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 Post subject: Less than pleased with Seasonic Tornado (second revision)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2003 11:28 pm 
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I'm rapidly getting disillusioned with the "Seasonic Tornado 300 oem" (SS-300FT) I got from Kool'n'quiet.

I replaced the Antec True Power 380sp that came with my Sonata case (the Antec is a bit of a noise maker) with the SS-300FT, thinking I would get bliss and quiet and that the 12cm fan might even help keep my case cooler.

I was wrong. My temps are up by 2..3 degrees. The tornado is quiet enough at the lowest settings but it revs up like an accelerating motor cycle 8) whenever I even think of doing anything CPU intensive. Not only does it do that but it does it with a dramatic pause, pulling back the throttle for a couple of seconds of anticipatory silence before flooring it in an extasy of rushing air and raging power. :shock:

The above happens even if I just start a normal non CPU-intensive application. The brief spike in power draw is enough to send the PSU fan careening all over the place. :evil: Then there is a goofy moment of uncertainty and embarrasment when it realizes that maybe it is overdoing it a little :lol: and pulls back the throttle again, very slowly, settling into quiet mode again. I can almost imagine the PSU blushing a little. :oops:

Did I mention I have to keep the case door open in order to get the PSU fan to quiet down? If I don't, it will settle into a changing warble that is very much like a radio controlled model airoplane flying overhead. The pitch is right within the range of human speech. Not very loud but very distinctive. I can easily hear it from the adjoining room. Every now and then, when there is some CPU activity, the airoplane seems to fly right past my head, sending me scrambling for a rubber boot to throw at the neighbor's kid. :evil:

The inevitable conclusion from the above seems to be that the Tornado's fan control algorithm stinks. It reacts far too quickly to changes in power draw. It almost seems like it's trying predict power draw (= CPU load), which is a silly notion as any computer science student will tell you. Can't be done.

In all fairness, I suppose I might have some airflow problems with my case. I tried removing the air filter from the front intake as well as one of the PCI slot covers to improve air intake but that didn't seem to make much difference to the temps. The (only) case fan in the back is running at 5V. The 380sp fan control used to give it a little over 6V, so the fan is now moving somewhat less air than it used to. I also have a fairly powerful machine (2.4c @ 3.3 GHz and a Radeon 9700 pro with a Zalman heat pipe putting quite a bit of heat into the case). The 380sp didn't seem to mind too much, though. Strangely enough, the exhaust from the Seasonic feels quite cool whereas the exhaust from the 380sp was always warm to the hand.

Any ideas? How are others getting along with their SS-300FTs?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 2:15 am 
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If it were me I would tape up the holes in the back of the power supply. Raise the voltage of the exhaust fan as much as tolerable, and clean up any wiring that I could. Did you cut up the front plastic bezel as mikec mentioned? Maybe having more intake would help?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 3:06 am 
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I haven't modded the case but I have removed two 5.25" drive bay covers from the front. That doesn't seem to make any real difference, though. If I stick my hand in the case feels cool as a cucumber.

I'll try taping up the holes in the back of the PSU. It does seem to be pushing some warm air back into the case through them. That might explain the 2 degree raise on case temp. Thanks for the suggestion.

However, I'm beginning to think that the PSU's fan controller might be grossly miscalibrated. It only seems to be utilizing the steep end of the curve so that every slight change in power draw causes a marked difference in fan rpm. The PSU fan reacts to changes in power draw so quickly it's almost ridiculous. All I have to do is grab a window and move it around the screen a bit. The temp readings don't even flicker but the PSU fan goes nuts within a couple of seconds.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 3:39 am 
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Well i dont have this unit so i dont know how it normally acts, but mike seemed to like it. Maybe yours is defective?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 4:48 am 
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I have the same PSU in a P4 2.4G. The power meter registers 113W when running burnP6, the zalman 7000Alcu @ 1740rpm is the loudest component in the system.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 4:49 am 
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Just got my SS300FT from KnQ. After 45mins of 100% CPU utilisation, no sign of speedup at all (other fans 2 [email protected], cudaIV in suspended SD2002) with 50C CPU temp and 38C case temp (ambient 23C).

But 3Dmark2001 did it, seems high CPU+high VGA utilisation was enough to trigger a speed increase. Back with the NX3000w/[email protected] in this computer, oh well. The fan still isn't roaring or tornado like, just a slightly louder wooshing sound with a faint high-pitched component made by the fan itself. Definately not quiet to SPCR standards.

Can someone confirm that it does not happen with the SS300FB?

edit: Speedup seems to occur around the 40C mark here, but that may be a coincidence.

Fan control is very responsive, as previously mentionned. Just placing my hand over the cover for 1sec will raise the temp just enough for it to immediately accelerate.

Past the lowest fan speed, it becomes unacceptably loud for me (on par with a 2-fan truepower, perhaps, but the nature of the noise is slightly more annoying and higher pitched). I definately cannot use it, hope I don't have to mop it down as a loss with the 100 euros I paid to have it shipped to France.


Last edited by puff on Sat Oct 04, 2003 5:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 5:42 am 
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Physical differences between the SS300FT and SS300FB I've noticed so far:

-Shorter cables on the SS300FT, the ATX cable is especially short. The rest of the cables are also shorter.
-No fan monitoring cable :(
-No full range on voltage (mine just has a sticker with "200-240V" on it).

The insides seem identical, the SuperRed fan looks mounted in the same way as in the review (from what I can see through the grills, I'm definately not voiding my warranty on this one!).

But my power consumption is really low, I keep my system minimalistic. It would seem the SS300FT is only good for SPCR'ers if case temp stays below 40C at all times. These are very early observations I've made, the 40C figure is just an approximation. Hope this helps someone!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 5:58 am 
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Sorry to hear you have the same problem, puff. :(

I tried the advice from GamingGod and blocked the holes in the back. While I was at it, I also did some cable streching. The end result is a 5 C drop in case temperature! :D I think this is mostly due to blocking the holes rather than my hamfisted cablegamy. Running two burnP6 processes in parallel, my case temp capped around 37 C. However, the PSU doesn't seem to care. :cry: It seems a little more sedate but it still doesn't take much to stir it up. And it does get pretty loud.

One has to wonder if they went overboard with fixing the non-starting fan problem. After all, the easiest fix is just to up the voltage...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 6:12 am 
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You're right, blocking the holes (used no-residue painter's tape) shaved off a couple degrees, but since I was hovering around the switching temperature this is a huge deal. I will do extensive testing with 3D apps to see about the speedup, hope it doesn't occur.

It's such a shame that the PSU goes from [email protected] to uncomfortably loud (to me). The voltage ramp isn't progressive at all!

Had I bought the PSU cheaper, I'd definately open it up and run the SuperRed fan at constant 5V.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 6:56 am 
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I know I'm posting a lot in this thread, but I've had the PSU for 4 hours now and here are my final observations:

Ambient temp in my room rose to 25C as I get to the warmest part of the day. The case temp now hovers around 40C with one L1A helping exhaust (raised voltage with fanmate to what I'd guess is 6V).

The CPU temp (tbred 2100+) stays constant 50C under full load (again, another L1A slightly above 5V) and 46C in the desktop.

At that case temperature, high CPU utilisation alone is enough to ramp up the fan speed, sometimes so much as opening an explorer window does it. The noise itself isn't loud (slighly more annoying than a truepower, again) but it's that alternation of quiet speed/louder speed that's unbearable, a changing noise is much more perceivable for me than a constant one!

In MikeC's review, I noticed the exhaust temp never reached 40C until 300W load. 40C isn't *that* much for us used to carefully weighting the airflow of our cases for least possible noise. I'd bet your PC sometimes dips over 40C :)
I tried this PSU with similar results on my Tbred1800+ file server.

In conclusion, the SS300FT cannot be used by those used to panaflo-modded PSUs in a case that doesn't always stay under 40C. I sure hope that doesn't happen with the SS300FB, and I'd love someone with that PSU to enlighten us on this!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 12:24 pm 
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Even though its only been a few weeks since release, a number of issues have already been identified with these PSUs. However, based on Seasonic's response to the no-volt fan issue they are ready and willing to listen to these concerns - perhaps we can pass these additional observations to MikeC who may be able to let Seasonic know.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 1:03 pm 
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The system I've set up with a S. Tornado 300 is based around a P4-2.53. One Panaflo 80L on back panel of Evercase 4252 at ~7V, a Zalman7000 alcu at 5V. 512 mb RAM. A single Samsung 160G HDD suspended at bottom front. nVidia 9800 128mb VGA. Room temp is 20-22C.

I think I managed to get the PSU fan to audibly go up ONCE in the 10 days this system has been running. It is not doing folding @ home; at idle, the CPU temp is under 40C. Maxes out ~58C.

So I guess it is possible I have not demanded enough power from it yet to push the Tornado, but I have not seen/heard these noise issues. Mind you it is not my main PC; it's on my test bench where I am usually paying attn to other things.

I will try loading up this system over the next few days to see if I can replicate your results. Once I've seen it for myself, then I can report more confidently the findings to Seasonic -- who have already been asked to examine this thread, BTW.

Inexplicable --

I do think your oc of a P4 from 2.4 to 3.3 is extreme -- you're probably doing 100W+ with that CPU alone, not even taking into account overvolting. It's no wonder your 380 PSU exhaust was always warm.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 1:19 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
I will try loading up this system over the next few days to see if I can replicate your results. Once I've seen it for myself, then I can report more confidently the findings to Seasonic -- who have already been asked to examine this thread, BTW.
Thanks :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 1:19 pm 
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I would very much appreciate if Seasonic explains (somewhere) what is the exact difference between xxxFB and xxxFT models. If possible a bit more details how they work especially when it comes to RPM-vs-TEMP management.

Kind regards, Kalpazan.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 2:02 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
I will try loading up this system over the next few days to see if I can replicate your results. Once I've seen it for myself, then I can report more confidently the findings to Seasonic -- who have already been asked to examine this thread, BTW.

That's great, thanks! :D
Quote:
I do think your oc of a P4 from 2.4 to 3.3 is extreme -- you're probably doing 100W+ with that CPU alone, not even taking into account overvolting. It's no wonder your 380 PSU exhaust was always warm.

True enough, although I'm not overvolting at all. I'll have to dig out my multimeter and see if I can get some numbers.

However, I have tried it at stock speed as well and the problems are nearly as prominent. It's not quite as easy to get the fan to roar at full speed but it still gets very loud and my unit still seems to react quite eagerly to any change in power draw. The "drag a window around the screen for a few seconds" test produces a marked increase in fan rotation, for instance.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 3:54 pm 
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Ok, here are the power figures. Amps drawn by PSU, input power assuming 230V, and output power assuming 0.77 efficiency:

2.4 Ghz idle: 0.48 A, 110 W, 85 W
2.4 Ghz full load: 0.75 A, 173 W, 133 W
3.3 Ghz idle: 0.48 amps, 110 W, 85 W
3.3 Ghz full load: 0.87 A, 200 W, 154 W

Ought to be well within the capabilities of the Tornado?

Well, time to get some sack time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 4:48 pm 
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puff wrote:
Ambient temp in my room rose to 25C as I get to the warmest part of the day. The case temp now hovers around 40C with one L1A helping exhaust (raised voltage with fanmate to what I'd guess is 6V).

At that case temperature, high CPU utilisation alone is enough to ramp up the fan speed, sometimes so much as opening an explorer window does it. The noise itself isn't loud (slighly more annoying than a truepower, again) but it's that alternation of quiet speed/louder speed that's unbearable, a changing noise is much more perceivable for me than a constant one!

In MikeC's review, I noticed the exhaust temp never reached 40C until 300W load. 40C isn't *that* much for us used to carefully weighting the airflow of our cases for least possible noise. I'd bet your PC sometimes dips over 40C :)
I tried this PSU with similar results on my Tbred1800+ file server.

In conclusion, the SS300FT cannot be used by those used to panaflo-modded PSUs in a case that doesn't always stay under 40C. I sure hope that doesn't happen with the SS300FB, and I'd love someone with that PSU to enlighten us on this!


An excellent alternative might be the Seasonic Super Silencer 400W. I've been using it in this system for the past 2 months and the case temps have been running around 38-42°C daily without the PSU fan increasing in speed at all. According to MikeC's review of this PSU, the fan should be starting to ramp up at around 41°C but if it is, it's going up slowly and never speeds up enough by 43°C for me to detect it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2003 7:02 pm 
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Hey Ralf,

So what happened to the Nexus that was in your rig? Is the Super Silencer 400 better and in what ways? Thanks.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2003 5:01 am 
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MGP wrote:
Hey Ralf,

So what happened to the Nexus that was in your rig? Is the Super Silencer 400 better and in what ways? Thanks.


I sold it after I impulsively bought the Seasonic that I saw on the shelf at Fry's. :)

The Seasonic is quieter than the Nexus, that's the main reason, but I also like the very high efficiency, cool running and 3 year warranty. It's not a major difference though, I could easily be happy with either PSU, they're both excellent.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 7:28 pm 
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:? finally a Tornado becomes available in Denmark, and it's an FT model. I don't know what or who to believe. Is it perfection, or is it crap? oh lordie...

who else here has an FT?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 8:47 pm 
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If you can keep your case temps below 35C you will probably love it. If your case temps frequently hover closer to 40 C and your peak power draw is more than 110 W, you will probably hate it. If in doubt, my advice would be to wait for the 400W model or to get the Super Silencer 400. Those should have a bit more headroom before the fan control reaches the steep end of the curve.

MikeC, any new insights?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 8:47 pm 
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dag, I'm gonna have to wait and see what's decided before I order mine. Now the FB is the most recent of the two, right?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 9:01 pm 
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I believe the FB is the retail one from the recent SPCR thread.

Inexplicable,

I have a Seasonic Super Tornado 300 that does not get loud at all even when my case temps hit around 39-40 degrees Celsius, fyi.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 10:08 pm 
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Well it could be that I just have a bad one. It would be interesting to know how much power your system draws under full load. Do you have any way to measure it?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:03 pm 
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Hey a quick reality check here:

1) I think no one says the ST300 is perfection or crap -- AFAIK.

2) Be careful when comparing performance on the basis of temps, especially "case temps". If you are referring to the mobo-embedded thermal diode, keep in mind that different mobos have them in different places, and there is no way of telling where that is most of the time. If you do want to compare "case temps" you need to be totally consistent on where that temp is read. The most relevant point for that temp measurement. IMO, is about an inch away from the intake of the CPU cooler fan.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 1:44 am 
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I just ordered one of the new model versions of the Tornado from SiliconAcoustics, who notified me they now have them in stock. I'm looking for a solid replacement for my SilenX PSUs, since the 400W--and the 350W I'm now running--never lived up to expectations. My 350W has a constant, annoying humm, enough to overtake the room with sound when all is quiet, and even as I sit and type this with the TV on. I have big expectations for the modified Tornada, with my only fear being it isn't enough to run the three hard drives and two optical drives I have in my system on an nForce board. Current temps are around 35 degrees celcius for the board, and 49 degrees for the CPU. I'll keep everyone posted how it turns out.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 6:35 am 
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Yeah, I just realized that the new Super Tornado 300 that I thought was now fine just started exhibiting the old fan problem and siren whine... :evil: This is starting to get really irritating as I've gone through two repetitive PSU installs which take time (e.g. remove/reorganize "cablegami") over the past month and still no results.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 6:45 am 
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Ralf Hutter wrote:
An excellent alternative might be the Seasonic Super Silencer 400W. I've been using it in this system for the past 2 months and the case temps have been running around 38-42°C daily without the PSU fan increasing in speed at all. According to MikeC's review of this PSU, the fan should be starting to ramp up at around 41°C but if it is, it's going up slowly and never speeds up enough by 43°C for me to detect it.
Wish I could. A SS400AGX wouldve been my first choice, I'd imagive it'd be as quiet and cool as a PSU w/[email protected] can get after modding.

But no Seasonic SSs aside from the SS300FT are on sale in europe. Guess I'll have to pay transatlantic shipping :(


Last edited by puff on Thu Oct 09, 2003 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 6:47 am 
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Why keep beating a dead horse?

Try one of the 400W Super Silencers instead. They're only a few dB louder (as if you could tell) and don't have the issues of the Tornado. I've been using one for the past few months and have been real happy with it.

I just went to buy another PSU and was first looking at the Super Tornado, just to save some money but saw all the problems and so I bought another 400W Super Silencer instead.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 7:05 am 
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Ralf Hutter wrote:
Why keep beating a dead horse?

Try one of the 400W Super Silencers instead. They're only a few dB louder (as if you could tell) and don't have the issues of the Tornado. I've been using one for the past few months and have been real happy with it.

I just went to buy another PSU and was first looking at the Super Tornado, just to save some money but saw all the problems and so I bought another 400W Super Silencer instead.
That's what I said! A super silencer 400w wouldve been my first choice all along if it had been available here. It's not!

edit: I are dumb


Last edited by puff on Thu Oct 09, 2003 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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