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FSP Hydro X 450 Power Supply Review

After the Hydro G series, FSP decided to release a more affordable power supply called the Hydro X, which targets systems with lower energy needs. This PSU line consists of three units, and in this review we're testing the entry-level 450W model.

Packaging, Contents, Exterior And Cabling

Packaging

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The box is relatively small. Up front, there's a photo of the PSU along with several badges depicting 80 PLUS Gold efficiency, the five-year warranty and compatibility with the sleep states (C6/C7) that Intel's Haswell CPUs introduced. Three more icons, located in the front, bottom-left corner, let you know the PSU includes DC-DC converters, Japanese electrolytic capacitors and ribbon cables.

On one of the two sides a diagram and list describe the available cables and connectors, and a little lower FSP provides information about the power cable that comes with the unit. Around back, there is another photo of the PSU, a features list and four photos showing some of the notable features. These include an efficient 5VSB rail, VRMs that regulate the minor rails, the thermal fan control that takes readings from the main transformer and the low RDS (on) FETs on the secondary side responsible for regulating the +12V rail.

Contents

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A piece of cardboard protects the PSU and its bundle inside the box. This isn't ideal; if FSP doesn't want to use packing foam, it should use instead a thick cardboard spacer. The bundle includes a small leaflet, an AC power cord, a set of fixing bolts and a Velcro strap.

We were surprised by the power cord in that we haven't seen such a thin one in a long time. Fortunately, this won't pose a problem for a low-capacity PSU like the HGX450 .

Exterior

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The finish looks good. It's glossy though, so it easily attracts fingerprints. The design is fairly unique, owing to a front exhaust grille that doesn't follow the typical honeycomb style. On the sides, small stickers indicate the series name. And there's a large specifications label on the bottom.

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Around back, native cables exit the PSU's chassis through a large hole that isn't covered by a grommet. You'll find two small exhaust grilles as well, though we believe their purpose has more to do with style than functionality.

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Compact dimensions make this unit a good choice for smaller chassis, where the PSU compartment has limited space. On the other hand, hardwired cables, though few in number, make routing more challenging. Many builders prefer fully-modular PSUs over non-modular ones, and the truth is that, with such a high MSRP, we expected the Hydro X to be semi-modular at least.

Cabling

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The main ATX cable is round and consists of colored wires. All of the other cables are flat and stealth. This is a somewhat odd combination. Normally, the 24-pin cable should have the same design as the others. Since it doesn't feature any extra ripple filtering caps, the main reason for this design must be cost-savings.

Aris Mpitziopoulos is a Contributing Editor at Tom's Hardware US, covering PSUs.