Seasonic SS-350TGM 80 Plus Gold TFX

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7. TEMPERATURE, COOLING & NOISE

Despite the absence of the marketing hoopla that usually accompanies sophisticated fan control systems, the SS-350TGM is equipped with the same semi-passive cooling scheme as the X series PSUs. The fan does not start up at turn-on. The only noise it emits is a very low level of electronic buzz, soft enough that it is difficult to hear from over a foot away and immeasurable in my anechoic chamber at 1m distance. This electronic buzz does not appear to rise as load is increased.

In our test setup with a modest 22-23°C ambient, the fan did not turn on until 150W load was applied. The fan was barely audible, at 12 dBA@1m, just above the ambient in the anechoic chamber, even though it had the distinct ball-bearing sound — a bit of chattering or clicking — from up close. At 250W load, the fan became more clearly audible, measuring 17dBA, but still not intrusive. Above that load, there was a rapid jump in fan speed and noise, to 39 dBA at 300W and 44 dBA at full power. The high load fan behavior is typical of Seasonic PSUs, which have usually favored good cooling over low noise at high load.

With the long and narrow shape of the PSU, the temperature of the exhaust air may be less indicative of real internal temperatures. In any case, all of our exhaust temperature readings are little more than a gauge of internal heat; the more precise measure of heat is the number of watts lost as heat. Still, the SS-350TGM never seemed to get very hot, with maximum exhaust temperature reading just 44°C. The high efficiency ensures that only a minimal amount of heat be dissipated, and the maximum amount (at full power) is just 35W.

IN THE HOT BOX

Exposed to the heat of the hotbox, the SS-350TGM fan sped up at a lower power load, but its overall power/noise ratio retained the same basic shape. Keep the load under 250W, even in a system that's not well ventilated, and this PSU will stay very quiet.

SEASONIC SS-350TGM SPL: In Hot Box vs. Out
Power load
90W
150W
200W
250W
300W
350W
out
N/A
12
12
17
39
44
in hot box
N/A
12
17
22
41
44
Measurements are in dBA@1m

COMPARISONS

The comparison table below shows the SPL versus Power Load data on PSUs tested in ambient room temperature, typically 20~24°C. It is most relevant when PSUs are used in modern cases that provide wide open access to cooler outside air for the PSU cooling fan. Although its noise level is competitive with all the PSUs on the table at <250W loads, the 80mm fan's rapid increase in speed as its maximum load is approached puts it at the bottom of the list. The thing to remember is that its maximum load is just 350W, and it is highly unlikely to be used in a system that draws more than 250W peak.

PSU Noise (dBA@1m) vs. Power in Ambient Room Temperature
Model
90W
150W
200W
250W
300W
400W
500W
6-700W
850W
Kingwin Lazer Platinum LZP-550
<10*
<10
<10
<10
<10
<10
16
n/a
n/a
Seasonic X-400 Fanless
<10*
<10
<10
<10
<10
<10
n/a
n/a
n/a
Enermax Modu/Pro87+ 500
11
11
11
11
11
11
18
n/a
n/a
Corsair AX850
<10
<10
<10
11~13
12
13
17
24
35
Seasonic X-650
<10
<10
<10
<10
<10
16
27
32
n/a
Nexus NX-5000
11
11
12
12
12.5
14
19
n/a
n/a
Antec CP-850
12
12
12
12
12
14
20
24
40
Enermax Eco80+ 500W
<11
12
12
16
20
23
28
n/a
n/a
Antec TP-750
12
12
12
14
15
27
31
40
n/a
Cougar GX-700
15
15
15
17
21
25
35
35
n/a
Seasonic SS-350TGM
<10*
12
12
17
39
44
n/a
n/a
n/a

The comparison table below shows the SPL versus Power Load data on all the PSUs tested in the hotbox. It's difficult to rank them, as the measured SPL varies with power load. The units which are quietest at minimum load are not always the quietest at midload (100W~300W), which may make them louder in actual use. Then there's the noise level at 400W and up, which will determine the quietest PSUs for high power gaming rigs, during actual gaming.

The SS-350TGM's acoustics in the hotbox are competitive with some of the quietest PSUs at <200W load, but above that level, it is middling at best. Again, keep in mind its intended application, in PCs with maximum draws of <250W.

PSU Noise (dBA@1m) vs. Power in Hotbox/Anechoic Chamber
Model
90W
150W
200W
250W
300W
400W
500W
6-700W
850W
Seasonic X-400 Fanless
<10*
<10
<10
<10
<10
<10
n/a
n/a
n/a
Kingwin Lazer Platinum LZP-550
<10*
<10
<10
<10
<10
16
22
n/a
n/a
Enermax Modu/Pro87+ 500
11
11
11
11
14
20
23
n/a
n/a
Corsair AX850
<10
<10
12
15
18
25
35
38
39
Seasonic X-650
<10
<10
12
14
16
31
31
32
n/a
Nexus Value 430
11
11
16
18
18
19
n/a
n/a
n/a
Nexus NX-5000
11
11
12
14
22
24
25
n/a
n/a
Antec CP-850
12
12
12
14
14
26
40
44
45
Enermax Eco80+ 500W
<11
12
16
19
26
32
33
n/a
n/a
Seasonic M12D 850W
14
14
14
14
14
24
37
42
42
Antec TP-750
12
12
14
14
18
33
40
40
n/a
Chill Innovation CP-700M
15
15
15
15
17
30
34
34
n/a
Antec Signature 650
15
15
15
18
18
28
36
47
n/a
Seasonic SS-350TGM
<10*
12
12
17
39
44
n/a
n/a
n/a
Coolermaster M700W
14
14
18
21
25
27
34
34
n/a
Cougar GX-700
15
15
18
20
25
32
35
36
n/a
SilverStone DA700
18
18
18
18
23
32
35
41
n/a
Nexus RX-8500
14
14
17
22
28
32
32
33
33
NesteQ ECS7001
22
22
22
21
23
25
36
37
n/a
PCPC Silencer 610
20
24
24
24
24
30
40
50
n/a

The green boxes are >30 dBA@1m SPL.
*<10 = below the ambient of our anechoic chamber; immeasurably low @1m in any environment

Caution: Please keep in mind that the data in the above table is specific to the conditions of our test setup. Change the cooling configuration, the ambient temperature and any number of other factors, and you could change the point at which the fans start speeding up, as well as the rate of the rise in speed. The baseline SPL is accurate, however, probably to within 1 dBA.



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