Coolmax Taurus CF-300 Fanless ATX PSU

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BASICS

The Coolmax Taurus CF-300 comes in a standard size box with two somewhat unusual accouterment:

* A 20-pin ATX plug to 24-pin plug adapter: The recently released ATX12V V2.0 PSU Design Guide calls for 2 x 12 pin output to support 75 watt PCI Express requirements. Presumably, the adapter is supplied for use with a PCI Express motherboard. Or with a dual-CPU server board (which is less likely given the modest 300W rating).

* A dual-12V to quad-12V plug adapter. Used for dual-CPU server boards or any boards that call for EPS12V PSUs.

Surprisingly, there is no manual or user's guide. Given the special attention that I think a fanless PSU needs for proper use, this strikes me as a lack of customer care.

You've seen the angled perspective view on the previous page; here's a square on view from the back.


The power switch, voltage selector switch and AC input socket are on the slot-vented back panel. It has vents on the back so air can flow through it. The top panel has no vents...


...but all the other panels have slotted vents.

COOLMAX APPROACH to FANLESS COOLING

The vent slots on five surfaces indicate the approach to cooling taken here:

We don't have an integral fan, but there is bound to be some airflow in the PC case, so we'll take every opportunity to make sure that that airflow can go through the PSU.

It is a reasonable approach. Hot air in a typical tower case will rise to the top, and it will pass through the ventilation slots on the bottom, back and sides of the CF-300. How easily it flows OUT the back vent slots will depend on how much air is flowing into the case. A positive pressure case, one in where there is more incoming forced air than outgoing, is probably be best for this PSU.

This approach is quite different from that used by the proSilence 350, which has a sealed back and a set of large heatsink fins on the outside. The approach there is to allow the PSU heat to be transferred out by conduction through the heatsinks, and then air-cooled by convention via the external fins. It provides no way for rising heat in the case to escape, however, which means hot air tends to collect at the top of the case.

In contrast, the Coolmax CF-300 allows an evacuation path for not only the PSU heat but also the rising hot air in the system. At least in theory, it has an advantage over the proSilence cooling approach, as it attempts to take advantage of natural convection.

Of course, bear in mind that the air that will pass through the Coolmax CF-300 will always be warm, which will certainly limit its cooling potential. Depending on just how hot the components get and how high the ambient temperature is, it might not even be much of a benefit.

CONNECTORS - There are 7 wire sets:

  • 2 - 32" long, each with two 4-pin IDE drive connectors and 1 floppy drive connector
  • 1 - 26" long, with two 4-pin IDE drive connectors
  • 1 - 20" long, with main 20-pin ATX connector
  • 1 - 20" long, for 12V (P4) connector
  • 1 - 20" long, for 3.3V connector
  • 1 - 20" long, for single SATA drive connector

The ~5 lb. weight of the CF-300 is high but not as heavy as the proSilence 350 with its large external heatsink and heavy steel casing.



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