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 Post subject: Seasonic S12-430: Beyond the Super Tornado
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 11:23 pm 
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The new S12-430 is an incremental but real improvement over the Super Tornado 400.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 1:07 am 
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As always, Great review Mike!

I'll be getting one of these for my next major system overhaul. The only sticking point may be the lack of a 6-pin aux connector (which I don't currently need) but may require depending on my next mobo/vidcard purchase.

Sounds like a great PSU.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 1:08 am 
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god damn, I keep wanting more and more to buy one of these everyday... damn tuition...

Anyways, I'm curious on the performance of those fan connectors:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/files/ima ... apters.jpg

Are they similar to FAN ONLY connectors of Antec TruePower PSU's? Do they ramp up in the same way? (ie. PSU fan voltage == connected fan voltage)?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 1:52 am 
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Great review, THNX!

I hear that the "S12-430's bigger siblings, the S12-500 and the S12-600," produce a lot more noise then the 430... Was just curious if anyone knows anything about that. Either way Im planning on a S12 (even prior to review... this only makes me more sure of it :P), still thinking if 430W or 500W (and yeah if Im gonna have a SLI system I will be needing a lot of power). Most likely the 430W will be more then enough and if there is a big noise difference Im not very intressted in the 500W anyways. :P

BTW "Universal Free Input: 100-240V" means that if I import from the US it will work in EU right? ^^


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 1:53 am 
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Thank you for the review, really nice.
I checked the page almost every hour to see if the review was online.

I wanted to buy one of the new S12 psus when they come avaiable in Germany. After the review I got little bit uncertain which to get.
I'm confused with the naming.
What kind of PSUs are the SS-301HT, SS-351HT and SS-401HT, renewed Super Tornados or the ones with an improved circuit design?


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 Post subject: I'm convinced.
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 4:38 am 
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I'll be ordering one from New Egg within the next couple of weeks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 4:42 am 
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Thank you for the review MikeC!

So there's a smaller version of the 500 and 600 W models, the SS-400HT. Will this one reach retail market?
Since it got the 80 Plus award I guess it must show up somewhere, and not just being a lab rat.
I wonder if it's a better improvement over the Tornado than the 430 W model due to the different design.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 4:55 am 
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cyberknight wrote:
Anyways, I'm curious on the performance of those fan connectors:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/files/ima ... apters.jpg

Are they similar to FAN ONLY connectors of Antec TruePower PSU's? Do they ramp up in the same way? (ie. PSU fan voltage == connected fan voltage)?


Yeah, I wondered about that as well. In your review of the features, you mentioned the parallel fan-output tied to the PSU fan (or something like that). I couldn't find any indication of a 'fan only' connector in your pics nor any info about it on seasonics' website apart from a mention of the fan connector adapter thingy (fixed output of 5 & 12 V).

Care to elaborate?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 5:44 am 
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I really miss an "Advanced Cable Management System" similar to Antec Neopower 480.
When you only need to power the motherboard, a single harddrive and a single optical drive, like 80% of the power cables just get tucked away somewhere in the case.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 5:51 am 
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Hello:

Mertz wrote:
I hear that the "S12-430's bigger siblings, the S12-500 and the S12-600," produce a lot more noise then the 430... Was just curious if anyone knows anything about that. Either way Im planning on a S12 (even prior to review... this only makes me more sure of it :P), still thinking if 430W or 500W (and yeah if Im gonna have a SLI system I will be needing a lot of power). Most likely the 430W will be more then enough and if there is a big noise difference Im not very [interested] in the 500W anyways. :P


I have not heard the S12 430 yet, but if it is a little quieter than the Super Tornado, then it is surely very quiet. I do have an S12 500 in the machine right next to me, and I would not describe the 500's fan as a noisy fan. It is a high speed, ball bearing Yate Loon model, so it is probably a little noisier than the Super Tornado -- but not much noisier. It seems to stay all the time at a low RPM, even in this system.

I have it in a fairly awesome system: Athlon 64 4000+ (undervolted to 1.4v and totally stable!), with four 1GB sticks of Corsair PC3200 (these seem to produce as much heat as the CPU, but of course, they do not!), four Seagate 7200.8 NCQ SATA drives (two 80GB in RAID1, and two 300GB in RAID1), a XFX 6600GT PCIe (with a 5v Zalman VF700 Al/Cu), a Sony DVD writer (quiet) and an Asus DVD-ROM (also quiet). The mobo is a Gigabyte GA-K8N Ultra-9; nice system, huh? (I just wish it was mine!)

The S12 500 does put out some heat -- the exhaust air and the area on the Evercase 4252 right about the PS is luke warm. The CPU is cooled by an XP-120 w/ a 5v Yate Loon low speed (44-45C is typical F@H temp), and the exhaust is a ~6v Yate Loon low speed. I added a 5v Nexus 92mm on the intake -- the Seagates run warmer than other HD's in my experience.

The combined fans are about as noisy as the combined HD's at idle -- and the S12 500 seems to be quieter than that noise floor. This is not to say that you need the 500 -- the 430 is probably fine for your system, and it would have been fine in "my" system, too. It just was not available yet when I purchased the parts...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:08 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
[...] sick comp [...]

You might want to update your signature ;>


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:28 am 
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Just for the record, at 90 and 150W, the S12 is the most efficient PSU SPCR has tested ever. At 200W, it's 2nd only to the Antec Phantom. At 65W and 250W, it's tied with it's younger brother, Seasonic Super Silencer 400 Rev. A3

That means that over the most commonly used power ranges, the S12 is amongst the most efficient PSU ever.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 6:55 am 
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Nice review, Mike.

My S12-500's fan makes intermittent ball bearing clicking/ticking sounds. I have never had it ramp up from its start speed of ~1000rpm, even with full, overclocked CPU & GPU load.

If I can hear this ticking when I finally install it under my desk this weekend, you can be sure I will be swapping the fan, probably for a Yate Loon D12SM-12 I have (from PCTek). Currently, on my workbench, the back of the PC is about 18" from ears, so I may be overly sensitive to the sound.

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Opteron 170 at 260x10 w/7000B-Cu, 6800 GT w/VF700-Cu, DFI nF4 Ultra-D w/NB47J, Seasonic S12-500, 2x WD5000AACS suspended, Antec SLK3000B


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 7:14 am 
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ilh wrote:
My S12-500's fan makes intermittent ball bearing clicking/ticking sounds. ...swapping the fan, probably for a Yate Loon D12SM-12...


What fans does the 500 and 600 use?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 8:35 am 
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I'd be curious to learn what the acoustic properties of the S12-330 and 380 are.

Might they not be quieter than the 430, and would they not be useful for many systems?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 10:38 am 
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The 600 uses the Yate Loon D12BH-12 and I think the 500 uses the D12BM-12, it's the ball bearing version of the D12SM-12.

I think the SS-400HT would be even more interesting because that's the one which got the 80Plus award.
But I still want to know what the 301, 351 and 401 Psus are. Well perhaps somebody has an idea? The only difference I found between the 400HT and the 401HT is that the 401 has a fixed 220V input.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 11:31 am 
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Hello:

Webfire wrote:
The 600 uses the Yate Loon D12BH-12 and I think the 500 uses the D12BM-12, it's the ball bearing version of the D12SM-12.


No, the 500 uses the same fan that you say the 600 has -- it is a high speed, ball bearing (as I mentioned above) and it has just 5 blades.

I'll bet the medium speed, sleeve bearing would make an awesome, low noise, fan swap? Though, you'd lose the Seasonic warranty...

MassMan wrote:
NeilBlanchard wrote:
[...] sick comp [...]

You might want to update your signature ;>


I wish it was my computer...I'll be delivering it this weekend. :cry: BUT, it is likely that it will continue to be Folding for me -- and for the the SPCR Folding@Home team! :twisted:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 11:38 am 
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Just looking at the rail ratings, the certificates and how Seasonic named the boxed (FB) and bulk (FT) version of the Tornado. I think the 301HT, 351HT and 401HT are the same PSU's as the 330HB, 380HB and 430HB.

The difference is just the packaging and acessories. If you buy in bulk there are some minor options that Seasonic already decided on for us in the boxed (retail) version. If you add the combined 3.3V&5V to the combined 12V rails you get an even higher wattage than Seasonics rating suggests. They have just been even more conservative in rating the product for their commercial customers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 11:43 am 
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Minor typo near bottom of first page, under specifications : AC Input should be 50/60 Hz not 60/60 Hz.

Some other reviews mentioned that the 120mm fan is mounted on grommets. I'm surprised it wasn't mentioned in the review. Since it is not visible from the photos, can you confirm if the grommets are present?

An excellent review of what seems to be an excellent PSU. Thanks!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 12:03 pm 
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Tibor, I think you're right. I knew that the HT PSUs are the bulk versions but the wattage got me confused so I didn't link them to 330, 380 and 430 PSU. Damn I thought I could get the SS-400HT with the new circuit.
Looks like I have to stick with one of the others.

Sorry about the fans somehow I thought it would be the BM.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 6:40 am 
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I am also interested in the fan connectors. According to Seasonic's website the S12 models have an "output line parallel to the internal PSU fan" that "keeps case fans at the same quiet, thermally controlled speed." All I saw in the review were those fixed voltage connectors...

It sounds like it is supposed to have connectors like the ones on Antec's PSUs. Did they get missed or were they not there?

Also there was a comment about the 380W model being louder. This is a bit worrisome to me since I already ordered it...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 6:53 am 
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OmegaZero wrote:
I am also interested in the fan connectors. According to Seasonic's website the S12 models have an "output line parallel to the internal PSU fan" that "keeps case fans at the same quiet, thermally controlled speed."


My S12-500 has no such variable voltage fan connectors.

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QX6700 at 3.0GHz, Ninja SCNJ-1100P, 8800GT, Asus P5K-E, Seasonic S12II-500GB, 2x WD5000AACS, Antec Solo
Opteron 170 at 260x10 w/7000B-Cu, 6800 GT w/VF700-Cu, DFI nF4 Ultra-D w/NB47J, Seasonic S12-500, 2x WD5000AACS suspended, Antec SLK3000B


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 7:44 am 
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It look's like S12-430 and Nexus NX-3500 share the same Yate Loon D12SM-12 fan. In the reviews you can see that in Seasonic it get's 4,5 V at 65 W power level and in Nexus NX-3500 4,1 V at the same power. Conclusion = machine with watercooling and modest power requirements is quieter with nexus? The review also states "In summary, the S12-430 is the quietest fan-cooled PSU we have tested to date".

So, if Seasonic is quieter, where does this difference come from? Does Seasonic have more open path for air and because of that, less turbulence? Or is it the color of the fan? :lol: Or is it something I have't noticed?

I realize that Seasonic is quieter in high temperatures, but I wonder would it still be better in my computer where the NX-3500's fan doesn't ramp up at normal usage. Maybe useless to think it because I haven't seen Seasonics in stores here in Finland. :cry:

Here are pictures from both PSUs

http://www.silentpcreview.com/files/images/seasonic-s12/s12-fan.jpg
http://www.silentpcreview.com/files/images/nx3500/fan.jpg


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 7:44 am 
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Well it looks like Seasonic are holding on to the quality end of the PSU market then. I was pretty impressed with my ST400, so if this manages to beat it even by just a little bit then it must be a very designed and made.
Nice to see another quality product roll out of Seasonic, and the usual high quality of review from mike.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 7:58 am 
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Hello:

Chart wrote:
So, if Seasonic is quieter, where does this difference come from? Does Seasonic have more open path for air and because of that, less turbulence? Or is it the color of the fan? :lol: Or is it something I have't noticed?


It is probably the fact that the S12 is more efficient -- and therefore produces less heat. So the fan controller circuit can be set to run the fan slower! :o

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 7:59 am 
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ilh wrote:
OmegaZero wrote:
I am also interested in the fan connectors. According to Seasonic's website the S12 models have an "output line parallel to the internal PSU fan" that "keeps case fans at the same quiet, thermally controlled speed."

My S12-500 has no such variable voltage fan connectors.

Sorry about the misinformation. There is no variable voltage fan output; the Seasonic marketing blurb refers instead to the 3-connector fan adapter. It converts a 4-pin Molex into two 5V and one 12V fan output.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:15 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
Hello:

Chart wrote:
So, if Seasonic is quieter, where does this difference come from? Does Seasonic have more open path for air and because of that, less turbulence? Or is it the color of the fan? :lol: Or is it something I have't noticed?


It is probably the fact that the S12 is more efficient -- and therefore produces less heat. So the fan controller circuit can be set to run the fan slower! :o

The small efficiency improvement + more efficient heatsinks is where the noise improvement comes from. I got an email this morning from Seasonic which stated that the fan controller module had not been changed at all from the ST or S. Silencer. So my conjecture that the fan controller had been tweaked is wrong.

But our persistence in looking at the size / config of HS in PSUs is well-founded, as this is obviously a source of huge thermal / acoustic differences between different PSUs. Look, for example, at the differences in HS size/area and recorded temps between this S12-430 & the Raidmax review posted earlier in the week.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:21 am 
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"typo"
Nexus 92mm case fan @ 5V (17 dBA/1m) Reference is linked to
silentpcreview.com/files/sounds/fans/nexus92-7v-17dba.mp3

So I assume that's really a 7v recording, not 5v?

Thanks for the review! :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:29 am 
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MikeC wrote:
Sorry about the misinformation. There is no variable voltage fan output; the Seasonic marketing blurb refers instead to the 3-connector fan adapter. It converts a 4-pin Molex into two 5V and one 12V fan output.


So I guess Seasonic's site is wrong as well? From the documentation, it sounds like it is supposed to have that variable output. I am disappointed - that would have been a great feature.

Edit (addition):
I can't imagine why the 380W would be louder, but should I change my order just in case? I really don't think I need the extra power...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 10:21 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
Hello:

Chart wrote:
So, if Seasonic is quieter, where does this difference come from? Does Seasonic have more open path for air and because of that, less turbulence? Or is it the color of the fan? :lol: Or is it something I have't noticed?


It is probably the fact that the S12 is more efficient -- and therefore produces less heat. So the fan controller circuit can be set to run the fan slower! :o


But I just stated that at low temperature ranges Seasonic gives MORE voltage than nexus :o Now I guess the difference comes just from the heatsink shapes and placements.


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