PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 1200W (Page 2 of 4) | Reports

Page 2 - Physical Look - Outside

My first impression of the PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 1200W is no different than meeting the Prime Minister of Canada: It's white. On the serious side though, here at APH Networks, we have not reviewed a whole lot of white PSUs before; one of them being none other than the PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 600W. NZXT's HALE90 750W completes the short list. To make sure you will see the branding sticker the right side up at all times, the orientation of it is different on both sides, so whatever side facing the user after installation will always be correct. Residing behind the black metal frame fan grille -- designed for relatively low air resistance while providing adequate protection -- is the primary and only cooling fan installed. As with many modern power supplies, a large 140mm fan sits behind, which is the largest diameter unit one can fit in. The fan generates airflow by drawing air from the bottom of the power supply over its internal components to keep the temperatures in check. Exhaust heat is allowed to leave at the back of the power supply through the large secondary mesh opening.

Measuring in at 18.0cm in length, the PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 1200W is not the longest power supply we have reviewed before -- the Thermaltake Toughpower XT Platinum 1275W takes the honor at 20.0cm -- but it is pretty darn close. The extra length is needed to accommodate its modular connector board at the back, as well as the internal components to obtain good performance. It is still a whole centimeter shorter than the renowned Seasonic Platinum 1000W. We will take a look inside the PSU on the next page. For most ATX or eATX chassis, its length over a 'short' 14cm power supply like the FSP AURUM CM Gold 650W should not be much of a problem. However, if you have a mATX case that takes standard power supplies, be sure to measure out everything accordingly, so there will be no surprises during installation. Meanwhile, four screws at the bottom of the Silencer Mk III secures the power supply case together; where one screw has a warranty seal over it -- so you can't open the power supply without voiding the warranty. Since the fan grille is a part of the PSU's frame, you cannot remove it separately to clean the fan either.

Starting from the back part of the power supply, we have the same familiar honeycomb mesh design like most PSUs with bottom mounted fans, and the standard on/off switch located above the male connector for power input on the western edge. One twist to the standard design is the presence of a switch located below the male power input, as you can see in our photo above. The indicated position in the photo above is passive mode, which means the PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 1200W can load up to 600W without turning on the fan, depending on the temperature. Unfortunately, the diagram in the manual is quite ambiguous, so I actually got it the other way around at first. Also, the manual is not available online, which is quite the bummer. Anywho, the low resistance honeycomb mesh design is implemented to maximize airflow and minimize air resistance. This is done as heat needs to leave the power supply as easily and efficiently as possible, because the PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 1200W incorporates only one 140mm fan at the bottom, with no auxiliary fans. This is not to mention it will need to deliver up to 600W without any active cooling. I think this design is quite efficient, with the control and input section taking up relatively little real estate at the back. As with most new power supplies, the PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 1200W has an automatic full range (100V-240V) AC line voltage selection, so the user does not have to worry about manually selecting input voltage.

Like many modular power supplies in the market today, the PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 1200W is not a fully modular power supply. This means most cables are detachable from the main unit, but cables including the ATX 24-pin, two ATX 4+4-pin, and two PCIe 6+2 pin connectors are permanently fixed. Of course, having two ATX 4+4-pin is largely redundant for 99% of the users out there, so I think having at least one of them modular as a modular cable is probably a much better choice. The advantage is you will suffer from lower electrical loss at the contacts for permanently fixed cables, but the disadvantage is you will need to deal with a little inconvenience during your initial build. That said, I am not a big fan of fixed PCIe cables. Sure, most people who own a 1200W PSU probably has a pretty demanding graphics card, if not several -- but this is not always the case. Again, it brings back to the question: How many fixed cables can we tolerate in a modular power supply? At best, this is a semi-modular design.

The rear cable connection panel is done nicely. In fact, it is very unique looking with its round sockets. Although they are not labeled, incompatible outputs will not physically fit into each other, so you will not need to worry about frying anything. However, I think PC Power & Cooling can do a better job than to let its users trial-and-error cables during their initial build by actually labeling them. With that in mind, this simple array of available connectors based on the number of included cables should be more than sufficient for all intended users.

The external build quality of PC Power & Cooling's Silencer Mk III power supply is solid -- a good indication the company is serious about the product they are selling. We will take it apart in just a moment. Fit is done well with minimal panel gaps, and edges are generally nicely finished off. The level of refinement with regards to the external build quality is better than average compared to other PSUs I have used in the past. We will crack open this power supply to see what's inside in the following section.

The voltage specification label at the top of the PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 1200W. There are three main virtual rails. Up to 20A can be delivered via the +3.3V rail for a total of 66W; while 20A on the +5V rail brings the output to 100W in this area. The total combined output for the +3.3V and +5V rail is 100W. In other words, your power allocation combination must fall within the limits of the listed specifications. Meanwhile, a single powerful +12V rail delivers up to 99.5A (1194W) to reduce operating overhead compared to multiple +12V rails. Overall, the combined power output for the whole Silencer Mk III is... well, 1200W haha. Again, your power distribution in your system must fall within the limits provided -- it must not exceed 66W on the +3.3V rail, 100W on the +5V rail and 100W combined for both, 1194W on the +12V rail, and 1200W combined between the +12V and +3.3/+5V rails. It does sound a bit confusing to understand how this works at first, but generally speaking, this configuration allows fairly flexible power demands and should be sufficient to accommodate most users. On the other hand, I have seen smaller PSUs with much more powerful +3.3V and +5V rail; I find this PSU to be especially weak in this area.

The PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 1200W is 80 Plus Platinum certified, unlike some of its smaller brothers in the lineup. This means that it is certified to be at least 90%, 92%, 89% efficient at 20%, 50%, and 100% load, respectively. There is no higher certification for 115V internal non-redundant power supplies at press time.

A total of eight modular cables are included out of the box, plus one floppy adapter. All modular cables are flat and easy to bend, making them extremely easy to work with. The ones permanently attached to the power supply unit are sleeved rather than flat. 16 AWG wires are found on the ATX 24-pin and permanently fixed PCIe cables only. Everything else is 18 AWG, which is standard, and to be expected.

The following non-modular cables are permanently attached to the power supply:

- 1x ATX 24-pin, 62.5cm
- 2x ATX 4+4-pin, 64.0cm
- 2x PCIe 6+2 pin, 58.0cm

The following modular cables are included out of the box:

- 4x PCIe 6+2 pin, 58.0cm
- 3x SATA, 4 connectors each, 40.0cm to first connector, 15.0cm spacing thereafter
- 1x Molex, 4 connectors, 40.0cm to first connector, 15.0cm spacing thereafter

These are just specified measurements from the manufacturer. Most users should have no problems with PC Power & Cooling's Silencer Mk III 1200W, even if your case has a bottom power supply mount. 50cm is the general standard, and this power supply easily exceeded this recommendation by a considerable amount.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Minor Tests and Conclusion