (Q, denoted as VA-R), and total power (S, written as VA). While they all have the same physical units, it is not the same thing as aforementioned. What we want is the average usable power -- with as little wasted reactive power as possible. The total power provided over the AC line is the magnitude of the two combined (sqrt(P^2+Q^2)). Power factor can then be easily calculated by P/S. The ideal value is 1.00, and this is where active PFC comes in. A nominal load of 300W (35%) on the FSP Hydro PTM+ 850W had the power factor at 0.99. This is excellent as expected.

The FSP Hydro PTM+ 850W is a silent to quiet power supply, depending on the amount of power being drawn and whether you are using liquid cooling or not. Under idle to moderate level loads -- less than approximately 40% on air or 50% with water cooling -- the FSP Hydro PTM+ 850W is inaudible, because the fan is shut off completely. Under moderate to high loads -- above 40% on air or 50% with liquid cooling -- the Hydro PTM+ is low noise. Personally, I found the Protechnic Electric MGA13512XF-A25 to be very quiet, as it is a fluid dynamic bearing fan. While this is very subjective, I am quite a picky person on noise. On a scale from 0 to 10 where 0 is silent and 10 is the loudest, I would rate the FSP Hydro PTM+ 850W to be at 0.0/10 when the fan is off, because, well, the fan is off. Above that, I would peg it at 2.0/10 acoustically under moderate loads, because the fan does not spin that fast. The fan is out of the way to approximately 50% of its maximum speed, but it will become exponentially more audible when it kicks in. If you are a silent PC enthusiast, the FSP Hydro PTM+ 850W is a respectable choice, because there is a silent mode that stays silent in most cases and can be extended if you water cool it.

FSP provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.

In an age where it is hard to differentiate one power supply from another, FSP managed to create a novel product of their own when they partnered with Bitspower to create the Hydro PTM+ 850W. The FSP Hydro PTM+ 850W is the only water cooled power supply in the market at press time that can push up to 1000W in the appropriate configuration. It is well-built with quality internal components, fully modular, and even comes with RGB lights. With its 80 Plus Platinum certification, fluid dynamic bearing fan, and semi-passive operation up to 50% of the maximum load, this power supply has almost everything to please the hardcore enthusiast. Unfortunately, it has a couple of major drawbacks. Firstly, in a time where many manufacturers offer 10-year warranties or more, the FSP Hydro PTM+ 850W is rather short with only two. Secondly, due to the cost of water cooling components, for $400 at press time, it costs more than many ultra high end Titanium certified 1000W power supplies like the Seasonic PRIME Ultra Titanium, making FSP's case for your money quite a bit harder than it should.

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Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Minor Tests and Conclusion