Seasonic X-400FL Platinum 400W Power Supply Review

This new Seasonic PSU touts Platinum efficiency, a fully modular design, and a host of other enthusiast-worthy hardware features that will ring true with those looking for a what might be "the best" 400 watt PSU on the market. For those of you looking to build that truly powerful HTPC, this PSU also offers silent operation.

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Overview

The first thing we are going to look at with the Seasonic X-400FL Platinum is its packaging, accessories, and documentation. While normally none of these items is a make or break item for a power supply the packaging quite often contains a lot of information about the product we are purchasing. The inclusion of an owner’s manual that provides actual information about our product is also of great help. Accessories are almost unnecessary with a power supply as the unit is self contained, unless it is modular, but there are cases where a manufacturer can include useful accessories to make installation, routing, and use more efficient.

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The Seasonic X-400FL Platinum packaging comes trimmed out in platinum and black with the accent color again tying into this unit’s claimed 80 Plus Platinum efficiency rating. On the sides, and the back, of the box we find a number of features, specifications, and marketing points. That said, there are only a few things of real interest and most everything we see here we have seen before from Seasonic. As before, one of those items is the fact that the unit is fanless; so no fan means no noise. Other than that, the only useful items we find are the 80 Plus Platinum seals (which we find the verification of on the 80 Plus website) as well as the power label (reproduced below), and the connector count (reproduced below). Lastly, we find that this unit bumps the warranty up to 7 years compared to the 5 year warranty that the X-400FL carried.

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The power information for the Seasonic X-400FL Platinum is almost identical to what we saw from the X-400FL. Given that, this unit has ~99% of its capacity available on the 12v rail (33A) if needed. The minor rails each have a capacity of 20A and a combined total capacity of 100W. These values come coupled with 5 Molex and 6 SATA connectors which does represent an extra SATA connector relative to the older X-400FL. We also, once more, find a single modified 8-pin PCI-Express connector. As before, this does not seem like a lot of options to users used to seeing higher powered units but this arrangement is sufficient for most typical users and should be fine for even most HTPC applications. If another PCI-Express connector is needed, two of the Molex adapters can always be co-opted and you can use a Molex to PCI-Express adapter.

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Once we open the X-400FL Platinum, we find much the same assortment of items that we found with the previous X-400FL. This includes the power supply in a bag, mounting screws with Seasonic case badge, modular cables in a bag, the power cord, the user manual, and a warning label. The warning label reads "The Seasonic X-400 Fanless PSU is designed to be responsible for its own cooling and functionality ONLY and should operate in a well designed system chassis that provides good cooling and ventilation for modern computer components." Additionally, the band on the power supply itself reads "Install with the ventilation cover facing UP". As before, both of these points should be self evident to most [H] readers. The user manual that comes with the X-400FL Platinum is 52 pages along in eight languages and covers all units in the Platinum line of power supplies. Included in the manual is the power table for all units in the Platinum-series, the connector count for all units in the Platinum-series, installation instructions, some troubleshooting instructions, and the warranty information. Interestingly, this unit is listed as having an operating temperature of just 0-35C. This will certainly make the rest of today interesting as our testing temperature is 45C. Previously, Seasonic units rated at just 40C have done well in our testing but a 35C rated Seasonic unit is a first for us in testing. In the end, the manual is once more very serviceable so let's move on.