Reviews - Seasonic SS-400H1U
Sample Provided by: (By OklahomaWolf on Sun, Jan-25-2009)

Page 3 -

It's now time to not crack up, bend our brains, see both sides, and throw off our mental chains as we look at the guts of the Seasonic. Man... what is it with me and Howard Jones today?

As you can see, they crammed a heck of a lot of power supply into this little case. That heatsink with the holes in it is designed to contact the top cover, thus using it as an extended heatsink.

The soldering turned out to be the best I've seen on a Seasonic unit... better even than the M12D and much better than the Antec Neopower Blue. In fact, the soldering was so good I had trouble getting parts out of here, so I didn't get the part numbers of the PWM and PFC controllers this time.

There isn't much of a transient filter this time, because this unit relies on the combo line filter and AC receptacle to provide some of that functionality. Still, there is a MOV, a coil, two X capacitors, and two Y capacitors here.

That's a Nippon Chemi-Con main filter capacitor there.

The heatsinks are out and it still looks packed in there, doesn't it? In this shot, the secondary side's on the left of the central transformer, while the primary is on the right.

Secondary capacitors are mostly Nippon Chemi-Con with a Rubycon or two thrown in for good measure.In the bottom center of this picture you can see the three chokes (the ones with blue cores) that signify independent voltage regulation.

Here are the two heatsinks and their attached parts, which took entirely too long to desolder. Up top is the secondary heatsink. It carries two 30A50CT's for the 12V rail, and one STPS30L30CT each for the 3.3V and 5V rails.

The bottom heatsink has all the primary side parts. There are to FDP18N50's and a diode for the PFC, and two more FDP18N50's in double forward for the main switchers.


Time for some scoring. Since this is a server unit, I'm going to do this the same way I did the IStar Claypower review. No aesthetics score.

Performance (40% of the final score) - the Seasonic SS-400H1U managed to do something I was hoping to see already from the aforementioned Claypower: it handed in impressive performance on all fronts. Considering the environments these are designed for as well as the fact that the attached hardware needs to be up and running as long as possible, my expectations are high when it comes to units like this. I've handed out the occasional perfect score here before, but none yet to a unit like this. So, this unit becomes the first of its kind to get a 10 from me.

Functionality (30% of the final score) - here again the Seasonic one ups the IStar. Not only does it have enough cabling to get the job done, it's modular too. And it has a 6 pin PCI-E connector for good measure. That means another 10.

Value (30% of the final score) - you can get these right now for $87.33 at Provantage. That's very, very good. Considering big brother 520W is floating around just north of the $100 mark, I don't see any compelling reason you shouldn't just up and get a pile of Seasonic units if you're in the need for powering a bunch of 1U servers. 9.

Performance

10

Functionality

10

Value

9

Total Score

9.7

Summary

In my second ever review of a dedicated server unit, Seasonic has managed to not only impress me but they've also set the bar for anything else aiming to compete in this market. In every way I can think of, it simply excelled. I'd love to see something better than this come through here, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting.

The Good:

  • almost nonexistent ripple and noise at 3.3V and 5V, and not much at 12V
  • highly efficient
  • quieter than the IStar was

The Bad:

  • 40mm fans are incapable of being silent

The Mediocre:

  • Howard Jones won't leave my head. I suppose no-one is to blame.

 

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