Lian-Li Silent Force 750W Reviewpaulktreg - October 7, 2008
Category: Power Supplies
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If you are in the market for a new power supply then consider helping conserve the planet and its already stretched energy resources by choosing an energy efficient unit that meets the requirements of the 80 Plus program. Power supply efficiency is improving all the time and 80 Plus certification (usually) guarantees you a minimum 80% at all loadings.
For those of you unfamiliar with efficiency and how it is calculated, here’s a brief explanation. Power is measured in Watts (W), Voltage in Volts (V) and Current in Amps (A). Watts = Volts X Amps or W=V*I. (Strictly speaking it's w=v*i lower case. Why i for current? I guess it's because A is used for something to do with magnetic stuff in SI units. We digress). Power supplies are rated by the maximum DC output power available in Watts. This power is distributed across the 3V3, 5V, 12V, -12V and 5VSB. You will usually find all the information you need on the power supply specification label. Pay attention to the combined maximum powers for “groups” of rails. Your power supply may, for example, have 20A available on each of four 12V rails. That gives you (12X20x4=) 960W total available on the 12V rails right? Wrong! There will be a combined maximum limit that will be in the region of 600W to 700W for this example, so beware. The combination rule may also apply to the 3V3 & 5V0 rails, the 3V3, 5V & 12V rails and I have even seen maximum combined limits for the -12V & 5VSB rails, so read the specification label carefully. (This power supply specification label gives a fine example). My DC output power is found by measurement and will be a total of the individual V*I values for all connected rails to give us DC Watts Out. To get the DC output, the power supply needs to convert the AC input. If we know the AC supply voltage and the AC current drawn by the power supply (safest way to measure this would be to use the Kill-O-Watt meter or similar) then the AC input power in Watts=V*I. Efficiency is then calculated by dividing DC Power Out by AC Power In. Efficiency= DC Watts Out/AC Watts In. If you want the result as a percentage, simply multiply this value by 100.
This time around I am going to be testing an 80 Plus certified power supply from Lian-Li. Probably better known for their high quality PC cases, the Silent Force series is their latest offering in the enthusiast power supply market. The Silent Force power supply has three variants, 650W, 750W and 850W models. I will be looking at the 750W this time around.
The ever increasing demand of power users for high-end products and outstanding performance has initiated Lian Li to announce a new series of Power Supply Units (PSU) called the “SILENT Force”. Building from Lian Li’s reputation as an enthusiast brand catering to the ultimate tastes, the product features a 135mm ball-bearing fan, modular cable management, and Japanese Main Capacitors to ensure that the quality and standards, as well as durability of Lian Li products is as outstanding as our customers expect.
With clean and stable power driving your PC via the SILENT Force PSU and the multi 12V rails output and bead core protection for the PCI-e connectors, failsafe safety protections, and 80 Plus output all combine to give the SILENT Force PSU superior durability than anything else you are likely to get. SILENT Force PSU’s have today what PC power user’s need tomorrow!”
The Lian-Li Silent Force 750W power supply is packaged in a plain black box with a thin card sleeve for all the necessary information. I can only presume that the internal box is used across the range of power supplies with a different sleeve. The information is well laid out and unclutterd and all sides are gloss black except the back panel. The front gives you an obligatory power supply photograph, which I have to say is top quality and model and product name and the Lian-Li logo. The bottom left hand corner contains a sticker with the power supply wattage and model number which wraps around to the side to attach the sleeve and give you the same information on the side panel. The back of the power supply sleeve gives you the rather lengthy features list, the more information the better I say provided the layout remains tidy. On the left hand side we are treated to a series of icons depicting some of the major elements from the features list.
The side panel below gives you small photographs of all the power supply connectors and a table of the named connector types and quantities. A welcome addition on the top is the inclusion of a sturdy carrying handle.
The wrap around sticker on the left and an adhesive specification label on the right. The side panel also informs us that the power plug is suitable for the EU. I have to ask - why they didn't send me a UK version?
Lift the lid and the Silent Force 750W is neatly enclosed in foam. User manual in the side space along with a black canvas bag containing all the cabling resting on top of the hard wired power supply cables neatly tied with a wire wrap.
A sneak preview of the power supply along with the user manual and cable bag. The bag is on the large side and contains all the modular cables, power cord and a small plastic bag containg four mounting screws.
This is one of the best looking packages I've seen. The information is useful and well laid out and all the illustrations are top quality and informative. Let's hope the power supply performs to the same high standard.