Page 4 - Minor Tests and Conclusion
Power supplies are interesting products -- because often, reviews of products in this category are conducted and tested in methods that make it difficult to distinguish one power supply from another. Many aspects have to be taken into consideration -- of which certain criteria consists of efficiency, noise, power ripples, and of course the ability to pull out the rated specifications. Because many cannot afford such equipment to obtain results regarding those aspects, articles covering power supplies often come out with less than adequate and acceptable information. As this is an product report -- not a review -- what we are doing is a close examination of the power supply, and the internal hardware and build. But what we can do for you is do some minor testing with the results we can present to you with, and let other review sites with professional equipment show you the actual test results.
Using our power supply tester which exerts minimal load on the power supply, the initial consumption was 8W as measured by our wall meter unit -- indicating that the basic load-free power consumption of the power supply is better than any power supply we've tried out. The Seasonic M12 II 500W is a certified 80 Plus power supply, and many reviewers with professional testing equipment showed results of its efficiency hitting around 85% -- which is very good for a modular power supply.
Voltages with minimal load is generally accurate, which is a basic requirement of power supplies out of the box. In this situation all are within 0.2V. However, the PG (Power Good) delay seems to be higher than its rating specification -- and worse than average, too -- at 360ms.
I'll borrow this picture from our PC Power & Cooling 610W Silencer report -- in which because they obtained the exact same results. The Active PFC on the M12II 500W worked fairly well, with a reported PF fluctuating between 0.98 to 0.99 (98% to 99%) -- higher the better.
Anyways, in regards to noise -- under regular load, the power supply is very quiet, like the original M12 with the 60mm fan not activated. While this is very subjective, I am quite a picky person on noise and the loudest component in my entire system is my hard disk. On a scale from 0-10 where 0 is the silent and 10 is the loudest, I would rate the Seasonic M12II 500W to be at 1.5/10 -- which is the same as the original M12 500W power supply, in idle conditions. There's turbulence noise only when the fan spins up to a somewhat high RPM -- in idle conditions, there is a very small clicking sound if you listen to the M12II very carefully. As the load increases, however, the Seasonic M12II 500W's thermal sensor will detect it and increase voltage to the fan -- in which the higher the load, the more audible the fan is. It seems to us that the M12II increases the fan voltage a lot faster than the original M12 though. Under our nominal load of around 180W this power supply retains well within our acceptable noise range. However, once you push it to 250W (50%) to 280W (56%) on the power supply's maximum output, the 120mm fan will kick in. The Seasonic M12II 500W runs my system consisting of an Core 2 Extreme QX9650 @ 3.7GHz, Asus Striker II NSE, and an Asus GeForce 8800GTS G92 TOP.
Special thanks to Gennie over at Seasonic for making this report possible.
The idea behind the Seasonic M12II 500W is to fix what's not good with the Seasonic M12, and keep the good things associated with the original power supply. I've always liked Seasonic power supplies for their quietness, performance, and clean power delivery. They aren't cheap, but get what you pay for -- Seasonic power supplies are nothing short of awesome. The Seasonic M12II 500W is no exception. My only complaint is that, I don't think the sensor needs to increase the fan voltage so quickly -- it makes it loud even at 50% of its maximum capacity.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Minor Tests and Conclusion