Noise in computer systems is an ever growing problem – one which many enthusiasts strive to deal with. A Power supply is often thought as quite a quiet component of the hardware which makes your PC. However, turn off all of your running fans and just listen to the noise from the PSU; you’ll be pleasantly surprised. For this reason, Cooler Master has developed the Silent Pro which boasts a sound level of less than 16dBA.
Cooler Master was founded with the mission of providing the industry’s best thermal solutions. Since its establishment a decade ago, the company has remained faithful to this mission, emerging as a world leader in products and services for companies dealing with devices where heat issues must be resolved.
- Modularized cable design to eliminate clutter and improve airflow inside the chassis
- Two 6+2 pin PCI-e connectors are compatible with future graphic card upgradeability
- Eco-design for energy and money saving by 80Plus design (>85% efficiency)
- Single +12V rail provides more power for over-clocking users
- Compliance with Intel standard ATX 12V V2.3
- Green power design to meet energy star and blue angel and RoHS requirements
- Super silent operation with intelligent 135mm fan speed control
- Multiple protections provide full-scale protections for your components (OVP/OCP/OPP/OTP/SCP)
- High Power Density (150*150*86 mm)
- High reliability (MTBF > 100,000 hrs)
- Copper + Aluminum heat sink design
- Flat cable design for better cable arrangement
- Japanese Made Capacitor
- Silicon rubber Pad
The model we’ll be reviewing today is the RS-700-AMBA-D3 – the 700W model shown in the last column. However anyone looking for less power should be aware that this power supply also comes in 600W and 500W flavours.
The Cooler Master Silent Pro M arrives in a thick black cardboard box sealed with a wrap around the middle. Securing the wrap to the box is sticky tape. The front of the package boasts a large image of the Silent Pro and includes Cooler Master’s 5 year warrantee logo in the left hand upper corner.
The back of the box entails the specifications of the included power supply and lists its features in 17 different languages – now that’s what you call multilingual.
Removing the wrap allows you to open the box. Unlike most boxes, the Silent Pro opens like a butterfly would open its wings. In my opinion this unique method really adds to the first impressions of the Power Supply, but also adds to the amount of waste (cardboard) – the eco-friendly fan-boys aren’t going to like this.
The top of the package includes a driver CD, warrantee card and multilingual users manual. All this is seated on yet another piece of cardboard.
Beneath the cardboard is a power cord, seven modular cables, a bag of 4 black screws and the power supply itself. Stopping the PSU from being scratched, there is a large piece of Styrofoam in the middle separating the contents of the package. The thick walled cardboard sizes protect the unit very well from damage during delivery – mine was immaculate.
Cooler Master Silent Pro M 700W
This product comes in a striking powder coated matt black finish. Compared to the Real Power M850 we reviewed several weeks ago, the Silent M measures a mere 155x150x80mm, allowing it to fit in both Micro ATX and Full ATX easily.
Similar to the M850, the front of the power supply (where the power cord plugs in), there is a large fine honey comb grill in replacement of where an 80mm fan would usually be seated. Fortunately, there is a power switch (wasn’t on M850), so you can feel in safe hands when working inside your PC.
On the left side of the power supply there is a large sticker placed with the Cooler Master logo and ‘700W Silent Pro’. This stands out quite well and looks aesthetically pleasing.
The right side has another sticker. This sticker lists all the specifications to do with the power output of the PSU. I have listed the specifications below:
100-240Vac 12-6A 60-50Hz
At the rear of the power supply – where the modular sockets are – there are 6 sockets altogether. Four of the sockets are for Molex/Floppy/SATA and are coloured in black whereas the other two sockets are for PCI-E and are coloured in grey. I was expecting to see more modular sockets as this unit is rated at 700W, which is the same as the M850 and that has more sockets. None-the-less, you probably won’t use all the sockets.
At the base of the Cooler Master there is a 135mm fan guarded by a metallic fan grill – stopping fingers and cables entering the power supply. This fan is manufactured by Young Lin Tech and runs at 2000RPM equalling 37.7dBA. However, CM has set this fan to a much lower RPM achieving the 16dBA they stated.
The top base of the unit is a little less boring than most PSU’s as it’s not just a solid colour. The 700W Silent Pro includes a laser cut aluminium logo seated into a bevel. This looks pretty impressive, much better than a plain solid colour.
One of the factors Cooler Master seems to love about this PSU is its attempt at being silent. One of the methods to silence the power supply is by adding silicon at the edges of the unit – dampening vibrations. There’s one problem with this silicon edging though, it falls off. For one, the glue definitely doesn’t hold very well to the powder coated finish and two, the silicon is impossible to reapply to the Power Supply – so much so that I ended up ripping it off the completely.
All the cables are flat singled wire cabling – much like you’d see on the old power supplies where no braiding was used. However, each cable is sealed to each other in a ribbon format and features just one colour, black – instead of the multi-coloured red, yellow and black. This cabling method is among the best I’ve seen and should allow for better cable management as the cables are highly flexible.
Directly attached to the PSU is a 24-pin ATX connector, luckily this connector is also backwards compatible with 20-pin sockets – 4 pins can be detached – unlike the M850 PSU which was not backwards compatible. Also there is an 8-Pin EPS-12v connector which can be split into two 4-pin’s for the older motherboards. That’s all the cables which are physically attached to the PSU and these are braided in black with heat-shrunk ends.
Altogether there are a total of 7 modular cables. These are:
- 2x 8/6 pin PCI-E
- 3x Triple SATA
- 1x Triple Molex
- 1x Double Molex and Floppy
The two 8-pin PCI-E connectors are backwards compatible with 6-pin graphics cards.
To test power supplies, it’s pretty simple. We hook up the power supply to our current test rig and leave it idle for an hour. After that hour, when the computer is fully idle, we measure the voltages of the 12V, 5V and 3.3V rails. Once these results are recorded, we load the power supply as much as possible and try to get to as near its maximum power output. We then take the recordings again, at load voltages.
|Processor||Intel C2D E6750 @ 3.2GHz (400*8)|
|Motherboard||Asus P5K Premium 775|
|RAM||Ballistix Tracer 6400 4GB (2×2GB)|
|HDD||Western Digital SE16 500GB SATA|
|Graphics Card||Vivikoo 9600GT 512MB|
The results show the power supply to be out by a fair margin when idle with the 12V rail nearly hitting 13V. However with it at a semi-load state the voltages change to a level which are much more accurate. In fact, as out test rig didn’t drain much power from the unit, a computer which actually uses the whole 600w- 700w should see very tight rails. This PSU is definitely a good performer.
Although the Silent Pro 700W is by no means silent, it is however the quietest power supply I’ve come across. With the noise from a Noctua fan – which is one of the quietest around – the Cooler Master could not be heard. Turning all fans off, revealed a low noise whirring from the PSU. However like I’ve said, with the noise from other case fans, this power supply is definitely just a ‘seen and not heard’ kind of thing.
With the Cooler Master retailing at £95, its right up in the deep end with other high performing 700W models from big boy manufactures such as Tagan, Seasonic and Enermax. However with the performance and noise levels which it offers, it certainly deserves to be in this placement.
With the performance from the tight rails, the low noise and stylish aesthetics, the Silent Pro 700W is a brilliant power supply. The cost is also quite reasonable, with 5 years warrantee included – you don’t often get this with a PSU.
To be honest, there’s not really a lot of bad to say about the silent pro, other than the problem with the Silicon edging falling off. However, I’m not sure how much this silicon affects the noise levels of the unit, so I’m not sure if it’s much of a concern.
So there we have it, what we’ve all been waiting for, a power supply which is very quiet, performs well and looks friggin amazing. Therefore, I’m going to award the unit 5 stars, well done Cooler Master…again.