Seasonic Focus Plus Gold 850 PSU Review

Seasonic rocked the boat with its Prime PSUs. Aside from ultra-high performance, they also come with a stunning 12-year warranty. This alone shows the level of confidence Seasonic has in its platform.

A step down from the Primes, Seasonic also has its affordable Focus family, available at a number of different capacity points. Today's review covers the Focus Plus Gold series' flagship, the SSR-850FX. We already reviewed the lower-end SSR-750FX and came to a positive conclusion, so we're expecting the same solid performance (if not better) from the 850W version.

Seasonic uses a new platform for its Focus family, built for performance on a budget. In other words, it's more value-oriented than the Prime models, which achieve better results, but also cost a lot more. Seasonic goes a step further and pushes its competitors with aggressive pricing on the Focus PSUs (the SSR-850FX lists for ~$110 and sells for roughly $100). That's a fairly new approach for Seasonic. Up until this family's introduction, the company was known for loftier price tags to match its solid benchmark numbers. We're glad to see that correlation coming to an end.

At this point, we don't know if Seasonic will offer this platform to other brands. More certain, though, is that the company wants to establish a retail presence and not rely so heavily on the OEM market. That means spending more money on support and putting in an effort to expand distribution. Should Seasonic maintain the SSR-850FX's current price, EVGA and Corsair will almost certainly need to respond. After all, at the time of this review, the Focus series' flagship sells at a similar level as EVGA's 850 B3, occupying a much higher performance category and doubling its warranty period.

Specifications

Besides Gold-rated efficiency on the 80 PLUS scale, this PSU also carries Cybenetics' ETA-A and LAMBDA-S++ ratings. All necessary protection features are included, and cooling is handled by a 120mm FDB fan supported by a selectable semi-passive mode.

Finally, the PSU's dimensions are very compact thanks to its limited 140mm depth.

Power Specifications

Rail3.3V5V12V5VSB-12V
Max. PowerAmps20207030.3
Watts100840153.6
Total Max. Power (W)850

The minor rails only offer 100W maximum combined power, which looks low compared to other 850W PSUs. Don't worry, though: all modern PCs mainly use the +12V rail, and this PSU delivers up to 840W on that one. The 5VSB rail does have enough capacity, and its OCP is actually much higher than 3A.

Cables And Connectors

Modular Cables
DescriptionCable CountConnector Count (Total)Gauge
ATX connector 20+4 pin (610mm)1118-22AWG
4+4 pin EPS12V (655mm)2218AWG
6+2 pin PCIe (680mm+80mm) 3618AWG
SATA (460mm+115mm+115mm+115mm)2818AWG
SATA (460mm+115mm)1218AWG
Four-pin Molex (460mm+120mm+120mm)1318AWG
Four-pin Molex (360mm+120mm)1218AWG
FDD Adapter (+105mm)1122AWG

Seasonic gives us two EPS connectors and six PCIe ones, so the SSR-850FX can easily deliver its full capacity through a high-end motherboard and up to three potent graphics cards. The number of SATA and four-pin Molex connectors is sufficient as well. Our only criticism is the short distance between SATA and peripheral connectors, which ideally should be 15cm.

Power Distribution

Since this PSU features a single +12V rail, we do not have anything to say about its power distribution.

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  • JohnnyLucky
    Nice review. I'll add it to the psu recommendation list I maintain.

    Last week newegg had the 650 watt model on sale for $74.99. There was a $20.00 mail-in rebate which brought the price down to $54.99. On top of that there was a free $30.00 gift certificate for a fresh food vendor online which my wife wasted no time in using. That brought the final price down to $24.99. Best deal I've taken advantage of this year.
  • JohnUSA
    I just found this model selling for just $74 at SuperBiiz-dot-com, which I think is a great deal.
  • buzznut47
    This was rated highly by JonnyGuru, and based on that I made a purchase 2 or 3 months ago. I have been mostly happy with its performance. I am running an FX 8320 @3.8 Ghz, 2 R9 280X, custom loop with 8 fans, and a couple of drives.

    Initially I was really impressed that there was so much power in such a small package. Until I saw the cables, and the ridiculous capacitors. I know this brings a fantastic level of ripple, but I don't like it at all.
    I gotta say, I really don't like this trend with higher end power supplies. As a modder, my cables are visible. And these cables would be satisfactory, if the capacitors were located ON THE PSU SIDE!! But they are located on the component side where they can be seen in all their glorious ugliness. It is not recommended to change the polarity..
    I will be checking the units I buy more carefully moving forward. I would much rather have a longer power supply unit that has the caps inside.

    Bottom line though, it is a gold 850W unit at an affordable price and a 10 year warranty. For efficient cards like the RX570/580 and GTX 1060, there are enough cables for 6 video cards. Pretty good for mining, but as for a visible gaming rig I have to say 4 out of 5 stars for functionality. Just put the caps at the other end of the cable, ya big dummy.
  • berezini
    Still haven't changed my mind on getting one after killing my new motherboard and couple other components. Just would never recommend seasonic ever again.
  • ZRace
    Great review, looks like this will be my next PSU unless something better releases by the time I need a replacement. Definitely gonna recommend this to others!
  • JohnnyLucky
    ARIS - Are you still here?

    The PCIe cables are a little different than what I am used to. The 850 model and my 650 watt version have PCIe cables with two connectors instead of just one at their device end. Does that mean one PCIe cable can be used for both connections on a graphics card? On the other hand do I still have to use two PCIe cables and let one connector on each cable just hang there?

    Anybody else know?
  • Leaps-from-Shadows
    Anonymous said:
    Still haven't changed my mind on getting one after killing my new motherboard and couple other components. Just would never recommend seasonic ever again.

    Even the best manufacturers produce the occasional lemon. It's too bad you're one-and-done -- you're really missing out on quite possibly the best power supplies out there.

    It's okay though ... they will survive without your money.
  • Leaps-from-Shadows
    Anonymous said:
    ARIS - Are you still here?

    The PCIe cables are a little different than what I am used to. The 850 model and my 650 watt version have PCIe cables with two connectors instead of just one at their device end. Does that mean one PCIe cable can be used for both connections on a graphics card? On the other hand do I still have to use two PCIe cables and let one connector on each cable just hang there?

    Anybody else know?

    You can certainly use the two connectors from a single cable. However, a video from JayzTwoCents showed it was better to use two separate cables.
  • JohnnyLucky
    Leaps - Thanks for the info.

    I went back and read the review. In the specs it shows 3 PCI-e cables and 6 connectors. It also indicates the 3 cables could be used with 3 video cards, each requiring 2 connectors.

    I'll take a look at the video. I've watched some of his other clips.

    Don't know how I missed this development.
  • Leaps-from-Shadows
    Anonymous said:
    Leaps - Thanks for the info.

    I went back and read the review. In the specs it shows 3 PCI-e cables and 6 connectors. It also indicates the 3 cables could be used with 3 video cards, each requiring 2 connectors.

    I'll take a look at the video. I've watched some of his other clips.

    Don't know how I missed this development.


    Here it is, in case you couldn't find it...
  • Aris_Mp
    When you have a PSU with 4x PCIe cables and you need 4x PCIe connectors it is better to use one connector from each cable. However today's GPU's aren't so power hungry and if the PSU has tight load regulation and the PCIe cables have 16-18AWG gauges, there won't be a problem by using both connectors of each PCIe cables. But if you plan to overclock hard the VGA or use high loads for prolonged periods (e.g. mining), better stick to one connector per cable use. PCIe cables with 16AWG gauges are more tolerant of course to higher Amperes.
  • JohnnyLucky
    Aris_MPP - Thanks you for the information.

    I am going to connect two PCI-e cables to my GTX 1070. I checked my spare parts boxes and found a couple of old matching Seasonic PCI-e cables with just one connector. I am going to use them for a cleaner look.