The PowerMan 235 Watt And 300 Watt Supplies (from the InWin
If you opt
for either one of these units, you won't be disappointed. The 300 watt model
is so sturdy that AMD has authorized its use with power hungry Athlon processors.
The 235 watt model (FSP235-60GT) looks like a typical ATX supply in that it
has a low voltage standby switch and a 3" fan. What's unusual, and another
reason why I like it so well, is it's choice of power connectors. There are
four branches (bundles) of long connector wires hanging out of the unit. The
first one is the ATX connector, nothing extraordinary about that. Branch #2
has 2 full size and 1 small plugs on it. Branch #3 has 2 large plugs, and
branch #4 has 1 large and 1 small plug. In total, this adds up to 5 large
and 2 small plugs to distribute the power around the peripherals. There's
plenty of plugs left for extra case fans, video card fans, and of course,
the obligatory Plextor Combo. I hate those fiddly, unreliable splitters that
so many systems have because the power supply lacks all the plugs necessary.
The 300 watt
PowerMan (model FSP300-60GT) is quite the special piece. It simply reeks of
quality and reliability when you first set eyes on it. The ATX connector is
so long that you could plug it into a motherboard that's across the room (it's
about 18 inches). Branch #1 is the ATX connector. Branches #2 and #3 have
2 large and 0 small plugs each. Branches #4 and #5 have 1 large and 1 small
plugs each. The remaining branch is ½ of an AT power connector. In total,
this adds up to 6 large and 2 small plugs, one more additional large plug
than the 235 watt version, but split up differently.
InWin cases have eliminated copper MB standoffs. Now, raised "pimples"
force the MB well away from the right side panel but care still must be exercised.
The screws that fit into the center of the raised bumps effectively align
the board with the peripheral slots and create a ground plane. After carefully
mounting the MB inside, it seemed to become one with the entire case, as if
it always belonged there. The peripherals, especially the ones that never
really seem to fit quite right, put up little protest when being pushed into
their slots. This is a very accurately manufactured and sturdy case!
7200 RPM HD was mounted in the bottom-most removable 3.5" slot. The
was mounted in the topmost 5.25" slot. Then I connected most of the power
plugs and of course the massive ATX power blob. As I took a moment out to
contemplate a few minor details, it struck me. It felt as though I was working
in a full tower case, not in a much more cramped mid tower design.
I could reach everything: SDRAM, power connectors, audio cables, and most
importantly, those big, fat IDE cables of which I had two plus a dual
floppy cable installed. Sweating and grunting was definitely kept to the bare
It's no secret
that InWin's have been a favorite of mine. I readily appreciate all the quality
touches that many competitors lack even if the S500 costs $5 more. Always
innovating, InWin seems to never rest on their laurels. When overclockers
called for more room and fans, the S500 magically appeared. Since the S500
is priced in the same category as the A500, consider carefully which features
are important to you as features are the only factor to consider. PowerMan
(Sparkle) are the default power supplies and with increasing current (not
overall power) demands of processors in the 800MHz class and upwards, these
supplies will handle all but the most demanding of situations. Personally,
I'm so impressed by the additional flexibility and quality of the S500, I'm
giving it the official TargetPC editor's choice award. Kudos to InWin once