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> Nexus 430 and Seasonic SII500 Review
Zero Cool
Posted: Nov 18 2009, 09:06 AM
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Ok well maybe not review...Opinion? .02Cents worth??? I dunno.... Anyway.

After doing much research at Silent PC dot com I decided to go with either the Nexus Value 430 or the Seasonic SII500 power supply due to there ultra ultra low noise for my HTPC. The Nexus value was $89 new on eBay but im a cheap bastard and i didn't want to spend that much. I managed to find an open box Seasonic SII500 for $35 which was reviewed very well also. The Seasonic is a very very nice supply. really like the fit-n-finish of the product. feels solid. But I had problems with it and my Gigabyte P31 MB and after some googling i found I was not alone. MANY people seem to have problems with Gigabyte MB and Seasonic PSU's! Seems there is an issue with the power up timing of the power supply.

Most power supply's have a Separate internal supplies for the 12V and 5V lines. the 3.3v is usually derived from the 5V supply. However in the Seasonic supply's. they have only one Internal 12V supply with a separate regulator to drop 12V down to 5V and 3.3V respectively. and this is very clean smart way to build an efficient supply. However when the supply first powers up. the 12V section needs to come online and then a few MS later the 5V and then 3.3V sections come online. to most MB's this is not a problem. But apparently Gigabyte boards are way more sensitive to this then most.

When I first plugged the Seasonic in, it didn't work. nothing, dead. I was super bummed. To test the supply out of the computer IE all cables disconnected. you can use a jumper to short the green turn on wire from the 20/24 pin connector to any of the black wires (ground). If the supply is good. it should power up. In my case it did. So i tried it in a 2nd machine and it ran fine. Back into my HTPC and nada, dead. that's when i noticed the green light on my dell wireless KB puck was flashing a very quick short flash. I grabbed my meter and checked out the PSU +5VSB (stand by) line. with the supply on, but the PC off, this line should have +5V on it. this is what powers the standby/turn on circuits in a MB. with the GB MB and the Seasonic. this line would spike to 1-2V and then drop to zero. AHA! something about this line, the MB and the Supply was not happy. I contacted Seasonic and they weren't sure what the problem was but offered to replace the Supply No charge and sent me an RMA number.

Being the sort of person to not leave anything alone. I took a 6" 24P to 24P extension cable and cut the Purple VSB line and used a couple of push tab connectors to be able to disconnect and test this line.

the +5VSB should be able to supply 2-2.5amps according to the ATX supply guidline book. So i rigged up a test circuit and yup. i could draw 1-2amps no problem. ok so that works. I then measure the current draw from a known good PSU and the MB and it was around .25 amps. very low and well within the Seasonics capabilities. then I tried disconnecting the VSB line, turning the supply on and then a second later reconnect the VSB line and it FIRED UP! the machine ran great. and as long as you didn't disconnect the AC power you could start/stop the machine just fine. but disconnect the AC power and you had to do the Dis/connect the VSB line trick all over again....

So I sent the supply back to Seasonic. they later sent back a different supply that works just fine.

and BTW these seasonic supplies are DEAD silent! with the fan running at idle in a quiet room you cannot hear the supply. If you put your ear right up to the fan, you can hear the slightest fan noise. but in a case, it the avg room. you will NEVER hear this thing!! WOW!!

A++ for Seasonic's customer service. they responded to several emails immediately and replace my power supply no questions asked!! the product is a very good quality product. it just seems to be touchy with which MB you use it with.

and that brings us to the Nexus Value 430!

While waiting for the Seasonic to return. I managed to find and open box Nexus Value 430. which was really my first choice of a supply. I paid too much for it but still got it for less then the $89 new price. This was reviewed very well by Silent PC. and i was not disappointed!

Fit-N-Finish...well there is none. this is a cheap cheap stamped bare metal case with sharp edges. the only De-Lux addition is the snakeskin braided covering over the cables. But it is a bit shorter then most giving you about 3/4" extra room inside your case.

I Plugged it in and flipped the switch and the machine fired up just fine. and the supply was SO SILENT i honestly didn't think the fan was working. even with my ear right up to the fan, zero noise!!! air was moving, the fan was spinning but ZERO noise! this is the quietest supply i have ever heard! well, quietest supply i have ever SEEN as i didn't "hear" anything.

I Elected to keep the Nexus supply in my machine as it was really my first choice and the 1 degree of less fan noise and the issue with the seasonic just made it the natural choice. I will use the seasonic in another machine or keep it as a stand by.

You cannot go wrong with the Nexus Value 430! you just can't as long as you care more about performance then pretty looks.

I'm Zero Cool and this has been my experience with these products. your mileage may vary!
Posted: Nov 19 2009, 02:45 PM
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HTPCF Expert

Group: HTPCF Global Moderator
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Great writeup, ZeroCool. I found it to be very informative. Feel free to add some pics by attaching them if you want. We all love pictures! :2up:

-= SsZERO =-
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Posted: Oct 1 2010, 10:48 AM
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you may have helped me make a decision, as i have been thinking about seasonic -x and some others...but your post is very good as quiet is what i am after when i build my htpc......

did think of heatpiped, but people say no to that, corsair came to mind as did cool master.

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