Conclusion

The Cooler Master Silent Pro series is not available in the U.S. yet, but we do hope that the legal issues over cable management will be settled soon. That would allow this great product to find its way to the states as well Europe. The overall performance is great, it looks good, and it comes with some nice features. Packaging might influence some people when it comes to buying parts, but the build quality is where this product really shines. This Enhance unit shows a good choice of components like the Nippon Chemi-Con capacitors.

The cables are a little short but should be fine for most medium towers with the PSU mounted in the top section. For a moderate setup with up to two midrange GPUs or a single high-end GPU, this power supply will be a good choice. You can connect any card with one or two PEG jacks on it, since both 6-pin and 8-pin PEG connections are supported. Dual GPUs can only require a single PEG connector, but that makes sense for a 500W or 600W PSU.

In the important performance area, there were a few surprises. The difference between the two otherwise identical seeming models was one surprise, as we expected only minor variations. The real difference between the two units is not really the maximum efficiency but rather the difference in the efficiency curves. While the 500W version performs similar to what we've seen in the past, the 600W version is very efficient at low to medium loads after which it goes quickly downhill. With either unit, optimal performance will come with loads of 130W to 300W - perfect for systems with a single high-end graphics card or a couple midrange cards. As for the DC output stability, the 12V rail is exceptionally stable, but the lower voltage rails showed moderate drops - around 5% regulation on the 3.3V and 3% on the 5V rails. The quality in terms of ripple and noise is well within spec, so there's no concern there. The acoustic levels have been phenomenal and stayed well below 20dB(A) even at the highest loads. However, temperatures were increasing quickly and we don't actually recommend using these units in hot environments combined with high loads.

Pricing is often the critical factor, and we see prices of €80 for the 500W version and €90 for the 600W model. That might soon be $116 and $130 for US customers, provided Cooler Master can overcome the legal obstacles. In addition, Cooler Master also has a 700W model priced at €110/$160. If you want good performance and a quiet computer, we're happy to report that the Cooler Master Silent Pro series manages to live up to its name. These PSUs are definitely worth a look if you live in Europe.

Temperatures, Acoustics, and Fan Speed
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  • Megaknight - Tuesday, September 09, 2008 - link

    And once again the american consumer is screwed by stupid companies and the stupid US patent system... Reply
  • Amart - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    The Ripple/Noise charts and a dedicated page for Quality are a good decision - thank you. Reply
  • OverDraught - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    The product label does not show the UL mark, which has probably been applied for but not issued yet. No big deal unless you are in the USA and are building computers for resale or lease. If so, check with your product liability carrier before using this product.

    Personally, I would never by a PSU that was not UL listed.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    As stated, the patent issues are keeping this out of the US for now, so the lack of a UL mark might have something to do with that. If/when that's resolved, then we can see if the UL is listed. Reply
  • Bozo Galora - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    Well, I feel like I was just struck by lightning.
    Actual ripple graphs within an AT PSU review.
    Beat me with a giant wet Ramen noodle.

    (Anyone see pigs flying?)
    Reply
  • semo - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    "Cooler Master advertises their use of small copper plates on the heatsinks as a means of increasing heat dissipation, since copper transfers heat faster than aluminum. Aluminum still dissipates the heat faster to the surrounding air"

    so both aluminum and copper dissipate heat faster... compared to what?

    also why isn't there any comarison to other psus. For example the sample reviewed here is more expansive than the CoolerMaster 520W Real Power Pro Modular but does it deserve the 50% mark up in price?
    Reply
  • Christoph Katzer - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    huh? yeah...

    Heat goes faster through copper than through aluminum. But aluminum can dissipate the heat faster into the air. This is why we have today mostly aluminum-coolers with a copper base which Cooler Master used for these power supplies now...

    We do regular comparisons with the Buyer's Guide and sometimes in roundups.

    For starters your mentioned unit comes from Acbel and is not even half as tough as an Enhance-build PSU like the Silentpro.
    Reply
  • Howard - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    I don't believe that aluminum dissipates heat faster than copper does. The reason why we have heatsinks that are a mix is probably because aluminum is much cheaper (and lighter, though that is probably a secondary rather than primary factor). Reply
  • bludragon - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    I agree. I think we need mythbusters on this one. Cu has higher conductivity than Al. But, Cu is heavier, more expensive and harder to machine so we reach the compromise of Cu base and Al fins. Reply
  • PEJUman - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    It's true Cu retains heat better than Al.
    Here are the simple clues:
    Cu have higher conductivity and Specific heat than Al.
    Conduction (CPU/Transistor to heatsink) needs good thermal conductivity.
    Convection (Heat sink's fins to ambient air) needs a lot of surface area.

    simple explaination:
    While with higher conductivity, Cu will transport heat faster, but with the higher spec. heat Cu will stores more energy than Al (at the same shape and volume) while having the same surface area, thus Cu will be harder to dissipate convectively.

    Now the long explaination:
    Copper is a good candidate as first line 'heat sink', it will absorb a lot of energy before increasing 1 deg, meaning for a CPU at 47 deg and ambient at 27 deg, it will hold 27... 28... 29... 30 deg longer than Al as it heats up. - GOOD

    now comes the drawback, with the high specific heat, when copper try to release heat to ambient air, it will maintain it's hot temperature longer than Aluminum simply because it has to dissipate more energy to ambient air before dropping 1 deg in temp.
    So, let's imagine copper fins with the same shape and volume as Al, it will take a lot more air to cool the copper (not to mention it's heavier too) than the Al. - BAD

    Thus the reason using Al for fins, and copper for heat block (sink).
    asborbing heat from transistor or CPU got to do with small contact surface area, in which case higher thermal conductivity allows lower interface junction temp). while the Al fins dissipate heat more efficiently (in terms of heat flux/weight/size) than cooper.

    Now, heat sink is just like any other overclocking quest, you're bound by the weakest link. Thus to come up with a good heatsink assembly you need to have properly sized Cu sink & Al fin.
    This means sufficient surface area between the Al & Cu interface to sustain the same heat flux rate that the Cu is capable to aborb and Al fins capable to dissipate.
    Mess this balance up, and your again bound by your weakest link, be it your copper block, Al fins of its Cu-Al interface area.
    Reply

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