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Power Supply Roundup: Part II

As far as efficiency is concerned, the power supply from PC Power & Cooling is not able to produce the best results in our roundup. The maximum efficiency reached by the unit is at a 50 percent load, where it hits 86%. If the load is increased or decreased, the efficiency drops considerably, though; in the low load range (20%) it is just 83%, while under full load, the unit achieves 84%.

In standby, though, the efficiency of the power supply achieves top marks: under a standby load of 0.5 A, the unit draws 3.73 watts, which corresponds to a level of efficiency of 67%. Without load, the power consumption is less than one watt. Here, the unit draws 0.72 watts from the power source.

Fortunately, the Silencer is widely available in North America and is available online for just less than $100, making it a reasonable value.

PC Power & Cooling Silencer 610W
The Silencer 610W is a power supply with a classical design. Its construction and large size means that it is more suited to use in servers.
  • Positive
  • Negative
    • Good standby efficiency
    • Classical fan design for servers and HTPCs
    • Humming fan

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  • 3 Hide
    slomo4sho , November 7, 2008 7:46 AM
    Nice review, I was hoping to see the Antec NeoPower series as well :( 
  • 0 Hide
    bf2gameplaya , November 7, 2008 9:04 AM
    I use the Enermax Modu82+ 625W version (same design) and I can attest the 12v rails are rock solid, they just don't sag or dip under any load.

    The fan is interesting, I am used to the variable control knob but I do not miss it as the fan is silent under all but the heaviest sustained load and then it is audible, but not loud. It is a 120MM fan (quieter) but it is clear (louder). The fans' RPM monitoring lead is a must for my system board monitoring program as I could adjust other fans and settings based on the PSU fan RPM if I wanted, but as I run a near silent system, I have no need.

    I wish it was $50 cheaper, but you get your money's worth, no mistaking that.

  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 7, 2008 9:22 AM
    will the hx520 can hold uo with a 4870X2 or 280GTX with a high end overclocked pc?
  • 0 Hide
    mafj , November 7, 2008 11:05 AM
    I sill miss some bits.
    I would like to see how overcurrent and overheat protection works, whether mains spikes can damage the power supply.
    Whether joining +5V with +12V rail (as may happen when e.g. CDROM fails) will burn the other components.
    And noise/heat level.
  • 1 Hide
    bobbknight , November 7, 2008 12:26 PM
    Yep just about as informative as the first part, IE. not very.
    Unless you put the thing under load and oscilloscope the outputs for ripple and open it up to see the type of parts used and the construction quality. reviews of this type are next to meaningless.
  • 0 Hide
    Pei-chen , November 7, 2008 12:45 PM
    Love my 22 month old Antec NeoPower HE 550.
  • 1 Hide
    jeffunit , November 7, 2008 1:19 PM
    "But there is no 82Plus standard."

    Clearly these folks don't know about the different colors of the 80+
    program. The enermax is rated at the bronze level which must be 82% efficient. There is also the silver and gold level rating.

    google is your friend.
  • 1 Hide
    jeffunit , November 7, 2008 1:25 PM
    "For what it’s worth, that’s good enough to qualify the supply for the 80Plus Bronze certification, if Enermax pursued it."

    Not only did enermax pursue it, but if you go to, you will
    see that they are already certified at the bronze level. ( is
    down right now, or I would provide a url showing it.)
  • 1 Hide
    jeffunit , November 7, 2008 1:29 PM
    If you go to enermax's site,
    they have a big honking picture of the 80+ bronze certificate and the 6 power supplies it applies to. I fear tomshardware has not done their homework.

    Other than owning a 5 year old Enermax, I have nothing to do with the
    company. I have 5 antec earthwatts powersupplies, and a seasonic power supply in my 80+ collection.
  • 1 Hide
    jeffunit , November 7, 2008 1:33 PM
    Listing "Confusing “82+” specification in the product name" as a negative, clearly shows where the confusion lies, and it isn't with enermax.

    The 80+ standard is several years old. The newer colored standards of bronze, silver, and gold are newer, but that is the wonder of technology.
    For a technology web site, keeping up with newer things such as standards is necessary.
  • 0 Hide
    Homeboy2 , November 7, 2008 2:05 PM
    My pc power 610 is quiet any any load.
  • 0 Hide
    hellwig , November 7, 2008 2:25 PM
    I never understood the intelligence of a fan-control knob for the power supply. Say you're typing up a report, not a lot of power is needed, both your CPU and GPU are throttled down. The power supply fan noise is annoying, so you turn down the fan. Once done with the report, you decide to treat yourself to an 8-hour gaming session maxing out both your CPU and GPU. You forget to turn-up the fan, wouldn't this burn-out the PSU?

    I also partially agree with bobbknight in that reliability is an over-looked factor here. I know Tom's probably can't open-up a review sample to look at the parts, nor run these 24/7 for 6months to give an indication to their reliability, but a stable 12V won't mean much if the fan dies or a capacitor blows. Ripple on the DC lines is less of a concern to me. I'm sure my computer components can handle it, considering how much deviance is allowed in the specification. A 10mv ripple won't mean much if the voltage is already 10mv off base.
  • 0 Hide
    bounty , November 7, 2008 3:00 PM
    You guys should take price into consideration. I didn't see any chart showing price. As far as I could tell these were all $100+ supplies. I think you used a 60$ power supply in your budget gamming rig. I know this is an enthusiast site, but there are more average people than rich people, especially right now. I'd like to see a bang for buck power supply shootout. Is there a sub $100 power supply that can handle a midrange SLI setup? Maybe dual 8800GT's or something... maybe start low and see at which point things start crashing... can it ramp up to OC'd with 260's or?
  • -1 Hide
    dealcorn , November 7, 2008 3:10 PM
    With the emergence of Atom, a roundup of power supplies rated between 50 and 120 watts would be interesting to increasing numbers of readers. The 945G chipset is an energy pig (well over 30 watts). In due course, some SCH chipset such as the US15W will be available and the chipset draws under 3 watts. I think that will make the article's "low power" setting more like maximum load and the system will idle around 10 watts.
  • 0 Hide
    antiacid , November 7, 2008 4:53 PM
    no noise comparision charts, no heat comparison charts, no discussion of the different types of protections...
    This article is lacking a bit in depth :( 
  • 0 Hide
    polaris408 , November 7, 2008 5:11 PM
    I'm glad Tom's is still reviewing PSU's, but why don't they review any Seasonics? I remember a long time ago, they put 50 or so PSU's at max load for 24 hours and all of them failed except the Seasonic and the bargain bin PSU. I'd like to see that test again on these guys.
  • 0 Hide
    ianucci , November 7, 2008 6:06 PM
    I'm pretty confused about PSUs but I know the one I have currently is crap! Would the Hiper be good to use with a Nvidia GT260 gpu?
  • 0 Hide
    troll , November 7, 2008 7:41 PM
    Like the first commenter said, I'm very surprised that the Antec NeoPower series isn't in here. I have a 550w model and it runs my Q6600 and 2x 9600GT's in SLI without a hiccup.
  • 0 Hide
    bf2gameplaya , November 7, 2008 7:55 PM
    hellwigI never understood the intelligence of a fan-control knob for the power supply. Say you're typing up a report, not a lot of power is needed, both your CPU and GPU are throttled down. The power supply fan noise is annoying, so you turn down the fan. Once done with the report, you decide to treat yourself to an 8-hour gaming session maxing out both your CPU and GPU. You forget to turn-up the fan, wouldn't this burn-out the PSU?

    No it would not, as the internal temperature of the PSU overrides any user setting of the external fan speed knob.

    The better unasked question is: Why would you keep the external knob at any setting other than the lowest, knowing that if the temp rises in the PSU, it will increase fan speed? One answer is that you might wish to keep the temps stable and not have to engage a faster speed than what is required. There are other reasons.
  • 0 Hide
    CroSsFiRe20 , November 7, 2008 8:42 PM
    My first post! lol
    as for the comment about seasonic, i think the corsair is a rebranded seasonic, and for under $100 power supplies, i'd say a corsair 450vx is a good choice, have one of them myself and its dead quiet with a single 33A 12v rail
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