The Seasonic S12 series is arguably one of the better power
supply breeds around, so it is nice to see the company going back to what works and improving the design. A single conductive polymer aluminum solid capacitors is tucked away on the inside. You can't see it, but if it aids in +12V rail reliability and stability then it's well worth it.
That's not to say that we're swept up off our feet by a single conductive polymer aluminum solid capacitor. No, it is the overall package - low noise, great power efficiency, good cabling - that gets our attention. All three.
If you're unsure of what to look for in power supplies at the store, start with the 80 PLUS rating. Technologies like Active Power Factor Correction and 80 Plus simply mean your PC will use less electricity to get the job done.
A cheap $40 500W power supply that has neither rating could conceivable
consume +200W to deliver 120W of power. The Seasonic S12 II consumes 145W to
deliver 120W of power. That difference is made up of heat, and higher power
bills over the course of a year.
The Seasonic S12 II 500W power supply retails for a very competitive
$115 CDN ($110 USD, £55 GBP). It's in the
same range as mainstream Thermaltake, Enermax, Kingwin power supplies but
Seasonic is definitely in a class above. The S12 II 500W is ATX2.2 spec
compatible which means it'll run the latest and greatest motherboards, processors and of course videocards. Depending on the configuration, flagship SLI or Crossfire videocard platforms may be a little much for this 500W unit, so double check your videocard power requirements and AMDs/nVidia's list of certified power supplies for the particular videocard model first.
The addition of a conductive polymer aluminum solid capacitor on the 12V rail is innovative, but is it really necessary? I don't know. Where the S12 II rocks is with its stable voltages and excellent efficiency. PCSTATS' tests indicated that the S12 II 500W unit tested had an efficiency of 82.7%!
That is most efficient power supply we've tested to date. Considering how
much energy prices have gone up, this power supply could certainly save money in
the long run, particularly when compared to a generic unit with neither A-PFC or
80 Plus rating.
Seasonic has put together another solid power supply, and best of all the S12 II 500W is priced pretty darn aggressively. Recommended.
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