Seasonic Platinum Fanless 520W PSU

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Platinum Series Fanless 520
(SS-520FL2 Active PFC F3)
ATX/EPS12V power supply
Street Price

This Seasonic fanless power supply became inevitable when the 80 PLUS Platinum efficiency class was created. The Seasonic 400W and 460W X-series models were the first fanless PSUs from Seasonic, released two years ago in Q4 of 2010. Those 90% efficient PSUs swept all other fanless models in every measure of performance. The only serious competition was the fanless Platinum class Kingwin Stryker STR-500, which appeared almost immediately after the X-series fanless and surpassed the Seasonic X series in efficiency. With greater brand presence and probably better global distribution, the Seasonic X-series models have become the defacto choice for fanless PSUs, but Kingwin had already thrown down the gauntlet with the Stryker STR-500.

The Platinum Series Fanless 520W is Seasonic's answer to that challenge, albeit a long time in the making. Seasonic has had over two years of continuous production experience with the extensive 80 PLUS Gold X-series to bring to their new line, so consumer expectations of the new Platinum models has got to be high. The first model was the 1000W, announced with the 860W; 660W and 760W models are coming, but the 520W fanless is actually the second Seasonic Platinum to make it to market. The Platinum Fanless 520W is a natural evolution of the X-400 and X-460 which preceded it. It shares the same casing, completely modular cables, and similar internal layout. New 460W and 400W Platinum models will displace the earier X-series models. (Note: Most these products are already selling at Newegg at time of posting, Dec 11.)

Long time SPCR readers need little introduction to Seasonic. The core story of this Taiwanese company is that it started as an audio hifi amplifier company in the 1970s, then expanded into making switching power supplies mostly for Apple computers, became a well-respected OEM/ODM PSU manufacturer along the way, and about a decade ago, began marketing and selling PSUs under its own brand name as well. They attracted SPCR's attention with a then-unique approach to PSU cooling, which kept the internal fan running at very slow speed except at higher loads. Seasonic PSUs were the quietest out-of-the-box when I first started reviewing them, and they have always been at the top of our Recommended PSU list.

The retail package is the same size as the X series fanless, and its graphics are in lighter shades, but still classy as per Seasonic norm. If you have a chance to handle the box in a store, you'll find a massive amount of data and information all over it. It is obviously designed to persuade you to to purchase; too bad so few of us actually buy components in a brick-and-mortar store these days.

Well packed in shock-resistant closed cell foam, with cables in a double-section pouch and the PSU in a velour draw-string bag.

Here's all the contents of the box. Note that except for the main ATX cable, all the output cables are of the flat data-cable style.

The prominent caution label about PSU installation position used in the X-series fanless models has been retained.

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