Meet Mr. Zippy

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Power supply test – Phil Roth and Ross Lapkoff

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If “Zippy” sounds like a name that belongs on a generic power supply, prepare to be enlightened! Quite contrary to the sound of the name, Zippy Technology Company was founded in 1983 and has been producing the high quality server and redundant power supplies since 1993. Given that standards for server and workstation power supplies are higher than those for consumer PCs, Zippy power supplies are higher in quality and reliability than those targeted for a non-professional market. To some extent, they are also higher in price; however, as high-end enthusiast and gaming power supplies continue increase in price, the gap is being narrowed.

Overclocked gaming or benching rigs with a pair of high-end video cards in Crossfire or SLi and a dual-core processor can greatly benefit from high-power, high-quality server supplies that produce clean power under the harshest conditions. In a lot of cases, even the strongest name brand “gaming” power supplies just can’t keep up with power demands of overclocked high-end systems. That type of situation is exactly what led to obtaining this 700W Zippy PSL-6701P from Servercase.com.

After a short three months of heavy use, a popular name brand 600W PSU failed. Compared to the failed PSU, the intent of the Zippy is clear: all work and no play. Instead of LED fans, shiny or painted cases and sleeved cables, you get a power supply that’s sole purpose is to power big systems reliably and the last time we checked, power supplies were a critical system component, not an accessory to make cases look better.

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700W Zippy PSL-6701P with cover removed.

The brawn of the Zippy PLS-6701P is immediately apparent when comparing it to the previous PSU and if you could hold both, you would feel that beefiness with the Zippy weighing twice as much (10 pounds) as the old PSU (5 pounds). Clearly, the Zippy is quite a bit longer than the average PC power supply, which may be an issue if you plan to stick one in a mid-tower case at home.

ATX power supply design reference size is 140mm x 150mm x 86mm. Some manufacturers already take liberties with the length, stretching them out to 175mm, but the Zippy is hardly even close, measuring a very long 220mm x 150mm x 86mm, so make sure you have room for before purchasing one.

There are enough cables to power up anything you will ever need and alternate cable configurations for dual XEON processor platforms are available. Standard cabling supports ATX 2.03, ATX 12v(P4), EPS12V, WTX, AMD-GES:

  • 1 – 24 pin ATX 2.1 mobo connector
  • 1 – 8 Pin CPU power connector for Dual Core CPUs mobos
  • 1 – 4 Pin CPU power connector for Single Core CPUs mobos
  • 2 – PCI-E power connectors
  • 5 – Traditional Dual 1×4 power connectors

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Specs and Feature of the Zippy PSL-6701P

Ever wonder how a $30 power supply has the similar specifications as a $300 supply? There are many tricks in arriving at specification numbers, but rest assured that good looking specifications based on testing done with easy parameters does not make a power supply anywhere near as good as a PSU producing similar numbers under much more harsh conditions.

In the following specification chart you can see the massive current available on the 12V rail. Few enthusiast PSUs are over 36A for single 12V rails, so 45A is very impressive and useful, since a high-current 12V rail is crucial for overclocking today’s processors and top-end video cards.

You should also note that ATX specifications require no more than 120mV ripple for +12V. Ripple represents how “clean” the output power is and, as you can see, the Zippy’s maximum specs are 17% lower than the required maximum, indicating their commitment to and delivery of high-quality power. As you will see later when testing under real world conditions, measured ripple is substantially lower.

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TOTAL OUTPUT POWER SHOULD NOT EXCEED 700W for PSL-6701P.

  • Operating Temperature: Operating 0°C – 40°C
  • Humidity: 10 ~ 90 % RH
  • Hold-up time: 16 ms minimum at full load & 90 VAC input voltage
  • Dielectric withstand:
    • Input / Output 1500 VAC for 1 minute
    • Input to frame ground 1500 VAC for 1 minute
  • Efficiency: 70% typical, at full load
  • Power good signal: On delay 100ms to 500ms, Off delay 1 ms
  • Overload Protection: 110 – 160% max
  • Over-volt Protection:
    • +5V: 5.7V – 6.5V
    • 3.3V: 3.9 – 4.3V
    • 12V: 13.6 ~ 15V
  • EMI: FCC Class B, CISPR22 Class B
  • Safety: UL 1950, CSA 22.2 NO/ 950, TÜV IEC 950
  • Remote On / Off control
  • Short Circuit Protection: Shutdown and latch
  • Remote sensing on 3.3V
  • Built-in Active PFC
  • I2C features (optional)

Powering up the unit revealed one very loud fan that is easily louder than an x1900 fan running at 100%. Keep in mind this is a server supply and not designed for the enthusiast market, so noise is not a consideration in the design. Why a single fan for a power supply this large? Multiple quiet fans to do the same job with a reduction in noise require more space. In most cases, making room for extra fans requires a compromise in design and construction of important internals, such as smaller heat sinks, caps and coils. As you will see, even with such a large size Zippy has still made full use of every square centimeter gained by using extremely hefty components in place of extra fans.

What’s Inside

Real power and reliability can only be obtained with massive, heavy components and the Zippy has the guts to back up its massive size and weight. Cracking the case revealed massive aluminum heat sinks and even for its size, a very compact layout of power components and circuit boards. As one would expect, the PLS-6701P appears to use high quality Nichicon capacitors and Intersil Power FETS along with beefy foil traces, unlike some supply manufacturers that solder buss wire to the traces to increase current capacity.

The Zippy uses a 12V 3600RPM Sanyo Denki/San Ace 80mm fan. The fan utilizes a standard 2-pin molex, making it a simple swap for a more reasonable noise level fan with a 2-pin connector. On this unit, a more reasonable sounding PABST 80mm fan was swapped in which required soldering due to the PABST’s flying leads.

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Inside view of the PSL-6701P

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Original Sanyo Denki fan

Performance

Checking the voltage with a DVM shows the 12v rail is at 12.15 during idle conditions. Since the 12v rail is the predominantly used power source for heavily overclocked and graphics systems, the plan was to load the PSU and find out how beefy the 12v rail was and what it would take to drag it under 12.0v. A load test connecting ballast resistors was done to check stability of the rail under various loads and find out when the overcurrent limits of the supply were reached and how well voltage regulation was held.

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120 Watt (10AMP) ballast packs

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300 Watt (25 AMP) ballast pack

The supply was run through its paces starting with an initial load of 10 AMPS, followed by incremental loading of 5 AMPs, until the overcurrent limit was reached. Voltage was logged after the load was applied and the supply was running for 3 minutes.

Voltage Reading

Power Draw

12.15

10A

12.14

20A

12.13

25A

12.13

30A

12.13

35A

12.12

40A

12.12

45A

12.11

50A

12.10

52A

NOTE: Overcurrent limit exceeded

At 52 Amps, the supply overcurrent limit tripped and the supply shutdown after 15 seconds. It’s possible this current may have been maintained for a longer period with the original fan, but we believe the supply held up exceptionally well above the nameplate current maximum of 45 AMPS. It should also be noted that the full load amperage rating was maintained with only 50 millivolts voltage drop from the minimum load draw.
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Next was an extended burn-in period of 8 hours at 45 AMPS which passed without failure.

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Stress testing with ballast loads don’t produce the dynamic loading conditions on the supply as the rigors of a heavy workout in a highly overclocked, graphics bench environment. Although we did not have dual x19000s to simulate maximum draw that a crossfire setup demands, we ran an extreme benchmark with the 300W ballast load connected to check performance under real conditions.

Test Bed:

  • Intel 955 Extreme Edition
  • ASUS P5WD2-E, Vcore modded, Vdimm modded
  • Corsair TWIN2X1024-8000ul
  • ATI x1900xtx
  • Modded EXOS II with Alphacool 1510 pump
  • Danger Den RBX CPU block
  • Danger Den modded X18 block

First up was a 5.00 GHz OC and a SPi 32M run which resulted in a minimum reading of 12.12 on the DVM. Next was adding a 760 GPU/860 MEM OC on the x1900xtx and a quick bench with 3DMark05 which resulted in fluctuations between 12.10 to 12.12V. A try for Quad SPi32M running on 2 physical, 2 logical cores while benching 3DMark05, but the test rig cannot handle the load with only water cooling. Until some more extreme cooling allows for it, the Zippy’s beefy 12v rail has easily held up to a substantial 500W total load on it.

Speedfan Plot of Estimated 300+W Load During a Highly Loaded 2 Hour Workout

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NOTE differences in ADC circuitry of the mobo measuring 12.04v – 12.1v whereas actual DVM readings were 12.10v – 12.12v

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Clean power – we’ve mentioned it several times. In addition to a lower electric bill, another benefit of the Zippy was the lower temperature of the MOSFETS supplying power to the CPU. The Fluke 81/8020 DVM recorded an 8-12ºC decrease in temperature over the previous gaming PSU, as measured on the case of the MOSFETS. A quick scope check on the rail shows the likely reason for this.

Recall we had before pointed out that the maximum 100mV ripple specified on the 6701P was substantially less than the ATX specification limit of 120mV. Since the PSU specs are measured during testing with tougher conditions that seen by us, the actual ripple measured only 40mV during max load. That is only 40% of maximum specs for the PSU and only 30% of what is deemed acceptable by current standards. Clean power.

Scope Trace of Ripple During High Load – Estimated 300+ Watt

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NOTE: 10x probes are used. Vertical Division = 100 millivolts.

Summary

The PSL-6701P is one of the finest single rail PSUs on the market today and has the performance and reliability for the PC enthusiast needing to exceed the 5GHz barrier.

It’s a great feeling to know you have the power behind you when pushing systems to the edge of their capabilities. The guys at Servercase.com are great and this unit shipped the same day the order was placed. Three emails were received during the day confirming the status of the order from the time it was placed until being sent out for delivery. The only negative comment on this PSU is the fan noise. Size cannot be deemed a negative factor since it is not being used for environment for which it was intended, but size should definitely be taken into account before purchasing one for a standard PC case.

Phil Roth and

Ross Lapkoff

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Discussion
  1. Nice review ross and proth :thup:

    I would invite some commentatry on the ocz 420.

    I have 3 or 4 520's and 6 or 7 420's running prescott's and 830/920/930's .. Since i only fold with them i have no video to speak of unless you count an x600 on 1 rig as significant - the rest are 8mb rage pci's. The last time i concentrated on pushing the oc on a 920, I could find no difference between the 420 and the 520 in terms of stable (ie folding) OC.

    Specs on the 12V side of the 420 are 30A vs the 32A on the 520.

    now i don't think i am stressing either the 420 or the 520 - max load i have measured through an apc ups i have is 342W during startup of the 920 at 1.55vc ... which was on a 420. All tests mostly with 1 fan, 1 sata hdd.

    In terms of longevity, i have rma'ed 1 420 and 1 520 in 6-12 months of ownership. 1 rma might have been triggerd by me swapping stuff around carelessly.

    I think the 420's have gone EOL :cry:
    They have a 720W gaming model too (12v@52A), though at this time I think you need to contact Zippy directly to get one:

    http://www.zippy.com.tw/P_product_detail.asp?lv_rfnbr=2&pp_rfnbr=1338&pcp_rfnbr=20&pp_name=Gaming‧PSL-6720P(G1)&pcp_name=gaming%20power&pcpw_rfnbr=6&pp_code=Gaming‧PSL-6720P(G1)


    Already working with the factory and US distributors, trying to get an eval unit. This thing is a monster...
    If through some temporary loss of my senses I decide to go crossfire, this would be the psu I start with.


    They have a 720W gaming model too (12v@52A), though at this time I think you need to contact Zippy directly to get one:

    http://www.zippy.com.tw/P_product_detail.asp?lv_rfnbr=2&pp_rfnbr=1338&pcp_rfnbr=20&pp_name=Gaming‧PSL-6720P(G1)&pcp_name=gaming%20power&pcpw_rfnbr=6&pp_code=Gaming‧PSL-6720P(G1)
    Excellent review fellas........ glad to see my X1900 brethren dropping the knowledge. If through some temporary loss of my senses I decide to go crossfire, this would be the psu I start with.
    I kind of have the feeling the 750W Silverstone Zeus is the same too. They are pretty darn close, but Silverstone claims a full 750W @ *50C* and I didn't think FSP was that high in temp.


    That Silverstone is OEM Etasis - more a competitor to Zippy and PC P&C than Fortron. Still, Fortron ain't no slouch either as Joe Camel is discovering ;)

    The Fortron Epsilons are 50 degrees for the 600W and 40 for the 700W. This comes direct from FSP themselves - evidently their online spec sheets are incorrect when they give operating temps of 35 and 25. They've also been up-rated to 4x18A at 12v though the combined max is staying put at 44A and 50A for the 600W and 700W respectively.

    The Silverstone will be along any day now - several sites in Australia, the US, and Canada have it listed.
    well, i got no love from Mr. Zippy :(

    no gain in MAX GPU clocks

    (guess my 36 AMP Sparkle had it covered)

    but this way im good to go if i decide to go crossfire :shrug: ;)

    ya, i could DMM some molex's if ya want, but im NO electrician!!! so ill let the OC speak.

    PS

    yes, the fan is "loud" but it "fits right in" around all my fans :rolleyes:

    its a high speed 80mm fan, what can you say? its not as loud as a TT SmartFanII @ 100% or a 130CFM Delta 120 but its right on par with medium high speed 92's
    damn this thing is a MONSTER!!

    and it has enough cable length to hang yourself :attn:

    (OCZ 600 on left)



    ill try to test it out tonight but im running into room temp problems as of late....guess i could shutdown the FOLDing Farm for a few hours to lighten the load on my wimpy AC unit.
    Not sure how I missed that post JC. The rails can dip into each others source...how far I don't know, but AFAIK, it's not meant for sustained loads. Many dual 12V PSUs are the same...18A/20A rails, but one rail will support up to 30A for a short period. Presumably that's also assuming there's hardly any load on the other ;) 60A available at the source is a lot more than any other PSU short of really heavy duty jobs that no one in their right mind would put in a desktop case, LOL.

    That's good news. I kind of have the feeling the 750W Silverstone Zeus is the same too. They are pretty darn close, but Silverstone claims a full 750W @ *50C* and I didn't think FSP was that high in temp. Maybe they are and maybe that is FSP under the hood then? Either way, I haven't seen them available in the US yet, but will definitely keep an eye out for that Silverstone ;)
    good marketing and name recognition (OCZ's) trumps true performance (once again) :(


    OCZ is moving over to Fortron for the new GameXStream units. Not too hard figuring out which FSP units they're using either ;)

    Best part - at NCIX, where they're already listed, the prices are lower than the equivalent FSP unit.
    I own one have for a few mounths, im leaving the fan and the waranty alone although i dought ill have too much to wory about.

    i shorted out the power good circuit on my 5+ year old 550w enermax (i was having boot up problems due to spin up of fans and hard drives .... beeeep please plug in gpu molex. I was trying to combine two psus, little did i know that el-cheepo didn't even have a real power good :( although it was my mistake that tosted the enermax )

    so i splurged on one of these... And the result?

    me :( --> :D

    btw its lowder than the other 20 something fans because they run very slow thanks to a DIY PWM

    edit: I should say that it could do with a few more molex i had to use a y spliter.

    edit2:from hardwarelogic.com

    heres a link to the insides of a FSP 700W psu
    Funny, I have a RF Power650 I bought in '88 still bouncing around here somewhere, along with a couple Punch 150s!! :D

    That's exactly one of the Epsilons I was talking about in the x1900 thread. I've heard nothing, but good reviews on it and have seen it run OCed Crossfire 1900s and OCed CPU by itself like someone else said in the same thread. I'd hope we could get one for review one day.


    if you want to "do some damage" to something, would you:

    hit it with 4x plastic bats?

    -or-

    hit it with 1x BIG ol' 16lb SLEDGE HAMMER? :attn: ;)


    haha.. That makes alot of sense.. :cool:

    I really hope the zippy fits.. !
    going to take a quick stab @ that one...

    V/J has stated that his OCed and over volted 1900 Master card was drawing >16 Amps and that (700w) PSU's 12v rail(S) are only rated @ 15 Amps... albeit there are 4x of them but no 1x is powerful enough to give this card what it really needs.

    EDIT:

    if you want to "do some damage" to something, would you:

    hit it with 4x plastic bats?

    -or-

    hit it with 1x BIG ol' 16lb SLEDGE HAMMER? :attn: ;)
    Great review guys !!

    Joe Camel pointed me in the direction of the review since Ive been thinking its time for a new psu.. Im having a feeling that my ocz 600watter is holding me back..

    Im not sure this zippy monster is going to fit in the top slot of my stacker case but im going to measure it up tonight.. and if it fits I will prolly get it..

    If I may ask one question.. How do you feel about this psu..?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817104015

    This is my second option after the Zippy if it doesnt fit.. From what I gather its better to have a large single 12v rail and I know this FSP psu has a quad 12v rails.. I just want to make sure its a good choice..

    Sorry for being slightly off topic..
    :beer:thanks for the input :beer:

    OCZ600,

    huh... good marketing and name recognition (OCZ's) trumps true performance (once again) :(
    Look at it this way: OCZ chose a pure winner in the PS520, and a purely average (at best) supply in the 600. If you bat .500 you go to the hall of fame. There's a profit motive in it (obviously) for OCZ, and when they make purchasing decisions as astute as buying the 520 there's plenty of room for it. The 600 tends to seem less a bargain.