Cooler Master Silent Pro PSUsby Christoph Katzer on September 8, 2008 3:00 AM EST
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Cooler Master already showed their new Silent Pro series at CES and CeBIT, and now we finally have the shipping product in our hands. However, so far only a few models are available, and with the lawsuit initiated by Ultra Products regarding modular power supply patents, Cooler Master unfortunately is not yet able to sell this series in the U.S. market. Rumors say that most of the affected companies have begun appeals against the patent, but they still await further court rulings on this case. Until that happens, folks over in Europe are the only ones that can enjoy this new product, which we will review today. (It's somewhat interesting to mention that before we could even publish this review, Cooler Master wanted to talk to their legal department first; luckily, we were able to talk them into letting us go forward.)
If you've followed our PSU reviews over the previous year, you can probably guess the ODM of the Silent Pro from this first image. Enhance has a deserved reputation of building high-end units, and they provide that service for quite a few companies. This time we are greeted by low to medium range 500W and 600W power supplies built by Enhance, and the performance has almost resulted in feelings of ecstasy during testing. The overall look is nice with rubber protection on the back and the front, and a large 140mm fan does the rest. We received both the 500W and 600W models, but we will focus primarily on the 500W unit for testing.
The label shows a single 12V rail with 34A and the 3.3V and 5V rails at 20A. This might seem a little low, but most systems don't need much power from the lower voltage rails anymore.
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Megaknight - Tuesday, September 9, 2008 - linkAnd once again the american consumer is screwed by stupid companies and the stupid US patent system...
Amart - Monday, September 8, 2008 - linkThe Ripple/Noise charts and a dedicated page for Quality are a good decision - thank you.
OverDraught - Monday, September 8, 2008 - linkThe 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.
JarredWalton - Monday, September 8, 2008 - linkAs 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.
Bozo Galora - Monday, September 8, 2008 - linkWell, 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?)
semo - Monday, September 8, 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?
Christoph Katzer - Monday, September 8, 2008 - linkhuh? 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.
Howard - Monday, September 8, 2008 - linkI 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).
bludragon - Monday, September 8, 2008 - linkI 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.
PEJUman - Monday, September 8, 2008 - linkIt'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.
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.