Silentmaxx Fanless 400W PSU Review - Initial testing and setting up the test
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First, I wanted to see if this PSU will even run. The light load testbed for this was an HP Slot 1 motherboard hosting a Pentium II 350MHz processor, and a 4GB hard drive.
This has been a working system, and I just removed the existing ATX power supply and installed the Silentmaxx. The motherboard powered up fine, but not the hard drive. A quick test with the digital multimeter (DMM) confirms that the 5vdc rail was sitting too low, at 4.2vdc.
A quick email to QuietPC was all it took to get a new PSU shipped out to me with a return label for the defective one. In four days, we were ready to take another shot at it. The people at QuietPC were friendly and eager to help me out with my problem. They rely on word-of-mouth referrals and customer service, and in that matter I can not complain. They shipped me a replacement PSU fresh off the delivery truck and included a postage-paid return label.
I discovered later on that my initial test-setup did not have enough of a load on the 5v rail for the Silentmaxx PSU to work. I had to add a second hard drive to get it to work.
I added a moderate load: P4 1.5Ghz with 512MB RAM, Radeon 7000 video card, two PATA drives and one CDRW. The power supply was very stable, with 5.05vdc, 12.12vdc, 12.11 and 3.36vdc on the 5, 12v1, 12v2, and 3.3v rails, respectively. After four hours running, the voltages remained the same. The PSU got warm, and that's it. This was an uncased machine running FAH504-Console.exe (Folding at Home) at 100% CPU usage.
The Real Test
Our high-load test bed is an MSI Nforce4 Neo4-f motherboard hosting an Athlon 3000+ overclocked to 2GHz with 1GB of dual-channeled DDR RAM, one Parallel ATA drive, one SATA drive, and one DVD-RW. It's enclosed in an unmodified mid-tower case with dual 80mm front intakes, one 60mm exhaust plus the PSU fan (on the default PSU). Normally, this machine has two 80mm intake fans, but one recently died and was left shut off during the first phase of testing. Also, the side panel vent holes were covered (magnetic sign stuck to the panel). This is one hot box. The 22% overclocked processor is running Windows XP Pro with a stock heatsink fan (HSF) assembly and the aforementioned Folding at Home client running as a service to maintain processor load at 100%.
Simulated computer loading and heat generation tests were accomplished with the following simultaneous activities: streaming video off the internet (a graphics-intensive anime music video), performing a background virus scan of all drives and folders using Avast! antivirus software, copying the contents of a CDROM to hard drive.
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