Page 2 - Physical Look - Outside
Anyone who has seen the original FSP AURUM Gold is happy to know the company took the effort to actually design their flagship line of power supplies. Being the modular version of the AURUM series, the FSP AURUM CM Gold 650W is pretty much identical in appearance to its non-cable management brothers. Rather than your run-of-the-mill matte black box with cables sticking out the back, the 'volcano rock' inspired casing is rather interesting to look at. I will let my photos speak for itself. Admittedly, when I first saw the photos of the original AURUM Gold, I was kind of confused as to what the shell is made out of. It kind of looked like foam to me for some reason, but anyone who has ever handled a power supply before would know this is highly unlikely. Rest be assured, however, because the AURUM CM Gold is just fancy textured metal like the original. Residing behind the unconventional diamond shaped five-ring fan grille -- designed for minimal air resistance while providing adequate protection -- is the primary and only cooling fan installed. The 120mm fan generates airflow by drawing air from the bottom of the power supply over its internal components to keep the temperatures in check. Exhaust heat is allowed to leave at the back of the power supply through the large mesh opening.
Measuring approximately 14cm in length, the FSP AURUM CM Gold 650W is identical in length to its fixed cable counterparts, and it is one of the shortest power supplies I have used in a while. Having a 12cm rather than 14cm internal fan definitely helps out. We will take a look inside the PSU on the next page. Meanwhile, four screws on both sides of the FSP AURUM CM Gold secure the power supply case together; where one of them has a warranty seal on -- so you can't open the power supply without voiding the warranty. It does not appear to me the fan grille can be easily detached from the outside to clean the fan without putting your five year coverage in jeopardy either.
Starting from the back part of the power supply, the rear mesh design is similar to most PSUs with bottom mounted fans; except this one comes with a unique design pattern consistent with the rest of the AURUM CM Gold and AURUM Gold PSUs. The standard on/off switch located on the right side of the male connector for power input near the left side of the unit. Its low resistance arrowhead mesh design is implemented to maximize heat exhaust and minimize air resistance. This is done as heat needs to leave the power supply as easily and efficiently as possible, because the FSP AURUM CM Gold 650W incorporates only one 120mm fan at the bottom, with no auxiliary fans. It is also implemented in an efficient manner, as these components take up minimal amounts of room at the back. As with most new power supplies, the AURUM CM Gold has an automatic full range (100V-240V) AC line voltage selection, so the user does not have to worry about manually selecting input voltage.
Like many modular power supplies in the market today, the FSP AURUM CM Gold 650W is not a 100% modular power supply. This means most cables are detachable from the main unit, but cables such as the ATX 24-pin, ATX/EPS 4+4-pin, and two PCI Express 6+2 pin are permanently fixed. I personally do not have a problem with this, but having a permanently fixed duo of PCI Express connectors is a unique choice. It is unlikely this will not be used, but how far can we go before we can consider a power supply not modular? The advantage is you will suffer from lower electrical loss at the contacts, but the disadvantage is you will need to deal with a little inconvenience during your initial build, and for those who don't have a dedicated graphics card, then you are out of luck. While I do not have a problem with fixed motherboard cables, the permanent PCI Express connector is definitely one of my concerns for a modular PSU.
The rear cable connection panel is done quite nicely. The Molex and SATA cables share the same output sockets, while the PCI Express cable is on adjacent to this array on the left. The PCI Express and Molex/SATA sockets are physically incompatible with each other, so there is absolutely no worry about plugging in the wrong thing. This array of available connectors in conjunction with the provided cables should be more than sufficient for casual users and power enthusiasts alike.
The external build quality of FSP's AURUM CM Gold 650W power supply is also excellent -- a good indication the company is serious about the product they are selling. The company has always done a great job with their AURUM Gold series PSUs in this regard, and this one is no exception. We will take it apart in just a moment. Fit is done well with minimal panel gaps, and all edges are nicely finished off. As aforementioned, we will crack open the power supply to see what's inside in the following section.
The voltage specification label at the top of the FSP AURUM CM Gold 650W. There are two main virtual rails. Up to 26A can be delivered via the +3.3V rail for a total of 85.8W; while 26A on the +5V rail brings the output to 130W in this area. The total combined output for the +3.3V and +5V rail is 150W. In other words, your power allocation combination must fall within the limits of the listed specifications. Meanwhile, four virtual +12V rails deliver up to 18A (216W) per rail, with a combined maximum of up to 600W across all four. Normally, we would prefer a large single +12V rail due to lower operation overhead. Overall, the combined power output is... well, 650W haha. Again, your power distribution in your system must fall within the limits provided -- it must not exceed 85.8W on the +3.3V rail, 130W on the +5V rail and 150W combined for both, 216W per +12V rail for a maximum of 600W for all four combined, and 650W combined between the +12V and +3.3/+5V rails. It does sound a bit confusing to understand how this works at first, but generally speaking this configuration allows reasonably flexible power demands and should be sufficient to accommodate most users and about what you would expect from a 650W power supply unit.
The FSP AURUM CM Gold 650W is 80 Plus Gold certified, which means that it is certified to be at least 87%, 90%, 87% efficient at 20%, 50%, and 100% load, respectively. The only higher certification available is 80 Plus Platinum, but availability of such a product is still very limited at press time.
A total of 5 modular cables are included out of the box. All cables are flat and easy to bend, making them extremely easy to work with. It is the first power supply I have used with flat cables, and personally, I think they are quite a bit easier to work with than conventional sleeved units. All wires are 18 AWG, including the main ATX 24-pin bundle. One Molex to floppy 4-pin cable is included.
All cables are about 50cm long to the first connector, and have about 12cm spacing between each subsequent connector. These are just quick rough measurements, but should be reasonably accurate measured from end to end. Most users should have no problems with FSP AURUM CM Gold 650W, even if your case has a bottom power supply mount. It is interesting how each modular cable contains a different mix of SATA and Molex connector combinations down the daisy chain. It may seem weird to some at first, since conventional modular power supplies segregate the cables into either all Molex or all SATA connectors. However, in practice, it proves to be an absolutely invaluable asset, because chances are that you can get away with using less cables in your computer. For example, if you have two hard drives and one 4-pin case fan to hook up, traditionally you will need to attach one SATA power cable, and one Molex power cable. However, with the FSP AURUM CM Gold 650W, if it is within reach, you will only need to pull one cable that has one Molex and two SATA connectors from the PSU. Also, the PCIe 6+2 pin connectors are chained two per cable, making video cards that needs dual power input very easy to connect. Clearly, the good people at FSP know what is going on when their customers build a computer in real life!
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Minor Tests and Conclusion