Seasonic X-Series 560 W Power Supply Review
By Gabriel Torres on October 25, 2010


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

Originally released with 650 W and 750 W versions, Seasonic expanded their 80 Plus Gold X-Series to include 560 W, 660 W, 760 W and 850 W versions. Let’s take an in-depth look at the new 560 W model.

Seasonic also has a fanless series based on the X-Series models, aptly called X Fanless. We’ve already reviewed the 400 W version from this other series, and also the 650 W version of the standard X-Series, and both proved to be outstanding products.

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 1: Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 2: Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply

The Seasonic X-Series 560 W is 6.3” (160 mm) deep, with a 120 mm, dual ball bearing, Japanese fan from Sanyo Denki (San Ace 120), just like other members of the X-Series family.

Like all other members of the X-Series family, the new Seasonic X-Series 560 W has a full modular cabling system, meaning that even the main motherboard cable is modular. This system has 10 connectors and the power supply comes with the following cables:

All wires are 18 AWG, except the ones used on the ATX12V/EPS12V  and on the video card auxiliary power cables, which are thicker (16 AWG).

The cable configuration is satisfactory for a 560 W product. The main differences in cable configuration between the 650 W and  560 W models are the presence of four video card cables and not only two on the more powerful version, and the presence  of one ATX12V and two EPS12V connectors on the 650 W model.

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 3: Cables

Let’s now take an in-depth look inside this power supply.

A Look Inside The Seasonic X-Series 560 W

We decided to disassemble this power supply to see what it looks like inside, how it is designed, and what components are used. Please read our Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies tutorial to understand how a power supply works and to compare this power supply to others.

This page will be an overview, and then in the following pages we will discuss in detail the quality and ratings of the components used. 

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 4: Top view

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 5: Front quarter view

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 6: Rear quarter view

Transient Filtering Stage

As we have mentioned in other articles and reviews, the first place we look when opening a power supply for a hint about its quality, is its filtering stage. The recommended components for this stage are two ferrite coils, two ceramic capacitors (Y capacitors, usually blue), one metalized polyester capacitor (X capacitor), and one MOV (Metal-Oxide Varistor). Very low-end power supplies use fewer components, usually removing the MOV and the first coil. 

The AC receptacle used in this power supply isn’t a simple connector, but a complete filtering circuit. The Seasonic X-Series 560 W has all the required components, as you can see in Figure 8.

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 7: Transient filtering stage (part 1)

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 8: Transient filtering stage (part 2)

In the next page we will have a more detailed discussion about the components used in the Seasonic X-Series 560 W.

Primary Analysis

On this page we will take an in-depth look at the primary stage of the Seasonic X-Series 560 W. For a better understanding, please read our Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies tutorial.

This power supply uses two GBJ1506 rectifying bridges, which are attached to an individual heatsink. Each bridge supports up to 15 A at 100° C so, in theory, you would be able to pull up to 3,450 W from a 115 V power grid. Assuming 80% efficiency, the bridges would allow this unit to deliver up to 2,760 W without burning themselves out. Of course, we are only talking about these components, and the real limit will depend on all the other components in this power supply. These are the same components used in the X-400 Fanless and X-Series 650 W.

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 9: Rectifying bridges

The active PFC circuit uses three IPP60R190C6 MOSFETs, each one capable of delivering up to 20.2 A at 25° C or up to 12.8 A at 100° C (note the difference temperature makes) in continuous mode, or up to 59 A in pulse mode at 25° C. These transistors present a 190 mΩ resistance when turned on, a characteristic called RDS(on). The lower this number the better, meaning that the transistors will waste less power and the power supply will achieve a higher efficiency. The X-400 Fanless and X-series 650 W use different transistors here, but with similar specifications.

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 10: Active PFC diode and transistors

This power supply uses two electrolytic capacitors to filter the output from the active PFC circuit. The use of more than one capacitor here has absolute nothing to do with the “quality” of the power supply, as laypersons may assume (including people without the proper background in electronics doing power supply reviews around the web). Instead of using one big capacitor manufacturers may choose to use two or more smaller components that will give the same total capacitance, in order to better accommodate components on the printed circuit board, as capacitors with lower capacitance are physically smaller than capacitors with higher capacitance. The X-Series 560 W uses two 330 µF x 420 V capacitor connected in parallel; this is equivalent of one 660 µF x 420 V capacitor.

These capacitors are Japanese, from Chemi-Con and are labeled at 105° C. This is good for two reasons, first, Japanese capacitors do not leak; and second, usually manufacturers use 85° C capacitors here, so it is good to see a manufacturer using a capacitor with a higher temperature rating.

The active PFC circuit is controlled by an NCP1654 integrated circuit.

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 11: Active PFC controller

In the switching section, another two IPP60R190C6 MOSFET transistors are used. The X-400 Fanless uses the same transistors here, but the X-Series 650 W uses different models that have a slightly higher current limit (20 A at 25° C or 14 A at 100° C).

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 12: Switching transistors

The switching transistors are connected using a design called “LLC resonant,” also known as series parallel resonant converter, being controlled by a CM6901 integrated circuit, which operates under PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) mode when the power supply is operating under light load but under FM (Frequency Modulation) mode under other loads.

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 13: LLC resonant controller

Now let's take a look at the secondary of this power supply.

Secondary Analysis

This power supply uses a synchronous design in its secondary, meaning that the Schottky rectifiers were replaced by MOSFET transistors in order to increase efficiency. On top of that, this unit uses a DC-DC design, meaning that this unit is basically a +12 V power supply, with the +5 V and +3.3 V outputs being generated by two small power supplies attached to the +12 V output.

The +12 V output is generated by four IPD036N04L MOSFETs, each one capable of handling up to 90 A at 25° C or up to 87 A at 100° C in continuous mode or up to 400 A at 25° C in pulse mode, with an RDS(on) of only 3.6 mΩ. These transistors are soldered directly on the solder side of the printed circuit board, and the power supply housing is used as a heatsink for them. The +5 V and +3.3 V are produced from the +12 V output, but just as an exercise if all power from this unit was pulled exclusively from the +12 V rail, this unit would have a maximum theoretical current of 249 A or 2,983 W. These are the same transistors used in the X-400 Fanless and X-Series 650 W.

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 14: +12 V transistors

Usually power supplies that use DC-DC converters in the secondary to generate the +5 V and +3.3 V outputs have two separate printed circuit boards installed in the secondary, one for each output. Like other “X-Series” power supplies from Seasonic, in the X-Series 560 W these converters are installed on the modular cabling printed circuit board.

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 15: The DC-DC converter

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 16: The DC-DC converter

Both outputs are managed by an APW7159 PWM controller, and each output is generated by four IPD060N03L MOSFETs, each one capable of handling up to 50 A at 100° C in continuous mode, or 350 A at 25° in pulse mode, with an RDS(on) of only 6 mΩ. These are the same components used in the X-400 Fanless, but the X-Series 650 W uses different components here.

In Figure 17, you can see how there are several solid capacitors in the secondary (and the capacitors that aren’t solid are made in Japan, by Chemi-Con), and how Seasonic added some interesting heatsinks connected straight to the printed circuit board.

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 17: Heatsinks and solid capacitors

The secondary is monitored by a PS223 integrated circuit. This chip supports OCP (over current protection), over voltage protection (OVP), under voltage protection (UVP) and over temperature protection (OTP).

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 18: Monitoring circuit

Power Distribution

In Figure 19, you can see the power supply label containing all the power specs.

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 19: Power supply label

This power supply has a single +12 V rail, so there is not much to talk about here.

Let’s now see if this power supply can really deliver 560 W.

Load Tests

We conducted several tests with this power supply, as described in the article Hardware Secrets Power Supply Test Methodology.  

First we tested this power supply with five different load patterns, trying to pull around 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100% of its labeled maximum capacity (actual percentage used listed under “% Max Load”), watching the behavior of the reviewed unit under each load. In the table below, we list the load patterns we used and the results for each load.

If you add all the powers listed for each test, you may find a different value than what is posted under “Total” below. Since each output can have a slight variation (e.g., the +5 V output working at +5.10 V), the actual total amount of power being delivered is slightly different than the calculated value. In the “Total” row, we are using the real amount of power being delivered, as measured by our load tester.

The +12VA and +12VB inputs listed below are the two +12 V independent inputs from our load tester. During our tests, both were connected to the power supply’s single +12 V rail.

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

4 A (48 W)

8 A (96 W)

12 A (144 W)

16.5 A (198 W)

20.5 A (246 W)

+12VB

4 A (48 W)

8 A (96 W)

12 A (144 W)

16 A (192 W)

20.5 A (246 W)

+5V

1 A (5 W)

2 A (10 W)

4 A (20 W)

5 A (25 W)

6 A (30 W)

+3.3 V

1 A (3.3 W)

2 A (6.6 W)

4 A (13.2 W)

5 A (16.5 W)

6 A (19.8 W)

+5VSB

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1.5 A (7.5 W)

2 A (10 W)

2.5 A (12.5 W)

-12 V

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

Total

116.5 W

221.6 W

337.1 W

449.7 W

561.2 W

% Max Load

20.8%

39.6%

60.2%

80.3%

100.2%

Room Temp.

44.0° C

44.0° C

46.6° C

47.9° C

45.9° C

PSU Temp.

52.3° C

51.8° C

52.9° C

53.9° C

55.4° C

Voltage Regulation

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Ripple and Noise

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

AC Power

133.6 W

248.8 W

373.3 W

501.2 W

631.0 W

Efficiency

87.2%

89.1%

90.3%

89.7%

88.9%

AC Voltage

116.1 V

114.5 V

114.0 V

112.7 V

110.9 V

Power Factor

0.981

0.991

0.993

0.992

0.994

Final Result

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

The Seasonic X-Series 560 W can really deliver its labeled wattage at high temperatures.

Efficiency was extremely high, above 87% at light load (20% load, 112 W) and at 89% at full load, peaking 90.3% at 60% load (336 W). Really impressive.

Voltage regulation was another highlight of this product, with all voltages within 3% of their nominal values – including the -12 V output. The ATX12V specification allows voltages to be up to 5% from their nominal values (10% for the -12 V output). Therefore this power supply presents voltages closer to their nominal values than necessary.

Noise and ripple levels were always extremely low. Below you can see the results for the power supply outputs during test number five. The maximum allowed is 120 mV for the +12 V and -12 V outputs, and 50 mV for the +5 V, +3.3 V, and +5VSB outputs. All values are peak-to-peak figures.

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 20: +12VA input from load tester during test five at 561.2 W (16.0 mV)

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 21: +12VB input from load tester during test five at 561.2 W (17.2 mV)

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 22: +5V rail during test five at 561.2 W (15.4 mV)

Seasonic X-Series 560 W power supply
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Figure 23: +3.3 V rail during test five at 561.2 W (15 mV)

Let’s see if we can pull even more from the Seasonic X-Series 560 W.

Overload Tests

Below you can see the maximum we could pull from this power supply. Because of its incredibly overspec’ed components, we could pull 730 W from it and it was still presenting extremely high efficiency (87%), with low noise and ripple levels, and voltages still within 3% from their nominal values. Impressive. We couldn’t pull more than that because the power supply shuts down above 730 W, showing that its protections are working just fine.

Input

Overload Test

+12VA

28 A (336 W)

+12VB

28 A (336 W)

+5V

6 A (30 W)

+3.3 V

6 A (19.8 W)

+5VSB

2.5 A (12.5 W)

-12 V

0.5 A (6 W)

Total

731.3 W

% Max Load

130.6%

Room Temp.

40.4° C

PSU Temp.

51.5° C

AC Power

838.0 W

Efficiency

87.3%

AC Voltage

107.8 V

Power Factor

0.996

Main Specifications

The specs of the Seasonic X-Series 560 W include:

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

Conclusions

The new Seasonic X-Series 560 W is an impressive power supply. During our tests it achieved efficiency always above 87%, peaking 90.3%, voltages very close to their nominal values (3% regulation instead of the traditional 5% regulation), and extremely low noise and ripple levels. On top of that, due to its highly overspec’ed components, we could easily pull 730 W from it with efficiency still above 87%. This is remarkable.

The only “problem” with this power supply is its price, too close to the X-Series 650 W’s price. With only USD 10 difference between them, you may want to buy the 650 W model instead to get a higher labeled wattage (even though the 560 W model is capable of easily delivering 650 W) and, mainly, two extra video card cables. Or, if you decide to see this in a different angle, you may want to buy the 560 W model and save USD 10, with the only drawback of having only two video card cables. It’s your call.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Seasonic-X-Series-560-W-Power-Supply-Review/1118


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