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FSP Blue Storm AX500-A

Despite its name, the FSP Blue Storm AX500-A is not a 500W power supply, just so we are clear on that point. It’s really a shame when companies label power supplies misleadingly and without actually reading the label on the box there’s is no way you could know it isn’t a 500W PSU.

Now that we’ve established what it’s not, let’s clarify what it is. The 500W rating is the peak output of the Blue Storm, whereas the sustained output is no more than 460W. FSP claims that the reason it uses this figure in the name is because its competitors are doing the same thing, which isn’t a valid reason in my book. This issue aside, 460W is still more than enough power for anything but a top-of-the-range machine with dual graphics cards.

In keeping with its name the Blue Storm is painted blue. The finish is very good, but there are no blue lights in the fan. However, the on/off switch has a blue light built in. Phew.

Not only that, but all the cables are covered in a blue braided mesh, which adds to both visual appeal and it keeps things tidy. There are eight Molex connectors split between three cables – one of which terminates in a floppy connector. There’s also two SATA power connectors, a PCI Express graphics card connector and a +12V connector. The motherboard power connector can be used either as a 20 or a 24-pin type connector as four of the pins can be removed, much in line with other PSUs on test.

The efficiency of the Blue Storm is nothing out of the ordinary, but it is well above spec. All the voltages are well within spec as well, so no complaints there either. It also passed the 1.5kV Hi-POT test with out any problems. A slight downside is that the fan gets very loud once the load exceeds 75 per cent. Also, FSP is using a passive PFC which means that the PFC numbers are lower than those with active PFC.

We’re not happy with the 500W label on the Blue Storm as having the wrong marking on any electrical device can be dangerous. As a 460W PSU the Blue Storm isn’t bad, but there are even better options around for the money.

Verdict

FSP might be misleading with its naming conventions, but the Blue Storm is not a bad power supply. And if you’re really into the colour blue, it’s the one to go for.

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