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 Post subject: Seasonic S12 Energy Plus: Efficient Power for Connoisseurs
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 5:21 pm 
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Seasonic S12 Energy Plus: Efficient Power for Connoisseurs


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:54 pm 
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Good article as always. I just recently bought S12-430W and it looks like I don't have to regret my choice. M12 will have to be loud in order for these psus to have any value against other seasonic psus.

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 Post subject: Re: Seasonic S12 Energy Plus: Efficient Power for Connoisseu
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:01 pm 
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I found it really interesting that the Energy Plus is actually an average choice for systems under 150 watts or so. It looks like the standard S12 is a far better selection for those systems(and far more cost effective). But certainly any and all high power systems over 200W should be using this psu (that means all those people with high power video cards out there!). I agree that it would be really nice to see a lower power model with higher low end efficiency and price to boot...more in line with most of the quiet computers here :D

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 Post subject: Re: Seasonic S12 Energy Plus: Efficient Power for Connoisseu
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:07 pm 
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merlin wrote:
I found it really interesting that the Energy Plus is actually an average choice for systems under 150 watts or so. It looks like the standard S12 is a far better selection for those systems(and far more cost effective).
Average? It's still far more quiet then most of the psus out there. I agree standard S12 is better for lower power systems.

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 Post subject: Re: Seasonic S12 Energy Plus: Efficient Power for Connoisseu
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:13 pm 
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Erssa wrote:
merlin wrote:
I found it really interesting that the Energy Plus is actually an average choice for systems under 150 watts or so. It looks like the standard S12 is a far better selection for those systems(and far more cost effective).
Average? It's still far more quiet then most of the psus out there. I agree standard S12 is better for lower power systems.


Extremely Quiet sure, but price and efficiency are minuses in the low power realm, especially compared to their own older models.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:59 pm 
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<3 Seasonic, no surprises here.

Side note though, the link at the end:
"Much thanks to Seasonic..."

Yeah, it links to Enermax. Probably not the best thing to happen.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:46 pm 
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I have to echo this sentiment...

That Article wrote:
Where is the 330W Energy Plus that can match the SS-300SFD for low-load efficiency? Here's to hoping Seasonic brings one out for energy conscious silent PC enthusiasts.


where is the 330W Energy Plus, and where are the <500W M-12s while we're on the subject?

I can only guess that Seasonic marketing department have decided there are better profits to be had selling overpriced, high-margin 600W power supplies to "gamers".

*sigh*


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:56 pm 
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seems the ONLY thing one might need are modular cables in low power (below 400w) seasonics.


Last edited by kater on Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Seasonic S12 Energy Plus: Efficient Power for Connoisseu
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:32 am 
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merlin wrote:
I agree that it would be really nice to see a lower power model with higher low end efficiency and price to boot...more in line with most of the quiet computers here :D
A combination of the electronics from the SS-300SFD 80 Plus, with the full size ATX housing of the S12 Energy Plus along with its larger fan, should make for an interesting power supply for a low noise/low power system.

I looked at the 80 Plus website and it lists a number of Seasonic models including a 300W ATX model; 250W was the lowest output Seasonic unit but that’s an EPS1U format.
It’s a shame that the individual test reports on their site don’t show efficiency data below the 20% level. 20% of 300W = 60W DC, which is much more than a low power desktop needs to consume. E.g. I tested a Core Duo 2.16GHz system at ~40W DC at full load. If the test reports went as low as 10% it would help when choosing a power supply for such a system.
I’m not suggesting that they change the certification programme so that it uses the 10% level, as that is obviously not feasible. Ideally, I’d like to see a separate certification process for very low power units. I can but dream.

I’d like to see SPCR look at efficiency levels even lower than 40W DC if possible; maybe at 20 or 30W! It’s not really relevant for the 500W+ units, but for the 300W units it would be useful to know.
Hat’s off to Seasonic for producing this niche product. Useful for dual processor systems and AMD 4x4 fans should find a home for it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:43 am 
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Quote:
I tested a Core Duo 2.16GHz system at ~40W DC at full load.


Was this a laptop?

Quote:
I’d like to see SPCR look at efficiency levels even lower than 40W DC if possible; maybe at 20 or 30W!


Ironically, it may be counter-productive to build systems with such low power consumption, because efficiency of ATX power supplies decreases with load, so OK you are drawing less power, but more of it is lost as heat.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 1:02 am 
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jaganath wrote:
Quote:
I tested a Core Duo 2.16GHz system at ~40W DC at full load.

Was this a laptop?
No, it used the Gigabyte Core Duo motherboard with 2GB DDR2-667, IGP and a Samsung P120 250GB desktop drive.

jaganath wrote:
Ironically, it may be counter-productive to build systems with such low power consumption, because efficiency of ATX power supplies decreases with load, so OK you are drawing less power, but more of it is lost as heat.
It dawned on me that with certain very low power systems, you could add a discrete VGA card at hardly any power cost at idle, due to the extra power consumption pushing the power supply to a more efficient level.
Current ATX power supplies just aren’t optimised for these low power levels, which is why I’m looking at the PicoPSU type units.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 1:13 am 
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Quote:
No, it used the Gigabyte Core Duo motherboard with 2GB DDR2-667, IGP and a Samsung P120 250GB desktop drive.


That's amazing, the HDD will draw at least 10W and the IGP maybe 5-10W so the CPU is maxing out at 20W! Was it undervolted/clocked at all? If not, that's an even more amazing result!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 1:56 am 
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There's something I don't understand: if the fans are different, medium speed in the 550 and high speed in 650, at 3.8 V the noise level *should* be different.
Not by much, but still discernable - while the table lists plain 20 dbA values. Maybe the ambient noise was preventing a more accurate measurement?
My point is: does the 550 sound - subjectively - smoother at low loads?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:09 am 
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jaganath wrote:
Quote:
No, it used the Gigabyte Core Duo motherboard with 2GB DDR2-667, IGP and a Samsung P120 250GB desktop drive.
That's amazing, the HDD will draw at least 10W and the IGP maybe 5-10W so the CPU is maxing out at 20W! Was it undervolted/clocked at all? If not, that's an even more amazing result!
It was under-volted to 1.008V.
40W DC is pretty much inline with what SPCR achieved with their T2600 test. It shows the CPU drawing 19.5W DC and the system drawing 75W AC. That was with the 975X chipset board and a discrete VGA card, so when you factor that in and take into account the inefficiency of power supplies at lower outputs levels it shows how 40W DC is possible.

My Core Duo laptop is in a whole other league though. With the CPUs set to 1.15V and the clock set to 1.66 GHz, the power consumption at full load for laptop v desktop was 30W versus 52W AC. A big chunk of that must be down to the power supply; one I get a PicoPSU I should find out.

Note added. Looking at the 80Plus website, I noticed that FSP Zen fan-less P/S is listed as being 80Plus certified. The SPCR review shows it as being 76.6% efficient at 42.1W DC, which makes it seem the best bet for a very quiet (silent in this case) and efficient ATX power supply for running a very low power system.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:55 am 
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After reviewing the data again, I think the temps are a bit high in the 200-250W range, compared to the S12-600 PSU.
This may not be a problem with the Seasonics, but could be a problem with the Antec Trio PSUs - which AFAIK are
manufactured by Seasonic, using a simplified PCB and cheaper components. They are reported to run hot.
By the way, the Antec Trios include a 430W version. Could this mean there is a new 430W unit coming from Seasonic?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:58 pm 
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I'm also disappointed by the performance in below 60w range. I have 3 PCs here at home, all with Seasonic Super Tornado 300s in them:

1. Sempron 3000+, 1GB ram, 80GB 7200 rpm hd, ATI Radeon 9600.

2. K6-2 450 384MB ram, 20GB & 250 GB 7200 rpm hd, some old VGA adapter

3. Sempron 3000+ 512MB ram, 320GB 7200 rpm hd, Geforce FX 5200 VGA, 2 PVR250 mpeg encoders

Here's the power draw of these systems from the wall:

1. CnQ 48w Idle 59w Max ~90W
2. Idle 40w Max ~60w
3. CnQ 74w 85w Idle Max ~115w

At idle, all these systems are in the worst part of the efficiency curve of the PSUs when idle, probably about 65%. That means that I'm wasting about 20w of power on each system. Going to a PSU that was 80% efficient at those load levels would save about 10w each, but spending ~$90+ each is hard to justify and system #3 would be very close to maxing it out. System #2 would be just about ideal for a PicoPSU.

I would love to see a 200w PSU with PicoPSU efficiency at low power draws!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 12:40 am 
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Quote:
I would love to see a 200w PSU with PicoPSU efficiency at low power draws!



How about the Seasonic SS-300SFD? They can be had for about $50.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:03 am 
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jaganath wrote:
Quote:
I would love to see a 200w PSU with PicoPSU efficiency at low power draws!

How about the Seasonic SS-300SFD? They can be had for about $50.
It’s a shame these aren’t more widely available as I would use them in my family’s PCs; I couldn’t find stock in the UK anywhere. You also need to source an adapter so that they can be used in an ATX case I guess!
They’re a little loud for me at 2 dB more than my old S12 430. So an ATX version with a 120mm fan would be sweet.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 9:50 am 
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jaganath wrote:
How about the Seasonic SS-300SFD? They can be had for about $50.
Yeah, that is pretty close to what I'd consider ideal, but should be in standard ATX form. Will a SFX PSU bolt in place of an ATX PSU or will it take some rigging?

I know that case-mod.com has that model, not sure where else you can find it. Froogle lists a bunch of places that have it, and interestingly if you follow the case-mod.com link from Froogle you can save $7.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 10:32 am 
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Here is a system with an SFX psu in an ATX case.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 10:38 am 
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nici wrote:
Here is a system with an SFX psu in an ATX case.
Hmm, not bad, I think with a bit of sheet aluminum or metal and some nuts/bolts could rig up an adapter plate which would put the fan facing down like your standard ATX PSU.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 10:53 am 
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You definitely can do the aluminium plate... I'm just too lazy and my case conveniently had ledges that give my PSU sufficient support.

I also believe that Seasonic was shipping some of their SFX PSUs with a "magic bracket" adapter that made it fit the ATX mounting holes. I don't know if they still do that with the newest models, though.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 12:25 pm 
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The problem with the SS-300SFD and SS-400HT is the lack of connectors. No PCIe, too few connectors in general.

Code:
Model       Output (W)  40      65      90      150     200     250     300     400     500     600
        Efficiency
0 PCIe
     400HT-80+*****     76.6%   81.5%   82.8%   85.3%   85.3%   84.3%   83.9%   82.6%
0/1 PCIe (sleeved versions have 1, non sleeved US have 0, some international non sleeved had 1)
     S12-330            68.1%   75.5%   77.9%   80.3%   82.0%   80.9%   79.9%   **
     S12-380              .?%     .?%     .?%     .?%     .?%     .?%     .?%   ****
     S12-430              .?%   78.3%   80.5%   81.6%   81.8%   80.5%   79.6%   *
2 PCIe
     S12-500/600          .?%   75.1%   78.0%   81.2%   82.0%   81.8%   81.1%   79.0%   79.7%   78.9%
     M12-500              .?%     .?%     .?%     .?%     .?%     .?%     .?%     .?%     .?%
     S12-550E+          68.8%   74.7%   78.6%   81.9%   84.8%   84.3%   84.1%   82.9%   81.2%   ***

         Noise (dBA@1m)
400HT-80+*****          22      22      22      22      23      30      36      38
S12-330                 21      21      21      21      22      30      35      **
S12-380                 ??      ??      ??      ??      ??      ??      ??      ??
S12-430                  *      20      20      22      25      29      32      *
S12-500/600              ?      21      21      22      25      28      34      39      40      40
M12-500                  ?       ?       ?       ?       ?       ?       ?       ?       ?
S12-550E+               20      20      20      20      20      21      25      36      43      ***

* S12-430 was not measured at 40W or 400W. Ambient conditions during testing were 21°C and 19 dBA SPL. At 430W it got 75.5% efficiency at 37dBA and a rise of 8°C.

** S12-330 was also measured at 330W. Ambient conditions during testing were 21°C and 20 dBA, 122V/60Hz. It got 78.3% efficiency at 37dBA and a rise of 8°C.

*** The S12-550E+ was also tested at 550W.  Ambient conditions during testing were 22°C and 17 dBA. It got 79.7% efficiency at 40dBA and a rise of 14°C.

**** The S12-380w has never been tested by SPCR. It is possible that it is the sweet spot model with the advantages of the 430w style heatsinks and a cost closer to the 330w but it hasn't been proven with a thorough review

***** The 400HT-80+ Is not available at retail and lacks PCIe connectors and only has 2 SATA connectors. Below 250W the 400HT-80+ is noisier than the S12-330, S12-420, and S12-550E+. Presumably this is best used in a server where drive noise or other fans would hide the extra noise.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 2:34 am 
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The SFX -> ATX adapter plates can be had from e-Bay for a pound or two (or at least they could when I last looked, which was a month or three ago I admit).


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:46 pm 
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Where can you get these in the UK?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 4:08 pm 
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Dear Seasonic:

Pease make a similar model with modular cables, 300W max power and a suitably down-sized price tag, and you'll have a nearly perfect power supply.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:17 am 
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davidstone28 wrote:
Where can you get these in the UK?


This company appears to have them in stock; also maybe these people: http://www.hamiltone.co.uk/psus.html


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:33 am 
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Here are the brackets if you need them seperately. That company seems to stock a good range of obscure small-form factor power supplies, one to bear in mind maybe.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:28 pm 
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I use the 550+ in my new PC, and I really like it. The PS is deathly quiet until I put a heavy load on my processors. Then it ramps up enough where I can tell the PSU fan has rev'd up. It's not loud, but it's certainly a noticable increase in noise over idle. Overally I'm quite happy and would recommend it to others.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:31 pm 
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Not to continue the slightly off-topic discussion. I got the SS-300SFD from CompuVest and it did come with the "Magic Bracket" for mounting it in an ATX case. And I thought about sticking it inside an old ATX PSU case I have. But it's pretty well stuck to it's current casing. I didn't feel like modding it that much and possibly breaking it.


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