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When your building a system, often the PSU (Power Supply Unit) can be overlooked. Having a decent Power Supply is critical to both overclocking potential and supplying efficient power to your system's components. Making sure you have a reliable brand and sufficient power is serious and it doesn't hurt to have a strong warranty too. Today, we will be looking at the Prime Ultra Titanium 850W PSU from Seasonic. Seasonic was founded by engineers more than 40 years ago and has rigorously maintained its focus on advancing PC power supplies. Let's explore the design of this 850W PSU and see what potential the Titanium series can offer.

The specifications are as follows:


  • Technical Specifications > 80PLUS: Titanium / Form Factor: Intel ATX 12 V / Dimensions: 170 mm (W) x 150 mm (L) x 86 mm (H)
  • Fan Information > Fan Size: 135 mm / Fan Control: Premium Hybrid Fan Control / Fan Bearing: Fluid Dynamic Bearing / Life Expectancy: 50,000 hours at 40 °C, 15 % - 65 % RH
  • Cable Information > Modularity: Fully Modular / Cable type: Flat black cables
  • Electric Features > Operating Temperature: 0 - 50 °C (derating from 100 % to 80 % from 40 °C to 50 °C) / MTBF @ 25 °C, excl. fan: 150,000 hours / AC Input: Full Range / Protection: OPP, OVP, UVP, OCP, OTP, SCP
  • Warranty > 12 years

Power Output

AC Input > Voltage: 100 V - 240 V / Current: 13 - 6.5 A / Frequency: 50 Hz - 60 Hz
DC Output > Rail: +3.3 V / +5 V / +12 V / -12 V / +5 VSB | Maximum Power: 25 A / 25 A / 83 A /0.3 A / 3 A | Total continuous power: 850W

Why Choose The Prime Ultra Series?



The Prime Ultra series of PSUs offer Titanium certification with a clean modular design. You can expect tight voltage regulation and premium micro tolerance. The Prime series is the perfect choice for extreme efficiency and offers a 12-year warranty. This PSU will guarantee reliable operation for many years and offers hybrid fan control under 40% load. Seasonic is a reliable name and has been tested by several enthusiasts over the years. Seasonic's brand is what other PC manufacturers model their products after and are one of the few who manufacturer their own Power Supplies.

What is PSU Efficiency and why does it matter?



The 80 PLUS program was developed to rate power supplies more efficiently. You can find more information about it here. The certification tests efficiency at loads of 20% / 50% / and 100%. Over the years different certifications were developed to provide different requirements for different levels of efficiency. They range from 80 PLUS / 80 PLUS Bronze / 80 PLUS Silver / 80 PLUS Gold / 80 PLUS Platinum / Even a newer standard called 80 PLUS Titanium was added not too long ago. Please see the chart below for understanding the certifications for quick reference. This chart is listed on the Wikipedia page linked above for credit.



The entire point of the efficiency rating is to provide better efficiency the higher you go and to provide a standard for PSU manufacturers to follow. As you go up it gets more expensive, and the PSU market helps builders save money by essentially having cheaper prices the lower in tiers you go on the efficiency rating. Most users will be just happy even using the Bronze tier, which helps save you money. Also, most people don't even come close to using even half of their PSU wattage and is generally a common misconception when researching a PSU for purchase. If you're going to use a single modern Graphics card and a common CPU like Ryzen 5 or Core i5, even going beyond 600W is too much.

Shipping



The box has a reflective surface and offers some basic marketing material. With Seasonic offering a 12-year warranty, this makes the Prime series a very compelling investment for any PC.

I'm reviewing the 850W model, which is way more than what I need for my testing practices. When buying a PSU, you must consider what will work for you in your budget. You would be surprised at what kind of deals you can find at various retailers & etailers.



The accessories included are as follows:


  • Marketing material
  • 850W PSU
  • Modular cable set (The 24-pin is sleeved, and the rest of the cables are flat black) & cable bag
  • Zip ties / Screws / Seasonic badge
  • Power supply jumper

The included cables are fine being flat black, but what I don't understand is why they decided to sleeve only the 24-pin. This makes me wonder why they didn't bother to sleeve some of the other important cables, considering this is a premium product target for high-end PCs. I love the included power supply jumper which makes testing the power supply before installation extremely easy. This kit comes with any cable you would need to get up and running, and even has a second 4+4 EPS CPU cable for motherboards with an extra connector for additional power for overclocking.

Design



When it comes to the design of something, your either going to like it or you won't. I love the design of this PSU. It offers a nice clean look with a modern chrome grill. The Prime Ultra series ranges from 650W - 1000W. I can tell you from handling this PSU, it' extremely sturdy.

The best features of the Prime series are:


  • 80 PLUS® Titanium certified
  • Micro Tolerance Load Regulation (0.5 %)
  • Cable-free Connection Design
  • Premium Hybrid Fan Control - Fanless until 40 % load
  • Multi-GPU setup
  • Gold plated connectors
  • 12 years warranty

I do want to derail for a second and explain that titanium efficiency is spectacular, but it is very much a niche product. Most people will be comfortable with Gold and even Platinum with little benefit. This doesn't mean this product is pointless and it does offer an opportunity to show what the industry has to offer.





Looking at the front of the PSU we see the modular connections for your cables. You will always need at least one EPS (CPU 8 pin power) and 24pin (Motherboard Power) for power, so that is always funny when they offer separate modular cables. Really, fully modular equates to easier and cleaner cable management. All of the PRIME Ultra Titanium Series PSUs incorporates a single +12V rail with multiple protections for safety.

I'm not going to get into a major conflict over what's better, you can read more about that here. I imagine most power users, and overclockers will use single rail distribution mode. You can expect about 83A for the +12V rail at a full load.



So what exactly is this micro tolerance regulation? Seasonic devised a plan that would regulate a very tight range of voltages under 0.5% load. Essentially this allows electrical performance and stability over your primary voltage rails. With little voltage drop, stability is maintained and allows better results for system performance. The entire point of this is to beat the Intel recommended specification of + or - 5%.

I can also appreciate the clean layout for indicating what cables go where. This is always helpful for people that are new to building PCs that may question where to plug their modular cables. It's important to understand that you may have extra cables left after you build, and that is normal. It doesn't necessarily mean you've missed something and that is why it's useful to keep your cable accessories afterward.



The back of this PSU has your standard connector for your AC power cord, and before plugging it in you should understand the hybrid switch. By pressing "down" the hybrid switch, that turns the function off, and by releasing the switch, this ensures hybrid mode is on. Shouldn't this be the other way around? The back also has a power on/off switch for easy access.

The top offers easy access to air flow through the top grill. This is a 135MM fan that uses Fluid Bearing Technology from the specifications. We will look closer at this as we inspect the inside of the PSU. The "HYBRID MODE" is rated for up to 40% of the maximum load, and will not spin up until reaching this threshold. This means silent operation until high or medium loads are detected. It does this also by individually monitoring the load and temperature of the PSU through the internal MCU (Microcontroller).

Next, we will look at other design features like the "Cable-Free connection design" & internal layout.

Internal Layout / Testing

I want to point out a few things before I get into this next section. My whole goal of this review is to go over the design and internals of this PSU, and test what I can within my limits. Testing power supplies is a very complex procedure and often requires equipment that is so expensive, it's out of reach for most people. I am limited to what tools I have, so I will only be covering a few simple tests below to give you a reasonable idea if this PSU fits your requirements or not. If you're looking for efficiency testing or load testing, you will need to look elsewhere, and there are many reviewers who do cover these types of tests. My hope is to show off the design of this PSU and give you a good idea of its build quality, and if it will fit with your current system or a future one.

I will be testing different load conditions to see what type of power is drawn from my system. I will be testing Stock and overclocked settings to compare differences. This should tell us how much more power you can draw while overclocking vs just using a system as intended with stock settings. I have it set so that under idle conditions my CPU speed & voltage drops. I will test the Watts used by using a KILL A WATT.

I will also test the temperature that the PSU gets under max load conditions and will be testing the system at 100% full load with AIDA64 Extreme. The overall temperature and internals will be looked at with the FLIR ONE. This will help us see if the internals will even get hot enough to cause the MCU to kick in the fan curve.


The FLIR ONE tool is fantastic because it will allow tech enthusiasts and reviewers to show visual results for thermal testing. It is a next-generation thermal camera that works with iOS and Android devices. If you want to buy one look here. I'm using the new Pro Gen 3 model.





My test bench is as follows:


  • ViewSonic XG2703-GS Monitor
  • Motherboard- Asrock Z370 Extreme 4
  • CPU- Intel Core I7 8700K
  • Network Card- Netgear AC 1200 USB
  • Cooler- Noctua NH-12US
  • Memory- 16GB TEAMGROUP Dark Pro DDR4 3200Mhz
  • Video Card: Nvidia GTX 1080
  • Storage- My Digital BP5e SSD
  • Power Supply- Seasonic ultra Titanium 850W
  • OS: Windows 10 x64 Pro (Creators Update)
  • Mouse- Logitech PowerPlay / G703 Gaming Mouse
  • Keyboard- CoolerMaster Master Keys Pro S
  • Headphones- Logitech G533 7.1 Surround Sound Wireless Headset

The CPU was overclocked to 4.7 GHz for benchmark purposes, and my memory was set to its XMP profile. This should be more than enough to get a higher power draw compared to stock.



Please don't try and take apart a PSU if you don't know what you're doing. This can be very dangerous and cause serious harm and possibly death. My hope for taking this PSU apart will help some people better understand the internals of how the PSU works.

Getting to the fan first, it's a Hong Hua FDB fan. This fan is rated for 12V, 0.22A,1600RPM and is 135MM. It uses fluid dynamic bearings and uses direct airflow for cooling the PSU internal parts. This gets directly connected to the internal MCU for controlling the ZERO RPM function.



Seasonic claims its "Hybrid Mode" will maintain a silent 20dBa. Having experienced many styles of this ZERO RPM function in PSU's, I'm willing to bet that it most likely won't kick in due to the fact that most people don't even use half of their systems power. Which brings me to audio testing, which may not be worth investigating due to the high 40 - 50% curve Seasonic set. Under regular conditions, you will have no noise due to the ZERO RPM function. I will, however, include above Seasonic's chart to show a point of reference to show their rated noise levels. Typically, even with no PSU fan running, I'm going to hit around 50dB. This is about as loud as a normal conversation and can be contributed to various background noises from all my other system parts.

Please keep in mind that each system is different and actual loads can vary greatly even with similar hardware.



Furthering our investigation internally, we can start with line filtering. There are X and Y caps under the shield and this will help with any interference introduced to the unit. Line filtering will help keep your power coming in as clean as possible.



Looking at the major internals of this PSU we can see signs of quality parts. The "Cable-Free Connection" of the PCB which is connected by a copper plate provides a better quality of power and reduces the chance of production errors. The identified capacitors are Nippon Chemi Con, rated for 105°C. The main LLC transformers are the bulky items in the middle that are yellow and black. I can see two bridge diodes, extra line filtering, and active PFC (Power Factor Correction). The active PFC are controlled by two 6R099 diodes and soldering of the unit looks fantastic.

I also want to point out that Japanese capacitors are used for both the primary and secondary power stages.



The main PWM control for the fan is located just in front of the control board and the chip present is a Champion CM6901 controller. The control board and PCB of the power supply also offer Nichicon polymer capacitors throughout the unit.



Seasonic uses a Weltrend WT7527 for all your protections and this will help maintain safe regulation for the unit.

The Prime series of power supplies have the following protections:


  • Over Current Protection (OCP): Shuts off power if any rail is overloaded beyond a safe level.
  • Over Voltage Protection (OVP): Shuts off power if voltages exceed specification.
  • Under Voltage Protection (UVP): Shuts off power if voltages drop below specification.
  • Short Circuit Protection (SCP): Shuts off power if a short circuit is detected.
  • Over Temperature Protection (OTP): Shuts off power if temperatures exceed a specified value.
  • Over Power Protection (OPP): Shuts off power if the total output power exceeds a safe level.



As you can see above I hit about almost 32°C. This is interesting as most of the PSU stayed cool while under load at 100% You have to remember when we look at the watts used below that I was not using anywhere near even half of my PSUs power. The temperature recorded was as is with no fan running due to the ZERO RPM mode function and curve. What this really shows us is that unless you require extreme power, this PSU will stay dead silent and cool.



Let's just keep things simple here. You can see above that I don't even come remotely close to using even 40% of this PSU's power. The 280W total is represented by the worse number I saw during 100% load testing. This was all my overclocked or stock values pushed to the limit. This includes all connected devices and GPU power draw. To power your system, most people don't even need a 500W PSU. You don't start needing higher wattage PSUs until you get into multi-GPU configurations, and higher-end CPUs and motherboards. Overclocking Ryzen "Threadripper" with dual Vega cards will possibly require a PSU of this size. Intel X299 and Skylake-X is another example where you could max a PSU like this depending on your configuration.

It's not bad to have a PSU rated for more power than you need. Depending on what deal you can afford, this helps with possible future upgrades to higher performing system like mentioned above. Just be cautious when considering your build to help save any money where you can, this can help allocate more money to a better GPU or CPU. if you don't even want to think about it, most sites have a nifty tool that helps you calculate what wattage will work for you your system. I highly recommend you check out this Seasonic wattage calculator here.

Conclusion



The Prime Ultra series PSUs comes packaged with everything you would ever need for a high-end PC. What you can expect with this PSU is tight voltage regulation and awesome efficiency from the Titanium certification. Just don't expect to take advantage of the efficiency unless you're really pushing your system to its limits.

One thing to consider here though is that most people underutilize their power supplies. So if you're looking for something large for future upgrades then getting larger wattage units are an excellent choice, but if you want to save as much money possible you may want to look at cheaper options. For instance, this PSU didn't even kick in any fan action due to the higher MCU curve.

The overall build quality of the Prime Ultra 850W is outstanding. The internal components are rated as high quality and should provide you power for years to come. With the 12-year warranty backing up this product, it's hard to label it as anything but fantastic. The price is going to be your limiting factor and questioning whether you need this level of efficiency. You can usually pick one of these units up for $190. If you're lucky enough to catch a sale, I highly recommend you do so if you're looking for a PSU that will last you the years. You can buy the Prime series ranging from 650W / 750W / 850W / & 1000W models.
 

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When I built a PC for my brother-in-law earlier this year he grabbed a 750w version.

I was really impressed by the build quality and the fact that the fan did not kick on even when running a game. He only chose it for Titanium rating and low noise.

I'm looking forward to upgrading my Thermaltake to a Seasonic after my experience.
 

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Nice review. I agree completely, these units are just about unbeatable, especially if you can catch a sale. FWIW I have been using Seasonic Gold/Platinum/Titanium and Prime units in all my <1000W applications. Corsair at 1500/1600W and Supermicro redundant units when required. My builds are basically mission critical and I have not a single bad thing to say about these units. Even when I abuse them in low ventilation and and 'semi-outdoor' applications.
 

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I got the 1000W model for Radeon 295x2 w/ Ryzen 2700x. Overkill, slightly, but to factor in extreme OC and warm air from SFF case, it helps to overspec for component longevity. 5 years from now, who knows what kind of rig it will power.

Cleaner power from higher efficiency units can help prevent unstable overclocks as well.
@Jedson3614, Do you have more pictures from the fan area? I hope to remove the fan grill and paint it red... hopefully without voiding the warranty and opening the unit.
 

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I got the 1000W model for Radeon 295x2 w/ Ryzen 2700x. Overkill, slightly, but to factor in extreme OC and warm air from SFF case, it helps to overspec for component longevity. 5 years from now, who knows what kind of rig it will power.

Cleaner power from higher efficiency units can help prevent unstable overclocks as well.

@Jedson3614, Do you have more pictures from the fan area? I hope to remove the fan grill and paint it red... hopefully without voiding the warranty and opening the unit.
Not really overkill, those 290's pull A LOT when overclocked. I got mine to pull 650W rig total. X58/290X combo. With a second I'm sure I would be at 900+
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I got the 1000W model for Radeon 295x2 w/ Ryzen 2700x. Overkill, slightly, but to factor in extreme OC and warm air from SFF case, it helps to overspec for component longevity. 5 years from now, who knows what kind of rig it will power.

Cleaner power from higher efficiency units can help prevent unstable overclocks as well.

@Jedson3614, Do you have more pictures from the fan area? I hope to remove the fan grill and paint it red... hopefully without voiding the warranty and opening the unit.
I'm glad my article could spring up some conversations among this community. Hopefully, the pictures below help. It should be very easy to paint the grill red, as it just requires those 4 hex screws to be removed and then to detach the fan plug. If you can do that you can take the fan out temporarily and should be very easy to paint.

 

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very nice power supply, I would like to get one in the future - I keep trying to convince myself I need one but my 750 g2 has been doing great over the years
 

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Fan grill replacement for Seasonic Prime Ultra 1000W Titanium version,
Remove screws #1 and #2
Grill has enough spring to bring a screw behind it.
Replace Screw #1
Remove screw #3
Replace Screw #2
Remove Screw #4
Replace Screw #3

No voided warranty and fan didn't fall into abyss.

Also noted the fan grill appears to be copper under the chrome platting (which covers all surfaces, not just the front).
 

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Great power supplies, the Seasonics. I've got the 850 and 1000 Prime Ultra Titaniums, and just picked up their new 1300 Prime Platinum this past week.
 

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Nice review.

I'll be picking up the 650W version, whenever my neighbours' PC chinese recycled parts PSU goes bip again.
It should be anytime now since their PC is 12 months old !
 

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I had two of these and they both had "clicky" / "tick tick ticking" sounding fans. Shame that Seasonic put cheap fans or a bad grill in their expensive PSU!
only strange noise I had when powering with no load first day. once I gave it a realistic load, that sound was gone... or at least once the bearings had worked in a bit.

Are you using Hybrid or regular fan mode?
 

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Honestly, I think SeaSonic PSU's are my favorite.

they don't have the same digital monitoring features of the Corsair AXi series (I think SeaSonic made them originally, and may still now - not sure)
but they use top of the line components

plus any Titanium rates PSU is over 94% eff at mid load. which is amazing (especially for miners, I've seen too many mining rigs built with bronze/white PSUs)

also: good review.
 

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Never seen a negative review on a seasonic power supply.

I've owned a total of 6 I've the years and they have all been stellar.
 

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As of recently I've been running a Seasonic 760XP2, but noticing that with my current setup I need to move back to a 850w to allow the headroom for an OC'ed 1080Ti and 6900k. The Prime Titanium series from Seasonic is a killer series of PSU's and I definitely plan to pick up a 850w model (even though I do still have a CoolerMaster v850 as well, but that has been retired as a back-up PSU). I would love to see how the noise level is with the Prime Ti 850w when I'm running a large load on my rig, the 760 I have now it pretty silent for the most part as it blends in with my fans that are running a modified silent profile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
As of recently I've been running a Seasonic 760XP2, but noticing that with my current setup I need to move back to a 850w to allow the headroom for an OC'ed 1080Ti and 6900k. The Prime Titanium series from Seasonic is a killer series of PSU's and I definitely plan to pick up a 850w model (even though I do still have a CoolerMaster v850 as well, but that has been retired as a back-up PSU). I would love to see how the noise level is with the Prime Ti 850w when I'm running a large load on my rig, the 760 I have now it pretty silent for the most part as it blends in with my fans that are running a modified silent profile.
Yeah, 850W is a sweet spot for making sure you have headroom for future expansion of GPUs and even future builds and upgrades. I do find Titanium efficiency a bit overkill for most users though. Whats funny is I actually enjoy the aesthetic of this PS the most and love the design, which doesn't contribute to any of the performance.
 
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