One of the most important PC components is the power supply. Without a good quality power supply putting out enough clean power to power your high end video card and quad core CPU, you would be stuck with a pile of useless parts. Today’s power supply’s have a lot of shoes to fill. They must put out enough power to meet any demand you will be able to throw at it, now and with future upgrades. All of the power must be clean and stable power, you wouldn’t want something to fry because you didn’t give it clean enough power. Then most recently people have been concerned about noise and aesthetics, the fans on power supply’s keep getting larger and quieter and you see things like windows and racing stripes on “gaming” power supply’s. This has also lead to the popularity or modular cabling, to me one of the best ideas to come to power supplies in years! Seasonic, one of our lans sponsors has provided us with their M12 700 watt power supply to check out.

Review Sample Provided by: Seasonic

Review by: Garfi3ld

Pictures by: Garfi3ld

Specifications

1. AC input & DC output voltages ( 100~240V, 50/60Hz )
2. Total Protection Over Voltage / Over Power / Short Circuit Protection Total protection for your power supply, your system and yourself.
3. Operating Environment Operating temperature: 0 to 50°C. Relative Humidity: 20% to 80%. (The rated power will reduce from 100% to 80% from 40°C to 50°C) Shipping / Storage temperature: -40°C to 85°C Relative Humidity: 10% to 95%
4. MTBF Typically over 100,000 hours at 25°C under full load, excluding the DC fan.
5. Wire Configuration

 

Packaging

The M12 comes in standard power supply box. The impressive thing is that they give you everything needed to make an educated decision on the front of the box. The picture of the product shows off both of the fans along the modular connections. Also on the front of the packaging includes the wattage and an 80plus sticker. 700 watts rated at a 80% efficiency rating is very impressive. The back of the packaging has a more detailed listing of the features of the M12. In side you find the power supply protected in plastic foam keeping it well protected.

Installation

If you haven’t ever installed a modular power supply you haven’t experienced the joys of a nearly wireless installation.We installed the M12 into a very compact In Win case that we will be reviewing soon; a perfect candidate for a modular power supply. We started with an empty case; Installing the actual power supply was as simple as 4 screws. Seasonic provided those 4 screws incase you don’t have any. Once the power supply is in the case and secure its time to open up the wide selection of power cables and to figure out what we will need to install our DVD drive, two hard drives, and a 9600GSO. The one thing that is disappointing to me (having a Seasonic made corsair in my computer) is the lack of a nice bag to store all of the extra cables. I wouldn’t want to loose any of the cables incase I might need them in the future.

While running all of the cables it’s easy to admire the quality black sleeving on the cables although I do wish the sleeving went all the way to the connectors. It does make it hang up a little it when you are router the cables, but it is worth the trouble in the end to have a clean looking install. The only real issue we found while installing the M12 was the lack of a few short Molex or SATA power cables. The “short” cable provided still has a very long distance before you get to your first connector. Because of this we had to tuck away a lot of cable when trying to run a few inches across from the power supply to the DVD drive. Even with that problem the modular cabling saved a lot of space in the already tight for space case we are working in. Saving space gave us more room to work with the power supply and all of the other components on the PC.

Performance

I would fist like to state that in no way in LanOC capable of the type of power supply review you find on Johnny Guru and Anandtech. We just don’t have to equipment to do the style of testing that they do. We have to rely on real world testing. Pushing the computer to the limit and using a multimeter to watch the voltage. Its not the best way to test a power supply, it wont tell you how it will perform at 1000watts under load. But it is helpful for most real world situations.

Our Test Setup

In Win Allure case
E6300 core 2 duo MASSCOOL 8WA741 92mm Ball CPU Cooler Intel motherboard 9600GSO 80gig hard drive 320 Seagate hard drive light on sata dvd burner 4 gigs of Mushkin Ram 17inch lcd

 

This 700 watt power supply is overkill for this setup, but being my wifes computer. I cant afford for it to break down, so I needed a power supply I could trust. Plus her computer is in the middle of an upgrade, when its running a quad core it will have lots of power left over.

 

We started testing by running 3dmark06 and watching the voltages. 3dmark switches back and forth giving the CPU and the video card loads. The varying loads should bring out problems in maintaining a consistent voltage is there are any. Watching with a multi meter and with Intel’s build in monitoring program We did not see any major fluctuations. The 12 volt rails ran at a consistent 12.170 volts through all testing only dropping to 12.169 and going as high as 12.171. The 5 volt rail stayed at 5.01 to 5.04 while the Vcore ran at 1.14 dropping to a 1.139. All of those numbers are very good. All the while the M12’s two fans didn’t make a sound. It was comforting to see the smaller secondary fan kick on when you push the power supply. A cool power supply will be a durable power supply.

 

Overall

Seasonic is well known for making quality power supplys. After taking a closer look at there M12 700 Watt power supply I can say without a doubt that this reputation is well deserved. The wide selection of cables will help you find the setup that’s perfect for your situation. The only downsides were small .I wish they could include a bad to keep the extra cables, I also with they would include a few very short cables for when you have to hook up something nearby without having to hide 2 feet of cable. Frankly though at that point though we are looking for issues to point out, if that’s all we can find its not a huge deal. Overall the M12 is an amazing power supply. It is not very flashy, but good performing and durable. I highly recommend checking out Seasonic power supplys on your next computer build.

 

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