SilentiumPC Elementum E1 SI-350 (SPC124) review

Conclusion and evaluation

The  SilentiumPC Elementum E1 SI-350 (SPC124) did not pass the combined and crossload testing in accordance with the ATX specification, so according to my evaluation methodology, it is not deserving of an evaluation. Compared to most other budget units we have seen so far, this is not any obsolete crap, but modern forward topology with active PFC. It was able to provide full rated power and also has quite reasonable efficiency on top of that (without certification though). But as it is cheap, there are many corners cut even over the original CWT GPA design.

It is expected that such unit has somewhat cheaped-out cabling, very cheap c(r)apacitors (though there is a single quality one on the stand-by rail, which is a good move) and it wil not be the best performer. Well, it actually had quite nice ripple suppression and the voltage regulation under combined loading was good. But crossloading should still get some improvement to comply with ATX specification. And also the hold-up time is very short because of small bulk capacitor. So short actually that I can not let such unit pass even with my much less strict criteria for low-end and definitelly not over my own absolute minimum of 10 ms. After putting 330μF capacitor in the unit, I achieved another more than 6 ms of hold-up time, such result than at least complies with my minimum of 14 ms for low-end.

It is actually quite interesting that SilentiumPC may not even be aware of such problems. They state the unit has almost full sets of protections, but as the unit lacks full-sized secondary supervisor over just a short, 8pin one, the over-current protections clearly could not work. And those which could work still do not seem to be. Other potential problem is that as the units fan only spins at about 1200 RPM, it is reasonably silent, but the unit is achieving high temperatures even just with full load. Add some harsh cooling conditions and you get overheating which those cheap capacitors won’t survive for long.


Pros + cheap
+ modern topology with good efficiency
+ quality capacitor on stand-by rail
+ provides rated power
+ good ripple suppression
+ silent
Cons OCP not working
OPP not working
UVP not working
bad capacitors
cheaped SATA connectors
bad crossload voltage regulation
too short hold-up time
runs hot at full power output
Be aware of… /?\ 


I thank the SilentiumPC company for providing the SilentiumPC Elementum E1 SI-350 (SPC124) unit.


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