High End Power Supply Roundup - Summer 2006

Cases & PSU/Power Supplies by thorgal @ 2006-09-11

Today?s computers desire more and more power, and that power has to be clean and stable. For those that want to push their computers a little above their specifications, these devices have become a deciding factor for reaching maximum performance. We have models from Silverstone, OCZ and Sharkoon on our testbed.

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Sharkoon Silentstorm 120

Sharkoon Silentstorm-120 700W

Madshrimps (c)

Upon receiving the box of this power supply I couldn't believe the size of it: it is absolutely huge (for a PSU). Whereas the OCZ box was quite tiny, this one's the complete opposite. After opening it, one is greeted with what I'd call the "Apple feeling" : the box is nicely divided in 3 compartments for cabling, accessories and the psu itself of course. The compartments are all covered by nicely labeled cardboard covers. Actually, though I'm not a "bigger is better" guy, for me this box was quite a relief. After the review was done I could just pack the PSU back the way it came in. Nice and clean.
More surprises when I got everything out of the box : the PSU is actually tiny...just as tiny as the OCZ so it seems. The dimensions of the two match exactly, and the likeness doesn't end there, as we'll see later on. The finish of the unit is a shiny brown-grey, very much like (if not the same as) the older OCZ power stream series. The PSU is cooled by a 120mm fan as well, but this time without the blue LED. Some people will be pleased with this sober fan, as it doesn't impact the color "arrangement" of your modded PC. The entire cable system is sleeved the same as the OCZ, and overall the finish of the PSU and the cabling is as excellent as its competitor.

Madshrimps (c)

Contents of the package : very complete to say the least

The contents of the retail package are very extensive:
  • Power supply
  • Set of screws
  • Set of thumbscrews (nice !)
  • Power cable
  • large number of cable binders
  • Manual

    Sharkoon didn't cut down on the accessories, that much is clear. The extra set of thumbscrews is a nice addition, and the cable binders are a necessity when dealing with a PSU with that many cables.

    Talking about the cabling, let's have a look at what Sharkoon has to offer us:
  • 20+4 pin motherboard connector
  • 4+4 pin "P4" and EPS connector
  • two 6-pin PCIe connectors
  • two cables with each 3 SATA connectors
  • two cables with each 3 Peripheral connectors and 1 Floppy connector.

    This is the exact same cabling layout as the OCZ from the previous page. What's more, the connector type and layout is also exactly the same. This can hardly be called a coincidence, can it? The range of cables is of course excellent, but I'm repeating myself. One thing I didn't mention yet is the special 4 pin peripheral Molex connector. OCZ and Sharkoon included a special clipping system that makes removing the connector out of a tight fitting much easier. At last the days are gone where I almost had to rip my hard drive, motherboard or graphics card to pieces trying to remove a connector. A very useful feature to say the least...

    Madshrimps (c)Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c)Madshrimps (c)

    Left to right (click to open) : top view, attached cables, open box, side view

    On the side of the PSU and in the manual we can find the base specifications:

    Max. DC Output 700W continuous
    Load Range
    combined +3.3 , +5V155W
    combined -12V, +5VSB 20W
    combined +3.3 , +5V, +12V680W

    Does anything seem familiar you when you see this table? It may come as no surprise that this is the exact same table as the OCZ GameXstream, except for the -12V rail which provides 0,3A more on the Sharkoon.

    Further specifications cannot be found in the manual, which is a shame. The manual does mention the protective functions (over voltage, short circuit and over current), provides some install instructions and contains the cable diagram of the different connectors.

    Looking on their website doesn't provide us with any more information. The Sharkoon website is definitely in need of an update anyway, as there is far too little information on their power supplies. The manual for the silent storm 120 is also missing (but is provided for the other psu series).

    Let's have a look on the next page whether the resemblance is really a coincidence ->

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