FSP Aurum Xilenser AU-500FL 500W

FSP is one of the largest manufacturers for OEM power supplies and adapters. Now they're launching a new fanless series, the "Aurum Xilenser", for users that want absolute silence. We have the AU-500FL on our test bench today. Like the previous Aurum offerings, the new generation is 80 Plus Gold certified.

The casing for the AU-500FL has more ventilation holes than we're used to seeing, with perforations on practically every available spot! Besides the bottom (where a large fan might normally sit) and the back, Fortron has holes on the front and sides of the casing. Even the top (not shown, and assuming a top-mounted PSU; otherwise this is the "bottom") has a few extra holes to help with cooling. With no fan, there's obviously a need to remove heat and the extra ventilation should help in that regard. Of course, even a very slow fan would help a lot more, and perhaps a good CPU heatsink with a large, low-RPM 120mm fan is just what the doctor ordered. If you still want to be completely fanless, though, we'd exercise extreme caution before trying to stuff in 500W of components and other hardware!

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  • mtoma - Sunday, April 22, 2012 - link

    Well, all I can say that the value proposition it's relative. For silent PC enthusiasts, it is well, well worth the extra cost. For the others, I say only that the Seasonic units don't accumulate heat (the temperatures are about the same as a HDD with 5400 rpm) and dust. Reply
  • Iketh - Friday, April 20, 2012 - link

    The efficiency results fit the platinum specification, no? What am I missing here? Reply
  • Martin Kaffei - Friday, April 20, 2012 - link

    It's quite close, but you need 90% @ 20% load and 115V and 92 % @ 50% load and 115V. The results for 230V are always higher, but 80Plus works with 115V input. Reply
  • popej - Friday, April 20, 2012 - link

    Basically fanless PSU doesn't make fanless PC. So why bother and pay more? Reply
  • mariush - Friday, April 20, 2012 - link

    It can be nearly inaudible.

    I've mounted an Accelero S1 rev 2 on my Radeon 4850, so it's completely silent.
    The power supply is a Seasonic X-650 which turns off the fan at below about 170 watts of usage.

    So all there's left is the CPU fan which is a low noise 120mm Zerocool fan and a low speed fan cooling down my 4 hard drives.

    This computer is obviously not suitable to be completely silent, due to the heat generated by the hard drives and the old processor (Intel Q6600).

    But, there are AMD and Intel processors that run with just a large heatsink (and even more models would run passively with a bit of downclocking) and if you use a SSD, you then have a completely passively cooled system.

    It's really not that hard to achieve that.... and once you do this, you'll be wondering how you lived for so much time with fans buzzing you constantly.
    I personally spotted the difference (or should i say improvement) caused by lowering the number of working fans in my computer.
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Friday, April 20, 2012 - link

    I also have an Accelero S1 Rev2 on an HD4890. It can run passively cooled, but I still lashed up a 90 mm fan (with a resistor to reduce speed) just to get a little airflow and peace of mind. I bought several fan resistors years ago, and they allow you to get silence while using cheap fans.

    http://www.outletpc.com/nt5639.html?gclid=COiR-OHw...
    Reply
  • ZekkPacus - Friday, April 20, 2012 - link

    It's more than possible to do, though, and in that kind of system this kind of PSU is ideal. Graphics cards are available up to the HD6850 that are passively cooled, plenty of options between the 6570-6770 or the GT440 for nVidia. Any Sandy Bridge CPU 65W or less can be easily passively cooled, either with a Nofen heatsink or a large (Thermalright or Scythe) tower heatsink. Hell there's an i5-2500T (only available OEM, you're not SUPPOSED to be able to buy it retail but you could probably find somewhere that would sell it), quad core CPU with a 45W TDP. SSDs are silent in operation. A good case with enough venting (especially top venting), and the noisiest thing in it would be an optical drive.

    It's very tempting sometimes.
    Reply
  • Sivar - Friday, April 20, 2012 - link

    I wrote an (ad-free) article about a completely fanless system I built. The case was far less than ideal, but I've since used better cases. It's important to have a fan grill at the top to allow heat to passively rise but it is not required.
    I usually build fanless systems for reliability and low-maintenance (no dust), but I'd not attempt to build a fanless gaming PC. A Geforce 580 would require a heat exchanger the size of another computer case.

    Article:
    http://www.formortals.com/the-solid-state-pc/
    Reply
  • jwilliams4200 - Friday, April 20, 2012 - link

    NoFan, a Korean company, makes components and complete systems that are entirely fanless. For some reason their products are not sold in the US, but quietpc in the UK carries them:

    http://www.quietpc.com/manufacturers/nofan

    The CR95-C "Icepipe" cooler is interesting. It is bigger than the Thermalright HR-02 although less surface area, and seems to be quite a bit more open -- probably a good thing for natural convection cooling. Unfortunately it blocks the first PCIe slot of your motherboard, and it can interfere with the top of your case (I had to cut a bit of metal off the top of my Xigmatek Midgard II case in order to get it to fit)
    Reply
  • Sivar - Friday, April 20, 2012 - link

    Good link; I've never seen that unit, and I did a lot of searching once the HR-02 became difficult to find. Thanks! Reply

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