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Seasonic PRIME 1000W Gold PSU Review

Correctly testing power supplies is a complex procedure and KitGuru have configured a test bench which can deliver up to a 2,000 watt DC load.

We test ambient temperatures at 35c in our environment to greater reflect warmer internal chassis conditions.

We use combinations of the following hardware:
• SunMoon SM-268
• CSI3710A Programmable DC load (+3.3V and +5V outputs)
• CSI3711A Programmable DC load (+12V1, +12V2, +12V3, and +12V4)
• Extech Power Analyzer
• Extech MultiMaster MM570 digital multimeter
• SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa)
• Digital oscilloscope (20M S/s with 12 Bit ADC)
• Variable Autotransformer, 1.4 KVA

DC Output Load Regulation

Combined

DC Load

+3.3V
+5V
+12V
+5VSB
-12V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A V
100W
0.90
3.35
0.90
5.05
7.35
12.07
0.50
5.02
0.20
-12.04
200W
1.60
3.35
1.64
5.05
15.13
12.07
1.00
5.01
0.20
-12.04
500W
3.20
3.35
3.25
5.04
38.60
12.05
1.50
5.01
0.20
-12.03
750W
4.03
3.34
4.16
5.04
58.53
12.03
2.00
5.01
0.30
-12.02
1000W
5.45
3.34
5.51
5.03
78.13
12.00
2.50
5.01
0.30
-12.02

The load regulation of this power supply is stellar, with all rails holding close to reference levels (within 1%).

Seasonic PRIME 1000W Gold Maximum Load
1218W

We managed to get another 218W from the power supply before the protection circuitry kicked in. The supply was undamaged and it was ready to fire up again when we were a little more sensible with the load.

Next we want to try Cross Loading. This basically means loads which are not balanced. If a PC for instance needs 500W on the +12V outputs but something like 30W via the combined 3.3V and +5V outputs then the voltage regulation can fluctuate badly.

Cross Load Testing +3.3V +5V +12V -12V +5VSB
A V A V A V A V A V
885W 2.0 3.35 2.0 5.04 72.0 11.98 0.2 -12.03 0.50 5.01
240W 20.0 3.34 24.0 5.03 2.0 12.06 0.2 -12.02 0.50 5.01

The Seasonic supply handled the Cross load tests without any concerns.

We then used an oscilloscope to measure AC ripple and noise present on the DC outputs. We set the oscilloscope time base to check for AC ripple at both high and low ends of the spectrum. ATX12V V2.2 specification for DC output ripple and noise is defined in the ATX 12V power supply design guide.

ATX12V Ver 2.2 Noise/Ripple Tolerance
Output
Ripple (mV p-p)
+3.3V
50
+5V
50
+12V1
120
+12V2
120
-12V
120
+5VSB
50

Obviously when measuring AC noise and ripple on the DC outputs the cleaner (less recorded) means we have a better end result. We measured this AC signal amplitude to see how closely the unit complied with the ATX standard.

AC Ripple (mV p-p)
DC Load +3.3V +5V +12V 5VSB
100W 5 5 5 5
250W 5 5 15 5
500W 5 5 15 10
750W 10 5 20 10
1000W 10 10 30 10

Ripple suppression from this unit is impressive, hitting 30mV from the +12v output at full load. Both +3.3V and +5V held well within industry rated tolerance parameters with 10mV respectively under full load conditions.

Efficiency (%)
100W
87.2
250W
90.3
500W
92.4
750W
90.7
1000W
89.3

The efficiency results are excellent, peaking at 92.5% at close to 50%. This drops to 89.3% efficiency at full load. These are solid results for a 80 Plus Gold certified unit.

We take the issue of noise very seriously at KitGuru and this is why we have built a special home brew system as a reference point when we test noise levels of various components. Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on components we are testing. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.

Today to test the Power Supply we have taken it into our acoustics room environment and have set our SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa) one meter away from the unit. We have no other fans running so we can effectively measure just the noise from the unit itself.

As this can be a little confusing for people, here are various dBa ratings in with real world situations to help describe the various levels.

KitGuru noise guide
10dBA – Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refridgerator
50dBA – Normal Conversation
60dBA – Laughter
70dBA – Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA – City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA – Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA – MP3 Player at maximum output
110dBA – Orchestra
120dBA – Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA – Threshold of Pain
140dBA – Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA – Instant Perforation of eardrum

Noise (dBA)
100W
<28.0
250W
<28.0
500W
31.3
750W
34.8
1000W 37.4

The fan does not make much noise until the last 200 watts of power delivery. At full load its fairly active, but its hardly likely an end user will be running this supply at 1000 watt conditions continuously (100%). At 800 watt load, the fan is spinning moderately and will likely be masked by several case fans in a system build.

Temperature (c)
Intake
Exhaust
100W
35
40
250W
35
46
500W
38
50
750W
43
58
1000W
46
63

The high efficiency helps ensure that temperatures inside the unit are never concerning. At full load, the power supply held at close to 63c in our environment.

Maximum load
Efficiency
1218W
88.6

Pushing the PSU above its rated limits generates an efficiency level of around 88.6%. This is not a viable ‘real world’ situation, but its interesting nonetheless.

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