Articles: Cases/PSU

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Power supply units for computers have been evolving incessantly, even though not very fast. A decade ago a 70% efficient PSU was the norm but now even 80% looks like an inferior parameter whereas 90% provoke no sensation because we’ve seen 90% efficient PSUs aplenty already. The best way to see this progress is to compare a couple of PSUs from the same brand, of the same wattage and even from the same product series, but belonging to two different generations.

So, today we’re going to test two Cooler Master PSUs (their actual makers are different) which are identical in their wattage rating and market positioning but very different in their date of manufacture. The Silent Pro M was released in late 2009 and the Silent Pro M2 in early 2012.

These are 1000W units which are rather popular among users of high-performance PCs but not as expensive as PSUs of higher wattage that may only be really called for by very powerful overclocked configurations. The 1000W model was the topmost one in the Silent Pro M series whereas the newer Silent Pro M2 is crowned by a 1500W PSU, the 1000W model being one step lower in the hierarchy.

These two products are available for about the same money as of our writing this (the newer model is just a little more expensive on average), so this comparison makes practical sense.

Testing Methodology

The following article offers a detailed description of our testing methodology and equipment and a brief explanation of what the specified and tested parameters of power supplies mean: X-bit Labs Presents: Power Supply Units Testing Methodology. If you feel overwhelmed with the numbers and terms this review abounds in, refer to the Methodology.

You can also go to our Cases/PSU section to check out reviews of all other PSU models we have tested in our labs.

We will mark the actual power consumption of three system configurations (discussed in our article called PC Power Consumption: How Many Watts Do We Need?) in the cross-load diagrams. This will help you see if the tested PSU can meet the requirements of a real-life PC.

Cooler Master Silent Pro M 1000W

The older of the two 1000W PSUs to be discussed comes in an eye-catching packaging.

The matte wrapper and the originally shaped box help attract a casual shopper’s eye.

Instead of opening up in the conventional way, the box unfolds to both sides, letting you access its contents. The accessories are numerous.

Besides basic accessories (mounting screws, a mains cord and a user manual), we can see a couple of vibration-absorbing pads for the PSU bay (for the front and back panels of the PSU case) and a fabric pouch for the modular cables.

Exterior Design

The exterior of the Silent Pro M 1000W is no less original than its packaging. The top panel is sunken in above the fan and is covered by a curved fan grid with a Cooler Master logo in the center. There are two types of connectors for modular cables which differ in color. The tabs on the side panels help them hold tighter.

The back panel features an extruded vent grid and there’s a manufacturer’s emblem on the bottom panel.

Circuit Design

Although the PCB is marked as Cooler Master, there are some unmistakable features about the interior design of this PSU that point at FSP as its actual maker.

The component layout is almost identical to that of FSP’s Epsilon/Everest PSUs, although the design of the modular connectors card is different.

The Silent Pro M 1000W offers the same basic functionality as its FSP cousins: active PFC and no dedicated voltage regulation.

Besides the shape and size of the heatsinks and the color of the PCB, the only notable difference from the original FSP products is that the Silent Pro M 1000W has a small daughter card with a PWM/PFC controller CM6802SAHG.

The second daughter card, located near the mains connector and covered by a yellow insulating screen, carries a supervisor chip PS224.

As indicated on the product box wrapper, the PSU features Japan-made electrolytic capacitors. The components at the output are manufactured by United Chemi-Con and Nichicon and enjoy an excellent reputation.

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