FSP Hydro X 550W Power Supply

Let’s take another look at the offerings of FSP today. They have another new line of units in the market, the Hydro X series. We’ve already seen what the Hydro G units can do… let’s find out if these units are winners for FSP when we look at the 550 watt model.

PRODUCT: Hydro X 550W
PROD LINK: FSP’s current offerings.
PRICE: $84.99 @ NewEgg
Price is at the time of testing!

We’re back with FSP again today, as you can see by the above picture. From the looks of it, they’re looking to take what they started with the most decent performing Hydro G series and extending the power output downward for those who don’t need any frills or don’t have any watt monster video cards to power, and yet still want a really well built little unit.

FSP has traditionally been good at bringing all this together at this power level. Back in the day, we had the FSP550-60PLN/PLG. These were server oriented beasts featuring independent regulation in a time when most units were group designs. So crammed full of parts that it was put together on two levels internally, I can remember wanting one of those back before I was a reviewer but not having the money to seal the deal.

But, times do change. Today, it’s all about high-efficiency DC to DC designs, and FSP naturally has to keep up with the market.

So… this is what FSP brings to the table today as a modern, more consumer-friendly version of that old 550W model, is it? Or isn’t it? Well… for starters, the FSP550-60PLN was only rated for full power at thirty degrees. The PLG for twenty-five. They had de-rating curves to worry about. Remember, back then we didn’t have such a hard focus on temperatures that we do now, and for products aimed at the industrial market those older FSP units were ridiculously temperature intolerant. They were better for us consumers, but still more like 450 watters by the time you got up to fifty degrees.

Fortunately, this one is rated to forty degrees, which is quite acceptable to us these days. FSP has improved on that part of it tremendously. The housing isn’t all one shade of boring gray anymore. Efficiency has gone up by leaps and bounds, thanks in no small part to those 80 Plus guys who convinced the whole marketplace to compete with each other based on their efficiency testing regimen. Enthusiast consumers are no longer content with “just good enough” when it comes to these things… they want industrial grade build quality and high performance on the low powered end of things, now.

This is the market FSP is going after with this guy. We’re going to see how well they managed to do it shortly. Right after some more box pictures.

Ugh… I can already see a Berg connector where I don’t like them. Fortunately, cabling looks light on this unit. I say that because I don’t think this unit is modular at all, and the last thing we need on a non-modular 550W unit is excessive cables. Usually, the retail box makes modularity into a marketing point, and I haven’t seen it mentioned yet.

We can also tell from here that the unit has no semi-fanless mode – it’s running all the time. No frills, and all that. The box is also careful to point out the forty-degree temp spec on this unit, which is nice. When I don’t see an official temp spec, my usual inclination is to let them hit fifty and see what happens. But forty is reasonable so I’ll try and hit it if I can.

Let’s unpack the box, now. I don’t see a lot inside this one.

Yes, indeed… we have a fully hardwired power supply. Definitely no frills there. Accessories amount to a power cord, a user guide, and some screws. The user guide is decent, but just a cheap folded sheet of paper. Much like the ones that came with the Hydro G units.