Product Category

What is a Capacitor? Why is it Important?

A capacitor is a component that stores electrical energy with a pair of metal plates separated by a non-conductive substance (dielectric). Charging the capacitor requires electrical charges of opposing polarity on each plate. The storage capacity (capacitance) depends on the size of the capacitor and is stored in units of farads.

Uses of a Capacitor
  • Much quicker discharge when compared to a battery.
  • Act as electronic filter to between high and low frequency signals.
  • Block DC voltage by restricting current flow once the capacitor is charged. However, AC signal continues to flow through a capacitor.
Capacitors are categorized based on the following:

Type Thermal Conductivity Application
Pro Con
* High Frequency
* High Compressive Resistant
* Size too large * Monitor
* High frequency Telecom Equipment
* High voltage range * Replace by Polystyrene Capacitors * Special Usage
* High Heat-Resistant * Low capacitance * Motherboard
* Telecom Product
* Monitor
* High Heat & Compressive Resistant * Rare Raw Material
* Expensive
* Size too large
* Special usage
* High Temperature Range
* High Static Capacity
* Temperature will impact the capacitance Bad Performance under high frequency

* Life is Limited
* Power Supply
* Motherboard
* Monitor
* Stable Capacitance
* Low leakage
* Low Temperature Interference
* High Polluted
* Expensive
* Monitor
* Motherboard

Capacitors used in PSU are "electrolytic capacitors" which uses two types of materials - "Liquid" and "Solid". The advantage of Solid Capacitor is better noise filtering. Traditional "liquid type" capacitors' are limited by temperature (85 ℃) whereas the "solid type" can tolerate up to 200 ℃. Cooler Master carefully selects the most appropriate combination of solid and liquid capacitors to accommodate intense temperature changes as a result of voltage input in all our power supplies.
  • High quality Japanese AC capacitor => high reliable & input voltage stability
  • High quality Taiwanese DC capacitor => output voltage stability
  • High quality solid capacity => output voltage stability & minimize voltage noise

Why Power Efficiency?

Power efficiency is calculated based on the ratio between AC input and DC output of the power supply. With improved power transfer, the efficiency level is increased. This can be achieved with a good circuitry design and quality components.

Improving Quality of Power Transfer
With PFC (Power Factor Correction), a power supply is able to reduce the current and stress levels on the various components in the power unit.

Heat Reduction of the Power Supply
A cool-running power supply means less risk of overheating your computer system. The end result is prolonging the usage of the computing system.

Quiet Running
If the power supply takes longer to heat up, it means the intelligent fan is turned on less often, thereby minimizing computer noise.

Why are Heat-Sinks Important for Power Supplies?

Discussions over heat-sinks are usually reserved for coolers, but in actual fact, a good heat-sink also makes the world of a difference for power supplies. This is because it helps your power supply to run at cooler temperatures, meaning less strain on the components, pro-longing the life of your unit. At the same time, the fan within works less, resulting in a quieter unit. Cooler Master’s expertise in coolers has been incorporated into our own power supplies. Here are a few things that we’ve considered to unlocking the mystery of a cooler-quieter power supply.

Surface Area - It's at the surface of the heat sink where the heat transfer takes place, therefore, the larger the surface area, the more capable it is to rid of heat.

Flat Contact - The heat sink has to be flat and in perfect contact with the heat source in order to maximize heat transfer.

Aerodynamics - Heat sinks need to be designed so that hot air can easily and quickly pass through the cooler and reach the cool fins.
Cooler Master has done well to have the most efficient design what takes into account of the placement of the fins and allocation of heat-pipes.

Material - Each material has its own strengths, Cooler Master uses a combination of aluminum and copper to gives us the best combination of * thermal conductivity and * specific heat capacity and cost. The area in contact with the heat source is made of copper, which helps lead the heat away to the outer parts of the heat sink. The aluminum fin then releases the heat into the air.

* Thermal Conductivity indicates the ability to conduct heat (higher is better).
* Heat Capacity measures the heat energy required to increase the temperature to a certain interval (higher is better).

  Thermal Conductivity Specific Heat Capacity
Diamond 900 W/mK 519 CJ/kg·K
Gold 318 W/mK 129 CJ/kg·K
Silver 429 W/mK 233 CJ/kg·K
Copper 401 W/mK 326 CJ/kg·K
Aluminum 205 W/mK 897 CJ/kg·K
Lead 35.3 W/mK 127 CJ/kg·K
Alloys Lower than pure material Lower than pure material

Silent Pro M Series is the first of a long line of power supplies from Cooler Master that utilizes this patented heat-sink design.

What's all this Talk about Protection?

A power supply is the sole energy source for a computer system, keeping all the components well powered up. It becomes critical to have precautionary measures to protect the components from any power abnormalities.

Cooler Master power supplies are designed with these concepts in mind to keep everything running in a powerful yet stable environment. In particular, our Power Failure Indicator with Automatic Shut-Off are activated if OVP / OCP / OPP / SCP / UVP / OTP occurs. We also have circuitry such as Soft-Start Circuit to limit the inrush current to protect components against excessive wear-and-tear.

OVP (Over Voltage Protection):
OVP prevents the damaging impact of excessive output voltage by shutting down the power unit.

UVP (Under Voltage Protection):
UVP ensures a constant flow of power to keep your components at their max performance.

OCP (Over Current Protection):
OCP restricts excess output current to the computer system and power supply itself.

SCP (Short Circuit Protection):
SCP prevents any “rush back” of voltage that may cause harm to the power supply and other components.

OPP (Over Power Protection):
OPP safeguards the power supply from any overload, preventing over exposure to extreme power conditions.

OTP (Over Temperature Protection):
OTP automatically shuts down the power supply if the system overheats. This helps protect the power supply duration from any possible damage.

All About Power Factor Correction (PFC)

Power factor is the ratio of actual power (active: S) to total power consumed (apparent: P) or Apparent Power (P) / Active Power (S) – value is between 0 and 1.

PFC allows power supplies to level-out current peak levels to create a more even distribution of power, which also means more effective power conversion. This slso results in reducing stress on neutrals and transformers. There are two types of PFC - Active PFC and Passive PFC.

Passive vs. Active PFC

Passive Power Factor Correction (Passive PFC) uses a filter to control the apparent power, however it may not be the most efficient method. This is done by using an inductor, capacitor circuitry inductance, to control the harmonic current (red wave) and only allow currents to pass at a pre-determined frequency (e.g. 50 or 60 Hz). The power factor improvement with passive PFC is usually around 75%~80%.

Active Power Factor Correction (Active PFC) uses a circuitry to correct the amount of power drawn to obtain the best ratio of power factor. The circuit also reduces total harmonics and correction for AC input voltages. It is the preferred PFC of choice as it produces a more efficient power frequency, as compared to no PFC or Passive PFC. Active PFC can theoretically produce a power factor of over 95%.

Quick points on benefit of PFC
  • Allow more power units to be operated on the same “bandwidth”.
  • Save cost on power distribution system
  • Conserve energy
Active PFC is included in the following Cooler Master power supplies series:

Real Power Pro / Real Power M series
Silent Pro M series
UCP series with up to 0.99 PF.

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