Posted: September 02, 2003
Author: Matt Bunnell
Who is Seasonic? Their web site has this to say: “Since the incorporation of Seasonic in 1975, we have maintained our focus on research and development and the production of quality power conversion products. For the past 30 years, backed with cutting edge technology based upon a strong R&D team, Seasonic has provided prompt and professional solutions to meet our customer’s requirements.”
Seasonic makes several types of power supplies for the PC and Server markets. They are the (1) Super Silencer, (2) Super Tornado and (3) Super Versatile. Today we look at their 400 watt “Super Silencer” for the PC market, graciously supplied by Seasonic for this review (many images in this review supplied by Seasonic, as well).
The 400W Super Silencer power supply comes packaged in a very descriptive and colorful box. Inside you’ll find the Power supply, a power cable, 4 mounting screws, the manual and two other unique items. The first is a small card with RMA instructions that clearly state the procedure for returning this PSU should you have trouble within the 3 year warranty period (this is something not normally supplied by manufacturers). The second unique item is called “Dr.Cable”... Dr.Cable is a power supply line management system to help you control all the power cables for a cleaner look and to help promote good airflow for proper PC cooling (More on Dr.Cable later).
Not all power supplies are created equal! One of my systems has been giving me trouble and I suspected it was with the PSU. Every so often the wallpaper would develop lines through it, the mouse would not respond and then the system would crash. The PSU was a generic one that came with the case and was rated at 400 watts.
So, I did a side by side comparison of the two PSU’s. Below you can clearly see the difference, yet, both units are rated the same. The generic one has very small heatsinks, small coils and small capacitors. It also “feels” lightweight. The Seasonic has much beefier heatsinks, coils and capacitors. This added weight gives a more robust (and confidence building) feel to it.
Again, both units are rated the same. Both boast a 400 watt supply; both boast 180 watts for the 3.3v+ / 5v rails. But the Seasonic pulls ahead from this point on, 28 amps on the +3.3 rail (vs. 25 amps on the generic), 30 amps on the +5v rail (vs. 28 amps), 22 amps for the +12v rail (vs. 13 amps). The Seasonic also boasts a 450 watt peak output (not identified on the generic).
Looking closer at the Seasonic PSU, aside from the more robust components used, we can see where some of the “silence” comes from, the one fan is mounted on rubber washers. These rubber washers localize and minimize the vibrations caused by the fan while in operation, thus reducing any noise created.
Having only one fan greatly reduces the noise emitted from this power supply, but does not seem to reduce the cooling effect of the unit itself. The large aluminum heatsinks used to transfer heat from the components up into the airflow works as it should. (I placed my hand back by the exhaust of the case fan and PSU…the case fan was noticeably warmer then the air from the PSU).
Let’s look at the features of the Seasonic Super Silencer:
4Smart & Silent Fan Control (S2FC): Silent enthusiast’s best choice.
4Soft-Mounting Rubber Cushion Fan: Quieter operation & longer life.
4Super High Efficiency (up to 80%): Cool, quiet, reliable & energy saving.
4Forward Converter: Advanced design for reliable power.
4Active Power Factor Correction (99%PFC): Conserve electricity & our environment.
4Universal Free Input (100-240V full range): Plug & run safely anywhere in the world.
4Cable Management Kit (Dr.Cable): Make your PC tidy & neat.
The Seasonic “Super Silencer” has 8 molex connectors and 2 floppy drive connectors on 3 leads, more than enough for the average home PC. Installation is straight forward. The size of the PSU is standard, so you should have no problem installing it in your case.
Please read on to page 2 for the installation, testing, and conclusion... Next
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