"Professional" is a word that comes to mind here, although it does feel quite strange when we're referring to a humble supplier of power. Seasonic uses a textured matt black finish that is very hardwearing and generally looks and feels good and of high quality. The unit is a fairly "normal" size at 150x140x86mm, but compared to other PSUs, the 12cm fan actually looks a bit small in comparison to the 13.5cm ones we're used to seeing.
So why doesn't Seasonic use a 13.5cm as well? Well the only moving part on a PSU is the fan(s) and they typically determine the MTBF, however many 13.5cm fans are "not as good quality" as the more common 12cm ones, and Seasonic eagerly informed bit-tech that it has gone to the extra effort of using a higher quality branded ADDA fan, with a longer life ball bearing instead of the more popular sleeve bearing.
This adds cost and is slightly noisier, but it helps guarantee reliability and performance. One thing we found during testing to back up this claim was that after we turned off the PSU, the fan continued to spin without power for about 20 seconds rather than succumb to friction a lot sooner like many others.
Two other good things about this is that, unlike the M12 700W we looked at last year, there is no small and whiny (and we still feel unnecessary) 60mm fan here, and no bling lighting anywhere. It's entirely built around an ethos of quality, silence and discretion; not everyone wants an in your face “gaming” PSU after all.
Seasonic uses a twin 12V rail design with a modest 17 Amps offering 408W on both – that's more than enough to suit a high-end graphics card and even a quad-core CPU, although if you're heavily overclocking and running many hard drives, or high-end multi-GPU you'll certainly want a PSU with more oomph.
One 55cm 20+4-pin ATX cable
One 55cm 4-pin EPS 12V cable
One 55cm 8-pin EPS 12V cable
One 65cm 6-pin PCI-Express cable
One 70cm 6+2-pin PCI-Express cable
Three Molex cables but all have differing connector positions: #1: 30cm, 40cm and 50cm; #2: 40cm, 50cm and 60cm; #3: 45cm, 55cm and 65cm.
Two SATA cables with differing connector positions at: #1: 40cm, 50cm and 60cm; #2: 45cm, 55cm and 65cm.
The braiding quality is very good – not only is it suitably tight, but the braiding also goes right into the PSU itself, which makes it look far neater.
The 6+2-pin cable uses our preferred choice of small adapter, and while this means both PCI-Express cables are separate affording potentially more cable mess, we still feel this is easier to hide than having a small six-pin cable dangle off the end of the 6+2-pin connector like a third arm.
Having both 6+2-pin and six-pin means you can run right up to a GeForce GTX 280, Radeon HD 3870 X2, or a basic multi-GPU setup even. Understandably though, you won't be able to run a high-end multi-GPU gaming setup.
The varying SATA and Molex lengths are fantastic too – so no matter whether you need a connector that's long or short, there should be an option here for hard drives and Molex peripherals; this is something other companies should take note of. The Molex cables even get push release clips and everything gets adorned with black connectors and braid, although the cables themselves are a standard red, yellow and black differentiation.
There are enough SATA and Molex adapters to keep even the most frivolous archivers and peripheral loving people happy, although all of these stem from just one of the two 12V rails, along with the PCI-Express connectors which means it’ll likely stress the PSU during boot up (at least).