Welcome once more as we embark on yet another fast and fabulous foray into the fine field of FSP power supplies. Today, my victim will be the brand new 80 Plus certified Everest 700W unit. You may recall that I've looked at the Everest line before, when I gazed upon big brother 900W and said, "Meh. This company can do better."
Since then, Father Time has plodded his way with leaden feet towards this day. I confess this review has been delayed a couple times. Why? I'll get into that later, and you're not going to want to miss that little tale. It will suffice for now to say that I was held up, and not the kind of "held up" that was done at the gas pumps nationwide this summer.
But before I get into all that, let's have a look at the usual box shots first. Starting with the above shot, wherein we can see a big square hole with which to gaze upon the Everest's majesty. They sure are proud of that 80 Plus certification, aren't they? There are a few bragging points on this part of the box, but nothing special. Modular cable management... everyone but a certain stubborn company stuck back in 1999 is doing that these days. Multi core CPU compatibility... again, what unit made these days isn't? Quad 12V rails - welcome to 2006.
The only thing really interesting up there is the dual PCI-E connector point. We'll have to see how many of them are 8 pin dealies, considering this unit is a wee bit weak for more than one watt monster card.
On top of the box is this interesting little graphic of the cabling on the unit. It's main usefulness is in determining which cables are modular - that's about it. Well, I guess if you need a look at the connectors it can help you there too.
The back of the box has a few cool things, like a full load chart, connector counts, some more bragging points, and a cuppa coffee. Wait... coaster inside? Interesting.
The bragging points are all listed in a font darn near impossible to photograph, so I'm going to reprint them here, with my smartassery in italics:
Compatibility with Intel Core 2, AMD Athlon 64 & Phenom Series
ATX12V V2.2|EPS12V V2.01 ready - sure, choose a separator I have to go to the character map to reprint
4-Channel 12V Rails Design - as introduced on the Epsilon platform from day one
Meets 80 Plus - we'll see about that in load testing
High Efficiency >85% - we'll see about that too in load testing
Supports SLI & Crossfire Highest Rendering VGA Cards - at 700W, methinks you're only going to be doing one GTX 280 at a time on this bad boy
Environmentally Friendly PSU with Active PFC - most good units have APFC these days
Energy Saving on Standby Mode <1W - I don't commonly test this claim, but I confess this too is pretty standard for most recent units. And of course, it depends how much you load down that rail too.
120mm Variable Speed Fan with Ultra Low Noise - remember this one for later on in the review
Super Low Noise 0 dB <20% Loading (Silent Guard)
Full Range Input with Complete Protection (OVP/OCP/SCP) - no OTP (overtemp protection)? That hardly seems complete to me.
True Total Power - we'll let the SM-268 reveal the truth, won't we?
Well, this is just ducky. No plastic bag to protect the finish on the unit - just a cardboard sheath. Which, by the way, has punch outs for those coasters promised earlier. So, the downside is, your free coasters are cheap cardboard. The upside is, you get more than one. But still, as soon as I pulled the Everest out of the cardboard coffin, I saw scuffs on the sides where the box had gotten all intimate with it. Wonnnnnderful. The FSP I knew and loved back in the old days wouldn't cheap out like this, and then go on to...
...throw in velcro cable ties. Don't get me wrong, velcro cable ties are nice, but when you rob Peter to pay Paul it kind of drops my enthusiasm for this unit a bit.
Also included with the 700W are the required modular cables, case badges, black thumbscrews, power cord, and a manual.
Though not quite as brief as some manuals I've seen, this one still does its best to keep things short and sweet. You get a brief set of installation instructions which amount to half a page, some connector diagrams, a couple of troubleshooting tips, and a few specs for the Everest units from 400 to 700 watts.
See the scuff marks? Aren't those just beautiful? Yeah, I don't think so either. How's about adding a three cent protective plastic bag to the packaging, FSP?
More lovely scuff marks. But, at least that there sleeving goes all the way into the case.
In more hard to photograph fonty goodness we have our load table. As always, the OEM of the FSP is, of course, FSP. It's nice to see the 12V rail distribution noted right on the label. Hmm... 5VSB is up there at 3A again, just like last week's Antec. I hope this unit can sustain that number.
FSP Everest 700W
The modular connector panel is a simple affair using good old Molex Mini-Fit Jr. style connectors. White is for PATA, black for SATA, and blue for PCI-E. Nice and simple. I likes.
Looks like the sleeving ends a mite far from the ATX connector, doesn't it? In fact, the sleeving leaves a stretch of no less than 110mm unsleeved. That has some mess potential, right there. And the 20+4 pin connector is one of those "guess which side the +4 goes on" types. Let me show you up close:
You have to put these together with the white printing facing out, and the little keeper arms in, or you're not plugging this in today. This could stand for better implementation, methinks, especially when your user manual has no helpful diagrams on how to do it properly except for a really tiny diagram of the connector itself.
Modular cabling consists of two chains of SATA, two chains of PATA, and one 6+2 pin PCI-E cable. That leaves two connectors on the modular panel unused. This is certainly a cost cutting measure - rather than use a custom modular PCB, they just used the one from the Everest 900W and changed the colors of the connectors.
Type of connector:
FSP Everest 700W
4 x 2 12V Xeon/EPS connector (560mm)
2 x 2 12V connectors (560mm)
2 x 3 PCIe (570mm)
ATX connector (550mm)
5.25" Drive connectors (550mm+120mm+120mm)
3.5" Drive connectors (+120mm)
2 x 4 PCIe (6+2 pin, 550mm)
165mm x 150mm x 86mm
Now, this is a bit cockeyed, right here. I opened up the unit to make sure the label was correct about the rail assignments, only to find out that no... in fact it was not. Not too terribly big a deal, for this unit isn't exactly the beefiest unit around, but why give only the ATX connector to the 12V3 rail? Wouldn't it be better to move the 8 pin PCI-E there too? Bah... let's go on to the load testing.
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