Welcome to the second page of the review, people. You might remember that my test bed centers around a SunMoon SM-268 automated test environment that simulates a load on any power supply up to a thousand watts or so. This will be joined by some other gadgets in the room to test various performance characteristics of the power supply at hand. These other goodies include a Tektronix TDS-2012B oscilloscope, a dual probe thermometer, and a multimeter.
Before we begin, I have some shocking news for you. My Brand 4-1850 power meter was dragged out of here by the cops in cable-cuffs the other day. Details are rather sketchy, but it seems that the mangled corpse of a Diablotek RPM-1050 was found nearby. They think the Brand did it. So, I've gone and hired a new power meter, a Rek RF9901. This bad boy is accurate enough that I am now able to add a series of brand new tests to my standard procedures that I haven't been able to do before - standby efficiency testing. And where did I put this new meter? Why, in the Rek room, of course. Ahem... the REK... room. Hello? Hello? Is this thing on? Ouch! I should stop thumping on the pointy end of this screwdriver and go find a real microphone.
This new standby testing will now be the first set of tests I do on a unit. Before I show you the results of these tests from the X-560, a few words on how I plan to do these. Basically, the SunMoon will be loading the 5VSB rail in a series of three progressive tests starting at a low load and ending at full power. The SunMoon will only be loading the 5VSB rail... the unit's main power circuitry will be inactive, just as if you shut down your computer and went out to the club for the evening. These tests will give you an idea of the efficiency you're getting from the power supply with the unit in standby.
Let's get started.
Results from Seasonic X-560 STANDBY load tests
DC Watts/ AC Watts
You may have noticed that I have brought back power factor measurements on these tests. This is because such measurements actually mean something on standby. All active PFC units, which is practically all I test these days, tend to hover around 0.95 to 0.99 in normal operation. But way down here at these obscenely low standby loads, the APFC circuitry isn't enabled. This isn't a problem for the utility at all, as we're dealing with power draws that couldn't fry a gnat, but all the same it's something to help us separate the good designs from the excellent ones.
Now, on to the efficiency results. As you can see, in standby mode, this unit starts at around 82% and drops to 78% with the standby rail fully loaded. This is actually pretty good for the standby circuitry of any unit... there just hasn't been any major push to boost these efficiency levels when the unit's overall operating efficiency is so much more important. Still, since I just started doing these tests, I really haven't got much to compare with yet.
Let's move on to the backbone of our testing regimen, the progressive and crossload tests. As always, we'll run those at room temperature first.
Results from Seasonic X-560 COLD load tests
DC Watts/ AC Watts
Progressive load tests
A couple of things stand out at me about the above table. The first is... the Rek meter is really, really accurate. The Brand did a good job, but this meter's giving me an extra decimal place to work with. Very nice. And what's the meter telling me? It's telling me that the X-560 has no problem pulling down Gold, except in the very first test. That said, my very first test up there is actually just below 20%, where 80 Plus gets started. Since we still get the required 87% by rounding off, I think we can let the unit slide here.
Where did the fan start? In test three, good reader. Did I hear it? Nope.
I did hear the sound of myself cheering, though, when I looked at the voltage readings and saw how solid this unit's voltage stability was. The 3.3V rail only dropped by 0.05 volts, which is just outside 1%. The 5V rail was even more solid, clearing 1% without much trouble. Not to be outdone, the 12V rail also cleared 1% with ease. This unit's performance is outstanding, thus far.
Results from Seasonic X-560 low load test
DC Watts/ AC Watts
Down here at a low 11% load level, where 80 Plus doesn't test at, the unit just clears 82% efficiency. Not bad, but not quite the best ever result for this test. Most Gold units come in a little higher here. That said, most of the Gold units I've tested have been bigger units. You'd expect a gentler efficiency slope as load level decreases with those. We really can't fault the X-560 for this result.
Hmm... I seem to have a test missing. Maybe it's on the next page. Come with me, and we'll go have a look.
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