Seasonic M12II-430 modular cable PSU

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Seasonic has changed the internal circuit design for their II-series S12s and M12s. It's not clear what changes have been made — it's still a dual forward converter design — but a few changes to circuit topography are evident. Ultimately, we're not terribly interested in the technical nitty-gritty so long as it performs well — and if the S12-II is any indication, it will.

Greatly reduced heatsinks make for a much more open design.

The most obvious change is the size of the heatsinks: They've shrunk and they're painted black. Seasonic's characteristic block-toothed design has been scaled back so that the "teeth" are now short and stubby, leaving the circuit board underneath much more open to the direct airflow from the fan. A third heatsink has been added, which should mean that the main heat sources (typically diodes) are now spread out more diffusely.

The heatsinks have short, stubby teeth.

The other change we noticed was the thermal ratings on the capacitors. Seasonic has always paid attention to capacitor quality; they've been using Japanese capacitors for a while, and the M12-II is no different. What's changed is the capacitor grade: all capacitors are now rated for 105°C rather than the standard 85°C. Is this necessary? Probably not, but it helps with peace of mind, and that's important if you're paying top dollar for a power supply.

105°C input capacitor...

...and 105°C output capacitors.


The fan is nothing we haven't seen before: It's the usual medium-speed Adda model that's been used in Seasonic models (and many other power supplies) for years. These ball bearing fans are durable and heat-resistant, but sound surprisingly smooth at low speeds.

A clear plastic baffle helps direct airflow.

What's new is a clear plastic baffle that blocks about a quarter of the fan's area. It's designed to shield off the area near the exhaust vent, creating a low pressure zone by the vent that draws air from the far reaches of the power supply. This is an improvement; it will mean better airflow across all components and less "short-circuited" air that flows directly from the fan out of the exhaust vent.

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