PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 600W Power Supply Review

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Additional technical assistance: Peter McFarland and Jeremy Price.

Correctly testing power supplies is a complex procedure and KitGuru have configured a test bench which can deliver up to a 2,000 watt DC load. Due to public requests we have changed our temperature settings recently – previously we rated with ambient temperatures at 25C, we have increased ambient temperatures by 10c (to 35c) in our environment to greater reflect warmer internal chassis conditions.

We use combinations of the following hardware:
• SunMoon SM-268
• CSI3710A Programmable DC load (+3.3V and +5V outputs)
• CSI3711A Programmable DC load (+12V1, +12V2, +12V3, and +12V4)
• Extech Power Analyzer
• Extech MultiMaster MM570 digital multimeter
• SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa)
• Digital oscilloscope (20M S/s with 12 Bit ADC)
• Variable Autotransformer, 1.4 KVA

DC Output Load Regulation

Combined

DC Load

+3.3V
+5V
+12V
+5VSB
-12V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A V
75W
1.09
3.33
1.47
5.01
4.92
12.18
0.50
5.03
0.20
-12.09
150W
2.09
3.33
2.97
4.98
10.02
12.17
0.50
5.00
0.30
-12.10
300W
4.30
3.32
6.00
4.96
20.58
12.15
1.00
4.99
0.30
-12.11
450W
6.57
3.32
8.48
4.94
31.79
12.14
1.50
4.98
0.30
-12.12
600W
9.94
3.30
12.20
4.91
41.78
12.12
2.50
4.97
0.30
-12.14

The PC Power & Cooling supply delivers strong regulation across all the outputs and handles the load tests very well. All of the primary rails stayed with 2.5% of the nominal voltage.

PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 600W Maximum Load
712W

We managed to get 712W out of the PSU before it would shut down, gracefully.

Next we want to try Cross Loading. This basically means loads which are not balanced. If a PC for instance needs 500W on the +12V outputs but something like 30W via the combined 3.3V and +5V outputs then the voltage regulation can fluctuate badly.

Cross Load Testing +3.3V +5V +12V -12V +5VSB
A V A V A V A V A V
590W 1.0 3.32 1.0 5.05 46.0 11.97 0.2 -12.12 0.50 5.03
145W 12.0 3.30 15.0 5.03 2.0 12.12 0.2 -12.09 0.50 5.01

The PC Power & Cooling power supply handled the Cross loading tests very well and we didn’t experience any issues throughout testing. All the voltages remained well within specification.

We then used an oscilloscope to measure AC ripple and noise present on the DC outputs. We set the oscilloscope time base to check for AC ripple at both high and low ends of the spectrum. ATX12V V2.2 specification for DC output ripple and noise is defined in the ATX 12V power supply design guide.

ATX12V Ver 2.2 Noise/Ripple Tolerance
Output
Ripple (mV p-p)
+3.3V
50
+5V
50
+12V1
120
+12V2
120
-12V
120
+5VSB
50

Obviously when measuring AC noise and ripple on the DC outputs the cleaner (less recorded) means we have a better end result. We measured this AC signal amplitude to see how closely the unit complied with the ATX standard.

AC Ripple (mV p-p)
DC Load +3.3V +5V +12V 5VSB
75W 10 5 10 10
150W 10 10 15 10
300W 10 10 15 15
450W 10 10 20 15
600W 15 15 25 20

Noise suppression is absolutely fantastic, falling well within the rated specifications, only 25 mV from the 12V output at full load is a superb result.

Efficiency (%)
75W
81.34
150W
84.93
300W
86.79
450W
84.56
600W
83.14

Efficiency is impressive for an 80 Plus Bronze rated power supply, peaking at 86.79 percent at 50 percent load.

We take the issue of noise very seriously at KitGuru and this is why we have built a special home brew system as a reference point when we test noise levels of various components. Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on components we are testing. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.

Today to test the Power Supply we have taken it into our acoustics room environment and have set our SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa) one meter away from the unit. We have no other fans running so we can effectively measure just the noise from the unit itself.

As this can be a little confusing for people, here are various dBa ratings in with real world situations to help describe the various levels.

KitGuru noise guide
10dBA - Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA - High Quality Computer fan
40dBA - A Bubbling Brook, or a Refridgerator
50dBA - Normal Conversation
60dBA - Laughter
70dBA - Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA - City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA - Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA - MP3 Player at maximum output
110dBA - Orchestra
120dBA - Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA - Threshold of Pain
140dBA - Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA - Instant Perforation of eardrum

Noise (dBA)
75W
29.2
150W
29.7
300W
31.6
450W
33.4
600W 37.9

The power supply becomes audible at around 400W load. Nothing overly intrusive, but noticeable. At 80% load the fan spins up considerably and at full load the noise emissions are around 38 dBa, clearly heard. It isn’t really practical to be running a 600W power supply at full load 24/7, so we recommended that if you need 500W or more on a regular basis, aim for a higher output model.

Temperature (c)
Intake
Exhaust
75W
35
41
150W
35
43
300W
37
44
450W
41
49
600W
44
53

The Adda fan keeps temperatures under control, peaking at a 9c above ambient threshold when at full load.

Maximum load
Efficiency
712W
80.34

At 712W the PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 600W rated just over 80% efficiency. This is not a viable ‘real world’ situation, but its interesting nonetheless.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 600W Power Supply Review, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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