PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad PSU
Wednesday, 09 July 2008

side.jpgPC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad PSU

We take a look at PC Power & Cooling's high-end 750W PSU that not only keeps things running smoothly, but also does it without a lot of noise.

Manufacturer:
Price:
Before diving into our , perhaps a small history lesson is in order. are well known for manufacturing high-end power supplies as well as a host of related products. Here is a snip from their home page:

"Over the last 22 years, has produced many innovative products including: the first CPU cooler, the first PC heat alarm, the first independently-regulated PC power supply, the first redundant power system, the first NVIDIA-certified SLI supply, the first One Kilowatt computer power supply, and the first power supply with its own certified test report (Turbo-Cool 1KW)."

I would imagine many of our readers are aware of PC Power & Cooling given their long history and respect within the enthusiast community. I would also guess some of our readers know, as well as some who do not know, the are part of the group. Development is still kept in-house but OCZ's distribution muscle will further expose products to a wider audience.

 

 

box box

Hence, the name of the product is actually PC Power & Cooling Silencer, though in retail you may find it labeled as the OCZ Technology Silencer. For the purposes of this review, we will refer to the PSU as the former.

The retail box is well put together, with the power supply and accessories securely stored inside. There isn't anything particularly spectacular about the artwork, but since it's "only a PSU", I'll look over that. The box contains some product information which will assist potential buyers in making a decision. Some of the key features pointed out on the box are SLI certification, high efficiency (80 Plus), 8-pin PCI-E, low noise, and 5-year warranty. We'll cover the additional features in a few moments.

box

Other than the PSU, the rest of the package is rather sparse. There is a small folded cardboard sheet outlining installation (very basic) and warranty information. I would have liked to have seen a spec sheet or booklet covering some of the PSU's features in more detail. There are four installation screws, a power cable and a print out of PC Power & Cooling's internal test results. This is a nice touch as each PSU is QA tested and signed off before shipping.

The PC Power & Cooling Silencer is a matte black, though other colours are available. One of the first things that caught my attention is the weight. This is easily the heaviest PSU I have ever had the chance to work with. 

interior

Much of the weight is attributed to the large heatsinks that take care of the circuitry's cooling requirements. All of the capacitors are Japanese made and are of very high quality.

interior

As some of you may have heard, one informal and completely unscientific way of gauging a PSU's quality is the weight. The heavier the better. I have seen some instances where this is not the case, so we'll reserve judgment until further testing.

Unlike some performance PSUs, the PC Power & Cooling Silencer is devoid of any 120mm bottom fan. The only fan present on the PSU is the rear exhaust.

As you might imagine, the name "Silencer" implies that the PC Power & Cooling Silencer is designed to generate very little noise, and thus explaining why there is only one fan. PC Power & Cooling rates the Silencer up to 10dB less noise per Watt compared to similar power rated units. 

There is an automatic fan speed control circuit that will scale back the fan depending on the internal PSU temperature. While one fan is quieter than having two, as the temperature increases, the fan speed must as well. This will result in a fan working very hard, or in other words, spinning at very high RPMs to control the heat. Being that an 80mm fan needs to spin faster than a 120mm fan to move the same amount of air, the noise levels can get very high when under load.

The PC Power & Cooling Silencer measures 7" in length, slightly longer than some PSUs we've worked with. I happen to own fair large mid-towers, so the Silencer fit without any issues, but those of you with small cases should double check.

The cables route out of the PSU, neatly secured with a zip tie.

 

There are some additional ventilation holes for intake purposes.

 

All of the cables are braided.

While this does not do anything for performance, it does make the cables more presentable and actually cleaner and easier to route as loose wiring will not snag inside the case.

There are a plethora of connections which should cover any setup found in a desktop PC.

The longest cables are close to two feet in length, so I don't foresee any issues with power connections not being long enough.

   

Some video cards require 8-pin PCI-E power connections. These power connections allow flexibility in choosing between 6 or 8.

Testing

We put together a couple systems to test the PSU. Both are Intel based, but built completely differently. The first is an E6750 based HTPC that I designed to be power efficient. The total power draw is 294W under full load. The second system I cobbled together borrowing as much hardware as I could from Hubert. This is a Quad SLI system running an Intel 840 Extreme Edition. Why an older CPU? The older Pentiums were notorious for not being power efficient. The total draw for this setup is 712W under load.

I wasn't able to put together anything that could max out the full load of the Silencer, which is rated at 750W continuous at 40C, 825W peak. On that note, the internal system temperature of the E6750 was a cool 32C while the 840 EE was a very balmy 46C.

The comparison PSU will be a Cooler Master iGreen 600W. Voltages were monitored with ABRA DM-9700 multimeter. System was loaded up by running a batch 3DMark benchmark, along with a system defrag, virus scan and spyware scan using MS Defender. I also taped a coffee filter over the rear exhaust for the case and PSU. This won't block airflow but it will increase the temperatures. For the actual cooling of the CPU, we setup a Asetek WaterChill at high speed.

E6750, Gigabyte X48, ATI X2600, 2GB Corsair XMS2, Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 400GB.

 
+3.3v
+5v
+12v
PCPC Silencer E6750
3.21
5.15
12.20
CM iGreen Power E6750
3.22
5.04
12.17

840EE, Nvidia 790i, MSI/Asus/Gigabyte 8800 GTX, 2GB Crucial DDR3, 2x Barracuda 7200.10 500GB, 2x Barracuda 7200.9 400GB.

 
+3.3v
+5v
+12v
PCPC Silencer 840EE
3.10
5.11
12.08
CM iGreen Power 840EE
3.02
5.00
11.98

As expected, the higher load system drew a lot more from the PSUs than the lighter system. The Cooler Master held up very well, but suffered greater drops than the PC Power & Cooling Silencer.

Noise and heat were something we also examined. The Cooler Master and PCPC Silencer were about the same in regards to noise. The Silencer was higher pitched, but the overall level of noise was about the same. The Cooler Master was cooler though, hovering around 52C, while the Silencer was closer to 55C. When idle, the Silencer was indeed more silent than the Cooler Master.

Final Words

Overall we were very impressed with the . The power output and quality were excellent and easily handled both of our test systems. The exhausted heat was a bit warm for our liking, but the chassis was not scorching hot as we may have expected, thus we're not concerned of this becoming a issue
 
From a feature standpoint, the Silencer is fairly loaded. At 83% rated efficiency. Your power bills should not go through the roof. Furthermore, unlike general perception, the bigger the power supply does not mean a bigger power bill. The PSU will only draw as much power as your system needs.
Build quality was excellent, and it's quite impressive to see some of the physical and technological features in what is essentially a consumer level power supply. The price is competitive, hovering around $150 which we feel is very good.
 
There are some short comings, though nothing deal breaking. The "silence" in Silencer is anything but. We didn't find the noise overbearing, but the noise is enough that certain applications are not ideal. For example, we don't suggest you use the for a HTPC PSU, but we have no qualms about using it for a desktop PC that is for general use, provided it sits under a desk.
 
Gamers probably have video cards louder than the PSU, so noise won't be a factor for them. The product manual, or lack thereof is something we would like to see in the future.
 
We've always said that there is more to a power supply than slapping more zeroes to the power rating. The does bring the power, but does so the right way. We've had readers and even our own staff writers betrayed by sub-par power in very expensive computers. Backed by a solid warranty, good performance and build quality, we have no problems telling our readers to strongly consider the we reviewed today.

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