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Seasonic "S12" 430w PSU Review

By: Mike Wright | Other PSUs in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Jun 6, 2005 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.0%Manufacturer: Seasonic USA

The Power Supply



Now that we've pulled everything out of the box, lets take a little closer look at the primary component.


One of the first things you'll notice is the lack of a native voltage switch. Since power supplies have finally advanced a bit (beyond just higher wattage allowances), many of the modern units coming out today allow for an automatic adjustment to whatever voltage you'll be using. So whether you're in the US using 120v power or a European native using a 240v outlet, this PSU will automatically set itself to the appropriate internal setting. This is great news for those who have inadvertently forgotten to check this switch setting on a new power supply and plugging it into the wall outlet with the wrong setting in place. (Yep, I've been there and done that)



As far as connectors are concerned, you should find everything in order to handle most setups. Included in the main wiring harness you'll find a main 24-pin power coupler, a 4-pin supplemental power connector, six Molex connectors, two FDD connectors, two SATA connectors, and a PCI-Express power connector. Also embedded in the harness is a 3-pin fan speed monitor that allows you to keep track with the speed of the 120mm fan that cools this unit. This gives you the capability of natively running most peripherals without having to resort to using additional adapters.


A few more standard 4-pin Molex connectors would have been a nice addition here, but unless you're running several opticals and hard disk drives, you should be all right.



This is an added feature that I've come to like. Each of you standard Molex connectors are as this one above. For those who haven't used one of these before, the power connector attaches as it normally would. When it comes time to remove the coupler, however, you just squeeze the prongs together and it pushes the connector slightly out of the power socket of the device. This is great for hard drives and opticals that occasionally get the Molex stuck in the socket. When you push the connector slightly out from the socket, you can easily remove it without damaging the plug or the device.



So how much power can you expect from this unit? How about 430 watts sustained? Like many modern power supplies hitting the market today, the S12 uses a twin 12v rail system with a total of 29 amps available. You'll also see 30 amps to both the 3.3v and 5v rails. While not the highest available power ratings, it is ample to handle even a beefy enthusiast system with no problems.


One item of note that we'll examine is the fact that some twin 12v rail power supplies have problems when working with a Socket 939 based system. While most manufacturers addressed this problem shortly after it was discovered, we'll double check this concept in our testing phase.


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