Seasonic S12-330 Rev A3 (w/Sleeving) Review

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betty
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Seasonic S12-330 Rev A3 (w/Sleeving) Review

Post by betty » Thu Apr 27, 2006 6:15 am

Seasonic S12-330 Rev A3 (w/Sleeving) Review

Dear MikeC/Devon:

First, thanks for the review.

Is there any reason to believe that the older S12-330 Revision 2 has the same larger heatsinks as the S12-430?

Is it possible that the reduction in heatsink size came along only with the third revision, as did other things such as the pci-E power cable?

I've got an s12-330 Revision 2. I'll try to compare the heatsinks to the pictures in the review tonight.

Thanks!
Betty

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Post by winguy » Thu Apr 27, 2006 7:27 am

To add on:
Is it possible that the latest sleeved S12-430 has the smaller heatsinks as well?

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Post by MikeC » Thu Apr 27, 2006 7:30 am

winguy wrote:To add on:
Is it possible that the latest sleeved S12-430 has the smaller heatsinks as well?
Nope. It's highly unlikley that the HS in any of these models changed since their original iteration. The 330 we've never seen before, so we can't really comment -- you'll have to wait for Betty's promised post. Unkless someone else has a 330 they want to open up and examine (or just peer at with a flashlight from the back of their computer).
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Post by krille » Thu Apr 27, 2006 8:34 am

Nice review!

The S12-330's HS was quite a bummer though and thusly its noise levels. Guess it'll be S12-430 even for sub-200W systems rendering it the pinnacle of silence for sub-400w systems. Mike, would you happen to know the size of the S12-380's HS? Does it house S12-430's good HS or S12-330's (relatively speaking) "poor" HS or somewhere in between?

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Post by Tibors » Thu Apr 27, 2006 8:47 am

I posted my impression of the Rev.A1 OEM version of this PSU a year ago. It has the same (small) heatsinks as the reviewed model.

There are enough posts in the forum about systems that draw less than 100W AC. Especially office/web-boxes and HTPC's that use integrated graphics and an A64 processor. This PSU is an excellent choice for those systems.
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Post by betty » Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:03 am

One can see a review of the s12-380 with pictures, dated May 2005. It looks like the s12-380 (at the time) had the larger heatsinks. I don't know if this means that the s12-330 Revision 2 has the smaller ones or the larger ones. Again, will check mine tonight.

http://www.tech-mods.net/modules.php?na ... view&id=78

There are other reviews of the s12-330 online, but none of them show the psu opened up.

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Post by gipfeli » Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:13 am

Tibors wrote:I posted my impression of the Rev.A1 OEM version of this PSU a year ago. It has the same (small) heatsinks as the reviewed model.
Thanks for the information. We will see whether or not the heatsink of the retail version is the same.

Edit The heatsinks of the a3 and a3 are the same, so I wonder why changed the speed-control (there can't be any other reason for the change >150W)?
Last edited by gipfeli on Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by line » Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:16 am

My S12-330 Rev A1 has the same HS size as what we've seen in this review.

It also has a 20+4 ATX power connector, unlike the first revision of S12-430.

I bought mine earlier this year in February. It was more than eight months after Seasonic had announced Rev A2, yet I still got an early revision model. But I guess I can't complain, because this one is supposedly quieter than its successors.

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Post by MikeC » Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:47 am

gipfeli wrote:Edit The heatsinks of the a3 and a3 are the same, so I wonder why changed the speed-control (there can't be any other reason for the change >150W)?
Some clarification about thermal fan controllers in the Seasonic S12s (and most other series of PSUs)...

The fan controller circuit is exactly the same in all the S12s, AFAIK.

From a thermal point of view, the differences between the 330 and the 430 come only from the heatsinks. The 430 has bigger heatsinks, and so it has better cooling with the same amount of airflow. Therefore, the thermistor for the fan does not got as hot as in the 330, and its fan doesn't run as fast. It's really as simple as that.

At <150W output load with an ambient temp of 21C in a typical low airflow PC, this PSU will sound identical to the 430. Keep in mind that only the hottest of the systems tested in the recent Desktop CPU Power Survey article hit 150W -- and then only just barely. Put it in a separate intake vented chamber as in the P180 or NSK2400 and you'll probably be safe to much higher ambient temps and load. If you use this PSU intelligently, it'll work very quietly.

Note -- Don't confuse AC power input (into the PSU) with DC power output into the PC. The discussion above refers entirely to the PSU's DC power output.
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Post by line » Thu Apr 27, 2006 10:06 am

betty wrote:One can see a review of the s12-380 with pictures, dated May 2005. It looks like the s12-380 (at the time) had the larger heatsinks. [...]
And the price difference between S12-330 and S12-380 is only $13.

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Post by JVM » Thu Apr 27, 2006 10:15 am

Any comment about the sleeved cables being a better alternative to the original design?
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Post by acaurora » Thu Apr 27, 2006 10:55 am

Very nice review, Devon. I have the S12 600W A2, and am wondering whether or not it is worth it for me to upgrade to the newest revision. Could it be LOUDER? I have a pretty heavily loaded system in a P180, and i have actually used ALL the 4 pin Molex connectors with what I have. Not that I plan on using / adding more, its just that I feel somewhat limited by knowing that I cannot add anything that uses a molex conector without removing something else.
Last edited by acaurora on Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by MikeC » Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:08 am

acaurora wrote:Very nice review, Mike. I have the S12 600W A2, and am wondering whether or not it is worth it for me to upgrade to the newest revision. Could it be LOUDER? I have a pretty heavily loaded system in a P180, and i have actually used ALL the 4 pin Molex connectors with what I have. Not that I plan on using / adding more, its just that I feel somewhat limited by knowing that I cannot add anything that uses a molex conector without removing something else.
Devon wrote it, acaurora, he's the one who should be credited. I can't imagine anyone would swap the S12-600 from an earlier version to a newer one. Aside from the sleeving and 6-pin PCIe plug, there really isn't any difference.
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Post by acaurora » Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:11 am

Fixed it. ;)

I just find that the sleeving looks nicer... Eh I probably will just stick with mine, as if I were to get the A3, I'd be too lazy to swap the PSU's out, despite how easy it should be ;)
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Post by BillyBuerger » Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:22 pm

I was debating between the S12 330 and 300SFD. As it is, I just ordered the 300SFD. I'm glad I did. I have a pretty low powered system: Sempron 64 2600+. I figure I'm probably in the 60-90 watt range max. The S12 drops off in effciency quiet a bit more on this low end compared to the SFD. The S12 will be more quiet in stock form, but I'm not against doing a fan swap.

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Post by MassMan » Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:06 pm

I really miss mudular cable management. The only components I have in my computer that require cables from the psu are 2 sata drives and (of course) motherboard (using external usb dvd burner). The rest of the cables are just tucked away.

The removal of floppy cables is a good thing though.

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Post by betty » Thu Apr 27, 2006 3:38 pm

Well, I checked my S12-330 Revision 2. I'm dissappointed to report that it's got the smaller heatsinks. Had I known there was a difference in the size of the heatsinks, I would have gotten the 430. The fan on this s12 does ramp up from time to time.

betty.

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Post by frostedflakes » Thu Apr 27, 2006 7:28 pm

Can't believe I never noticed this, but my old (IIRC I bought it almost immediately after they started being sold in the US) rev. A1 330w uses the smaller heatsinks. Never thought my fan ramped up that bad, though (probably because none of my systems have used more than 100-150w). With a Yate Loon D12SL-12 swapped in, noise is definitely not a problem. :D
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Post by line » Thu Apr 27, 2006 7:38 pm

betty, wouldn't you favor the 380? As far as I can see (from the link you posted above) it has the same qualities as the 430, and it is considerably cheaper.

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Post by m0002a » Thu Apr 27, 2006 8:36 pm

MikeC wrote:I can't imagine anyone would swap the S12-600 from an earlier version to a newer one. Aside from the sleeving and 6-pin PCIe plug, there really isn't any difference.
You must be new here.

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Post by acaurora » Thu Apr 27, 2006 8:47 pm

m0002a wrote:
MikeC wrote:I can't imagine anyone would swap the S12-600 from an earlier version to a newer one. Aside from the sleeving and 6-pin PCIe plug, there really isn't any difference.
You must be new here.
Is that sarcasm? *points at Site Admin title*
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Post by m0002a » Thu Apr 27, 2006 8:53 pm

acaurora wrote:Is that sarcasm? *points at Site Admin title*
Sarcasm? Moi?

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Post by eternizer » Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:46 pm

I now see more and more products that are RoHS compliant and wonder what impact the products that are not have on their users. I'm not quite familiar with this RoHS stuff. I know what it regulates, but do those hazardous materials have any (long-term or short-term) adverse health effects on a user who uses products which contain them? I mean, if a PSU is not RoHS compliant, does that mean it might emit lead or something into the air while being used? That would be scary... :roll:

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Post by Tibors » Fri Apr 28, 2006 5:08 am

Officially the RoHS is made to "protect human health and the environment by restricting the use of certain hazardous substances in new equipment". This is mainly to prevent these substances to end up in the waste stream. Direct healt issues from the use of equipment are a minor motivation. E.g. the lead in solder used inside the equipment will never come into contact with the user, but some powercords contain lead in the plastic sleeving. If you eat right after handling such powercords the lead could end up inside your body.
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need more reviews and better documentation

Post by dhanson865 » Fri Apr 28, 2006 6:24 am

Uggh, great and I do mean great review. I'm just still slightly peeved at Seasonic.

Neither the US or International websites have PDFs for the new S12 series. So the quoted changes list is a collection of data from retailer ads and word of mouth on SPCR. It would be nice to see HTML or PDF on the seasonic web sites detailing the changes.

I'd really like to see SPCR test the 380w, 430w, and 500w* models of the latest revision so for once we could have solid data throughout a product line and use that to make informed decisions without having to test all the models each time a revision is made. Baselines are only useful when you have enough information to know where and how the other models differ.

http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewtopic.php?t=30878 shows S12 550W and 650W "Energy +" models coming next month.

* If the old 500w model is being dropped I'd be happy to see data on the new sleeved 380w, 430w, and the 550w.

I could care less about the 600+ watt power supplies as even when I build a pure gaming rig I'm not going to wast the money on the parts it would take to outpace the 5xxW supplies anytime soon (that means at least not until quad core CPUs get under $200 US, and yes that is intentionally silly. I have no idea what power requirements will be like in a few years).

Anyway, no matter what Seasonic does or how many of those you can review I do appreceiate all the information I find on SPCR.
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Post by dhanson865 » Fri Apr 28, 2006 6:46 am

Taking effeciency data from new and old article and tossing non matching power levels we get:

Code: Select all

     CORRECTED EFFICIENCY: Seasonic S12-430 A2 Revision
Target Output   65W    90W    150W   200W    250W   300W
Actual Output 65.8W  90.9W  151.7W 203.6W  261.7W 299.3W
Efficiency    78.3%  80.5%   81.6%  81.8%   80.5%  79.6%
SPL (dBA@1m)     20     20      22     25      29     32

     EFFICIENCY: Seasonic S12-330 sleeved revision
Target Output   65W    90W    150W   200W    250W   300W
Actual Output 65.2W  89.7W  151.7W 199.2W  249.1W 299.7W
Efficiency    75.5%  77.9%   80.3%  82.0%   80.9%  79.9%
SPL (dBA@1m)     21     21      22     30      35     37

Note the ambient noise was 1 dBA higher on the 330w review so
the minor differences below 25 dBA are meaningless. Also as
far as I can tell ambient tempature was the same between
reviews both claiming 21 celcius.
Giving us data that says the new 330w is more effecient than the old 430w between 200 and 300 watts but at the cost of much higher noise at those output levels.

We also see that the 430 watt was more effecient at 150w and below.

Does this hold true for the 430 watt sleeved or has it changed enough that the old 430w A2 data is irrelevant to new purchase decisions?

Does the 380w sleeved beat both the 330w and 430w sleeved due to having the larger heat sinks and being in a sweet spot on loads?

Those are the kinds of questions that make me want to see hard data for the 330w, 380w, and 430w all of the same revision side by side.
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Post by krille » Fri Apr 28, 2006 1:12 pm

dhanson865 that could very well simply be to sample variances, you know. Interesting comparison of course, but myself I wouldn't read in too much into it. Then, of course, when the fan ramps up certain components will run cooler (bigger HS or not) potentially raising the efficiency. Not sure how likely this is, but certain sample variances are to be expected. (I'd still get the 380 or 430 over the 330 any day myself.)

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Post by JVM » Fri Apr 28, 2006 2:34 pm

Is there any advantage to having sleeves?
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Post by NeilBlanchard » Fri Apr 28, 2006 6:43 pm

Hello,
JVM wrote:Is there any advantage to having sleeves?
Other than looks, not really?

I like the Fortron Source "Green" 300watt model: it's very quiet, nearly as efficient as the SeaSonics, a lot less expensive, and the cables are shorter -- just the right length for an Evercase 4252.
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Post by tjpark1111 » Fri Apr 28, 2006 7:48 pm

did the article ever care to mention the new soft-mounts for the fan in the S12 series?

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