Seasonic M12 700W 12CM Modular Power Supply Review
Well today I will be reviewing a 700W power supply from a company you all should know by now. It’s from a company that I’ve said is among the best in the industry and kick started the 80PLUS program mainstream. I remember I reviewed the old SS-300 and SS-400 power supplies from Seasonic a few years back and while it didn’t impress me, I’ve got to say Seasonic has improved leaps and bounds.
Power supply demands have grown over the past few years with the arrival of faster machines sporting dual cores and quad core architectures that it’s crazy to think of where we’re at today. It’s not even microprocessors but also graphics cards where one card can draw huge chunks of power from a system. And Seasonic being a leader in the power supply business has come out with an 80PLUS unit featuring a modular cabling system we’ve all come to want. This seems like a really great package on paper and we’ll see how it performs. It is the Seasonic M12 700W 12CM fan power supply (the M designation meaning Modular).
About Seasonic (as listed on their website)
“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.
In the year 2000, Sea Sonic Electronics successfully entered the telecommunication and networking power conversion market. At the same time, we expanded our manufacturing facility to provide JIT global logistics service in order to meet our increased business demand.
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.”
Product Features and Specifications
One of the things new with the M12 series is the M designation which means the unit has modular connections. While this modular design has been out for some time, this is the first time being offered in the Seasonic lineup. I remember back in the day when I did a review on the S12 unit and one of the things I wanted was modular cables…well I guess times have changed and now it’s here J another feature is the added use of rubber grommets which will help prevent any possible vibrations during operation.
Other than the modular design and more power, we see the things that have been offered by Seasonic for a long while (S12 started things) such as the honeycomb grille, high efficiency 80PLUS designation, and the Seasonic units being quiet due to the fact that they always seem to use ADDA fans. We’ll see if that continues later on in the review.
Looking at the specifications for the M12-700, we see that there are four different +12V rails at our disposal in evenly distribute the load and they are rated for 18A each for a total of around. Combined total for the 3.3v and 5v rail comes to the total of 170W.
Generally I’ve seen most good power supplies to be rated for >100,000 hours at 25℃ and this is the same case with the Seasonic. If you remember with the previous HuntKey review the MTBF rating was not presented and further investigation put it around from >50,000 hours at 25℃ to >85,000 hours at 25℃ and that number is a little lower than typical.
Taking a look at the packaging for the Seasonic M12 700W will reveal a nice looking box that looks very similar in design philosophy with the old S12 unit and I guess things haven’t changed much in that front nor should they have to.
Opening the box reveals no space unused as it is full. You have the Seasonic M12 700W power supply, warranty card/thank you card, power cable, package of modular plugs and a Seasonic sticker.
My first impressions on this unit is that it’s a no nonsense unit ready to do business. The enclosure is not shiny but of a textured bare black type that looks rugged and looks like it can take a beating. Standard fair is a 120mm unit that will exhaust hot air out of the system.
Generally Seasonic units are fairly quiet and won’t introduce new noise to a system and during testing I’ve found this to be true yet again. Actually there are two fans in this power supply. You have your main 120mm fan and another smaller 60mm unit. Now I’m not really sure why a 60mm fan was needed or even thought to have been added. Maybe the power supply gets hotter than previous generations? Personally I wouldn’t have added a 60mm fan but leave it alone and add a few vents. I’m pretty sure a 120mm fan is plenty enough to run hot air out quickly. Seasonic places a sticker which reveals the 60mm fan is a temperature controlled fan and will only spin once the temperature it’s been set at has been reached. I personally did not see the 60mm spin in my case and that’s probably because I have two other 120mm fans running full blast.
I love the fact that Seasonic always looms their wiring and this makes me happy when I see it and pissed off when I don’t. It just makes everything look neat and a little more stealth.
Using the modular plugs is straight forward, there’s really not much to say than it works and you can use the ones you need. The fitment of the plugs inside the connector is perfect and snaps into place and will not suddenly fall out.
Opening up the power supply we see the circuit board that is taking up pretty much all the space it can since the 60mm will take some room. It’s a very clean layout and very recognizable layout only reserved for Seasonic units. And the unit is relatively heavy if that means anything to you nowadays. Looking around the unit will reveal one big blue 470uf 400V capacitor, a bunch of ferrite coils, lots of MOV’s and more protection.
The PCB indicates that this unit was made in April 18, 2006. As I mentioned earlier, in the past Seasonic has utilized fans made from well known ADDA and the M12 continues this tradition with the ADDA 120mm and 60mm fans using rubber grommets to prevent those nasty vibrations.
Looking at the wires on this unit reveals that there is plenty enough connectors for almost anything you need. I have no complaints on the amount supplied and their length. Say bye-bye to clutter J
How does it perform?
If you haven’t noticed on the front page, we’ve recently upgraded our system to an Intel Quad Core Q6600 system. In general our system consists of an Intel Core 2 Quad Core Q6600 @ 2.4GHz (G0 Stepping), Asus P5K-E/WiFi-AP Edition (P35 Chipset), Mushkin EM2-6400 2GB RAM, (two) Hitachi 7K250 Series 80GB SATA HD, and the eVGA 7900GT KO Superclocked Graphics Card.
During testing, I have experienced no unusually buzzing noise I did with that HuntKey unit. Of all the Seasonic power supplies I’ve tested, none of them made weird noises.
Ratings between both units are very similar but the M12 I felt provided less fluctuation and amazed me since it provided excellent numbers in all rails; it was almost perfect all the time!
There’s really not much I can negatively about the M12-700. Just about the only things I can say I wanted differently was the exclusion of the 60mm which I find no need for and that the unit isn’t entirely modular. Now I’m just trying to pick faults! Maybe next time make the enclosure shinier J
Pros and Cons