Final Words and Conclusion

Today we witnessed the reason why Seasonic is so popular amongst enthusiasts and advanced users. The 650W version of the S12G is not the cheapest of its range and class, it has no extravagant features, and it is not even modular. When you look at it, it is yet another all-black ATX PSU; not even the ribbon-like black cables are in any way special nowadays. You can easily find an 80 Plus Gold certified and modular 650W PSU for around the same price.

On the other hand, when it comes to build and power quality, the Seasonic S12G can easily make most of its competition shudder. Seasonic usually picks very high quality components for their units and the S12G is no exception, with most of the primary components and all of the capacitors coming from Japanese brands -- and the S12G is their mainstream series, not their high-end brand! That alone says a lot about Seasonic's commitment to quality and why they so easily cover a mainstream unit with a five-year warranty.

Looking at the performance charts and tables, the Seasonic S12G could probably be offering the best all-around performance within its price range. The DC output power quality is excellent and the voltage ripple suppression is remarkable. Since voltage ripple is directly correlated with the longevity of electronic equipment, especially capacitors (it causes self-heating), very low ripple readings benefit the durability of your system's components. The energy conversion efficiency is very high and it maintains its high efficiency and quiet operation even inside a very warm environment.

Its Achilles' heel is that the S12G tends to run a little hot if heavily loaded for prolonged periods of time while inside a very warm environment; however, the only real-world scenario that we can imagine that would replicate such conditions is that of a powerful cryptocoin mining system built inside a poorly designed chassis. If you are planning to use the Seasonic S12G for powering such a system in a $20 case, that probably is a bad idea. However, if you are looking to buy a PSU for its high quality and performance and consider aesthetics and modularity to be secondary or unnecessary features, the Seasonic S12G is definitely worthy of strong consideration.

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  • WoodyPWX - Friday, February 28, 2014 - link

    Ordered, thanks! Reply
  • mark28 - Friday, February 28, 2014 - link

    How's their fanless PSUs now? The last few I got had a really annoying constant buzzing sound. Reply
  • Sivar - Friday, February 28, 2014 - link

    I returned two of them before I ordered a Rosewill SilentNight (same as Kingwin Stryker STR-500). I heard the new generations of Seasonic are almost always silent, but I'm happy with the SilentNight, too. Reply
  • stratum - Saturday, March 01, 2014 - link

    I got a fanless Seasonic PSU last month and the constant buzz was more annoying than a PSU with a fan. Waste of money when my main reason for getting it was negated. Reply
  • motas - Saturday, March 01, 2014 - link

    For my builds that rarely draw 250 W max, after how reliable the PSU is, the next thing I care most about is the noise. Not just dBA numbers but also how it sounds. You could look at the frequency spectrum and most of the sounds people would find more annoying would show a pattern. A fan putting out 30 dBA could sound "worse" than one at 35 dBA. Last I care about is efficiency. As long as the PSU can reliably provide the requested power then I'm good. I'm not runing servers or crypto miners at constant load 24/7. Reply
  • E.Fyll - Saturday, March 01, 2014 - link

    "A" in "dB(A)" stands for "acoustic", i.e. it is within the part of the dB range that your ears can perceive. You are actually right that a fan rated at 30 dB(A) can actually sound worse than a fan rated at 35 dB(A), but that's because these readings/ratings are being taken inside anechoic chambers. It is possible that due to vibrations or simply because of the frequency the sound is emitted at (reflections, echo, etc), the first fan could actually sound worse than the second fan inside a real room; but the instruments would read that as well. We are doing noise testing inside a real room so that is as close to reality as it gets.

    I understand that some "types" of noise might be more bothersome than others to some people, but that is relative and mostly psychological; I cannot possibly assess that quantifiably.
    Reply
  • morso - Saturday, March 01, 2014 - link

    How about provide a frequency spectrum plot. You know, white noise vs colored noise. People can then decide for themselves if the sound is good or not. Reply
  • g.davis - Saturday, March 01, 2014 - link

    If that's not possible then maybe record the sound and post an audio file. Hopefully, the recording process can be standardized. That buzzing sound from a fanless Seasonic PSU was extremely annoying especially for a bedroom PC that doesn't get turned off. I'd rather get a louder PSU with a fan. Which I did. Reply
  • E.Fyll - Saturday, March 01, 2014 - link

    You actually suggested inserting a graph with spectral profiles in a review?

    People cannot decide "if the sound is good or not" by looking at such a graph, not only because it will not tell you anything of actual relevance but because, well, they cannot read it. Aside the fact that only a handful people can actually read such a graph, do you realize the kind of equipment that is required to generate it? Space aside, we are talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    This is absolutely out of the question, sorry.
    Reply
  • tosisgray - Saturday, March 01, 2014 - link

    Why not provide an audio recording. Sometimes it's the subjective parts people care about most. With your statement, it seems you're not targeting professiosnals anyway. Efficiency doesn't matter much to the crowd you seem to be targeting unless the vendor is falsely advertising their product. These PSUs will likely go inside homes. Maybe bedrooms and living rooms. Reply

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