FSP Guardian Computer Power Supply Software Review
When it comes to computer power supplies and software, there simply are not a lot of entrants into this niche market. However along side of our FSP Twin 500W review today, we have FSP's entrant into the world of PSU monitoring and control software called Guardian. It will monitor and record your PSU's performance over a 30 day period.
For years, there have been hardware ways of altering certain aspects of a power supply's behavior on select models. These methods have included things like dip switches for changing rail assignments/OCP configurations or adjustable potentiometers (pots) for altering the actual DC output voltage of a rail. Over the last few years, a number of power supplies have taken this to a new level by using software coupled with a digital controller that allows a user to interface with the power supply and see various statuses or make various changes. Until recently, much of the software control measures have been truly in their infancy. However, as more companies look to differentiate their products from one another, this aspect, along with the transition to digitally controlled power supplies, looks to be accelerating but is it also maturing?
Today, we are looking at our fourth example of one of these software solutions (third in detail) and it happens to come to us from FSP. FSP Group is one of the few actual power supply manufacturers and can be found providing OEM services for a number of other brands at various times including OCZ, Zalman, AOpen, Antec, SilverStone, Super Talent, Sigma, and many more. This wide distribution of power supplies by FSP is not surprising given that it has been in business since 1993 and is one of the largest producers of power supplies in the world. FSP has previously been regarded as a manufacturer of basic workhorse type power supplies that "just gets the job done." However, over the last couple of years FSP has put a good bit of effort into developing a number of high powered and higher end computer power supplies at the retail level. However, today's FSP Guardian software is part of FSP's industrial power supplies (IPC) and enthusiast power supply crossover FSP Twins series (of which we recently reviewed the FSP Twins 500W).
What Is the Guardian Protecting Us From?
As we pointed out when we reviewed the Enermax' Zero Delay Power Monitoring System (ZDPMS) and Thermaltake's DPS G PC APP 2.0, the FSP Guardian is by far not the first power supply monitoring andcontrol software produced. Indeed, a number of different vendors have produced at least somewhat similar products over the years including NVIDIA with their Enthusiast System Architecture (ESA), Enermax with their ZDPMS, Corsair Link, etc. However, FSP's Guardian is the third full featured look we have at one of these products. Beyond that though, the FSP Guardian software is the first time we have seen a solution from a company that is deeply entrenched in the IPC world where this kind of solution would, perhaps, make a bit more sense than what we have seen among those products targeted at enthusiasts. Having just said that, it seems that (currently) only the FSP Twins units are supported These units are, for all intents and purposes, IPC units that FSP has repackaged and spruced up a bit to make palatable to enthusiasts. This seems a bit odd as one might expect this to have rolled out first on the IPC side of the house and then moved over to the enthusiast side. Now, as this review will be dependent on many things we saw with the FSP Twins 500W, we would recommend reading that review in addition to this one for a more complete picture of the hardware and software being looked at today. Before moving on, let's see what FSP has to say about the FSP Guardian software:
FSP Intelligent Monitor Software
Users can use FSP Guardian software to monitor power input, power output, efficiency, and other internal records in real time and get the historical data within 30 days. When power input or output reaches the warning points during the process , FSP Guardian will immediately shows warning message to remind the latest situation of Twins.
Given this information, it seems that FSP is being a bit more limited in their approach to their software than what we have seen from some of the other packages we have reviewed in the past. Keeping things manageable might just be a good approach as previously reviewed software packages have not quite been all they could be when they tried to do a lot of things all at once. So, since we now know what to expect from this software, let's move on and take a look at the Guardian software, its installation, and its performance.