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Seasonic Focus Plus Gold 850 PSU Review

Efficiency, Temperature & Noise

Efficiency

Our efficiency testing procedure is detailed here.

Using results from the previous page, we plotted a chart showing the SSR-850FX's efficiency at low loads, and loads from 10 to 110 percent of its maximum-rated capacity.

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Efficiency-wise, Seasonic's SSR-850FX performs well! It takes first place under normal loads, and under light loads it lands in second.

Efficiency At Low Loads

In the following tests, we measure the SSR-850FX's efficiency at loads significantly lower than 10 percent of its maximum capacity (the lowest load the 80 PLUS standard measures). The loads we dialed were 20, 40, 60, and 80W. This is important for representing when a PC is idle, with power-saving features turned on.

Test #12V5V3.3V5VSBDC/AC (Watts)EfficiencyFan SpeedPSU NoisePF/AC Volts
11.273A0.500A0.482A0.197A20.56269.035%0 RPM<6.0 dB(A)0.810
12.133V5.014V3.329V5.101V29.785115.36V
22.456A1.001A0.995A0.393A40.12379.750%0 RPM<6.0 dB(A)0.915
12.133V5.009V3.325V5.095V50.311115.34V
33.709A1.499A1.507A5.089A60.53584.325%0 RPM<6.0 dB(A)0.954
12.135V5.010V3.327V5.089V71.788115.31V
44.895A1.999A1.986A0.788A80.03386.626%0 RPM<6.0 dB(A)0.971
12.136V5.010V3.327V5.083V92.389115.29V

It would be nice to see greater than 70% efficiency with 20W load. But we can't complain much about the 69.035% we actually recorded. The SSR-850FX operates passively at all four load levels, so output noise is obviously negligible.

5VSB Efficiency

The ATX specification, along with CEC, ErP Lot 3 2014 and ErP Lot 6 2010/2013, states that 5VSB standby supply efficiency should be as high as possible, recommending 75 percent or higher with 550mA, 1A, and 1.5A of load. The PSU should also achieve higher than 75% efficiency at 5VSB under full load, or with 3A if its max current output on this rail is higher than 3A.

We take six measurements: one each at 100, 250, 550, 1000, and 1500mA, and one with the full load the 5VSB rail can handle.

Test #5VSBDC/AC (Watts)EfficiencyPF/AC Volts
10.100A0.51173.631%0.066
5.105V0.694115.39V
20.250A1.27676.591%0.150
5.101V1.666115.39V
30.540A2.75277.850%0.268
5.095V3.535115.38V
41.000A5.08677.732%0.372
5.084V6.543115.39V
51.500A7.61278.160%0.426
5.073V9.739115.38V
63.001A15.09376.316%0.493
5.030V19.777115.37V

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The 5VSB rail achieves decent efficiency levels. But given this platform's overall performance, that 5VSB circuit isn't as impressive as the other rails. Seasonic should really seek to improve it.

Power Consumption In Idle And Standby

In the table below, you'll find the power consumption and voltage values of all rails (except -12V) when the PSU is idle (powered on, but without any load on its rails), and the power consumption when the PSU is in standby mode (without any load, at 5VSB).

Mode12V5V3.3V5VSBWattsPF/AC Volts
Idle12.132V5.013V3.329V5.106V7.6920.428
115.4V
Standby0.0520.005
115.4V
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Vampire power is pretty low under both voltage inputs.

Fan RPM, Delta Temperature, And Output Noise

Our mixed noise testing is described in detail here.

The first chart below illustrates the cooling fan's speed (in RPM), and the delta between input and output temperature. The results were obtained at 37°C (98.6°F) to 47°C (116.6°F) ambient temperature.   

The next chart shows the cooling fan's speed (again, in RPM) and output noise. We measured acoustics from one meter away, inside a hemi-anechoic chamber. Background noise inside the chamber was below 6 dB(A) during testing (it's actually much lower, but our sound meter’s microphone hits its floor), and the results were obtained with the PSU operating at 37°C (98.6°F) to 47°C (116.6°F) ambient temperature. 

The following graph illustrates the fan's output noise over the PSU's operating range. The same conditions of the above graph apply to our measurements, though the ambient temperature was between 30°C (86°F) to 32°C (89.6°F).

The semi-passive mode doesn't last long once the minor rails are pushed hard, something that happens in our cross-load tests. Still, noise remains below 30 dB(A) at up to ~580W load, and it exceeds 45 dB(A) with higher than 720W loads.


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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.
    Reply
  • JohnUSA
    I just found this model selling for just $74 at SuperBiiz-dot-com, which I think is a great deal.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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!
    Reply
  • 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?
    Reply
  • Leaps-from-Shadows
    20427267 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.
    Reply
  • Leaps-from-Shadows
    20430290 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.
    Reply
  • 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.

    Reply
  • Leaps-from-Shadows
    20430533 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...
    Reply