Seasonic Goes High End Gaming with the M12

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FANS

Seasonic has not changed their fan manufacturer, so the fan is the usual smooth sounding model from Adda. The 700W model gets the high speed version, as befits its capacity. Fortunately, this fan sounds almost identical to the medium speed fans that Seasonic has used in the past. It simply has a higher top speed.


This high speed Adda fan is actually fairly quiet when undervolted.

The secondary fan is also an Adda, model AD0612HB-A71GL — the 60mm equivalent of the main fan. It's noise character is unknown to us — generally we avoid fans below 80mm because their small size means a high rotation speed — and greater noise — is needed to generate significant airflow. However, working in tandem with the 120mm fan, it may be able to spin slowly enough to be acceptable.


The 60mm fan is an Adda too.

Both fans are powered by the same fan header, which means that both receive the same voltage from the fan controller. This seems to contradict Seasonic's claim that the 60mm fan will not turn on until it is needed — if both fans receive the same voltage, they should both be spinning all the time, right?

Well, not quite. Seasonic has been quite smart, and has realized that the 60mm fan starts at a higher voltage than the 120mm fan. By setting the default voltage between the minimum voltages required by the two fans, they have ensured that the 120mm fan will start consistently, while the 60mm fan will only start when the voltage rises above its default level.

However, this approach has a major drawback: The voltage required to start a fan is typically much higher than the voltage at which it stalls. This means that, once it has started, the 60mm fan will keep spinning even when it is no longer required. Seasonic has made it possible to delay when the smaller fan starts, but they have not made it possible to turn it off once it has started.


A single fan header with a splitter cable powers both fans.

CABLES AND CONNECTORS

The individual cable sets are listed below:

  • 20" cable for main 20+4-pin ATX connector
  • 20" cable for 4-pin +12V AUX connector
  • 20" cable for 8-pin +12V AUX connector
  • 2 x 21" cable with two 6-pin PCIe connectors
  • 2 x 27" cable with two SATA drive connectors
  • 29" cable with four SATA drive connectors
  • 2 x 27" cable with two 4-pin IDE drive connectors
  • 2 x 29" cable with three 4-pin IDE drive connector
  • 6" adapter cable from IDE to 2 x floppy connectors


There are more cable sets than there are sockets to plug them into.

Only the SATA, IDE, and PCIe connectors are detachable; the main ATX and AUX connectors are permanently attached, as they are guaranteed to be in use. All of the cables are sleeved in black vinyl mesh, and the IDE plugs have grips for easy removal.

Connectors of every type are plentiful. There are a total of eight SATA plugs, ten IDE plugs, and four PCIe plugs to choose from. Lower capacity models of the M12 only have two PCIe connectors, but even that is two more than anyone needs for a quiet system. A word to the wise: A system that uses all four PCIe plugs will not be quiet, no matter how hard you try.

There is good news and bad news about Seasonic's implementation of detachable cables. The good news is that it is foolproof: It is completely impossible to plug the cables in the wrong way, which makes it much harder to accidentally fry a valuable component. The bad news is that there will always be at least one permanently attached cable that is not in use. Seasonic has included the 4-pin and 8-pin +12V connectors on separate cables, which means that one will always be spare. This seems a little odd — why not just use a 4+4-pin plug like most power supplies? [Editor's Note: One of Seasonic's technical representatives told me some time ago that this is actually one of the requirements of the EPS12V requirements — separate plugs for each of the Aux12V connectors.]



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