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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.

Transient Response Tests

Advanced Transient Response Tests

For details on our transient response testing, please click here.

In these tests, we monitor the response of the PSU in two different scenarios. First, a transient load (10A at +12V, 5A at 5V, 5A at 3.3V and 0.5A at 5VSB) is applied for 200ms while the PSU works at 20 percent load. In the second scenario, the PSU is hit by the same transient load while operating at 50 percent load. In both tests, we use our oscilloscope to measure the voltage drops caused by the transient load. The voltages should remain within the ATX specification's regulation limits.

These tests are crucial because they simulate the transient loads a PSU is likely to handle (such as booting a RAID array or an instant 100 percent load of CPU/GPUs). We call them "Advanced Transient Response Tests," and they are designed to be very tough to master, especially for PSUs with less than 500W capacity.

Advanced Transient Response at 20 Percent

VoltageBeforeAfterChangePass/Fail
12V12.028V11.787V2.00%Pass
5V5.017V4.859V3.15%Pass
3.3V3.354V3.171V5.46%Pass
5VSB5.050V5.003V0.93%Pass

Advanced Transient Response at 50 Percent

VoltageBeforeAfterChangePass/Fail
12V11.970V11.753V1.81%Pass
5V4.969V4.799V3.42%Pass
3.3V3.318V3.105V6.42%Fail
5VSB5.000V4.942V1.16%Pass
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The +12V rail's response to transient loads is average; the same applies to the 5V rail. On the contrary, deviations at 5VSB are much lower. Finally, our usual suspect, 3.3V, registers the worst performance. In both tests, the 3.3V rail reports very high deviations. In the second one, it even fails to keep its voltage within the ATX spec's range. It's been a while since we saw a PSU fail here.

Here are the oscilloscope screenshots we took during Advanced Transient Response Testing:

Transient Response At 20 Percent Load

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Transient Response At 50 Percent Load

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Turn-On Transient Tests

In the next set of tests, we measure the PSU's response in simpler transient load scenarios—during its power-on phase.

For the first measurement, we turn off the PSU, dial in the maximum current the 5VSB can output and switch on the PSU. In the second test, we dial the maximum load the +12V can handle and start the PSU while it's in standby mode. In the last test, while the PSU is completely switched off (we cut off the power or switch off the PSU by flipping its on/off switch), we dial the maximum load the +12V rail can handle before switching on the PSU from the loader and restoring power. The ATX specification states that recorded spikes on all rails should not exceed 10 percent of their nominal values (+10 percent for 12V is 13.2V, and 5.5V for 5V).

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There are no spikes or voltage overshoots here, except a tiny one in the last test. Everything is fine. 

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