Performance (40% of the final score) - how about we get this scoring stuff done now? This isn't going to be hard at all. First, the unit managed to pass Gold efficiency both times, though it was a little bit of a stretch. No points off for that. Then, we had the unit managing to average 1.1% and 1.3% regulation numbers in the cold and hot tests respectively. Had it dropped to 1.5% in the hot box, I'd be removing half a point. But it didn't, so again there are no deductions there. Finally, the ripple suppression was every bit as good as the regulation, with all three main rails staying under the 25mV mark. I see no reason not to give this unit a perfect 10 here.
Functionality (20% of the final score) - ok, a half point comes off right away for being only semi-modular. Only full modularity is allowed to get by with no deduction. Aside from that, the unit really doesn't have a lot to complain about. We got more than enough accessories, the modular cables are the ever so useful ribbon cables, and the sleeving is well done. The only thing I can really complain about is the somewhat abbreviated user guide, so I'll take a half point off for that. But I think I'll be stopping there. 9.
Value (20% of the final score) - this unit is currently on sale at Newegg for $69.99. Normally, it's $105.99. I can't really go by the sale price for this part of the score, because who knows how long that will last, but that's a heck of a good price right there. Looking at the normal price, though, we find that this unit does compete with a couple of other units like the PC Power and Cooling Silencer III 600W and FSP Aurum 92+ 550W. But, you have to ask yourself if these other competing models are going to be good enough to compete with a unit that just pulled down a perfect performance score. I haven't evaluated either of those units, so it's hard for me to say for sure. But here's what I can say... it's really hard to impress me enough to get a perfect score out of me in performance. You toss in the seventy smacker sale price on top of it, and the decision becomes a no-brainer. At either price, this puppy deserves another 10.
Build Quality (20% of the final score) - ok, Seasonic. You've slipped a bit on the soldering again, so I have to score against it. I found a little bit of a mess underneath, which merits a half point deduction. To this, I will remove another half point for a damaged section of the solder mask I found near one of the mounting screw holes on the topside of the circuit board. But there I'll stop. Everything else looked fantastic, from the circuit design to the board layout. You say I should score against the fan? Sorry folks, I don't have the ability to evaluate fan build quality. I have to give Adda the benefit of the doubt if I cannot test the longevity of their fans. 9.
Seasonic has just about got to be feeling invincible these days. Here they are coming out with awesome power supplies left and right, and it seems like just about nobody can touch them. What else is left to say about this unit... it's just another unit in a long line of incredible performers that hasn't compromised one iota on that performance even though it's a smaller capacity unit. I do wish the efficiency had cleared Gold by a bit wider margin, but when that's the worst thing you can say about a unit, you're doing pretty good indeed.
excellent voltage stability
excellent ripple suppression
semi-modular with not too many hardwired cables
comes with lots of accessories
had a little trouble clearing Gold efficiency
somebody needs new PFC MOSFETs before he can put this unit back together
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