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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  • Exodite - Friday, February 24, 2012 - link

    Many thanks for an excellent review, the technical details is what keeps bringing me back to AnandTech.

    I'm currently using a Seasonic SS460-FL myself, the 460W X-Series fanless model, and it's been all but perfect. The only issue is what I'd consider the high electrical noise, something the unit shared with the M12 2 800W model it replaced, but it's tolerable in a suitably isolated case.

    Before I scare anyone off by that comment I should note that I'm extremely picky about noise, to the point that I'm running the two 140m fans on my CPU cooler (a Noctua NH-C14) at 750RPM because anything above that is too loud to my taste.

    Like many other posters here I will continue buying Seasonic PSUs for the foreseeable future due to their impeccable quality and performance. Skimping on what's essentially the heart and circulatory system of your computer always struck me as ill-advised.
  • Martin Kaffei - Saturday, February 25, 2012 - link

    Some fanless PSUs had a noisy PFC choke, the source might be magnetostriction. Often a magnetic field is not constant because current changes or other inductivities trouble the choke. This deforms the materials and makes such noises.

    Since there is no fan noise you can hear the electrical noise much better. In truth the electrical noises are at the same level as always.
  • dj christian - Thursday, March 1, 2012 - link

    So you'r running only the CPU-fans? Are the rest passive?
  • kensiko - Friday, February 24, 2012 - link

    Good but did you review the Kingwin (Super flower) ? I saw some reviews and everybody agrees that the components are of high quality.

    I did buy a Kingwin and I class it as good as Seasonic (I owned a Seasonic before)
  • kensiko - Friday, February 24, 2012 - link

    I'm talking about the Lazer Platinum Series for sure.
  • Beenthere - Friday, February 24, 2012 - link

    IME few reviewers consider Super Flower/Kingwin in the same class as Seasonic.
  • palindrome - Friday, February 24, 2012 - link

    You must not read PSU reviews then...
  • Breit - Friday, February 24, 2012 - link

    You say that this 860W model is the best PSU SeaSonic has to offer, but what about the 1000W unit SS-1000XP released in Q4-2011? I thought it is actually the same PSU with higher ratings?! It even has the 80 PLUS Platinum label and also has exceptionally good efficiency over a wide range of loads well above 90% from 20% load to 100% load. I think it should at least get mentioned in the article. The Gold-units from SeaSonic you are referring to were released in 2010 i think.
    Besides that thanks for this very good article, its always a pleasure reading anadtech.
  • Martin Kaffei - Friday, February 24, 2012 - link

    It is fair to say Seasonic made the best current series, but I didn't test the (original) 1KW version yet.
  • Conscript - Friday, February 24, 2012 - link

    You talk about how great they are, but no pics?

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