Introduction, Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Last month we looked at the Cooler Master Silent Pro Hybrid 1300W power supply and were very pleased by what it had to offer. In fact, we liked it so much that we wanted to see just what its little brother, a 1200 watt model had to offer.
Little is such a relative term here as the unit we're going to look at today is still capable of 1200W. Cooler Master set the bar really high with the Hybrid 1300W and this new 1200 watt model has a lot to live up to.
Today's review is of the Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 1200W. It still boasts the same quad-GPU support, 80Plus Gold efficiency and more power for your PC than your nearest thee neighbors combined can use. It does drop a few of the features though. This model isn't fully modular, doesn't include the integrated fan controller and has a few less connectors available.
The lack of the above items make the unit feel like a little bit more of a "normal" power supply. At the same time though, by reducing the number of features Cooler Master was able to reduce the cost of ownership.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Cooler Master chose to utilize a single 12V rail on the Silent Pro Gold 1200 power supply and it is capable of 98A of power! This isn't quite the full capacity of the power supply, but very close. The 3.3V rail is rated for 22A while the 5V rail is rated for a tad more at 25A. Both combined are capable of 150W. The 5VSB rail is rated for 3 amps. This is almost identical to what is offered by the Hybrid 1300W unit that we liked so much last month.
Once again, Cooler Master misses the full line of checks by just a tiny bit. Protections a plenty, this unit has all that you can ask for. All of the native cables are fully sleeved and all modular cables are of the flat ribbon type. The unit is rated for 80Plus Gold efficiency, but stops just short of filling out the list as it isn't rated for 100% continuous output at 50C. Instead, the unit is rated for 100% continuous output at 40C. Close, but not quite.
Cooler Master has the Silent Pro Gold 1200W for sale direct from their website for $279.99. Fortunately it can be had for much cheaper elsewhere. Tiger Direct comes in cheapest once again for Cooler Master with a price of $194.99 after a $20 MIR and free shipping. As long as you can score it for the rebate price, it is a very attractive offering. Cooler Master gives the Silent Pro Gold 1200W unit their customary five year warranty.
Cooler Master tries to get the gold point across with the packaging and they succeed. Unfortunately other than the wattage and 80Plus Gold logo, there is little to go by on the front of the box.
The back presents us with quite a bit more information including a full list of specs, noise and efficiency graphs and some features.
The top of the box is similar to the front, but we do find that the unit has a five year warranty here and the bottom is entirely blank.
This side simply directs you to their website for more information.
The other side keeps you guessing as to what the unit looks like as there isn't anything here either.
Inside the Box
Opening things up, we get a bit more of a tease as we still haven't caught a shot of the unit. It is very well packed on all sides.
Pulling the unit out of the box, we find that the I/O specification label can be found on the top.
The Silent Pro Gold logo can be found on one side of the power supply.
The other side also displays the SPG logo. This one is inverted in case you are installing the power supply in the bottom of a case instead of the top.
The back has your standard honeycomb mesh vent with AC input and on/off rocker switch.
As this unit is not fully hybrid, there are only a handful of modular connections here. It makes sense that there are so few as when you are looking at a power supply of this wattage, you generally have an intention of putting almost everything that have natively wired to good use.
Moving to the bottom we find the 135mm fan that cools the Silent Pro Gold 1200W PSU. A little bit of a custom touch is added with the gold colored fan grill.
All modular cables are of the flat ribbon type.
Rounding out the package contents are the user manual, warranty card, AC power cord and mounting screws.
Cabling Arrangement and A Look Inside
Once again, we find a nearly flawless selection of cables with what Cooler Master offers.
There are still enough PCI-E connectors to run quad video cards, four of which are natively wired. Peripheral connections are handled by nine SATA, four Molex and one FDD connector. Unfortunately the FDD connector is still part of the second Molex cable. Rounding off the selection of cables are the dual ATX 4+4 and 20+4 pin connectors that are natively wired.
Rail distribution is as simple as it gets with a single 12V rail.
A Look Inside
Passive cooling is provided by Cooler Master's patented "L" shaped heatsink layout that is designed to improve the air circulation inside the unit.
A pair of Japanese made Panasonic capacitors adorns the primary side of the power supply.
Nippon Chemi-Con capacitors can be found on the secondary side of the PSU.[img]24[img]
Cooler Master uses the Young Lin Tech DFS132512H 135mm fan to cool the unit should it need to kick the fan on.
Test Results and Final Thoughts
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 lower than that of the Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 1200W PSU, we can only test it to 1000W.
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 with a total drop of .12V from start to finish. The 5V rail also stayed within 2% voltage regulation and displayed a total drop of .10V. Moving towards the 3.3V rail, we see that regulation was again within 2% with a total voltage drop of .06V.
DC output quality was excellent from start to finish. Starting out, we were able to see a ripple on the scope during Test 1 where we measured noise at a low 16mV peak to peak. This steadily increased as the loads also increased. By the time we had reached around 50% load, the unit ripple had crept up to 24mV. Under Test 6, we saw that the noise on the 12V rail had crept up to 27mV. This is representative of 83% of the total output of this power supply.
The Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 1200W PSU is rated for 80Plus 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 Silent Pro Gold had no trouble achieving this while on our test bench.
It is very apparent that this unit speaks for itself. Cooler Master offers up yet another feature packed power supply that enthusiasts are sure to enjoy. Build quality is exceptional and performance is nearly phenomenal. Once again, we really have to nitpick to find things that aren't perfect.
The unit performs very well all the way around and is nearly identical to what we saw from the Silent Pro Hybrid 1300W unit. Voltage regulation was great and this unit offers one of the most stable 12V rails we have ever seen. DC output quality was amazing and barely changed from Test 1 through Test 6. Efficiency for the unit was also right where it should be. Even though we weren't able to test the unit to full load, we have absolutely no reason to believe that the unit would have come even close to failing in any of our tests.
Short of the test results not being 100% perfect, the only real complaint we have with the Silent Pro Gold 1200W is that the FDD connector is forced upon us with one of the modular cables and not included as an adapter. When you have to go that far to find something to fault a unit, it almost feels as if you are digging into a personal preference, but that isn't the case. We are fairly certain that less than five percent of individuals who purchase this unit will need the FDD connector and of those, they would all be very happy to see the connector included as an adapter.
After going through all of this, it is very easy to realize that the Silent Pro Gold 1200W is simply a Silent Pro Hybrid with a few of the features stripped from it. That leaves us asking ourselves, "what do you get when you strip some of frills from an over-the-top enthusiast power supply, keep the performance and offer it for $60 less than the original?"
You get a power supply that represents the pure need of enthusiasts. Pure performance. Pure quality. Pure excellence. Keep up the great work, Cooler Master!
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