Mini-Review: CoolerMaster Silent Pro M500 ATX Power Supply

April 27, 2009

CoolerMaster Silent Pro M500 ATX Power SupplyAs time marches on I find myself using my HTPC more and more and my other source equipment less and less. With that, I’ve wanted to address one of my systems biggest hardware shortcomings, the noise. Unlike off-the-shelf consumer electronics devices, HTPC’s aren’t necessarily as quiet as a DVD player, cable box or vacuum cleaner for that matter…

My HTPC has been a work in progress for two years now and recently I got the itch to wrap it up. I started off with a video card upgrade (I’m now running a GeForce 9400GT), another gigabyte of memory, and ultimately tackled the noisy power supply. Word to the wise, those of you building your first HTPC will feel inclined to skimp on certain components; it’s natural, I did it too. So take my advice, buy the quietest power supply you can the first time around, don’t skimp on parts that don’t need upgrading.

The CoolerMaster Silent Pro M500 is a 500 watt, single rail, ATX power supply with modular connectors, an 80 Plus rating and a 135mm low rpm fan. There was another somewhat unique feature with the M500, a pair of rubber rings designed to isolate the power supply from the case. A good idea in theory at least, I was unable to discern any real difference using the rings or not.

While the specs indicate a top-notch power supply, in the end, at least for our purposes (HTPC), there are really only two main criteria that need to be met. It needs to deliver adequate power and it needs to be quiet. The power requirements in most HTPC’s (a motherboard, cpu, video card and a hard drive in most cases) are far from stringent, I chose a 500watt unit but could have easily gotten away with less.

Getting down to the nitty gritty, yes the M500 was quieter than my old power supply (A Rhino 450w). Some 3-4db quieter, and while that might not sound like a lot, sometimes a few db’s can make the difference between distracting or tolerable or even quiet to inaudible.

Could my HTPC be quieter? Sure, I could have paid almost twice as much for the SilverStone Nightjar SST-ST45NF Fanless power supply, but as the nearest refrigerator’s background noise is already louder than the M500, I didn’t feel it was a worthwhile upgrade at this point (maybe another time). So as far as I’m concerned the hardware portion of the project is complete… now the fun part starts.



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under HTPC, Reviews


Comments

  • Brian Raymond Callahan

    The Silent Pro M500 is built with great quality, is incredibly stable and perhaps most important, it is silent or very quiet – with a certified 80+. It also has a modular cable management system and comes with Coolermaster's 5 years warranty. You can't beat the warranty. I put this to work about a month ago and couldn't be happier with the results.

    Brian R. Callahan
    Spartanburg, NC

  • B.Greenway

    Cheers Brian, yeah lovin mine it’s nice to have something quiet but also that has a fan when/if it does start to get hot.

  • B.Greenway

    Cheers Brian, yeah lovin mine it’s nice to have something quiet but also that has a fan when/if it does start to get hot.

  • Brian Raymond Callahan

    The Silent Pro M500 is built with great quality, is incredibly stable and perhaps most important, it is silent or very quiet – with a certified 80+. It also has a modular cable management system and comes with Coolermaster’s 5 years warranty. You can’t beat the warranty. I put this to work about a month ago and couldn’t be happier with the results.

    Brian R. Callahan
    Spartanburg, NC

  • Alan Roth

    Cool, I have a PC I was going to re-purpose for the theater room, I’ll mark this under quiet PSU’s

    Alan

  • Alan Roth

    Cool, I have a PC I was going to re-purpose for the theater room, I’ll mark this under quiet PSU’s

    Alan