Seasonic M12II-430 modular cable PSU

Power
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MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS

Each of these recording start with 6~10 seconds of silence to let you hear the ambient sound of the room, followed by 10 seconds of the product's noise.

  • Seasonic M12II-430 at 20~150W output, 21 dBA@1m: One meter
  • Seasonic M12II-430 at 200W output, 24 dBA@1m: One meter
  • Seasonic M12II-430 at 250W output, 21 dBA@1m: One meter

Sound Recordings of PSU Comparatives

  • Seasonic Eco Power 300 at 20~90W output, 23 dBA@1m: One meter
  • Seasonic S12II-380 at up to ~200W output, 21 dBA@1m: One meter
  • Seasonic M12-700 at up to ~250W output, 21 dBA@1m: One meter
  • Corsair VX450W at up to ~250W output, 22 dBA@1m: One meter
  • Sparkle Power SPI220LE at 65W output, 21 dBA@1m: One meter

HOW TO LISTEN & COMPARE

These recordings were made with a high resolution, studio quality, digital recording system, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review. Two recordings of each noise level were made, one from a distance of one meter, and another from one foot away.

The one meter recording is intended to give you an idea of how the subject of this review sound in actual use — one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. For best results, set your volume control so that the ambient noise is just barely audible. Be aware that very quiet subjects may not be audible — if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

The one foot recording is designed to bring out the fine details of the noise. Use this recording with caution! Although more detailed, it may not represent how the subject sounds in actual use. It is best to listen to this recording after you have listened to the one meter recording.

More details about how we make these recordings can be found in our short article: Audio Recording Methods Revised.

CONCLUSIONS

The M12-II is a different beast from the original M12. The M12-II fixes the main problem with the original version: It no longer has a second fan to create extra noise and it doesn't dump waste heat back into the system. It's still modular, and it is available at prices and capacities that make sense for most mainstream / quiet PC systems.

It is no longer the high-end luxury piece that the M12 was. The model range of just two models at 430W and 500W is surprising, and the power ratings quite modest for today's DIY market. It's nice that the fan isn't nailed to the floor by its controller until 300W output. It is an excellent choice (one of many) for a midrange modular power supply, and it's sure to be quiet under most circumstances. It will probably ramp up a bit under high load in a system with a powerful video card, multiple hard drives and perhaps a hot quad-core CPU.

For best results, the M12-II should be used in systems that consume 200W or less. It's quiet at these levels, the electronics are excellent quality, and it has modular cables. But, let's face it, these days, it's actually easier to build a system that stays under 200W than one that exceeds 200W. Whether by coincidence or intelligent design, this happens to be the power level where the 85% efficiency peak is reached as well.

All in all, the M12-II is a solid addition to Seasonic's lineup, even though it doesn't really break new ground. Because of Seasonic's pedigree, it's quiet and efficient — and it brings modular cables to a reasonable power point. Still, it has lived up to type: The M12-II feels exactly like a sequel. In this case, it's not a bad thing. There are many quiet PC enthusiast who will find the M12II fits their needs perfectly.

Much thanks to Seasonic USA for this review sample.

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SPCR Articles of Related Interest:
Power Supply Fundamentals
Recommended Power Supplies
Power Distribution within Six PCs
SPCR PSU Test Rig V.4
Seasonic S12II-380 Power Supply
Seasonic Goes High End Gaming with the M12
Corsair HX520W & HX620W Modular Power Supplies

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Discuss this article in the SPCR Forums.



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