Posted: December 29, 2003
Author: Matt Bunnell
Let’s take a look at just how well the Seasonic Super Tornado performs. I used a Radio Shack digital multimeter (cat # 22-810) for all test readings. Testing took place after a rebuild from a system failure (hard disk drive crashed requiring replacement). The test system is as follows:
• AMD Athlon XP 1800+ processor
• MSI KT4V-L motherboard
• 512 MB Crucial DDR memory
• Asus V7700 GF2 AGP
• Western Digital 40GB
• HP 8x4x32 CD-RW
• Toshiba 16x DVD ROM
• (3) 80mm case fans (2 intake, 1 exhaust)
The label below shows the amperages on the individual rails along with the combined +3.3 & +5 volt wattage of 200W.
(The following pictures were taken while holding the multimeter probes with one hand and taking the photos with the other. Please forgive the fuzzy/misaligned shots.)
To start the testing I took readings on the three rails right after starting the computer at idle. The first picture below shows the +3.3v rail, the center shot shows the +5v rail and the +12v rail. Note that these are all idle readings.
O.K. those reading are fully expected and acceptable. Next I started Folding @ Home to get the CPU working and at the same time burned a Data CD “On the fly” or CD to CD and retested all three rails again. The photo below left shows the +3.3v rail, center photo is the +5v rail and below right is the +12v rail.
Wow! Those readings pretty much stayed the same. A slight drop in the +12v rail, but still acceptable. Next I took readings while defragmenting the hard drive and listening to a music CD. Again we have the +3.3v rail below left, the +5v rail center and the +12v rail on the right.
Again there is no difference in the power supplied to the system. Each rail delivered the necessary voltage consistently to all the attached components without a single hiccup! Kudos to Seasonic and their Super Tornado PSU!
The chart below summarizes the results detailed above...
Turning to the “Dr.Cable” cable management kit. We find 2 split looms, 1 large for the ATX power connector and 1 small for the power leads. 1 cable mount to secure the cables to the case interior and 15 small nylon wire ties. By following the directions in the manual the Dr.Cable cable management kit will help keep the inside of your case uncluttered and allow a free flow of air for proper cooling of your system.
While there are some more powerful PSU’s to be had for the serious system builder, I think you would be hard pressed to find one with the features that Seasonic has incorporated into the Super Tornado. Seasonic has produced a superb and reliable power supply. The consistency of the 3 power rails is without a doubt comparable to some of the more well known power supplies on the market today. In my opinion the Seasonic Super Tornado is truly “The advanced choice for gamers and over-clockers”, as printed on the front of the box.
But, all was not “Peaches & Cream”. This test unit was the 2nd one I received. The first one had some cosmetic damage to the casing. It did not affect the performance of the PSU, but would have caused some installation problems. A quick call to the Seasonic representative and a new unit was sent before the call was finished!
A quick search of PriceGrabber turns up no results for the Super Tornado, but according to the Seasonic “Where to Buy” page there are several outlets to chose from, where one can expect to pay about $105 (US) for the 400W version of the Super Tornado power supply. The price may be higher than many other 400 watt power supplies, but given the impressively consistent voltage rails, I rate the Seasonic Super Tornado 400W power supply 4 out of 5 stars.
• Consistent power
• Silent operation
• Ample Molex connectors & lead lengths
• Dr.Cable cable management kit
• Higher price than other 400W power supplies
• No S-ATA connections
Special thanks to Seasonic for supplying the Super Tornado 400W Power Supply to BigBruin.Com for review!
Please drop by the BigBruin.Com Forum and feel free to discuss this review.
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