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Silence is golden

Product : QuietPC Silent power supply unit
# Price : 54.00
Available from : QuietPC
Discuss this review in our forums

When people think power supply units they are usually thinking of replacing their current one because it has died, rather than upgrading to one. Let's face it, the power supply unit (PSU from now on) is hardly the first thing on our minds when we are playing a game of Quake 3 or working on a spreadsheet. However it is one of the most important components in the computer, and without a working PSU you would be hard pressed to get a computer to work.

PSUs are fitted with fans to improve ventilation and cool the case and the PSU itself down. However these fans make noise, and are usually the principle cause of the constant 'hmm' emitted from your computer. The noise produced is usually louder than that produced by the fans on your CPU cooler, and maybe a case fan held within the case itself. So why bother with noise levels? Well, if you are a university student and have a computer in your room then you will know that it is very hard to sleep with a constant noise in the background, if you listen to music and/or watch films on your computer, then you will want to get rid of the noise produced by the computer. Also within the home itself the noise of a machine is hardly the most warming thing in the world. QuietPC saw that there was a market in this and manufactured this, their silent PSU. Their silent power supply unit is there to reduce the noise produced by the fans and various other components in the unit itself.

So lets take a look at the specifications of the 300W Ultra quiet PSU from QuietPC.

Mains input 100-127 or 200-240 volts AC, 50-60Hz
Voltage selection Manually switched
Physical dimensions Standard ATX (86mm high, 150mm wide, 140mm deep)
Noise level Less than 26 dB(A)
Operating environment temperature 0C to 40C
Shipping / storage temperature -20C to 70C
Remote power on / off Yes
Mean Time Between Failure at full load More than 27,000 hours at 25C ambient
Power rating 230 / 250 / 300 watts (depending on model)
Short circuit protection Yes, on all outputs
Over voltage protection +3.3V, +5V, +12V > 130%
Power conversion efficiency More than 65%
Fan speed control Thermal
Number of hard drive / floppy drive power connectors 230W & 250W: 4 / 1, 300W: 5 / 2
Length of motherboard power connector cable 30cm (approx)
EMC CE / CNS / FCC / CISPR22
Safety CB, NEMKO, UL, SEMKO, CUL, DEMKO, TUV, VDE, FIMKO

Looks very impressive from here, the main feature we are concerned with here though is the fact that the PSU only produces 26 dB, which is note exactly silent but quiet enough so that you can't notice a computer is running. What is quite surprising it that they have experimental data to show various effects of having a low noise power supply unit. The document goes into depth with various graphs and test results.

Installation

Fitting or replacing your power supply unit is a very simple task, you simply unplug the cables the components they are connected to, and unscrew the unit itself, and replace it with your new PSU. However QuietPC has got a great installation guide on how to replace your existing unit with this unit (or infact any PSU). I never thought you could write so much on replacing a PSU until I read their article.

Results

The voltages were recorded using Motherboard Monitor.

+3.3v : 3.34v
+5.0v : 5.11v
-5.0v : -5.12v
+12.0v : 12.28v
-12.0v : -12.27v

We then compared it with the 300w ATX PSU made by UC. This unit is your bog standard 300w PSU. Obviously no two PSUs are the same so we just used it as a reference against the Silent PSU. The system itself was unchanged.

+3.3v : 3.36v
+5.0v : 5.0v
-5.0v : -5.24v
+12.0v : 12.46v
-12.0v : -12.60v

Conclusion

The QuietPC Silent PSU does the job it was built for very well. It' provides good, reliable power and the noise reduction is significant. The price of this tranquil environment is not very cheap, and this might lure people away from this quality product.

If you require the sound emitted by your computer to be reduced then this is the thing to get. It does a splendid job of quieting down your computer and provides good performance too. The price is rather high, when you consider a normal 300w PSU can cost half the price of this Silent model, however if you require near silence then it is hard to recommend anything else.