Seasonic M12 600w Modular PSU
Published: 8th November 2006 | Source: Seasonic | Price: |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.
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.
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.
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.