Pros, Cons And Final Verdict
FSP's Hydro X is an interesting low-capacity product family. However, very high MSRPs for non-modular PSUs trouble us. The platform and its design are modern enough to keep up with the competition, and FSP's electrolytic capacitor supplier is top-notch. However, the lack of modular cables in this price range will disappoint many enthusiasts. If FSP priced its Hydro X line for somewhere between $60 and $90, the three units would fare well at their respective capacity points. But at $80 to $110 that FSP cites, sales don't look promising since the competition in this price range is very tough.
The HGX450 does have some compelling strengths, including high efficiency and good overall ripple suppression. On top of that, its compact dimensions, quiet operation and particularly efficient 5VSB rail add plenty of points to the final score. There are also the high-quality electrolytic caps and double ball-bearing fan that should last a long time.
On the other hand, weaknesses include a high MSRP, the 3.3V rail's performance in our advanced transient response tests and loose load regulation on the 5V and 5VSB rails. Moreover, our sample has an internal quality issue that forced us to run our tests twice. We won't judge a product's quality based on one bad apple, but we definitely have to mention it. Additionally, FSP should improve cable management inside of this model and secure that thermistor to the main transformer.
FSP is really trying to get its foot in the U.S. market, and given our recent experience with the Hydro G family, it's listening to our recommendations. For example, after our review of the Hydro G 650, which noted a high price, we saw the price tags of all Hydro G units drop significantly, making them good alternatives to the Seasonic, Super Flower and CWT platforms that currently dominate the market. We strongly believe that a wider range of choices is good for everyone, since it increases competition. Besides better products, it also affects prices (in a good way). Hopefully FSP will adjust what it's asking for the Hydro X line-up accordingly once the PSUs land in the U.S. We'll see soon enough—the Hydro X PSUs should become available later this month.