Silentmaxx Fanless 400W MX460-PFL01 power supply

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PHYSICAL BASICS

Most of the casing is made of a fine mesh that should allow air — and heat — to pass easily in and out of the power supply. The exact behavior of the airflow will depend on the system as a whole, but the casing is open enough that there should always be some airflow to remove heat. A system with no fans at all might prove to be a problem, but such systems are rarely feasible.


The exterior casing is open to the surrounding air...


...with the exception of the top panel, which must be solid enough to provide a base for the electronic circuitry.

In spite of the wide-open casing, the amount of space that is open to the air outside the system is actually quite limited. Most power supplies use a hexagonal mesh that covers almost all of the back panel, but the mesh on the back panel of the Silentmaxx is more restrictive and covers less space. It seems that most of the airflow around the internal heatsinks will come from the surrounding air inside the system. As with any other fanless power supply, the waste heat will need to be exhausted from the case in some way to avoid overheating.

INSIDE

While the exterior of the Silentmaxx was almost indistinguishable from the FSP Zen — only a slightly different shade of blue gave the difference away — there is an immediate visual difference when the cover is removed. Instead of the expected silvery aluminum heatsinks, the Silentmaxx' heatsinks are hot pink. The resulting pink-and-blue color scheme is quite garish, though it might be at home in a case full of blacklights and LEDs. Personally, I'm glad I don't have to look at it after it's been installed. It reminds me too much of a certain trend in skiwear that was popular in the early '90s.


The heatsinks are very... pink.

The color scheme isn't just for looks, though (thank goodness!). The pink finish comes from anodizing the aluminum to increase the amount of heat that it radiates. In a fanned power supply, this would have little effect, since the vast majority of the heat is removed via the process of forced convection. However, without airflow, that method of removing heat drops dramatically, making direct radiation a more significant factor in the amount of heat transferred by the heatsinks. Insignificant as it seems, changing the color of the heatsinks could be where Silentmaxx has managed to find some of those extra 100W of capacity.


Real men use pink heatsinks.

With the heatsinks removed, the Silentmaxx turns out to be a pretty conventional power supply. The usual transformers and coils are all present. There do seem to be far more MOSFETs than usual, grouped in clusters around the base of each heatsink. MOSFETs are often the most heat-sensitive components in a power supply, so it makes sense to have many operating in parallel to keep their individual temperatures at a minimum.


Nothing too unusual here...


...except for the numerous MOSFETs clustered around each heatsink.



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