Power, without it your hardcore gaming rig is little more than a pile of very cool looking bunch of wires, metal and plastic and it definitely wont be winning you any awards. For most, the power supply to your PC is a necessary component but besides the wattage, we really never take the time to consider this piece of equipment. Oddly enough Ive been working with PCs since 1991 and Im guilty of being one of those people who only considered the wattage and little more when it came to my power needs… that is until last week.
Ive been happily pushing a 750 Watt PSU and things moved along just fine but after a trip out to PAX I moved my rig up to a new video card and thats when things started getting messy. Long story short, it turned out that my newly crashing machine was due to a power issue. Now, many PC owners who piece together and upgrade on their own (not the high end crazy stuff but more normal building) tend to look for the right power plug ends for what they need to do and rarely if ever consider how much power is getting drawn from each rail. See, that’s when I realized most of your standard PSU’s are dual rail! Yup, I had more power getting pulled off one rail than the other and it was causing the crash. In the short term I did a little work and split the power across both rails on my old PSU and was able to limp around but it really made me stop and think differently about how I buy and use a power supply.
Enter Cooler Master… since I was working on a project on the video card side I was introduced to Cooler Master who quickly put a new Silent Pro Gold 1200w power supply in my hands to solve my power requirements and inadvertently educate me.
The Silent Pro Gold is a SINGLE rail device which means I can blissfully go back to looking for a connector and not looking where the power was drawing from. Of course at 1200w you’re thinking you don’t put much thought into the amount you need unless I ‘really’ ramp up power consumption.
The next thing you’d think is that such a high power unit would likely feel like you were living under Catapult 1 on the U.S.S. John C. Stennisduring an all night sortie strike package, but you’d be wrong. Silent isn’t just a nice name to get your money, but the truth. In fact, I swear that I had at least one moment where I had to pop the side and check if the fan was actually running or if I was waiting for the melt down. I can truthfully admit that I really wasnt aware of how much overall noise my power supply contributed to the total noise of my computer. I was flat shocked at the difference and if you work around computers all day, you’re going to notice when you fire up and wonder where your ipod is because its TOO quiet now.
With more powerful items comes more and more wires as power hungry items fill the space. Air flow is always an issue and lets face it, if the insides look good when you look through the case window, thats not a bad deal either. To maximize air flow and to keep things clean, the SPG 1200w offers the base connections hardwired to the rail and then a number of cables in a very easy to manage and store case that will allow you to only use the extras you need and store the rest that you don’t. Save your twist ties and zip ties for something else, you wont need them here.
If you’re ever changed out a power supply before, then you’ll find that this one is as easy as any you’ve worked with. Solid construction, standard screw locations and plenty of length on the hardwires to get around to all the various places you need to reach. Even that hard to reach case fan.
On the value side you’re going to get your dollars worth here but you’re going to spend a few more than you might be used to. The 1200 will give you a lot of room to spend your future dollars on other parts though and comfortably move without thought of your power needs. Unless your rig is really drawing off the grid you might favor a lower wattage but after running Cooler Master, I would easily recommend the lower wattage versions of the Silent Pro Gold to conform to your power needs and your wallet size.
When you get into a power supply you want it to be easy to install and provide you with all the connections you need. This unit does that AND then adds near silent operation and modular cable design. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this PSU for your next gaming rig or your next upgrade.