One of the most overlooked components of a PC besides the case fans is the case power supply. However, the power supply is actually one of the most critical parts of a well functioning computer. Today we will be reviewing a "silent" power supply from a company named Seasonic. Seasonic was founded in 1975 to produce test equipment, regulated DC power supplies and insulation puncture test equipment. In 1980 Seasonic began producing switching power supplies for PC's with initial support for Apple II personal computers and then for IBM compatibles. Seasonic's line of "Super Silencer" power supplies come in 5 power ranges (200W, 250W, 300W, 350W, 400W) with the 200W, 250W and 300W models equipped with either passive or active power factor correction (PFC) technology. The 350W and 400W models use active PFC only. All models come with the smart and silent fan control (S²FC) feature. With the exception of the 200 Watt model, all of the Seasonic Super Silencer power supplies are AMD certified and approved. Let's see if the Seasonic Super Silencer is the real deal or a great pretender.
Packaging and Specifications
The box that the power supply comes in has all the information you would need to know about your power supply and then some. The top of the box has a picture of the power supply and a list of logos of all the special features of unit. the front flap has charts detailing the functioning of the S²FC technology. The bottom and sides of the box show the special features of each power supply model and gives an explanation of the functioning of the power factor correction and smart silent fan control (S²FC) circuitry.
Open the box and you find the power supply wrapped in a layer of bubble wrap, a user's manual, a bag of screws, an AC power cable, a warranty card with full RMA information, and a bag containing a cable management system called Dr. Cable.
Now let's take a look at the power supply itself. The first thing you notice is that it is rather plain looking compared to some of the other upscale power supplies now found on the market. You won't find any visible temperature probe, manual fan control, LED's, or fancy paint job. You will also notice that there is only one fan on this power supply. It is the rear exhaust fan. The bottom of the unit has no ventilation slots or intake fan for hot air to be sucked into the PSU and exhausted out the back. The rear fan is an 80mm model. The exact dimensions of the power supply are 150 x 140 x 86mm. The data plate on the side of the PSU contains all the relevant specifications of the unit.
Opening a power supply is not recommended. Dev Hardware takes neither responsibility nor liability for injuries or damage incurred by readers who attempt to access the inside of a power supply. Never open a recently used power supply or one that still has the power cable connected to an electrical outlet. Extremely high voltages can remain within the power supply's capacitors for a long period of time after the power supply has been turned off.
I opened up the power supply to get a closer look at the heatsinks and coils. All the heatsinks are aluminum which saves on weight. They are not the largest radiating elements I have seen in a power supply but their design provides a lot of surface area for heat dispersion. most of the weight of the power supply comes from the copper wrapped coils and large capacitors. If you look really closely at the exhaust fan you will see the rubber insulators that are supposed to provide some level of noise cancellation. Okay, now that we've replaced the PSU cover, let's take a look at the business end of the power supply.
(Dr. Cable Kit)
(power cables with Dr. Cable kit applied)
The Dr. Cable kit consists of two strands of spiral cable wrap, an adhesive backed adjustable cable retainer, and a set of zip ties. The kit is designed to cover two "bundles" of power cables from the power supply. Above you see the cables without and with the Dr. Cable management system installed. Dr. Cable is to be applied with the larger spiral wrap enclosing the main power cable and the smaller spiral wrap enclosing the "bundle" of other power cables you choose to use for system components. The power supply provides a wealth of connectors for use. There are seven different cable leads from the power supply. You end up with a total of 8 Molex connectors, 2 floppy drive connectors, 1 +12volt connector, 1 Main Power connector and 1 three pin Fan Monitor connector.
Cable list and connector count:
1) 20 pin Main motherboard power cable
1) 4 pin +12V Pentium 4 power cable
1) 6 pin Server motherboard AUX power cable
2) component power cables with 3 Molex connectors and 1 floppy drive connector
1) component power cable with 2 Molex connectors
1) 3 pin (2 wire) Fan Monitor cable for the power supply exhaust fan
Specification compliance: ATX 2.03 & ATX12V v1.1
Forward converter circuit
High efficiency and reliability
Low ripple and noise
Super low noise and fan control
Acoustic noise 25dba typical at 70W power load and 30cm distance
Short circuit protection on all outputs
Over voltage protection
Over power protection
100% high-pot test
100% burn-in, high temperature cycled on/off
PFC harmonics compliance EN61000-3-2 +A1 +A2
EMI/RFI compliance CE, CISPR22 & FCC part 15 class B
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