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PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W Quad Power Supply Review

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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W Quad Power Supply Review



Product Number: S75QB
Price: Click Here to Compare Prices
Manufacturer’s Product Page : New Silencer® 750 Quad Power Supply
Fan Size: 1x 80mm
Warranty: 5 Years
Availability: Now



Before getting too far into this review, let’s all just take a step back and look at how power supplies should fit into everyone’s component buying decisions. Of late, components have slowly decreased in how much power they require through the careful stewardship of the manufacturers who are striving to be more environmentally friendly. However, there have been “new” developments such as quad core processors and dual-GPU graphics cards which have contributed to once again spike the enthusiast’s need for higher-end power supplies. Consumers now have the very real possibility of combining the rendering power of three or even four graphics cards with a pair of quad core processors all in one system. Naturally, for all of this processing power you will need a high-end power supply and this is where a company like PC Power & Cooling comes into the equation. While their 750W Silencer unit we will be reviewing today isn’t designed to take the stress of a Skulltrail / quad Crossfire configuration, it seems to fit into nearly every other high-end configuration perfectly.

PC Power & Cooling is one of those companies which are always at the forefront of every enthusiast’s mindset when they begin looking for the best components possible for their new über computer. With their Silencer and Turbo Cool series of power supplies they have made their name synonymous with quality and uncompromising performance. About 10 months ago this legendary company was purchased by the OCZ Technology Group which has given them access to not only deeper pockets but also a massive distribution network. This means their products are now available at some stores for the first time. So far, OCZ has mainly been content to fill out last year’s PC Power & Cooling lineup with the introduction of an 860W Turbo Cool model as well as adding new colors to the Silencer series. In this review we will be focusing on their Silencer 750 Quad model which is squarely targeted at both enthusiasts and consumers looking for a power supply with a bit of room to adapt to upgrades down the road.

It looks to be like OCZ is doing extremely well with keeping the legendary PC Power & Cooling name alive and under their watch; it seems that the lasting appeal of these power supplies has not diminished. The Silencer 750W still carries one of the best warranties in the industry at 5 years which is backed up by some of the best customer support we have come across in a while. In addition, where PC Power’s units used to be known for their somewhat high prices, it seems like OCZ’s influence is paying off since this Silencer costs around $160CAD. This is a surprising value considering some competing power supplies have higher prices, shorter warranties and don’t have the storied history of PC Power & Cooling. Yet, history counts for nothing since that was then and this review will tell us what is happening with this Silencer 750W NOW. So, shall we see if the legend lives on?


 
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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Packaging & Accessories

Packaging & Accessories


Some of you may be scratching your heads wondering where the plain white PCP & C packaging of yore has gone. Well, OCZ has changed the packaging on all the Silencer power supplies so they not only stand out better in a retail environment but also mesh well with the corporate marketing image. The package of this power supply is now decked out in a classy dark blue and black color scheme with a picture of the Silencer on the front. There are a few other logos on the front as well which outline the 80Plus and SLI certifications along with the indication that this is a single +12V rail power supply.

Meanwhile, the back of the box holds something we don’t see very often with any power supply: and actual shot of the unit's interior. There are additional bullet points around the open hood of the Silencer but other than that, there really isn’t much going on back here.


Once the box is opened we see the top of the Silencer 750 Quad which is bordered in black cardboard “buffers” on two sides to protect it from mishandling. Unlike what we have seen in the past, PC Power & Cooling has not used even one bit of environmentally unfriendly polystyrene packaging and instead relies on the cardboard for protection. While it can be debated whether this was intentional or not, it is good to see some manufacturers are moving to reduce their impact on the environment in these small ways.

However, it is not all sunshine and roses with the packaging. It would have been great to see the power supply itself wrapped in some sort or plastic or fabric since there were several small scratches apparent on its black casing.


The accessory package is complete yet lacking in extra “padding”. You get the basics with mounting screws, an instruction manual, a power cord and a small case badge but things like tie-wraps (essential for a non-modular power supply) are nowhere to be found.


Even though there isn’t much excitement going on with the accessories, there are two things which stand out as unique: the test report and the power cable. Having a 14AWG power cord on a 750W power supply was almost unheard of…until now. This is an industrial-grade cord which is usually reserved for higher-wattage units like some 850W and 1000W power supplies we have reviewed in the past.

The test report is another interesting little addition that is included with all PC Power & Cooling power supplies. Every one of these units is tested to make sure they conform to rigorous standards set forth by PCP & C’s engineers and they include this test report to show the power supply passed with flying colors. One way or another, you will know that your purchase is good to go.
 
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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Exterior Impressions

Exterior Impressions


Here we have the 750 Quad in all its black powder-coated glory. As with all the PC Power & Cooling units, there is very little to talk about when it comes to the exterior of this unit since it is the personification of simplicity. This power supply doesn’t need LEDs, flashy fans, slick marketing gimmicks or widows in order for it to sell; it sells because people know that quality and the PC Power & Cooling namesake go hand in hand. That being said, there are a few interesting features we can see from the photos above.

First of all it should be noted that the 750 Quad is slightly longer than many other ATX-sized power supplies on the market and as we will see in a bit, this is a direct result of its interior layout. A durable finish is always something we look for when reviewing a power supply and this unit doesn’t disappoint in the least. Where some of its competitors use a finish that attracts fingerprints like no tomorrow, the resilient black powder-coat used here provides perfect protection if you happen to rub it on the side of your case during installation.


The current fad with many power supply manufacturers is to provide the largest fan they can find on their power supply. On the other hand, PC Power & Cooling has steered their own course by making due with a single 80mm exhaust fan on all of their units and this one is no different. It should be interesting to see if this fan can keep its noise output under control considering the bad rap some 80mm fans have received.

In the last few months we here at Hardware Canucks have seen an increase in cost-cutting by various power supply manufacturers and one of the first places they cut down is in the cable protection department. There has been many a time where we have seen the cables exposed to the sharp metal of the power supply’s casing but like so many other things, PCP & C has done the right thing here as well. They have protected the sharp edges of the cable opening with a rubber grommet which ensures your cables will not get frayed.
 
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SKYMTL

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Cables and Connectors / 9800GX2 Compatibility

Cables and Connectors

- Molex: 8 Connectors
o 1x 21” length (2 Connectors each)
o 1x 33” length (3 Connectors each)
o 1x 38” length (3 Connectors each)

- SATA: 6 Connectors
o 1x 32” length (3 connectors each)
o 1x 37” length (3 connectors)

- PCI-E 6+2 pin: 2 Connectors
o 2x 22” length

- PCI-E 6-Pin: 2 Connectors
o 1x 22” length

- Floppy: 2 Connectors (@ end of 21”Molex cable)
o 1x 28” length

- 24-pin ATX Connector: 19 1/2” length

- 4-Pin CPU Connector: 24” length

- 8-Pin CPU Connector: 24” length


Each and every one of the cables on the 750 Quad is of an excellent length and there are more than enough connectors to for literally any application you could be using it for. This is quite refreshing since we have seen far too many power supplies lately with CPU connectors which were far too short. The only little hiccup we had here was with the length of the ATX connector which at under 20” is a tad bit on the short side. There are however some issues we have with these cables…


It just boggles our minds how such a highly-regarded power supply manufacturer could have slipped up so badly when it comes to properly sleeving the cables on one of their premier units. It looks like someone forgot to send out the memo telling the shop to sleeve the WHOLE cable instead of just the top portion. This goes for both the Molex and SATA cables which have their sleeving stop at the first connector on each string. This doesn’t look good at all and an incomplete job like this has no place on a higher-end power supply.


Once again we have to mention the sleeving with the CPU connectors as well. Interestingly, the 4-pin CPU connector gets the full treatment while the 8-pin gets the short end of the stick and is not totally sleeved. Whaaa?


Even though there are a few sleeving SNAFUs with some of the other cables, those with the PCI-E connectors are downright perfect. With this power supply we get two 6-pin PCI-E connectors and two 6+2 pin connectors so you could connect up to four lower-end graphics cards or two extremely power hungry cards.


9800GX2 Compatibility

As some of you may know, the Nvidia 9800GX2 requires a particular layout of the 8-pin PCI-E connector in order for a power supply to be compatible with it. If your power supply does not have the right kind of 8-pin PCI-E connector, you will either have to modify the connector or the fan shroud of the card which would void your warranty in both cases. In this section we will be looking at this power supply’s compatibility with Nvidia’s new dual-GPU monster.


According to our rep from OCZ, the best way to attach the 750 Quad’s 6+2 pin connector to the GX2 is to first insert the two ground wires and then insert the 6-pin connector. Lo and behold, the connector fit with a little “gentle” persuasion and powered the card without any problems at all for the week we used it.
 
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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Output Characteristics / Interior Impressions

Output Characteristics


PC Power & Cooling has gone from staunchly supporting the concept of multiple +12V rails to now swearing by large, single +12V rail designs. The ever-changing world of component power consumption has forced many manufacturers to go this same route so it is not surprising that one of the premier power supply providers has done the same.

That being said, the 750 Quad has been give a massive +12V rail output of 60A (or 720W) which represents a whooping 96% of this unit’s total output. Make no mistake about it, this is exactly what we want to see from a quality power supply since graphics cards, CPUs, fans, and numerous other components draw their power from this rail. Other than that, the other rails get cursory consideration which is only natural in the +12V-centric market we presently have.


Interior Impressions


The interior layout of the 750 Quad is quite interesting since from the top down all we see is a pair of horizontally-mounted aluminum heatsinks which are the hallmark of cross-flow type layouts. They are designed in such a way that they take full advantage of the limited airflow the single 80mm fan provides in order to better cool down the components. Also, if some of you were wondering; this power supply is fabricated by Seasonic.


The cap choices on this power supply are straightforward to say the least. Both the primary and secondary sides are populated by Nippon Chemi-Con units which are all rated at 105*C.


According to PC Power & Cooling, they have pushed the PCB about 1/2” back form the exhaust fan in order to increase airflow within the housing. In principle, this concept should work since it cuts down on any obstructions in front of the fan which should increase the amount of air it can remove.

The primary filtering side is quite well appointed with a number of large chokes as well as a separate heatsink for the primary rectifier.
 
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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Messages
12,861
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Efficiency / Voltage Regulation Testing

Efficiency Testing


Efficiency is definitely a strong point of this particular power supply and while we put it up against some stiff competition in the chart above, the Silencer came out shining. Without a doubt it looks like the 80Plus certification is more than warranted here.


Voltage Regulation Testing


+3.3V Regulation



+5V Regulation



+12V Regulation


The Silencer 750 continued to impress us in the voltage regulation department where it put up extremely good numbers in each and every single one of our tests. The +12V regulation results really stood out above all the other results since the 0.06V drop between idle and the heaviest load test is one of the best outcomes we have seen. Ever.
 

SKYMTL

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+12V Ripple / Heat and Acoustical Characteristics

+12V Ripple


As in all of the previous tests, the Silencer 750W had an extremely good showing in our +12V ripple test. While the traces showed 30mV in the final test, we have to remember that the ATX specification dictates a maximum allowable ripple of 120mV even though our chart only goes to 40mV. Thus, the differences between the power supplies look significant even though they are not.


Heat and Acoustical Characteristics

There are many people out there who are deathly afraid of 80mm fans because they believe them to be obnoxiously loud while only able to move a very limited amount of air. In our experience, the latter point is probably the truer of the two since an 80mm fan just doesn’t have the fan surface area necessary to move large amount of air even if it spins itself to ridiculous speeds. We have also had experiences with horribly loud 80mm fans as well and are happy to report that the lone 80mm on the Silencer fan stays much quieter than we would have expected. However, during the System Stress test its speeds did increase to the point where it was audible over the other fans we had installed. While it was not loud to the point of distraction and it is not recommended to push any 750W power supply this far, it would have been nice to have a completely quiet experience.

Through all of the tests, the exhaust temperature of the 750 Quad stayed well with normal limits but naturally, as the fan speed increased in the last test so did the interior temperatures. That being said, we were extremely impressed with the lack of heat generated by this power supply and the efficiency of its lone fan to remove what little heat is actually built up.
 
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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
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Messages
12,861
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Conclusion

Conclusion

On paper it seems like the PC Power & Cooling 750W Quad has everything going for it and unlike many other “good on paper” power supplies, it completely lives up to our expectations and then some. Its voltage regulation is literally second to none, the efficiency it showed in all of our tests gives complete credibility to its 80Plus certification and its ripple suppression was excellent. Without a doubt, PC Power & Cooling has delivered an engineering tour de force which is able to keep up with many other higher-wattage power supplies on the market. To make matters even better, under the tutelage of OCZ we have seen the prices of many Silencer units fall significantly in the last few months. Indeed, with the Silencer 750’s price hovering at around $160, OCZ has shown that it can make a high-end power supply available at a price point which will appeal to the masses and this means more competition in the every-growing 750W segment. Add to that the near-silent fan (except at extreme loads) and cables which can reach damn-near anywhere in even the largest case and the positives just keep loading up on the side of the Silencer. The final icing on the cake is the inclusion of a 5-year warranty which rivals some of the best in the industry today.

There is only one real area where we would like improvement with this power supply and that is in the cable sleeving department. In what could only be called a lazy-man’s job every cable except the ones holding the ATX and PCI-E connectors is only partially sleeved. This makes for an ugly rainbow of colors from the multi-colored wires running everywhere in you case and is most definitely not aesthetically pleasing in the least. However, if this is the only thing we can find wrong with a power supply you know it is a near-perfect product.

So, when all is said and done we are sure you have a pretty good idea that the Silencer is one of the best sub-$175 power supplies we have tested. Everything about its performance is top-notch and with a warranty which embarrasses the majority of other manufacturers out there, the PC Power & Cooling 750 Quad gets our Dam Good Award.


Pros:

- Awe-inspiring performance
- Good cable lengths
- Quiet
- 5-year warranty


Cons:

- Partially sleeved cables



Thanks to OCZ for providing us with this power supply

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/foru...ling-silencer-750w-review-comment-thread.html
 
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