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If you are not familiar with Seasonic then let us introduce this company to you where they are a professional designer and manufacturer of switching PSU. Today we are going to review their latest PSU which were just launched in Nov 2008; M12D is a modular gaming PSU and utilizing DC to DC converter design which able to provide outstanding dynamic response and greater system stability at the same time.
Since the incorporation of Sea Sonic Electronics Co., Ltd. in 1975, we have maintained our focus on research and development and the production of quality power conversion products.
For the past decades, supported by cutting edge technology based upon a strong research and development team, Sea Sonic Electronics has provided timely and professional solutions to meet many of the IT industry's requirements.
For the future, we will continue our philosophy of dedication; innovation, professionalism and 4G's (Great Technology, Great Quality, Great Service & Great Price) in order to maintain our goal of continued long-term business partnerships and create "win-win" situations for our customers.
- Super High Efficiency [up to 90%]
- DC to DC Converter Design
- Practical Dual +12V Rails
- Tight Voltage Regulation
- High Reliable 105°C Japanese Capacitors
- Solid Caps on 12Vs for Extreme Stress Operation Conditions
- Active Power Factor Correction [99%PF]
- Dual Sided PCB Layout
- Detachable Modular Cable
- San Ace Silent Fan [SANYO DENKI]
- Smart & Silent Fan Control [ S²FC]
- Ultra Ventilation [Honey Comb Structure]
- All in One DC Cabling Design
- Universal AC Input [Full Range]
- Patented Easy Swap Connector
- 5 Year Warranty
AC input & DC output voltages ( 100~240V, 50/60Hz )
Over Voltage / Over Power / Short Circuit Protection
Total protection for your power supply, your system and yourself.
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)
Relative Humidity: 20% to 80%.
Package & Contents
Seasonic M12D 850W comes with pretty attractive rectangular box. The packaging box of Seasonic M12D 850W is lot bigger than normal PSU as this PSU is a high end modular PSU so Seasonic has enlarged the box to ensure everything is well packed inside the box rather than squeezing everything into a small box although it will be cheaper for the material cost standpoint.
At the back of the packaging box of M12D 850W, Seasonic has stated all the features plus some basic descriptions to explain the features as not everyone will understand them and what they are used for. Some of the selling points of Seasonic M12D 850W are like 90% efficiency, DC to DC converter, tight voltage regulation, high reliable 105° Japanese brand capacitors, 99% PF, modular cables and etc.
The whole unit of Seasonic M12D 850W is wrapped by bubble bag but we prefer Seasonic to add additional foams on top and bottom of the PSU to give additional protection over shock and vibration. Besides the PSU itself, there are some other accessories of Seasonic M12D 850W like power cord, user's manual, Seasonic badge and a bag of modular cables. Please ignore the DC to DC converter as Seasonic sent it over to us for review purpose which already integrated inside the M12D 850W.
Seasonic M12D 850W is a modular PSU where some of the cables can be detached from the PSU and those cables are being kept inside a quality cloth bag. It is good idea for Seasonic to provide such bag to store those unnecessary cables as we doubt anyone will fully utilize all these cables. By storing all these extra cable in a bag will definitely save the users' time as they may forget where they have placed these specific cables.
Besides that, an user's manual and a power cord are comes along with Seasonic M12D. Basically the user's manual is describing the features and product specifications of Seasonic M12D and it is a multilanguage's manual where consists of English, Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Korean.
M12D is an additional line of business of Seasonic besides M12II and S12II series of PSU which are one of the quite popular PSU in the market with its stable rails. One of the major features of Seasonic S series PSU is the silent operation and for M series PSU it will be modular cable management. Seasonic M12D is M series PSU so it is armed with modular cable management and the D should be stand for DC to DC converter feature. There are two models for Seasonic M12D; 750W and 850W.
Seasonic claimed that M12D is a high efficiency PSU and up to 90%. Above calculation is provided by Seasonic and as you can see M12D draws lesser AC than normal PSU and able to provide same amount of DC output. Besides that some energy saving calculation is stated above by comparing Seasonic M12D 850W with an ordinary PSU with 68% efficiency. For higher efficiency PSU, you will able to save around USD44 to USD187 annually compare with other lower end PSU.
Here are some standard qualification for 80PLUS and Seasonic M12D 850W is certified for 80 PLUS Silver where they achieved the requirement for this category. For those PSU which achieves 80PLUS Silver certified is considered a very good PSU because in the market, there aren't many PSU which can achieved 80PLUS Gold; maybe due to high manufacturing cost.
Seasonic M12D 850W comes with pure black PSU casing without any fancy stuff like UV cable sleeving, LED fan which is Seasonic style for their PSU. This is not a problem for those users are hunting for a good performance PSU because Seasonic PSU has good reputation all the while. Seasonic M12D 850W has only dual 12V rails while for other brand's 850W PSU, it should have four 12V rails. However Seasonic claimed that these dual 12V rails will outperform those four 12V rails PSU and these dual 12V rails of M12D 850W can support up to 40A.
Honeycomb ventilation has become a standard for midrange to high end PSU because it can dissipate the heat more efficient than circle and rectangular type of ventilation holes. There is a big logo/sticker at the back of the PSU and stated Seasonic 100V ~240V and this shows that Seasonic M12D 850W is an auto switching PSU where user doesn't require to switch the AC input voltage manually which is only required for entry PSU. Seasonic M12D 850W comes with a 120mm black fan and we'll discuss this fan further in later chapter.
Seasonic M12D 850W is a modular PSU as you know and basically we would like to call it as semi modular as there are certain of PSU connectors are attached permanently from the PSU itself such as ATX 24P/20P, ATX12V 4P, EPS12V 8P, 3 x SATA and 2 x PCI-E 6P/8P. The additional modular connectors are 8 x Molex, 8 x SATA, 2 x FDD 4P and 2 more PCI-E 6P/8P. It is great to see that Seasonic includes total four PCI-E 6P/8P connectors for the high end video card although most of the people will not need four of them but no harm to keep them as well.
As we know Seasonic always produce PSU with high quality and good performance but without much fancy stuff but they still sleeve the PSU cables which isn't really only meant for fancy nowadays as it allow better inner case air flow. The cable sleeving is very good quality and sleeved very well as well. Furthermore Seasonic sleeved the onboard PSU cables completely till the end of the PSU casing and most of the PSU manufacturers will not sleeve them completely to reduce manufacturing process time and cost saving as well.
Here are all the modular cables (total nine cables) that come along with Seasonic M12D 850W. Different PSU manufacturers will have their own modular connector design so users need to make sure they keep these cables very well as it will be hard to get back the similar cables unless you can get it from another Seasonic modular PSU. Basically we would prefer the end of the connectors that connect to the PSU casing is a special type of connectors so that users will not confuse which is the end of the modular cable that he/she should connect to. Poke-Yoke type of connection will be the best.
Here are the inner view of the Seasonic M12D 850W and you will notice that Seasonic equips M12D 850W with good quality components. The heatsink of Seasonic M12D 850W is not really unique or new because Seasonic has started to use such heatsink few years back where we got the first PSU from Seasonic; S12 430W. We called such heatsink as fish bone heatsink although the bone is just half compare the full size of fish bone heatsink that Seasonic used on S12 430W.
DC to DC converter is considered a new technology in PC PSU industry and the difference is the 3.3V and 5V rails are splitting off from 12V rails. This DC to DC converter is made by solid caps from Japan and the features of this technology are such as avoid problem during startup loading, no misbalanced cross regulation, maximize utilization on 12V outputs as well as inducing better dynamic response and reducing compatible issues.
Seasonic uses San Ace 120 fan for Seasonic M12D 850W from a famous fan maker; Sanyo Denki. This fan is a premium quality fan which able to provide same amount of airflow but with much lower noise compare with normal fan. Smart Thermal Control will balance up the noise and cooling for Seasonic M12D 850W where the fan will operate faster during peak load in order to keep the lifespan of this PSU longer.
Installation, Testing & Performance
PSU installation is not hard unless you have a pretty small casing with everything messed up then it will take some time for your to remove the old PSU else you will probably just need around 15mins to complete everything. Our testbed is one of our operating rig and even with that we only need one additional Molex modular cable to power up the whole systems.
Processor : Intel Core 2 Duo E8300 @ 2.83GHz
Motherboard : Asus P5K SE/EPU
Heatsink : CoolerMaster X Dream P775+
Memory : 4GB 800MHz DDR2 Memory
Hard Drive : 250GB 7200RPM Fujitsu
Hard Drive : 80GB 7200RPM Western Digital
Graphic Card : OEM Nvidia GeForce 8800GT 512MB
PSU : Seasonic M12D 850W
Optical Drive : DVD RW HLDS
Casing : GMC R4 BullDozer
Operating System : Microsoft Vista Home Premium
Benchmark Software : Prime 95
Ambient Temperature : 28 Degree Celsius
Above are the voltage rails during idle and peak load for Seasonic M12D 850W. As you can see the differences between the idle and full load are very minimal and no voltage variation at all for the 12V which are definitely good. In the product specification, the tight regulation is only around 3% compare with other PSU where mostly will come with 5% and now Seasonic really proved that their PSU is really well designed. This is not surprise as previously our Seasonic SII 430W already gave us such good rails and that PSU is still operating very well after 3 years old.
Seasonic M12D 850W doesn't generate lot of heat during the whole testing, the PSU is just warm which means that the cooling of this PSU is pretty good. For the noise, we don't hear any loud noise during the whole testing process maybe our testbed is not stress the PSU enough. Base on Seasonic design on this PSU, users should hear some noise during 100% but we believe there aren't many users will stress their PC 100% 24/7 and the noise of the fan is to keep the PSU components as cool as possible for longer lifespan.
Thinking to upgrade your PSU or looking for a PSU that will work with your quad core CPU, high end graphic card? If yes then we strongly suggest you to have a look on this Seasonic M12D 850W which is not only equipped with the features that other PSU can provide but it also provides rock solid voltage rails which is the major factor to keep your system stable and long lifespan especially comes to overclocking portion. Other features of Seasonic M12D 850W are very attractive as well such as modular cable management, 80PLUS Silver certified to save your electricity bill, DC to DC converter, 5 years warranty and etc. With its MSRP ~ 239USD, it is not expensive at all with all the features that comes along with this PSU.
* Modular PSU
* Great performance with solid rails
* 80PLUS Silver certified
* DC to DC converter technology
* High efficiency ~ 90%
* High Reliable 105°C Japanese Capacitors
* 5 years warranty
* Well packed
Thanks to Seasonic for providing this sample for us to review.
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