Seasonic G360 PSU: High efficiency & performance, low price

Power
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Product
G360
ATX12V power supply
Sample Supplier
Seasonic USA
Manufacturer
Seasonic Electronics
Street Price
US$60~80

Only two quarters ago in February 2012, I remarked in a review of the Seasonic 350TGM that "if you want a quality power supply built into a modern, compact PC, the 200~400W area is pretty barren." Manufacturers seem to have seen the same light, because in recent months, there has been a small upsurge of new, modest power, high efficiency ATX power supply introductions. Aside from the fanless and pricey Seasonic X-400 80 PLUS Gold, there had been virtually no consumer PSUs offered at this power range. Now, there's the AURUM GOLD 400 from FSP, the Magna Platinum 400 from Sparkle Power, the Golden Green 80 PLUS Gold 350P14XE from Super Flower, and most recently, the Seasonic G360 80 PLUS Gold. We are gathering up samples of the rest, but the hottest item for PC silencers is the Seasonic: The company has been the pioneer in low noise and high efficiency power supplies, and they've been the most consistently recommended PSUs at SPCR for over a decade.

Everthing comes and goes... and comes around again! When I first started reviewing computer power supplies a decade ago, a 300W PSU was considered quite powerful, and 400W was about as high as the ratings went. Then came 130W CPUs and multiple 200W video cards for gamers, and kilowatt PSUs. For a while, it was hard to find any retail packaged PSUs rated for less than 450~500W, and 600W seemed to be the new norm.

The good news is that the power race over the past decade was not for naught. It was accompanied by dramatic increases in power supply efficiency from well below 70% at the start of the period to over 90% today (virtually mandated for effective cooling of PSUs approaching kilowatt rating), a steady decline in CPU power demand as Intel (and AMD, to a less successful degree) got seriously focused on energy efficiency, and most recently, significant improvements both integrated graphics performance and the power draw of high performance discrete graphics as well. As a result, the typical power requirements of modern desktop PCs are about as low again as during the era of Pentium 3, when 250~300W PSUs were the norm. It is in the context of these trends in PC component technology that we can fully appreciate the introduction of the Seasonic G360.


New carton is bright and cheerful, the G360 is retro-small with sleeved non-detachable cables, and well protected in a close-cell foam.

Seasonic says the G-series are a response to customer calls for high efficiency PSUs like the X-series in a lower power range, with fewer bells and whistles, and lower pricing. The G360 is the lowest power model of the G series, first shown at Computex Taipei in June. It differs from the 450W, 550W and 650W models in being smaller— 14 cm deep compared to 16 cm — and not having any detachable cables. All the G models have 80 PLUS Gold efficiency (peak >90%), which begs the question of whether they might hijack sales from the X-series, also rated Gold. There are several differentiators between them, though, with the X-series clearly positioned as the more premier series.

  • X-series cables are all detachable; the G360 is non-modular, and the other G-series models are described as "semi-modular", which probably means the main ATX12V and other always used cables are not detachable.
  • An ADDA fan is used in the G-series, rather than the sophisticated custom-specified Sanyo-Denki fan in the X-series.
  • The controller in the X-series keep the fan from spinning up until around ~50% load is reached, making them semi-passively cooled; the G-series fans are fully active and spin up at turn on, although at very low speed.
  • The capacitors in the G-series are not exclusively Japanese parts, though many critical ones are.

First and foremost, the Seasonic 360G is 80 PLUS Gold certified. This is about the lowest power Gold rated ATX PSU. The official 80 PLUS test report (PDF) cites a peak of 90.7% efficiency at half power, and 88.3% at 20% load (74W). It is at the <200W loads where typical modern desktop PCs operate, and maximizing PSU efficiency is good for both heat and noise.

DETAILS

The G360 is impeccably finished in a slightly reflective flat black paint. Hexagonal pattern grills are used for both intake and exhaust vents. Interestingly, the grill over the fan is part of the casing, like in the X-series. The casing is a classic clamshell, and as with all Seasonic PSUs in recent memory, the fit is superb; the two halves fit perfectly together with no play or give. Such attention to detail is unusual and a pleasure to behold.


The casing is small compared to most current PSUs, but it is the size specified by the ATX PSU design guide. At 4 lbs with all its cables, the G360 feels lighter than any of the fan-equipped X-series models, which weigh >5 lbs with all their cables. Venting, both in and out, is highly unrestricted, as per long Seasonic practice.


There are no openings in the case other than the fan intake and back panel exhaust. All cables are nicely sleeved.

SEASONIC G360 FEATURE HIGHLIGHTS
FEATURE & BRIEF Our comment
80 PLUS® Gold Certified
90% efficiency at mid-load
Great!
DC-to-DC Converter Design
Maximizes 12V Rail Current, improve stability and dynamic response
Featured in X-series, too.
Tight Voltage Regulation [±3%] Tighter is better.
Smart & Silent Fan Control [S2FC]
Seasonic's long-proven fan controller
Japanese Capacitors: 105° Aluminum Electrolytic & Conductive Polymer Aluminum Solid Higher quality & reliability, longer life
High Power Gold Plated Terminals
OK
Safety certifications: cTÜVus, TÜV, CB, CE, FCC, CCC, C-Tick, BSMI As expected.
Over Power/Under Power/Over Voltage/Short Circuit Protections OK
Universal AC Input (90~264V) with Active PFC Like most high end PSUs on the retail market.
5 year warranty Great!.
140(L) x 150(W) x 86(H)mm Standard ATX size!

SEASONIC G360 SPECIFICATIONS
AC Input
100~240VAC, 5~2.5A, 50/60Hz
DC Output
3.3V
5V
12V
-12V
5Vsb
12A
16A
30A
0.3A
2A
80W
360W
3.5W
10W
360W

There is no mention of any temperature limits for power output. This is a chink in the armor for a "serious" power supply, as temperature is a critical testing environment parameter, not far off input voltage. As an example, a PSU rated to deliver 360W at 25°C might only be able to do 300W at 50°C.



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