Page 2 - Physical Look - Outside
I'll admit my set of photos for this review didn't turn out that well, haha. I took my Canon EOS 60D out the night before, and forgot to charge the set of batteries in my 430EX II flash. Without a usable flash, I ended up dialing up the ISO on the camera to make indoor photos a bit more bearable. Unfortunately, I forgot reset my settings afterwards, so here is what I came up with. But regardless of which, I am glad FSP actually took the effort to actually design the AURUM Gold series. 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 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 it is just fancy textured metal. 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 Gold 600W is one of the shortest power supplies I have used in a while. Being a non-modular PSU in conjunction with 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 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 Gold. 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 Gold 600W 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 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.
The FSP AURUM Gold is a non-modular power supply. Its cable lead out location is situated at the right side; as described from the perspective of our photo above. The advantage of permanently fixed cables is lower electrical power loss at the connectors, but it comes at a price of more challenging cable management for the end user. The external build quality of FSP's AURUM Gold 600W power supply is also excellent -- a good indication the company is serious about the product they are selling. We will take it apart in just a moment. Fit is done well with minimal panel gaps, and all edges are nicely finished off. The level of refinement with regards to the external build quality is right up there with all the other high quality PSUs I have used in the past -- the difference is its physical design is a whole lot different (And better) than your run-of-the-mill unit. 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 Gold 600W. There are two main virtual rails. Up to 24A can be delivered via the +3.3V rail for a total of 79.2W; while 24A on the +5V rail brings the output to 120W in this area. The total combined output for the +3.3V and +5V rail is 140W. 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 540W across all four. Normally, we would prefer a large single +12V rail due to lower operation overhead. Overall, the combined power output is... well, 600W haha. Again, your power distribution in your system must fall within the limits provided -- it must not exceed 79.2W on the +3.3V rail, 120W on the +5V rail and 140W combined for both, 216W per +12V rail for a maximum of 540W for all four combined, and 600W 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 600W power supply unit.
The FSP AURUM Gold 600W 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 practically non-existent at press time.
All of its permanently fixed cables are fully sleeved, as one would expect from a power supply of this caliber. All connector cables are 18 AWG; with the exception of the ATX 24-pin cable, which are thicker 16 AWG units. All cables are quite easy to bend and work with. Output connectors include one ATX 20+4 pin, one ATX/EPS 4+4 pin, three PCIe 6+2 pin, six SATA, four Molex, and one FDD 4-pin. All cables measure 55cm to the first connector, with 15cm spacing between each subsequent one. Most users should have no problems with FSP's AURUM Gold 600W, even if your case has a bottom power supply mount.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Minor Tests and Conclusion