Our load tests utilize a couple of FAST ATE active load testers and a variety of other equipment such as an oscilloscope, power conditioner, temperature probe and a power consumption meter. You can read more about our standard testing approach here.
The tests performed are based around six conceivable setups that are out there and progressively load down the PSU up to the power supply's limits or 1000W, whichever comes first. Since our test equipment's limits are higher than that of the PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 600W, we can test it to the maximum.
Voltage regulation for the PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III faired rather well from start to finish. The 12V rail managed to stay within 2% with a high of 12.18V and a low of 11.98V. The 3.3V rail didn't quite do as well, but was close with 3% regulation, starting at 3.35V and ending at 3.28V. Finally, we have the 5V rail which came in at 3% regulation as well. The 5V railed started out with a reading of 5.02V and dropped down to 11.98V under full load.
DC output quality was fantastic for the Silencer Mk III 600W power supply. It started off with a barely discernible 9mV of ripple on the 12V rail in Test 1. At about 50% load, this had increased to 11mV peak to peak in Test 2. Upping the loads some more, we saw that the ripple increased to 19mV at around 94% load. Upping things to 600W, we saw a final reading of 23mV on the oscilloscope.
The PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 600W carries an 80Plus Bronze certification with it. This means that it must be 82%/85%/82% efficient at 20%/50%/100% loads respectively. Things started off great during the first test and we had hopes of being right on the bubble for Silver efficiency through the rest of the tests. Test 2 shot that out of the water as efficiency didn't increase much, but does show that the unit is right where it should be and still passes. Under full load we see that the unit is well above the 82% minimum required for the rating.
Every now and then a unit comes across our desks that reminds us that it isn't always about the most expensive, highest end hardware that money can buy and that there is a very large group of enthusiasts that have to cut a few corners here and there to afford some higher end parts elsewhere. When you constantly have units in your hands that run upwards of $200 and put out 1000W or more, it is easy to lose touch with reality a little bit as to what the budget enthusiast really needs and can afford. The PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 600W power supply is one of those units and it deserves plenty of praise on many levels.
The unit is very well built inside and out and PC Power & Cooling backs it by a great 5 year warranty which is almost the best in the business. Performance is great all the way around, even before you figure in the price. Voltage regulation is solid from start to finish with nothing being worse than 3%. DC output quality is fantastic and stayed under 25mV even under full load. Even the efficiency is good for an 80Plus Bronze rated power supply.
Once you factor in the price, the PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk III 600W becomes a clear winner. At an MSRP of $89.99 the unit is already a steal and if you factor in the $20 mail-in rebate it becomes a phenomenal buy. You'd have to be crazy to turn down the Silencer Mk III 600W unless there was something lacking from the cabling arrangement that didn't suit your specific needs.