FSP Twins 500W ATX Redundant Power Supply Review
Redundant computer power supplies have been a fixture in the enterprise server market since failover hardware solutions were first conceived to deal with contingency planning and system disaster recovery. FSP has now brought its Twins solution to the enthusiast market, and FSP have done it quite well.
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 top 10 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. Today, we are seeing our first product representing the Twins product line from FSP, the Twins 500W (FSP500-70RGHBB1/FSP520-20RGGBB1).
Over the years, we have seen a lot of products produced by FSP under various brands (as well as an increasing number sold under their own banner). However, the enthusiast and consumer SMPS market is not necessarily where FSP has their largest footprint. Indeed, FSP produces a wide range of industrial power supplies (IPC), open frame power supplies, power adapters, UPS, and so on. One of their larger product segments is the IPC market and, in this realm, FSP produces a number of redundant power supplies that go into a range of products including servers and workstations. These products, however, are not what usually catch enthusiasts eye as these are usually very expensive relative to their output capacity, not easy to mount or use in enthusiast cases, and these are usually loud. Today, however, FSP is showing up with the Twins 500W, which is a redundant power supply, at an enthusiast website. So, with all that said, how is FSP going to position this product so that it tempts the enthusiast or the general end user? Let's see what FSP has to say:
Twins series, a redundant power supply, is designed for standard ATX or PS2 chassis, no front end bracket needed, ideal for mail, web or home server. Hot swappable modules design provides stable power supply: when one fails, the other can take over the load immediately. Thus users do not need to worry about any server/PC power off situation.
• ATX PS2 redundant size, no front end bracket needed, ideal for mail, web and home server
• Digital-controlled power supply design can be monitored by "FSP Guardian " software
• Hot swappable modules design and no worry about server/PC power off when one of modules failure
• Complete protection: over current protection, short circuit protection, over voltage protection, fan failure protection
• Alarm guard design by smart power supply status LED indicator
• 80 PLUS® 230V Internal Gold Certification
• Complies with ATX 12V and EPS 12V standards
• Flat ribbon cables, ideal solution for applications with space constraint issue
Now, this is not the first redundant power supply we have seen (previously we reviewed the Athena Atlas 800 which you can still buy today for $629) but after reading the above, it seems as if this may be the first redundant unit that truly tries to appeal to end users. Maybe not enthusiasts looking to put a power supply into a system destined for massive overclocking and gaming needs, but those same DIY enthusiasts are likely to be the kind of end users who like to tinker with all of their builds and who whitebox everything in their ever increasingly automated home. So, this might well be a great market entry for FSP today as they have been building up a better and better reputation in the enthusiast DIY market over the last couple of years. So, why not bring their bread and butter to the forefront now as well and, at the same time, make unique products more accessible to end users? That sounds great to us, but we'll have to see how this all plays out. First though, let’s see what we can expect when a user purchases the FSP Twins 500W power supply in retail in terms of documentation, accessories, cable count, rail layout, output characteristics, and general build quality.