Antec Custom Build: Part 7

Need more power! (Red Alert 2 anyone?)

Alright, an obviously essential component of your computer is the power supply unit (PSU). The PSU is necessary for the conversion of alternating current (AC), of which the analyzed power supply converts universal (full range) AC input, obtained from a wall socket, which periodically reverses the direction of the flow of electrical charge, to low-voltage direct current (DC), whereby there is a constant unidirectional flow of electrical charge. The PSU specifically converts AC power to DC power for the purpose of providing power to the computer’s internal components such as the motherboard and graphics card(s). For my rig, I bought a Seasonic X650 80 Plus Gold Power Supply. Comparatively, this PSU is only slightly less powerful than what I consider to be the best version of the Seasonic line of X series power supplies which would be the Seasonic X850 80 Plus Gold Power Supply.

Foremost, the Seasonic X Series X650 Gold is 80 Plus Gold Certified, implying this power supply is ‘super high’ efficiency. This means that the power supply is rated to provide high power efficiency of 87% or higher at loads ranging from 20% to 100%. As with most modern PSUs, this Seasonic X650 conforms to the Advanced Technology eXtended (ATX) motherboard form factor specifications and was developed to meet/provide the applicable interfaces and voltage tolerances. As such, to showcase the interfacing between the motherboard and power supply, the ATX power supply provides a 5V standby voltage which enables some computer standby functions and peripherals. The motherboard itself provides the signal to power the PSU on and off while the PSU signals the motherboard that the received DC voltages are within specifications to power the PSU on safely and boot the computer. Additionally, along with previous generations of central processing units (CPUs), such as my i7-3770k, this power supply is 4th generation certified.

One of the selling points for this PSU, the Seasonic X650 provides a maximum power of 650 watts (W; or P for power). In the case of electricity, electricity is measured in terms of wattage, voltage, and amperage. The amperage, or amps (I), measures the amount of electricity used while voltage, or volts (V), measures the pressure/force of electricity. Taking volts and amps and multiplying them together provides the watts, a measure of the work that that electricity does per second. This PSU has a +12V single rail (or voltage rail) which ensures a maximum provision of 12V of power to prevent overload. Also, this is a switched-mode power supply which means it automatically adapts to the supply voltage. Furthermore, this power supply is built upon a full modular, or having parts which can be connected or combined in different ways, design. The full modular design enables minimization of voltage drop and impedance, more effective cooling, improved reliability, and better cable management and internal organization. Concerning the actual connectors included in the box, in terms of planning the cable management, there are 1x main motherboard connector (20+4 Pin), 1x CPU 8/4 Pin, 1x CPU 8 Pin, 4x PCI-E 8/6 Pin, 5x Peripheral 4 Pin, 10x SATA, and 1x Floppy. As a point of note, the motherboard cable has a protective sleeve whereas the other cables do not, so make sure to check for any sharp corners/edges/pieces.

Regarding cooling, this power supply incorporates Seasonic hybrid silent fan control (under 25oC temperature) which runs a fanless mode up to 20% load, silent mode between 20% and 50% load, and cooling mode between 50% load and 100% load, and a Sanyo Denki San Ace Silent Fan featuring pulse-width modulation (PWM), which supplies a controlled fixed voltage to the fan, and Hexflo honey comb cutouts, which increase the airflow within the power supply enclosure while assisting with heat dissipation from the PSU. To date, though the PSU is only supporting a relatively average load of internal components, the unit has been running silent for well over six months. Of course, if the computer was to be under a heavy load, I wouldn’t be able to hear it anyway over the 120mm and 200mm case fans compensating for the extra heat production.

Finally, a fantastic point about this line of Seasonic X series power supplies is that they come with limited warranty for both parts and labor for seven (7) years, although I do not expect to use this based on their reliability, durability and efficiency. After seven years, it might behoove you to buy a new power supply anyway, perhaps the X850!

Go to Antec Custom Build: Part 6