proSilence PCS-350 Fanless PSU

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June 25, 2003 -- by Mike Chin

Product proSilence Fanless PCS-350W power supply
Manufacturer Silentmaxx
Supplier Silicon Acoustics
MSP US$235

Fanless operation is the Holy Grail of silent computing, whether it's a heatsink, case or power supply. There have been a few fanless PSUs for PCs introduced in the last year or two. Some of them are listed on our Recommended PSUs pages and one has been reviewed in the context of John Coyle's Fanless (or not) system article. But none have been drop-in compatible with ATX form factor power supplies, and none have delivered enough power to be considered seriously by many computing enthusiasts. Silent Systems' (GMBH) proSilence PCS-350W introduced earlier this year broke new ground by being physically compatible with the ATX case / PSU form factor and by having a seemingly normal 350W power rating.

Silicon Acoustics, a web retailer dedicated to silent computing components, sells the proSilence PCS-350W. They kindly provided a review sample for SPCR to examine. The sample is a version 1.1, which has recently been displaced by version 1.2, which provides higher power output and offers a better power switch; my apologies to all about the undue length of time this review has taken to complete.

BASICS

The PSU comes in a long box considerably larger than usual.

As you can see below, the packing is good, and an instruction manual is provided. A copy of this can be downloaded from the manufacturer's site; or just click here for the English language PDF.

The sample came with the usual power cord and 4 mounting screws, which were already screwed into the mounting holes on the PSU. The bottom two screws are nonstandard; they are a bit bigger and have a different thread than the norm.

APPEARANCES

The most prominent and unusual features of this PSU are the bright blue glossy paint job and the large heatsink that protrudes on the back panel in place of the usual exhaust fan. The heatsink measures 4" by 1.5" by 2.5" and probably adds at least half a pound to the weight. The PSU is a fairly hefty unit, but it is not excessively heavy at over 5 lbs. For a PSU that is fanless, the vent slots seem a bit on the skimpy side, but there may be good reasons for this choice.

As shown in the photo directly above, the power switch and AC input socket are the only features on the back panel other than the heatsink One thing to note: Silicon Acoustics says:

The external heatsink requires a full size PSU case cutout. If your PSU cutout is restricted then you will need to trim the opening to allow for proper clearance. Restricted PSU cutouts are very common. Be psychologically prepared to make some modification to your case. It's worth it!

The sample is a 110V unit; there is no voltage change switch for 110-220V. A 220V version is also available.



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