Seasonic M12 600w Modular PSU

Testing

Load Testing

NOTE: The voltage results obtained for the Seasonic M12 unit are deemed to be inaccurate due to a problem discovered with the OC3D testing equipment. The unit is currently in the process of being re-tested.


In order for the results from all current and future PSU reviews to remain fair and comparable, Overclock3D uses a custom built Power Supply load stress tester.

The tester will be placing the following loads on each of the M12's rails:

+3.3v - 20a Load
+5.0v - 20a Load
+12v1 - 10a Load
+12v2 - 10a Load
+12v3 - 10a Load
+12v4 - 10a Load

The results are collected from a Mastech MAS-345 Multimeter which logs its readings via RS232 to a PC.

Seasonic M12 600w +3.3vSeasonic M12 600w +5.0v

The M12 proved to have very stable voltages on its +3.3 and +5v rails when placed under load. No fluctuation what so ever was exhibited on the +5v rail and a minimal amount of fluctuation (0.02v) was seen on the +3.3v rail.

Seasonic M12 600w +12v1Seasonic M12 600w +12v2

Seasonic M12 600w +12v3Seasonic M12 600w +12v4

All of the +12v rails on the M12 told exactly the same story. No change in Idle and Load voltages was seen, placing this power supply among some of the most stable units we've ever tested here at OC3D. I certainly wasn't expecting these kind of results from the M12 and actually tested the unit several times to ensure that our test equipment wasn't faulty!


Efficiency Testing

Efficiency tests are performed by measuring the wattage consumed by the power supply at the mains against the power (in watts) consumed by the OC3D power supply stress tester. These results may not be 100% accurate, but have proven to be extremely close to results obtained from professional equipment.

Seasonic M12 600w Efficiency

The M12 was placed under a load of 646 watts. This counts for a total of 107% of the power supplies rated output. At this load, the power supply required 771 watts from the mains. Therefore the efficiency of this power supply can be found by a simple equation: (646 / 771) * 100, which works out to be an efficiency rating of 83.7%.


Noise Testing

Possibly the hardest part of any PSU review is summarising the level of noise given out by the unit. The threshold for what is considered 'noisy' varies from person to person and therefore what I may consider a quiet unit, another person may consider extremely loud. A common way to resolve this issue is to use a dBA meter to measure the units noise level, however this doesn't take into account the pitch (type) of noise emitted and whether it is likely to irritate end users.

For this reason OC3D records all power supplies at idle and load in wav format for you to make your own informed decisions. All recordings are taken at 30cm away from the PSU and outside of a PC case. You will need to remember that noise levels will be reduced by varying amounts once the PSU has been installed inside your PC enclosure.

Idle Recording - Download
Load Recording - Download

After hearing good things about the Seasonic units with regards to noise levels, I was expecting the M12 to be a very quiet power supply. However, these expectations started to turn into concerns once I had seen the choice of fans used inside the unit. With two fans rated between 32dBA and 39dBA it became hard to see how these could possibly be considered "Super quiet" as stated on the M12's packaging.

At Idle I started to regain faith in Seasonic's "super quiet" marketing, with the M12 being almost totally silent due to both fans running at very low RPM.

However, once the M12 was placed under load the fan speed increased significantly, and as you can probably hear from the recordings above - made the unit really quite loud. Personally I would find it very hard to recommend the M12 to anybody seeking a silent PSU for their computer.

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Most Recent Comments

08-11-2006, 12:22:13

JN
"Seasonic are known for their range of silent and stable power supplies. The M12 is one of their latest models, and their first entry into the modular scene. How does it perform? We find out..."

Linkage

08-11-2006, 14:53:39

kimandsally
I look forward to the Corsair 620 review if you get to test one, as far as I know it's very similar but is quieter with only 1 120mm fan.

08-11-2006, 14:57:41

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='kimandsally'
I look forward to the Corsair 620 review if you get to test one, as far as I know it's very similar but is quieter with only 1 120mm fan.
Funnily enough, I have one on its way

08-11-2006, 15:22:21

kimandsally
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='XMS'
Funnily enough, I have one on its way
I look forward to that with massive interest, I'm thinking of getting one because of it's supposed high efficientcy and quietness, may I ask if you sell them after review?

08-11-2006, 15:30:29

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='kimandsally'
I look forward to that with massive interest, I'm thinking of getting one because of it's supposed high efficientcy and quietness, may I ask if you sell them after review?
Nah, we either keep them for future comparisons or send them back.

08-11-2006, 16:12:34

NickS
Nice review

You need to upgrade the PSU tester, 10a per 12v is nothin!

08-11-2006, 16:37:30

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickS
Nice review

You need to upgrade the PSU tester, 10a per 12v is nothin!
It can do up to 80a total on +12v at 5a increases.

If you look at the specs on the M12, the maximum combined amperage it can cope with on the +12v rail is 48a - so i got as close to that as possible (40a). Plus its handy to compare results with other 600w PSU's - most of which have been subjected to the same stress.

08-11-2006, 17:34:48

NickS
Wow, 80a? Impressive.

Thanks for explanation though XMS

08-11-2006, 17:44:59

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickS
Wow, 80a? Impressive.

Thanks for explanation though XMS
No probs mate - and yea - prepping myself for some of the future single railed babies

08-11-2006, 18:12:38

FragTek
Great review, and this looks to be a half way decent PSU. I think I could pick something better to put in my case if I had the choice however.

XMS, you gotta line up a single rail 1kw turbo-cool review!

08-11-2006, 20:51:47

markkleb
I am not a fan of the modular style PS.

But that was a very good review.

09-11-2006, 03:20:25

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='FragTek'
XMS, you gotta line up a single rail 1kw turbo-cool review!
Deffo
Reply
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