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 850W power supply, we can test it to the maximum.
The above tests represent typical loads that we have measured from various systems and are meant to give a rough idea of where your computer might fall in line with our tests. Please keep in mind that each system is different and actual loads can vary greatly even with similar hardware.
Let's start by taking a look at the voltages to see how well this unit did during testing. Starting with the 12V rail, we see 2% regulation from start to finish with a total drop of .14V. The 5V rail managed to stay within 2% of specification with a total drop of .08V from start to finish. Moving towards the 3.3V rail, we see that regulation was within 3% of specification with a total voltage drop of .08V.
DC Output quality for the Silencer Mk III 850W was excellent and well within specification. During Test 1, we saw 15mV of noise on our scope. When we increased the loads in Test 3, the ripple climbed to 21mV at a little over half load. During Test 5 under a load of 850W, the oscilloscope showed a maximum of 33mv on noise on the 12Vrail.
The PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 850W is rated for 80 PLUS Gold efficiency. This means that the power supply must perform at 87%/90%/87% efficiency at 20%/50%/100% loads respectively. As you can see, the Silencer Mk III 850W passed on our bench, and wasn't close to failing at any point.
As we have seen from the past, the Silencer Mk III series of power supplies is a solid lineup. The problem until today is that it has been for those who were seeking entry level or full on enthusiast grade power supplies with nothing in between. The introduction of the Silencer Mk III 750W and 850W power supplies fills the void very nicely.
Looking at the power supply from a performance perspective, one can't argue that the Silencer Mk III produces solid results and provides just what power users and entry level enthusiasts seek. Voltage regulation is great all the way around, staying within 2% of specifications on both the 12V and 5V rails and barely stepping into 3% with the 3.3V rails. Ripple suppression is fantastic as well and never manages to go above 33mV at full load. The efficiency delivered is just as promised as well. While there may be more efficient models on the market, 80 PLUS Platinum units tend to run a bit more expensive, too.
It is nice to see that the issue of having such low output available on the 3.3V and 5V rails for the 1200W model has been addressed. We'd still like to see a few things addressed such as the lack of OTP and the fan mode switch being labeled, but no unit is completely perfect and these two issues are part of the drawbacks of the Silencer Mk III series.
Pricing for the Silencer Mk III 850W puts it very much in the middle of the pack for 80 PLUS Gold rated units which is right where this unit should sit. It is very much a strong jack of all trades and master of none. Aside from color, it doesn't have much that makes it stand out from what is on the market. That is both a curse and a blessing as it makes the choice even more difficult for the end-user, but more to choose from to suit their individual needs. Rest assured that if you do choose the PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 850W power supply, you won't be disappointed.