Performance (40% of the final score) - the scoring here isn't going to be that hard to come up with for me. This unit does 80 Plus Bronze down to load levels you'd probably never see in real life, crossloads exceptionally well for a group regulated design, and has almost no ripple and noise to speak of. While I don't know that this unit deserves the scoring of a much more expensive independently regulated design, I also cannot punish a group design just for being a group design. Group designs aren't supposed to do well in crossload testing. And yet this one did. A half point off for voltage regulation that slipped outside the 1% number on the progressive tests, and that is all. 9.5.
Functionality (20% of the final score) - while this is not a modular unit, Seasonic still tried to bring some useful functionality to this unit. First, it's only 140mm deep - that'll help out people with limited case room. Second, there are no natively wired 3.5" drive connectors. Instead, these connectors are found on an adapter. I like this approach - those connectors aren't used that often these days. Third, each chain of peripheral connectors offers differing lengths to the first connector on each. I like this too as an aid to cable management. But, somebody at the factory put a great big zip tie around the cables outside the unit well away from the enclosure. I've seen this on other recent Seasonic built units as well, and have been puzzled by it. That zip tie isn't even needed. Yeah, you can just cut it off, but I'm feeling spiteful today. So, half a point comes off. 9.5.
Value (30% of the final score) - how does $69.99 at Newegg sound to you? There are an awful lot of units at Newegg around this price point. Not many of them are likely to equal this unit's performance, though. So, I'm gonna say 10.
Aesthetics (10% of the final score) - she looks good to me. Matte black and sleeved cables, combined with that little splash of color on the fan hub, makes for something I really like looking at. 10.
In what is likely the highest scoring group regulated unit I have ever tested, Seasonic has something really special here. A nice, quiet, efficient, and well performing unit that is affordable for just about any budget. Go forth and buy one, loyal readers.
easily held Bronze efficiency, even to unrealistically low load levels
extremely low ripple and noise for a mid grade unit
a shallow unit for space challenged cases
let's get rid of that zip tie around the cables outside the case, shall we?
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