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Seasonic Power Angel Test Kit Review

Seasonic Power Angel Test Kit Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: This nifty device provides everything you need to precisely measure the power draw of your PC and monitor, and even power efficiency of your PC's power supply.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Power Supply Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Seasonic Dec 22 2004   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Power Supply > Seasonic PowerAngel

The Power Angel meter

The most interesting part of the kit is the Power Angel meter itself. It's specified for a maximum of 125V at either 50 or 60 Hz with a maximum current of 15 amps, and a maximum power output of 1875 VA. The Seasonic Power Angel is not just limited to testing computer power supplies either; it can also be used to measure the power ratings of any consumer electrical device!

On the front of the unit is a large four-digit LCD display which can show line voltage, amperes, wattage, volt amps, line frequency, power factor, KiloWatt/hours and uptime.

The device is quite simple to use; first plug the Seasonic Power Angel into the mains outlet then plug the electrical device into the Power Angel, and you're set.

To test your electronic device, press the button marked with the value you're interested in, for instance V for Volts and A for Amperes. Three of the buttons have two different functions; to access the secondary function, press the button a second time. While the Power Angel does its job well, it's not meant for heavy duty work and should be handled appropriately.

According to Seasonic, the Power Angel is accurate to within 1 - 2% for Voltage, current and Wattage measurements, and can measure frequency to within 0.1Hz.

The dummy load testing unit

The 120W dummy load testing unit included with the media review kit has one purpose. It is intended to be hooked up to a standalone power supply (outside a PC) to simulate the type of load a PC would place on the it. This exact load can be carried across multiple power supplies, giving a stable benchmark for testing power supply performance.

We opened up load testing unit to have a look see. Nothing really special to report, there's just an 80mm fan and three large aluminum heatsinks which cool three MOSFETs.

The fan is replaceable so when it dies after prolonged use it can be swapped out. The connectors on the PCB are quite fragile and our unit arrived with the auxiliary connector broken. Luckily it's not important for the main functionality of the unit. When plugged into a standard ATX power supply, this device will simulate the load imposed by a typical PC, enabling the Seasonic monitor to test standalone power supplies accurately.

On the dummy load unit's green PCB we have a connector for 20 pin ATX power and two four-pin Molex ports. There are also three LEDs that represent the 5V, 12V and 3.3V lines on the power supply. These will stay lit up as long as the rails are healthy.

It's common knowledge that to turn on an ATX power supply without a PC, you simply need to short the lone green wire with one of the many ground (black) wires. To make things easier for us, Seasonic includes a specially designed ATX power connector with this bridging already done. Simply plug it onto your power supply cable, flip on the switch on the back and you're set for testing.

Software?

Another extremely useful tool is the Excel spreadsheet template that's included on the 3-1/2" floppy diskette bundled with the media test kit. Enter a few numbers in the correct spot, click the graph tab and Seasonic makes everything nice and pretty (though the colour scheme could do with some revision.)

For comparison purposes, we did a quick test between a Seasonic Super Tornado 350W PSU and a no name 350W PSU. Judging by the numbers above, spending a little more on a brand-name power supply can pay off in terms of power savings. The Seasonic supply was considerably more power efficient.

A nice little package!

At PCstats, we try to do our part to conserve energy whenever possible. We also try to test power supplies whenever possible. With this in mind, we liked the Seasonic Power Angel, and the kit Seasonic put together especially for media to use.

With gasoline and electricity prices going higher and higher, it makes sense for everyone to start watching the energy they use. Computers fall into this catagory as well. In business, computers and servers do not go offline just because the working day is over, so using more energy efficient systems could potentially save a company thousands of dollars or more over a year on the electricity bill. I'm sure you know quite a few people who leave their PCs on 24/7 if you don't yourself. With a more efficient power supply, you could save yourself enough money in electricity over the course of a year or so to buy yourself something nice.

The Power Angel meter was very quick and easy to use. Getting measurements with this device took no time at all. We appreciated how simple Seasonic made the process of power testing. Novice users will have no trouble getting to grips with this device.

The dummy load device that Seasonic included with the media review kit has also proved to be a handy tool. The dummy load enables us to test standalone power supplies as though they were connected to an actual PC, and be able to duplicate this same exact load across multiple tests. The included spreadsheet was a nice touch also. It streamlines the process of entering test data, especially for home users.

While the general public can not buy the full Seasonic power test kit, you can get the Seasonic Power Angel meter itself, which retails for $29 CDN ($25 US) . If you consider yourself a computer/electronics enthusiast, this is definitely a tool you'll want to have in your arsenal. The information it provides could potentially save you a lot of money in the long run!

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Related Articles

Here are a few other articles that you might enjoy as well...

1. Vantec iON2 350W Power Supply Review
2. Antec TruePower 330W Power Supply Review
3. PC Power & Cooling Turbo-Cool 510-PFC Power Supply
4. Seasonic Super Silencer SS-400AGX Active PFC Power
5. Seasonic Super Tornado 400W Power Supply Review

< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Power Supply News»

 

Contents of Article: Seasonic PowerAngel
 Pg 1.  Seasonic Power Angel Test Kit Review
 Pg 2.  — The Power Angel meter

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