Introducing the Seasonic Platinum Series 860W

In a short time we've seen quite a few companies come out with their first 80 Plus Platinum power supplies. A couple weeks ago we reviewed the Enermax Platimax with 750W, which was a good PSU even though our testing showed slightly less than the advertised efficiency. Enermax also has a 500W Platimax unit, and there are several other brands launching or ready to launch 80 Plus Platinum offerings. Today we'll look at another sample, this time in the form of Seasonic's Platinum Series 860W.

One thing that all of the 80 Plus Platinum models have in common is that they are very expensive. Something else to consider is that there are only a limited number of companies that actually manufacture PSUs, building various models according to the specifications their partners request. Seasonic is one such company, and we can expect other brands to use variations of the Seasonic Platinum Series we're reviewing today. The 860W model we're looking at includes two different modes for controlling the fan speed, a fullly modular connector system, and DC-to-DC converters for two of the smaller output voltages.

It's been nearly a year since we reviewed Seasonic's X-560 80 Plus Gold power supply, and it's still one of the best PSUs available. The Platinum Series looks set to continue from where the X-Series left off, as their new Platinum Series is very similar to the previous generation Gold products in many respects. Which raises an interesting question: are they even able to surpass their previous generation, especially when we factor in pricing and availability? On the following pages we will show the differences between the new series and the older models, along with all the important measurements and test results.

While efficient PSUs are all the marketing rage in the world of power supplies, we should keep in mind that many manufacturers are trying to reach 80 Plus Platinum levels via "cheap tricks". Enermax and FSP decided to cut the EMI filtering while SuperFlower still has an aversion to over current protection. Shunt resistors for example transform some of the power into power loss when current flows through it, since there is a voltage drop, but that's actually their job as they measure and prevent overcurrent. We are looking forward to see a better solution from Seasonic -- which doesn't mean other solutions would be bad.

Delivery Contents, Power Rating and Fan
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  • marraco - Sunday, February 26, 2012 - link

    "The Best PSU Ever" cannot have a noisy fan. Reply
  • cyberguyz - Sunday, February 26, 2012 - link

    "The direct competitors include the already mentioned Enermax Platimax 750W / Platimax 850W and the Golden King Platinum design (Kingwin LZP-750) from Super Flower. The latter offering isn't just questionable in name, but the missing overcurrent protection and MOV are also a major drawback. As such, we wouldn't put that particular unit in the same category as the Seasonic; Super Flower products in general use cheaper quality."

    It was a reasonably good article tarnished by the reviewer's obvious hate for anything not Seasonic.

    There is no taking away from Seasonic at putting out a kickass power supply. I like them so much I bought one myself and it is currently powering the system I am writing this on. But to unilaterally state something like "Super Flower products in general use cheaper quality." without posting quantitative data to back it up or "The latter offering isn't just questionable in name, but the missing overcurrent protection and MOV are also a major drawback" without actually looking at the reasons why they are not included (and there is one if you bother to look). Are these actually required on a power supply with a single large 12v rail (OCP is definitely a must for mutiple 12v rails to keep a power hog on one of them from burning out the limited rail)? For what? Please expand on why this is such a major drawback?
    Reply
  • kensiko - Sunday, February 26, 2012 - link

    Well said.

    It's not because Super flower produced cheaper power supplies that all their power supplies are cheap.

    I hope Martin will think before making another statement as that.
    Reply
  • Risforrocket - Monday, February 27, 2012 - link

    Heck yeah I already bought one. So glad this review shows it to be as good as I thought it was going to be. All my power supplies have been Seasonic in recent years. Reply
  • cyberguyz - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    It is an excellent PSU. I replaced a Corsair HX850 with it (the Corsair was losing some of its regulation edge with age). So far I am really happy with its clean power delivery, tight regulation and efficiency (I hate waste).

    The downside is that it is a costly beastie but that is to be expected. It is after all one of the best available (yes there are others just as good) in that wattage range. Quality costs.

    While I would not call this review objective, the product itself does merit some of the author's excitement. I would look to jonnyguru.com for more technical and objective power supply reviews though.

    Cheers folks!
    Reply
  • LintMan - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - link

    It looks like Seasonic finally increased the length of the ATX12V/EPS12V cables a bit - but they're still too short!

    For many/most case and motherboard layouts these days, those cables need to be able to reach from the bottom-mounted PSU around behind the MB, up to the very top edge of the MB. Even in some mid-size cases, 65cm isn't long enough! My Seasonic X750 had 55cm cables and I had to buy a 15cm extension for it with my Antec P280 case, and even then it was barely long enough. These cables really should be 75cm to cover most non-jumbo cases.
    Reply
  • shawkie - Sunday, May 13, 2012 - link

    Technically I'm talking about the 1kW version (SS-1000XP) and can't comment on the 860W version but it seems that the fanless mode is a complete lie. My PC has an i7 3770T (45W TDP) plus an SSD and an optical drive. I haven't measured it yet but even under full load I doubt it hits 100W. And yet its now idling in 22 degC ambient and the PSU fan is spinning. Its definitely in Hybrid mode and if I flip the switch it gets louder. Its really, really quiet but all the specifications say it should be "fanless" and "0 rpm" up to 30% load. If I'd known that wasn't true I would have got the 460W fanless instead. Reply

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