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Ron Ridley Auto Care Mall

  Seasonic S12 600Watt Power Supply

The last Power Supply I reviewed from Seasonic was a Super Tornado 400 Watt unit in August of 2003 – whow! Time flies.

This unit looked much the same and had the 12 CM fan (originally called a 120 mm fan) and black case. All the cables were wrapped with a black mesh – sexy?.

It is loaded with power cables for all present and future motherboards – 20 pin and 24 pin (a sneaky little twist on the 24 pin plug and the last 4 pins fold out of the way but are still attached for when you want to upgrade to a 24 pin board).

There are numerous plugs for SATA drives as well as the standard Molex plugs for hard drives etc.

There are plugs for future needs – including an 8 pin plug that will be required for dual layered chips and 2- 6pin plugs for PCI-E video cards.  They even included a floppy adaptor – plugs into one of the Molex connectors – for those users that still have a floppy (I do) and may want to plug in another device that uses the floppy connector – eg.  a memory card reader.

I decided to try to evaluate its performance by using a test meter that was originally sent out by Seasonic called a Power Angel. It measures the amperage and wattage draw of devices plugged into it. I have found it quite useful in my motorhome – testing devices for their draw on my inverter.

Back to the power supply. I tried using the Power Angel to measure the wattage draw on my present 450 Enermax power supply. The computer wouldn't even boot when I ran the power through the Power Angel. Strange?

I installed the S12 600 Watt power supply and all booted ok.

Could it be that I was asking too much of the 450psw with 2 -300GB hard drives, 4 cd–dvd  readers and writers, 9 fans (one on each hard drive and each Plextor Cd-DVD RW unit along with an extra case fan and 2 fans on my video card? Anyway – with the S12 600watt the computer booted and ran.

I noticed that the wattage draw on the AC side varied between 150 – 240 watts depending on what I was doing. I noticed that the game GUN was jerky before (all features turned up to high) but when I tried the same game (240 watt draw) now that there was no jerking and I believe that the picture even looked better. Was my video card "starving" for wattage before?

Even under load – playing Gun – I only felt warm air being expelled – not hot as one would expect.

Using Asus's Probe if found the voltages to be slightly low but rock solid.

12 volt = 11.977.  5 volt = 5.026.  3.3 volt = 3.248 and the V core voltage was 1.6 volts. 

The large fan was quiet – like the previous 400 watt unit.

I am looking foreword for my Conroe chip and dual video cards latter this summer so I can really make it work but the chip and supporting motherboards haven't been released yet.

I would highly recommend this Power Supply for its cable flexibility and its ability to supply constant voltages with little effort (heat).

Review ID Number: 664
  Product Details
Seasonic USA
Review Date: 2006-05-26
Reviewer: John Mitchell
Rating: 10 out of 10
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