Seasonic XP2 Platinum 660W Fully-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


Seasonic is one of the most established names in the power supply industry, not only do they make many of their own very high quality products, they’re also an industry leader for manufacturing high-end PSUs which are used and sold by a whole host of other brands; there’s a good chance you own a Seasonic PSU and don’t even know it. Seasonic products have proven to be award winners many times before, not only from us here at eTeknix, but in reviews all around the world. The unit we have today is a mid-range 660W unit, so I’m not expecting earth-shattering performance, but it does have a few features that are worth getting excited about.

The SS-660XP Active PFC F3 PSU comes with an 80 Plus Platinum efficiency, which should make it very cost-effective to run in your system. It also comes with a powerful +12V single rail design, an active/hybrid fan design and fully modular cables.

Special Features

1. 80PLUS® Platinum Certified Super High Efficiency
2. 7 Years Warranty
3. DC Connector Panel with Integrated VRM [Voltage Regulator Module]
4. DC to DC Converter Design
5. Active Power Factor Correction [99% PF Typical]
6. Conductive Polymer Aluminum Solid Capacitors
7. Highly Reliable 105°C Japanese Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors
8. Gold Plated High Current Terminals
9. Tight Voltage Regulation [±2%]
10. High +12V Output
11. Dual Sided PCB Layout
12. Seasonic Patented Hybrid Silent Fan Control
13. Sanyo Denki San Ace Silent Fan
14. Ultra Ventilation [Honeycomb Structure]
15. Full Modular Cabling Design
16. Multi-GPU Technology Support
17. All-in-One DC Cabling Design
18. Easy Swap Connector
19. Universal AC Input [Full Range]

The packaging is nice and simple, with a stylish image of the PSU on the front, and some small branding for the 80 Plus Platinum efficiency, Haswell Ready and the 660W power rating.

Around the back, you’ll find a quick explanation of what 80 Plus Platinum means, as well as some details on the hybrid fan mode, which we’ll take a closer look at in a moment.

Inside the box, another box! Although this one houses all the additional cables for the PSU.

There’s also a mains power cable, owner’s manual, velcro cables ties, plastic pull-cable ties, four PSU screws and a small “Powered by Seasonic” sticker.

Seasonic Platinum 1050W Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


Seasonic is one of the most respected PSU manufacturers in the world, not only do they create their own premium grade units, but they’re also one of the most popular manufacturers used by a range of PSU brands around the world. Time and time again we’ve seen them deliver flawless designs, incredible performance and a whole lot more, so we’re very excited to have one of their latest and greatest units on our test bench today.

The Seasonic 1050W packs a huge amount of power, making it an ideal choice for overclockers and those with multiple graphics cards in their systems. It comes with premium grade components throughout and this helps it operate at 80 Plus Platinum efficiency, meaning it’ll cost you less on your electricity bill to run vs Gold, Bronze and below rated PSU units.

Packed with features such as Ultra Stable Voltage, a Hybrid Silent Fan Control which allows for 0RPM operation at low loads and Dual Copper Bars, the 1050W Platinum sounds like a premium choice for system builders.

As you can see, the 1050W hits all the usual requirements of a modern PSU, can operate between 100-240v AC and features all the protection features you would expect.

The packaging is nicely designed, keeping in theme with the rest of the Seasonic range.

Around the back, a quick run down of what 80 Plus Platinum efficiency is, as well as a run down of the major features; which we’ll take a look at in a moment.

In the box, you’ll find a durable storage bag that houses all the modular PSU cables and the 3-pin power cable.

There’s also an assortment of plastic and velcro cable ties to aid with cable management, an owners manual and with this unit, a UK 3-pin power cable.

Seasonic’s Platinum 1200 Watt Power Supply Assists In World Record

Seasonic Electronics Company was founded 40 years ago and prides itself on research and development with the aim of providing consumers with cutting edge technology. This is the case with the Platinum 1200 power supply which has assisted in the achievement of a new world record in conjunction with Dancop.

For those not familiar, Dancop is a German overclocking pro team who have achieved a new World Record within CPU and GPU benchmarks as well as finishing first place within numerous other benchmark categories at the global rankings.  These are overseen by HWBOT who are an organization that monitors professional competitive overclocking results.

So what makes this Power Supply exceptional? The Platinum 1200 version boasts among other features Dual Copper Bars which carry a higher current which is much more effective than the traditional copper strips. A No Negative Voltage Tolerance which implements an even stricter voltage regulation which entirely eliminates negative deviations, this is with the aim of keeping voltage 80% tighter than Intel specifications and 66 % tighter than top reviewers recommend. The icing on the cake is in the form of Seasonic’s 7 year warranty which provides the piece of mind to consumers.

Seasonic has also been awarded the European Hardware Awards for 2015, this prestigious award was for their Platinum Power Supply series.

 

Seasonic Displays Their Best PSUs at Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – Seasonic has been in the business for a long time and they’re actually celebrating their 40th birthday this year. We’ve visited their booth at Computex to take a look at their power supplies.

They brought along both their industrial PSUs that often are found in servers, NAS units, and similar as well as their external power bricks.

The also brought along some of their X-series and G-series power retail power supplies that by now should be well known by most enthusiasts.

The Snow Silent series brings white to the PSU market as well as great 80 Plus Platinum efficiency rating.

On display was also the Seasonic Titanium 850W fully modular PSU. This PSU doesn’t just bring you a lot of stable power, it also comes with official 80 Plus Titanium efficiency rating. With up to 94% efficiency on an 110V line (more on 230V), this is one of the most efficient power supplies on the market.

If you’re a fan of lights, then the Lighting Cube PSU is just for you. Available as both 850W and 750W units, this PSU doesn’t just provide you with power, but also a colourful atmosphere. The RGB lighting can be adjusted to match the rest of your setup and the units come with 80 Plus Gold certification.

Get Your Old Rig Gaming Ready on a Tight Budget

Introduction


Have you been looking at the latest graphics cards, then looking at your own PC and thinking you’ve got a gutless gaming rig? I know the feeling, the new cards can be very tempting, at least until you check your bank balance and remember you’re not rich. High-end hardware is great, but do you really need a $1000 Titan X to enjoy your favourite games? Nope. If you’re thinking that your current system is a little outdated, that you need to upgrade the whole thing to be able to enjoy the latest games, you’re wrong and I’m going to prove it.

Now I will admit, if you have a good bit of money saved up to replace your entire rig, go for it, it’ll be awesome. However, if your budget is limited and your system needs a new lease of life, we’re going to see how much improvement you can get for a modest investment of just £300 (approx $440 US)!

I’ll be starting out with a rather humble system, which features the hardware listed below, which I think you’ll agree is pretty unremarkable by today’s standards. The motherboard is an overclocking board, but we’ll be running at stock clocks to help better simulate an under powered system, it just happens to be the most suitable board I had at the time.

  • Dual-core i3 4330 3.5GHz
  • MSI GTX 560 Ti 1GB graphics card
  • ADATA 8GB 1600Mhz Memory 11-11-11-28
  • Gigabyte GA-Z97N Motherboard
  • Western Digital 500GB Hard Drive 7200RPM
  • Silverstone Kublai KL06 Chassis
  • Seasonic 600W 80+ Bronze PSU
  • CoolerMaster Gemini Low-Profile CPU cooler

I’ll be upgrading the system with the following components, then benchmarking it in some popular applications to compare how much the performance improves.

All prices correct at the time of writing.

As you can see, there’s nothing exciting about this system. Perhaps a couple of years ago, a system of this specification may have raised an eyebrow a little, but perhaps not so much today.

No SSD here, just a standard and rather well aged mechanical hard drive, so expect boot times to be enough to go and make a coffee.

The GPU has had a hard life, it’s actually the one we used to use for chassis reviews, so there’s are a few bumps and scrapes, but it’s still in perfect working order.

I’ve already benchmarked the system with this setup and we’ll get to the scores for that very soon, so let’s install our new Ballistix Sport memory, which has tighter timings than the old kit, it won’t be much, but it should give us that extra edge for very little investment.

The Crucial BX100, an absolutely incredible bargain at under £60 ($88 US); this will no doubt have a huge impact on the systems performance.

I’ll be using the new ASUS GTX 960 STRIX 2GB card for my upgrade.

It’s certainly one of the nicest GTX 960’s on the market right now and while I’m expecting great performance gains, it’s also aesthetically pleasing, so should provide a nice visual upgrade too!

The card also features more video outputs than the 560 Ti, giving you greater connectivity options.

It also features a nice back plate and only required a single 6-pin power connector vs the dual 6-in required by the GTX 560 Ti.

 

New components all installed, which only took about ten minutes to get them out of their respective boxes and plugged in.

The GTX 960 looking great!

Our new BX100 SSD.

Finally, the new Ballistix Sport memory.

Two New Seasonic PSUs Revealed at CeBIT 2015

While not the biggest innovation in the technology industry, the latest Seasonic PSU really caught our attention, because it looks gorgeous! While it’s still of the same exceptional quality as other Seasonic PSUs, it has been finished in a stunning matte white, which would no doubt look great in the increasingly popular white chassis that have been hitting the market. The new model is called the “Snow Silent” and comes with all the features you would expect, such as a hybrid passive cooling solution, full modular cables and more. We’re really eager to get our hands on this for testing, so we’ll update you as soon as we know more.

Also on display, their new TFX PSU solution, which again may not be the most exciting product in the world, but there’s a huge demand for these products, albeit not so much in the consumer market, at least not right now. The PSU will churn out 350w, making it a great solution for integrated systems and industrial use.

SteamBox – Building Your Own HTPC Gaming System

Introduction


There has been a lot of talk in the last year about SteamBox, but at the end of 2014, very little, if anything was shown that really brought this into the hands of consumers. There’s a few systems from system integrators such as iBuyPower and CyberPower that are designed “like” a SteamBox, but Valve have yet to put their official units to market.

Now let’s not get carried away, because chances are that you’re reading this article from a PC, or that you at least own a PC. If you own a PC, congratulations! You own a SteamBox. All SteamBox is, is some clever marketing for a gaming PC, the main difference being the operating system. Valve have been working on their own version of Linux that essentially boots to Steam instead of a normal desktop, much in the same way an Xbox One boots to a dashboard rather than Windows; this is something you can achieve yourself.

I want to game on the big screen!

If you’re eager to break away from your desk and start gaming in the living room, or any other room of the house for that matter, then you’ve likely been enticed by the SteamBox concept. The HTPC gaming system market is booming right now and while there are great systems out there, it can be great fun building your own.

You’ll need to pick the right hardware for your budget, while also trying to balance things such as system heat and acoustics; this rig is going to be in your living room after all. Fortunately, we’ve already tested a bunch of chassis’ for this very task, which you can check out here in our Best Chassis For Steambox feature. Today, let’s see if we can get plenty of bang for our buck with a budget of around £800.

The Best Chassis for Steambox/HTPC Style Gaming Systems

Introduction


Steambox is certainly grabbing a lot of headlines throughout 2014, with system integrators (such as CyberPower) creating their own custom Steambox style systems, and chassis manufacturers creating new cases that are suitable for the job. Of course, there is a lot of smoke and mirrors surrounding Steambox, but we’re going to blow away any doubt and get you up to speed on what a Steambox is and how you can do it.

First thing is first, Steambox is a PC, nothing less and nothing more. What we’re really looking at here is a clever rebranding by Valve to make HTPC gaming sound cool. Of course, it really is cool and credit goes to Valve for creating something that is appealing to both mainstream console gamers, as much as it is PC gamers. The major difference for Steambox is the introduction of SteamOS, which is still in beta, but once again all that really is a Linux distro designed to launch Steam as the native desktop. This may sound a little complicated for some, but don’t worry as I’ll be revisiting this subject over the next couple of weeks to bring you up to speed on how it all works, how you can build your own, set everything up and more.

While much of the fun stuff is certainly contained within the games you’ll be playing, let’s start things off nice and easy and find out about the chassis you’ll be using. There are lots of great PC chassis’ on the market, but I’ve picked up a bunch that I thought would be ideal for the job and today I’m going to put them to the test. I’ll be looking for several key factors from each chassis, their price, form factor, hardware/component compatibility, built quality, acoustic performance and thermal performance.

The chassis’ I’ve picked are quite varied, and I’m hoping to find something suitable for each budget from each of these.

  • Silverstone GD05
  • BitFenix Phenom Micro-ATX
  • Corsair 250D
  • Thermaltake Urban SD1
  • Silverstone SG09
  • Cooler Master Elite 130

I’ll also be using my Lian Li test bench to get open-air results of the thermal performance on our CPU and GPU.

Seasonic Announces Snow White 1050 Watts Hybrid PSU

Seasonic has announced what must be the PSU of the season, a snow white PSU dubbed the Snow Silent-1050 (SS-1050XP Active PFC) that as the name suggests is a 1050 watts power supply. The new PSU is 80 Plus Platinum certified and fully modular as well as hybrid-treated for the fan.

Not only does the Snow Silent feature a hybrid fan setup that completely turns itself off when the device is cold enough, but it also has the option to disable this feature and just run it normally with the fan spinning all the time. The single +12V rail design should ensure equal performance of all connected devices.

The Snow Silent features plenty of connectivity and support for up to four graphics cards. The total connection count is one 24-pin ATX, one 8-pin and one 4+4-pin EPS, eight 6+2-pin PCI-Express, fourteen SATA, five Molex and one Berg/floppy connector. No word on pricing or availability yet, but it sure looks great.

Thanks to Seasonic for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Seasonic

Cooler Master V1200 Platinum 1200W Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


Developing a power supply with a wattage as high as 1200W involves a lot of technical expertise; this is why you’ll find the number of OEMs producing power supplies at this wattage level is lower than in the sub 750W market. The market for 1200W power supplies is significantly smaller too with only a handful of desktop PC users needing this much wattage. Furthermore, the build quality and standards of high-wattage power supplies tend to be higher so users in this market segment will upgrade less: especially when 5, 7 and 10 year warranties are becoming the norm.

Cooler Master know all of the aforementioned things which is why they teamed up with veteran power supply vendor Seasonic to produce their Platinum series V1200 unit. On paper this unit is as good as it gets with 80 Plus Platinum efficiency certification, a semi-passive fan operation mode, high quality Japanese capacitors, a fully modular design and a 7 year warranty. In terms of hardware support Cooler Master offer a staggering 12 PCIe connectors and dual EPS 8 pin connectors allowing you to easily run quad GPU systems or even dual CPU socket based motherboards such as the Haswell-EP Xeon platform from Intel.

Packaging and Contents

Cooler Master’s packaging hasn’t changed much over the years and it still sports the plum and black colour scheme with some embossed silver details to accentuate the premium nature of this product.

Around the back of the main box we find specifications, pictures and details about the Hybrid fan technology and efficiency curve. Cooler Master claim significant savings on power bills over 80 Plus Gold and Bronze units but their numbers include a fairly unrealistic use-case scenario of a 1000W system running at 100% load 24 hours a day.

The accessory bundle includes a user’s manual, four black screws. some cable ties, a UK power chord and a PCI bracket which controls the fan between auto and Hybrid mode. The idea with this PCI bracket is to mount it at the back of your case in one of the PCI slot covers so you can easily change the PSU fan operation mode., if desired.

Silverstone Nightjar 520W Passive Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


One thing that you learn reviewing power supplies is just how big Seasonic are. Seasonic platforms are used by multiple brands due to their exceptional quality, performance and reliability. Silverstone are one of those brands that use Seasonic platforms. In a case of déjà vu I am looking at another Seasonic Platinum rated 520 watt passive power supply. Firstly, I took a look at the XFX XTS 520, then Seasonic’s own Platinum 520 and now Silverstone’s Nightjar 520. The internals are identical to the aforementioned PSUs: we’ve still got 80 Plus Platinum efficiency, Seasonic’s promised +-2% voltage regulation, active PFC and a fully modular design. The best part is of course the passive operation and the “Nightjar” moniker of this Silverstone power supply is supposed to reflect that passive segmentation. To aid with the passive operation the Platinum efficiency is vital for minimising heat but the well ventilated enclosure is also important.

An extensive recap of this unit’s specifications can be found below:

Packaging and Contents

White/silver seems to be the theme of this product as they are the closest to the colour of Platinum. The front of the packaging clearly orchestrates that passive operation is the flagship feature of this product.

Around the back we find Silverstone championing the quality and features of this product; assisted mainly by the Seasonic OEM platform used.

Included with the Nightjar 520 is a power cable, selection of documentation, velcro cable ties, standard cable ties and four silver screws for mounting to your case.

Seasonic Platinum Fanless 520W Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


Fanless power supplies have become increasingly popular over the past few years as the efficiency of power supplies has risen, meaning they produce less heat, and the efficiency of computer components has increased, meaning they consume less power. The convergence of these two trends makes it possible to run a high end system with a passive power supply. In fact, with the Seasonic Fanless Platinum 520W power supply we have here today it is possible to run a Core i7 4960X based system with an Nvidia GTX Titan Black and still have plenty of capacity left over for other things.

To our regular readers this power supply may look identical to another power supply we reviewed recently; the XFX XTS 520. There’s a reason for that – they are the same units internally. As many of you may known Seasonic produce a lot of power supplies and if they don’t sell them under the Seasonic brand, they sell them to other vendors who resell them, such as XFX, Antec and many more.

Below you can find the full specifications of Seasonic’s Platinum fanless 520W power supply, as the name implies this power supply boasts 80 Plus Platinum certification – this high efficiency is what allows it to operate fanlessly without any heat issues.

Packaging and Contents

Seasonic’s packaging is very tastefully done and plays heavily on the Platinum theme.

The back details the efficiency standards of the PSU as well as the promise of +-2% voltage regulation on all of the rails.

The accessory bundle is fairly generous relative to other PSU vendors; there is a power cable, some screws, a case sticker, normal cable ties, velcro cable ties and some documentation.

Antec Edge 650W Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


Today Antec are unveiling a brand new power supply series which they are calling the “Edge” series. Some of the key features of the Antec Edge power supply series are a fully modular design, 80 Plus Gold certification, Antec’s respected 5 year warranty, custom rubber sleeving and quiet operation. That all sounds very good doesn’t it? Antec have clearly been listening to end user feedback because on paper the Edge 650W looks like a perfect power supply for the majority of enthusiast PC users. If we compare the Edge to Antec’s High Current Gamer series we can see obvious improvements in noise and aesthetics and compared to the High Current Pro series we can see obvious improvements in pricing. The Antec Edge 650 has a competitive price tag of $129.99 MSRP, so let’s find out if it has the performance as well!

Packaging and Contents

Antec’s packaging is a little more flashy than last time with a fairly elaborate picture of the product. Antec proclaims that this PSU is Haswell ready meaning it supports C6 and C7 sleep state functions.

Key specifications and cable configurations are displayed on the side of the box.

The accessories package includes a power cable, warranty documentation, a user manual, two sets of custom rubber bumpers in red & black and four silver mounting screws.

XFX TS650 650W Non-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


XFX’s PRO Series of power supplies have become very popular among system builders and enthusiasts thanks to their solid quality and competitive pricing, however, the majority of the XFX PRO series of power supplies are only based on 80 Plus Bronze rated Seasonic platforms. With the TS series XFX is ramping up the quality from Bronze to Gold rated platforms that promise to offer better efficiency and higher quality power deliver.

As you’ll find with many mainstream power supplies, there is a fully wired design which serves the purpose of keeping costs down but also of eeking out every last drop of efficiency since fully wired PSUs tend to have greater efficiency than modular ones. Yet the efficiency of this PSU is still fairly high-end so XFX have offered some cables to match that: all of the cables are fully black except the motherboard 24 pin but that also has decent sleeving. Like all XFX power supplies the XFX TS 650 also carries with it an impressive 5 year warranty in case anything were to go wrong, but given the high quality components and construction associated with Seasonic OEM designs like this one we are expecting a very good power supply, so let’s see exactly how it performs in today’s review.

Packaging and Contents

The XFX TS 650 comes in one of the smallest boxes I’ve seen for a PSU of this wattage and quality, and this of course helps XFX keep costs down.

The back details XFX’s usual features such as their True Wattage Guarantee.

The accessory pack is basic: a user manual, some screws and a power cable are all included.

XFX PRO 1250W Black Edition Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


When you get into the 1000W or higher range of power supplies the number of competitors starts to tail off compared to the highly competitive sub-750W market. The 1000W+ power supply market is very niche and not many power supply vendors even bother producing power supplies with this much wattage, at least not for the consumer market. That said if you’re interested in a power supply with enough wattage to drive three or even four way graphics card set ups then your options are limited. Today we are looking at one of those limited options, the XFX PRO 1250W Black Edition fully modular power supply. Thankfully limited options doesn’t mean limited quality as XFX’s Pro 1250W Black Edition Power supply is one of the best offerings on the market. In XFX tradition the OEM producer is the legendary Seasonic and this power supply boasts some great features such as a hybrid fan mode, 80 Plus Gold efficiency and a fully modular design.

Packaging and Contents

The packaging reveals a striking image of the product as well as some details about the technologies this power supply uses. The SolidLink technology basically means the power delivery mechanisms are closer to the connectors so there is less room for electricity to be wasted as heat which creates inefficiency. The Hybrid fan cooling, activated by a simple switch, means that below a certain amount of load or certain temperature the power supply’s fan will not even turn on – minimising noise.

Around the back we find more of the same: some additional marketing material about how the key features work as well as a note about the 5 year warranty.

Included with the product is a PRO Series power supply brochure which details the other PSUs XFX make as well as a power plug that will be appropriate to your region.

XFX XTS 460W Passive Fully Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


We recently reviewed the XFX XTS 520 power supply which was an 80 Plus Platinum, fully modular and totally passive unit. Today we have another power supply from XFX’s passive XTS range and that’s the slightly lower wattage XTS 460W model. There aren’t too many differences between this 460W model and the 520W model other than we’ve got a few less watts to play with. On paper the XTS 460 offers the same 80 Plus Platinum efficiency, the same fully modular design and the same excellent build quality, thanks to Seasonic being the OEM responsible for this unit’s production. If the XFX XTS 520 is anything to go by then this unit will have fantastic performance across the board with a fairly premium price tag to match, so let’s begin this review by taking a closer look at the XTS 460.

Packaging and Contents

The packaging details some XFX power supply features such as the EasyRail technology which basically means everything comes on a single 12 volt rail. The XFX XTS 460 is Haswell ready as it has full support for the low power C6 and C7 sleep states.

Around the back we get details about XFX’s True Wattage guarantee which basically states that you can use the full 460W this power supply is rated for without any issues.

Included with the XFX XTS 460 is a fairly simple package: a user manual, some silver screws and a power cable for whatever region you buy it in.

XFX PRO 650W XXX Edition Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


XFX’s PRO series of power supplies are well renowned among the enthusiast community for their great performance and fantastic value for money. Anyone who’s ever heard about XFX’s current PRO series power supplies will know they are made by Seasonic – one of the primary reasons for their high build quality and great performance. The PRO series is divided up into three main categories: the Core Edition, the XXX Edition and the Black Edition. The Core Edition is 80 Plus Bronze with a non-modular design and is the cheapest, the XXX Edition is internally identical to the Core Edition but has a semi-modular design and so is a little more expensive. Finally the Black Edition is typically 80 Plus Gold, is fully modular, comes with a better fan and a hybrid fan option and is the most expensive of them all. To date we have reviewed the XFX PRO 650W Core Edition, the XFX PRO 750W XXX Edition and the XFX PRO 750W Black Edition. All three power supplies excelled in their own way thanks to XFX’s competitive pricing and Seasonic’s fantastic power supply quality and design. Today we have with us another XXX Edition power supply from XFX, more specifically the XFX PRO 650W XXX Edition. This power supply is targeting the more affordable end of the market with its modest 80 Plus Bronze certification and semi-modular design.

Packaging and Contents

The packaging details the single 12 volt rail design of this product as well as the 80 Plus Bronze certification and use of Japanese capacitors.

The back reveals an exploded view of the product and a detailed feature analysis.

Included with the XFX PRO 650W XXX Edition is a users manual, UK power plug (connector will vary by region) and four silver screws for securing the power supply into your case.

XFX PRO 450W Core Edition Non-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


When you’re building a budget system with fairly minimal power requirements you won’t really find wattages lower than 400-450W for a standard ATX power supply. While getting a cheap power supply may be important to ensuring you can keep costs of a system build down it is also important to remember that you still need a decent quality power supply: if it is stupidly cheap (<$20 or <£15) then chances are it is going to be nasty. That said this is the perfect scenario for something like XFX’s PRO 450W Core Edition power supply which we are testing today. Being a “Core Edition” XFX power supply that means it is both non-modular and Bronze rated making it the lowest cost of all XFX’s product stacks. Starting at just £35~ or $55 it certainly offers great value for money and a viable alternative to cheap unbranded power supplies that are likely to go kaput. Yet this power supply is still a fairly high quality Seasonic design and comes with an impressive 5 year warranty that you wouldn’t expect to find at such a price point. So let’s examine XFX’s PRO 450W Core Edition power supply more closely in today’s review.

Packaging and Contents

The packaging demonstrates XFX’s One Rail design, the efficiency certification and the use of Japanese capacitors.

Around the back we find a bit about XFX’s power supply design philosophy and mention of their 5 year warranty.

Included with this power supply is a user manual, four silver screws for mounting into a case and a power plug that should be appropriate to the region that you buy this unit in.

A One Distribution Secures Exclusive Seasonic Deal in UK

Seasonic are one of the biggest names in the world when it comes to high-end power supplies, and they have many of the industries leading products to their name. Now it looks like the company will be taking things to the next level as they have secured a new exclusive distributor for the UK retail market, A One Distribution.

Ray Milton, Head of Sales for Seasonic in the region, said “We have appointed A One Distribution to pro actively drive our complete range of retail power supplies into the UK and Irish markets”.

“We believe that our partnership with A One will open new market opportunities for Seasonic and make it easier for customers to find the quality power supply they need”, he explained. “A One has the channel relationships and core competencies needed to drive our business forward”.

Glen Rhodes, Overseas Purchasing Manager at A One said, “We welcome Seasonic into our portfolio and we look forward to working with them in building local sales”.

“Seasonic has earned a fantastic reputation in the power supply market and our customers will be drawn to the combination of cutting edge design and uncompromising quality”, said Rhodes.

“The press seem to love Seasonic products and it now becomes our responsibility to ensure that UK and Ireland customers find it easy to source Seasonic’s multi-award winning power supplies”, he explained. “We believe that the possibilities for Seasonic are huge and we’re proud to be helping them achieve them achieve their retail potential”.

Seasonic are making a bigger push in the UK market, using their 40 years of industry experience and award winning products. If you’ve never heard of Seasonic, or you’ve never used their products, we expect to see a big changes in the next couple of years.

Check out our latest Seasonic review here.

Seasonic Platinum Series 660W Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


Since joining eTeknix over 3 years ago I’ve seen us work with a lot of big brand names and have personally done countless reviews with those brands. Power supplies are something I’ve been covering for just over a year and in that time Seasonic is a brand we’ve never worked with directly. The word “directly” is key as Seasonic “indirectly” work with just about every website that reviews power supplies because so many power supplies are built by Seasonic and rebadged to be sold by other brands: Antec, Cooler Master, Corsair and XFX are just a few brands of many who work with Seasonic to produce power supplies based on their OEM designs. Today we finally get to take a look at an actual Seasonic product and it is something fairly special: Seasonic’s 660W Platinum Series power supply. As the name suggests it boasts incredible 80 Plus Platinum efficiency as well as a fully modular design, a staggering 7 year warranty, high quality components and construction and support for SLI, CrossFire and Haswell C6/C7 low power states. Seasonic have always been at the forefront of power supply innovation in the desktop and server markets so we have absolutely no doubt that this power supply will match or even exceed our expectations.

Packaging and Contents

Seasonic’s packaging plays on the Platinum theme with a silver-coloured box. It points out clearly the wattage, efficiency and the Haswell-ready certification.

The back details the key product features which includes the promise of +- 2% voltage regulation on all rails and a hybrid fan that only spins up at around 30~% load.

Inside the packaging we find everything is nicely presented and very well packaged – this certainly won’t get damaged in transit.

Included accessories with the power supply are a power plug that will reflect the region you buy this unit in, an owners manual, Velcro cable ties, standard cable ties, a Seasonic sticker and four silver screws for mounting.

XFX XTS 520W Passive Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


For PC users who are serious about noise there really is no alternative to a passive power supply. Sure there are power supplies on the market that operate incredibly quietly (such as Be Quiet’s Dark Power Pro range) and even power supplies that don’t spin up their fans until they pass a certain load amount, normally 40% load (Corsair’s AXi range for example). However, a fan is still a fan whichever way you butter it up and a fan means some noise irrelevant of how quiet that fan is.

Enter XFX’s latest passive range of power supplies dubbed the XTS series. Today we are checking out the XFX XTS 520 which is a totally silent, passively cooled 520W power supply with a fully modular design, 80 Plus Platinum certification and a 5 year warranty. This really is the bees knees of power supplies and while 520W may not sound like much, that’s easily enough to power a Core i7 4960X system with a GTX Titan Black and a tonne of hard drives or SSDs, lots of memory and a full sized ATX board. With that said the XFX XTS 520 is a power supply that is versatile enough for any system from a low-end workstation to a high-end gaming PC: you can even run SLI or CrossFire with this power supply.

As with all XFX power supplies the XTS 520 is based on a Seasonic OEM design: this means it is going to be a quality piece because Seasonic are one of the top vendors in the entire power supply industry. Let’s start this review by taking a look at the packaging of XFX’s XTS 520.

Packaging and Contents

The packaging features images of the product as well as all the relevant certifications of SLI, CrossFire, 80 Plus Platinum and the fact it is Haswell C6/C7 low power state ready.

Moving around to the back and we find that the packaging details more features about the power supply. XFX note the use high quality 105 degrees celsius rated Japanese capacitors which is always nice to see and reassures you about the quality of the product.

Included with the power supply is a brief user manual, four silver screws for securing into your case and an EU-style power plug. We expect that the power plug will reflect the region within which you buy the product (unless the retailer you buy from is selling imported stock from other regions).

Seasonic Presents its Latest PSU’s at Computex 2014

PSUs play a great role in desktop configurations and with the new technologies coming out soon, Seasonic saw fit to present their solutions as well. The company has revealed at Computex 2014 its 80 PLUS Platinum series 1050 W and 1200 W, the upgraded 80 PLUS Gold X series 1050 W and 1250 W models, as well as the 80 PLUS Bronze series.

Looking at the 80 PLUS Gold X series, Seasonic appears to have made the series fully modular. What that means is users will not have to deal with a whole bunch of unused cables taking space in their PC case, rather the company has given the ability to choose what cables the user requires and giving him the option to manually attach them. Also, the X series PSUs have been granted the Hybrid Silent Fan Control support, in addition to an upgraded D2D platform.


The latest and most powerful of the series, the 80 PLUS Platinum series, having an up to 92% efficiency, is said to feature a full array of ultra-efficient power supplies, ranging from 400 W to 1200 W, having all models fully modular. A special fanless model will be included in the series which Seasonic believes will be ‘sought’ by many users for its performance and noise level ratio.


Seasonic has introduced a new Honeycomb structure air vents design to both of its PSU series described above, including the 80 PLUS Bronze S12II, with efficiency of up to 85%, allowing for an optimum air circulation and heat dispersion. The S12II also seems to feature black-coloured flat cables and silent 120mm FLuid Dynamic Bearing fans. In addition, the 80 PLUS Bronze M12II Evo features all of the S12II’s characteristics, along with Fluid Dynamic Bearing fans and an extreme silent mode, activated when the PC is not requiring a lot of power to process applications.

be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 850W CM Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction


I spend a lot of time reviewing, not surprising given that I’m a reviewer, and it can often get very tedious at times. But one thing that always cheers me up is high quality products that are a bit special and different to what I’m normally used to looking at. be quiet! are one of those brands that always deliver high quality products that are a little bit special and the “German Engineering” they offer shines through. Their power supplies are certainly no exception to that and even though they employ other OEMs to produce the internals of their PSUs they are never just simple “rebrands” like we’d see with Antec power supplies for example. be quiet!’s Dark Power Pro 10 series offers up a whole series of unique modifications including an OCK switch that swaps between multi-rail and a single rail design, fan headers for fan control on the power supply, integrated anti-vibration pads and of course be quiet!’s own Silent Wings fan. Even that last addition, a be quiet! Silent Wings fan, may sound small but look at how many companies produce power supplies but do not use their own fans – Corsair and Antec are two reputable examples of that.

With all that said today we are taking a look at the rather special be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 850W CM power supply. This is one of the be quiet! upper mid range wattage Dark Power Pro 10 series power supplies sitting above the 550, 650 and 750W units but below the 1000 and 1200W units. In terms of be quiet!’s product stack the Dark Power Pro 10 series sits at the top being their most premium product. You can certainly tell and even from just opening the box the attention to detail is exceptional. Before we proceed onto the rest of the review be sure to check out the product specifications below so you know what we are working with today:

Antec High Current Gamer 750W Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction


Antec’s High Current Gamer series has proven to be quite popular with gamers in the market for a functional power supply thanks to its wide variety of wattages, modular offerings and simple strong 12 volt rail designs capable of powering high performance GPUs/CPUs. While they aren’t the cheapest PSUs on the market, that can be put down to the fact they use a high quality Seasonic OEM design compared to rival products which use cheaper CWT and HEC/Compucase OEM designs.

Recently we’ve taken a look at Antec’s High Current Gamer 620W and 850W power supplies, both of which impressed with their performance and functionality though not so much with their price in relation to the competition. That said Antec’s HCG series certainly make good buys if you can get a good deal and value the extra performance, even if you have to pay a bit more for it. Today we have another Antec PSU which sits in the middle of those previous two PSUs, the Antec High Current Gamer M 750W. Being part of the HCG series it has a pair of hefty 12 volt rails, has 80 Plus Bronze efficiency, uses a Seasonic OEM design and the “M” denotes a modular design.

With 750 watts of grunt this PSU will be capable of single and dual graphics card systems with a high performance overclocking-orientated CPU like an AMD FX 8350 or Intel Core i7 4770K, so let’s take a look at what Antec’s High Current Gamer M 750W PSU can offer.

XFX Pro 750W XXX Edition Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction


XFX’s power supplies are easily getting a reputation for being some of the best value units on the market. While XFX don’t make any of their power supplies themselves, they do use one of the strongest OEMs on the market – Seasonic. We’ve already taken a look at two XFX power supplies; the Pro 650W Core Edition unit and the Pro 750W Black Edition unit. We felt both power supplies were incredibly strong and both walked away with awards, helped greatly by XFX’s extremely aggressive pricing and the overall premium performance of the Seasonic OEM designs used.

Today we have with us the XFX Pro 750W XXX Edition semi-modular power supply. This particular unit operates with 80 Plus Bronze efficiency and is semi-modular. With 750W there is plenty of power for any single or dual GPU configured system as well as enough for a tonne of storage drives. Like with all XFX power supplies it runs “EasyRail” technology essentially meaning all the 12 volt power is loaded onto a single 12 volt rail. Due to the fact this is a Seasonic OEM design XFX are able to offer a 5 year warranty on it…but without any further waffling on my behalf let’s take a look at this product.

Antec Neo Eco 520W Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction


The market for power supplies is crowded out with a variety of different wattages, certifications and cable designs but sometimes the consumer just wants a simple product that does the job. That is exactly what the Antec Neo Eco 520W PSU that we have here today is designed for. The Antec Neo Eco 520W PSU uses 80 Plus certification, provides 520W and has a semi-modular design. Antec’s “Eco” moniker sees this product packaged in a brown card box without a power chord or any modular cables – though the hard wired cables should have everything you need anyway.

The whole idea behind the “Eco” moniker is that it’s a no frills attached power supply that uses a little as possible in the way of excess materials and packaging. That said the unit is hardly archaeic and still has a 120mm fan, active PFC, SCP, OVP, OPP and can provide 40 amps on the 12 volt rail which is more than enough for most single GPU systems.

This certainly isn’t a PSU that is going to inspire any system builders or enthusiasts but for someone who just wants a basic 500~W PSU that does the job then this might be worth considering. Let’s take a look and find out if it is up to the job!

Antec High Current Gamer 620W Semi Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction


The 550-650W market of power supplies is highly competitive these days with it being the “sweet spot” for gaming systems. These “gaming power supplies” should have enough wattage to comfortably power most single and dual GPU systems with a relatively power hungry overclocked CPU and all the other parts required for a gaming system (multiple storage drives, lots of fans and so on). Antec have a series of power supplies specifically designed for this under their High Current Gamer series. The particular model we have here today is the Antec High Current Gamer 620W power supply.

This power supply from Antec captures the sweet spot of the market perfectly with a decent 620 watts of power over a single 12 volt rail, a rugged gamer-looking design, all the industrial-grade protections to keep your gaming PC safe as well as 80 Plus Bronze efficiency and 135mm cooling fan. Additionally it comes with a semi-modular design to allow you to keep cable management under control and only use the cables that you need to use. As it is being thrown into a highly competitive marketplace it has competitive pricing to match. As with most Antec power supplies, the higher end ones at least, this power supply is OEM produced by Seasonic. Let’s proceed with this review and find out how the Antec High Current Gamer 620W power supply performs.