Unaccustomed as I am to doing any work of substance for bit-tech, Cheese said he was going to remove my skeleton from my body if I didnít come up with something soon. On that note, I thought Iíd get some reviews out there for you guys to have a snoop at and what better one to get myself started with than a PSU review. Youíve all had too much excitement what with the GeforceFX and Intel 3G stuff.. letís get back down to earth with the salt of the PC and look at some components. SPI Electronic Company Ltd. (A subsidiary of FSP group) doesnít immediately spring to mind when you think of power supplies, that is unless you think of Sparkle Power Incorporated. That's right, this is a Sparkle. Looking through the sales brochure, itís suddenly apparent that SPI are quite certainly in the PSU business. They make the lot from your average ATX, through 1U/2U height supplies, Inverters right up to PSUs designed for use in medical equipment. (Ok, Iím kind of guessing this last piece, but it says ĎMedical Power Suppliesí so Iím sticking with my version). I really had no idea how broad their range was. Weíve got our hands on their FSP300-60ATV(PF) model which, if you canít deduce from the letters is a 300W unit, P4 compliant with Passive Power Factor (PF) correction, although this particular one is not ATX 2.03 standard.

Ok, 300W is a little blah these days, but weíre going to put it up against the following system:
AMD 2000+ XP
Abit AT7
2 x 40Gb HDD
2 x CD-RW
2 x CCFL
3 x 80mm Fans
1 x LCD
That should be enough to see if 300W is going to do or not.

The box itself has a lot more ventilation that Iíve seen before on a PSU, this doesnít stack up against the dual fan approach of say, an Enermax, but in terms of getting air in over the components, you canít fault that. The only downside with more holes in the case means more chance of accidentally sticking a screwdriver somewhere you shouldnít when itís on.

The cables are anchored well by a large locking grommet (thatís a great phrase) which is the least you should expect these days. The cables come with 5 standard and 2 floppy connectors none of which are particularly long. I would have liked to see more standard connectors, maybe one floppy and more distance on these. Unfortunately I disagree with Macro in that your power cables can never be too long and nothing gets on my nerves more than trying to get that last couple of millimetres out of a cable. With these, theyíre average length which unfortunately means youíre not going to get them up to the top (or indeed down to the bottom) of a full tower case without extensions. Also supplied (luckily, or we wonít be getting very far) is the ATX connector, P4 connector and AUX connector.

At boot, the PSU 5/12v levels come in at slightly under the amounts you'd expect as you can see from the following picture. This carries through into the OS and they are constantly under throughout normal usage. That said, there is also little variation (+/- 0.08v) even when triggering a lot of activity across drives and an hours run of 3DMark2001 didn't cause it to bat an eyelid. I'm not Macro or Cheese, so terms such as Wobble and Ripple mean little to me but in terms of just driving this thing as an everyday user, it performed flawlessly. All in all, you have to give it it's due, it's a corking little supply and as already mentioned, SPI do this for a living in all sorts of devices so that has to count for something. This particular model is around ?30 + VAT and is available from pretty much any good component supplier. If you're looking for something to sit shoulder to shoulder with some of the bigger names, you could do a lot worse than taking a look at this.