Reviews - Seasonic M12D 850W
Sample Provided by: (By OklahomaWolf on Thu, Dec-25-2008)

Page 1 -

Recently, a lot of fantastic units have been coming out around the 850W mark. Case in point, the Antec Signature 850W and the Corsair TX850 I reviewed last week. Now, Seasonic has decided they want into this market, and have sent me the brand new M12D 850W as proof of how serious they are about it. Let's get started with a few of the usual box pictures, and then we'll let my SM-268 load tester find out how serious Seasonic really is.

Going by the box picture above, I'd have to say things are looking good already, for it bears a prominent 80 Plus silver logo on the front. Also present are an nVidia SLI ready logo, a Sanyo Denki logo with a picture of a fan on it, and a weird little diagram that seems to suggest that the unit uses DC to DC conversion for coming up with the 3.3V and 5V rails.

"The Ultimate Modular Gaming Power Supply," crows the box in proud white lettering. You let me be the judge of that, Mr. M12D. Look over there... see that? See my Antec SG-850 frowning at you? It doesn't think you can do it. But, I'm sure going to let you try... after all, I did throw down a challenge to see if there was any company out there who could do better than that unit.

Our next stop will be the back of the box, where all the bragging points are, as well as a load table. The above picture is too small to make anything out, so here you go:

  • Super High Efficiency (up to 90%) - Green solution for lowering energy consumption, noise & heat.
    90% is very impressive, if this claim holds true.
  • DC to DC Converter Design - Superior dynamic response & greater system stability.
    Nothing new here... a lot of high end units are using the VRM approach to derive 3.3V and 5V from the 12V supply.
  • Practical Dual +12V Rails - Ample +12V output with OCP for extreme utilization.
  • Tight Voltage Regulation - Improved load regulation to reduce voltage variations.
    We'll let the SunMoon be the judge of that on the next page.
  • Highly Reliable 105°C Japanese Brand Capacitors - Exceptionally reliable components extend product life.
  • Solid Caps on 12Vs for Extreme Stress Operating Conditions - Enhanced stability at severe operating conditions.
  • Active Power Factor Correction (99% PF) - Reduces line loss & power distortion.
    Again, nothing new - all high end units these days have APFC. This is good. Unless you happen to be a guitarist in a rock band, that is - then you might want that power distortion.
  • Dual Sided PCB Layout - Better utilization of PCB space to enhance quality and performance.
    I'm not sure an advanced high power unit like this could be designed with a single layer PCB.
  • Detachable Modular Cables - Flexible cable solution to reduce clutter.
  • San Ace Silent Fan (Sanyo Denki) - Premium quality fan for silent operation.
  • Smart & Silent Fan Control (S2FC) - Smart thermal control to balance between noise & cooling.
  • Ultra Ventilation (Honey Comb Structure) - Minimizes airflow resistance for maximum cooling.
    I'm starting to think Seasonic uses everything as a marketing point. Fan grille! Power switch! Power cord! Advanced thermal dissipation device (fan)! Oh wait, they actually do brag about the fan... never mind.
  • Multi-GPU Technologies Supported - 6P and 8P PCI-E connectors to support all multi-GPU platforms.
    All, you say? Even three way SLI with 280's? Seems a bit unlikely... let's not get ahead of ourselves, here.
  • All-in-one DC Cabling Design - Supports PC, IPC, workstation, and server systems.
  • Universal AC Input - Plug & run safely anywhere in the world.
    Yay! Now I can move forward on my plans to build a rig at the summit of Mount Everest!
  • Patented Easy Swap Connector - Unplug the connectors easily, quickly, and safely.
  • 5 Year Warranty - Our commitment to superior quality.
    Five year warranties are good.

Just thought I would show you a quick shot of the bottom of the box, where the above listed bullet points are relisted in a half dozen more languages. Mmm... eggnog. The cup seems to be empty now. Here, look at this picture of the side of the box while I go get some more.

Ah, that's better. As you can see above, Seasonic wasn't quite done with their bragging points yet, for there are more of them here along with some fancy connector pictures and a diagram of the modular connector panel on the unit.

And on the opposite side, yet more bragging points are listed. Wow, they really do turn everything into a feature to brag about. Even if someone forgot to turn on their "advacned" spell checker.

Hey, how did my eggnog cup get empty again? There must be a hole in it. I'll go get more in a second, once you've had a chance to look at these two shots of the box opened up.

Ah, it looks like we get a nice carrying bag for the modular cables. Sweet. And now, to go get that eggnog. Be right back.

Ah, my taste buds love this time of year. Where was I? Oh yes, the above picture. As you can see, the M12D comes with lots of goodies. Modular cables, a manual, a little bag full of screws and a case badge, a thick 16AWG power cord, and that modular cable carrying case I mentioned a second ago.

The M12D, once you get it out of the bubble wrap, turns out to be housed in a nice matte black enclosure. I sure do love matte black, almost as much as this here eggnog. What? The cup's empty again! I think I'll go get the whole container. I hope this isn't the extra happy kind of eggnog... my head seems to be buzzing for some reason. No, wait, it's just a fly. I don't know where these bugs come from in the dead of winter... sorry, got off track there.

A view of the back shows something else I like to see - fully sleeved cables that don't stop short of the enclosure. Not only does this give the M12D a clean look, it keep the cables from chafing against the plastic grommet. I'll show you an up close look at the modular connector panel a bit later on this page. Meanwhile, here's the part of the label with the load table.

Well then... somebody decided to put some serious output on the 12V side of this unit, it seems, for the 12V rails get 840W combined to themselves. That's identical to the Corsair TX850 from last week, and 5A more than the Signature. Impressive, yes, but since this is only 10W away from the maximum spec on the unit I'm not sure there would be many occasions you'd be able to get the whole 70A from this thing.

Seasonic SS-850EM +3.3V +5V +12V1 +12V2 -12V +5VSB
24A 30A 40A 40A 0.8A 3A
Max Power 150W 840W 9.6W 15W

A shot of the connector side of the hardwired cables shows the well done sleeving in its entirety. It leaves, in my opinion, just the right amount of unsleeved wires at the end to be serviceable, and yet it doesn't leave so much as to leave things open for tangling.

I promised an up close shot of the modular panel, and here it is. The rail distribution is a bit funky on this, but Seasonic was kind enough to enlighten me. From left to right in the above picture, the connectors are: 12V1, 12V1, 12V2, 12V2, 12V1, 12V2. This means that the PATA/SATA connectors are evenly divided between the two 12V rails, as are the PCI-E connectors. The hardwired cables are similarly divided - 12V2 for the EPS12V and ATX12V cables and one of the PCI-E cables, with everything else on 12V1.

Here are the codular mables... er, madular crabbles... uh... mod-u-lar ca-bles. Hmm, this eggnog seemsh t'be... loaded after all. Be'er go gessome coffee. Here's a lil... tableforya.

Type of connector: Seasonic
ATX connector (530mm) 20+4 pin
8-pin EPS12V connector (530mm) 1
4-pin ATX12V connector (530mm) 1
SATA (330mm+150mm+150mm) 3
2 x 4 PCIe (590mm) 2*
Modular Cables
5.25" Drive (550mm+150mm+150mm) 3
5.25" Drive (450mm+150mm+150mm) 3
5.25" Drive (350mm+150mm) 2
3.5" Drive connectors (+150mm) 1**
SATA (550mm+150mm+150mm) 3
SATA (450mm+150mm+150mm) 3
SATA (350mm+150mm) 2
2 x 4 PCIe (550mm) 2*
Unit Dimensions(L x W x H)
160mm x 150mm x 86mm

*connectors are 6+2 pin modular type
**5.25" Molex to 3.5" drive connector adaptor


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