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Seasonic Prime 650W Titanium Power Supply Review

Additional technical assistance: Peter McFarland and Jeremy Price.

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. Due to public requests we have changed our temperature settings recently – previously we rated with ambient temperatures at 25C, we have increased ambient temperatures by 10c (to 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
152W
2.05
3.34
2.04
5.02
10.12
12.04
0.50
5.01
0.20
-12.02
270W
3.03
3.34
3.05
5.02
19.14
12.03
0.50
5.01
0.30
-12.02
400W
4.05
3.33
5.02
5.02
29.18
12.03
1.00
5.01
0.30
-12.02
523W
6.09
3.33
7.04
5.01
38.18
12.02
1.50
5.00
0.30
-12.01
650W
8.00
3.33
9.00
5.01
48.00
12.02
2.50
5.00
0.30
-12.01

Load regulation is as impressive as the other units we have tested in the PRIME range.

Seasonic Prime 650W Titanium Maximum Load
844W

We managed to get the PSU to deliver 844 watts before it would shut down, delivering almost 200 watts more than the rated specifications!

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
590W 1.0 3.34 1.0 5.02 48.0 12.02 0.2 -12.03 0.50 5.00
145W 12.0 3.32 15.0 5.01 2.0 12.05 0.2 -12.02 0.50 5.01

The unit passed our cross load test without any problems. It was hit with 48A on the +12V rail and it held at 12.02.

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
152W 5 5 5 5
270W 5 5 5 5
400W 5 5 10 5
523W 5 5 10 5
650W 5 10 15 5

Ripple suppression is stellar, holding a position within the top couple of percent of units we have tested in the last year.

Efficiency (%)
152W
92.67
270W
94.33
400W
95.78
523W
94.64
650W
93.48

Efficiency is superb, peaking at around 96% and dropping to 93.5% at full load.

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 Refrigerator
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)
152W
<28.0
270W
<28.0
400W
31.8
523W
33.7
650W 34.3

Noise levels are low throughout the load range. At full load the fan spins up a little, hitting just over 34dBa. This is still relatively quiet and masked by several case fans.

Temperature (c)
Intake
Exhaust
152W
36
38
270W
39
41
400W
42
44
523W
44
49
650W
47
54

The very high efficiency levels of the power supply ensure that the fan never has to work that hard – its a cool running unit as well.

Maximum load
Efficiency
844 watts
92.6

At 844 watts, the efficiency level measures 92.6%. Not a practical situation to be running 24/7, but worth noting.

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