PC Power & Cooling Silencer 760W PSU

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Product: PC Power & Cooling Silencer 760W PSU
Provided By: OCZ Technology
Price: $124.99 Online at time of Publication

 

Introduction:

Today we are looking at a 760W power supply from a company that has been in the game longer longer than most companies.  PC Power & Cooling has been at it long time and they should know how to make things work.  The 760W Silencer is part of their "High Performance" series and comes in with an 80 PLUS Silver rating.  While it is not modular, it does offer a single +12v rail for high-performance computing.  It comes SLI certified and should provide all but the most extreme users with stable power and a solid user experience.  While many enthusiast oriented power supplies come with large slow fans, the Silencer 760W comes with a smaller fan.  It is part of their Silencer series so we do expect it to be quiet.  Time will tell.

Box Front
Box Front
Box Back
Box Back

 

The Silencer 760W comes boxed up nicely and the box comes with a lot of information on it so the consumer can make an educated decision on which PSU they should buy.  As I mentioned previously, it comes with an 80PLUS Silver rating - meaning that it will be at least 85% efficient at it poorest and must be able to maintain an efficiency of at least 88% at 50% load.  The Silver rating is becoming more popular and PC Power & Cooling has power supplies that are rated higher as well as lower.  This is their mainstream unit and it seems to fit in pretty well.


First Impressions:

The PC Power & Cooling Silencer PSU looks pretty slick - the only downside is the massive amount of cables coming from the non-modular unit.  I like the overall look and feel of the unit and it comes with enough stuff to get you started - although nothing really extra for cable management.  It does come with a pair of reusable cable-ties that are used to keep things together during shipping.  These can also be used for management inside your case.  As there are so many connected wires, I'd have liked to see a few more wire management options, but it should work if you bundle everything together.

Bundle

The Silencer 760W comes with all cables attached.  It comes with the standard 24-pin motherboard connector as well as a 4+4 pin connector for motherboard power.  In addition to these is a dedicated 8-pin motherboard connector.  There are four PCIe connectors - two are 6-pin and two more are 6+2 pin.  There are a bunch of drive connectors in this bundle - a total of 8 SATA connectors as well as 7 Molex connectors and one connector for a "Floppy" drive.  This should be enough connectors for most people - even those building a pretty nice SLI system with a lot of drives, fans and lighting.

On the next page we'll take a closer look at the Silencer 760W from PC Power & Cooling and dive right into features and specifications.


 

Closer Look:

PC Power & Cooling makes very nice products and the overall finish on the Silencer 760W is very good.  The package is tidy and the PSU has a nice matte finish that prevents a bunch of fingerprints from marring the overall appearance of the unit.  The Silencer is pretty plain, but this works well for the PSU.  It is a bit odd looking at a PSU with a small fan at the rear where we are getting used to the large fans on the bottom.  Still, with a name like "Silencer" I hope it will be quiet.  The opposite side of the PSU contains slots that allow air to enter - flow across the heatsinks and then exit the back.  It's straightforward and should work - especially since the PSU is energy efficient.

PSU Cable Bundle
PSU Cable Bundle & Vents
PSU Fan - Rear
PSU Fan - Rear
Side Profile
Side Profile


Features:

The following list of features from PC Power & Cooling is pretty inclusive and they do a good job of keeping the consumer informed as to what they are buying when they purchase their products.  When you are spending $125+ for a 760W PSU, it's always nice to know what you are getting.  Please make sure to head on over and check the full and always-updated information at the PC Power & Cooling product page here.

Built with industrial and professional power users in mind, the Silencer 760W power supply includes a Single +12V Rail for maximum and efficient power distribution, a thermally controlled fan for maximum airflow at near-silent audible noise levels, extremely tight and well regulated electrical noise and ripple, an ideal array of connector types for each wattage, and ultra-high efficiency, converting up to a full 88% of AC to DC power at typical loads.

Our Silencer 760 power supply gives you legendary PC Power & Cooling performance and reliability along with a unique ultra-quiet cooling design, Quad PCI-Express connectors, classic black finish, and a price that seals the deal.

  • 760W Continuous @ 50C (836W Peak)
  • NVIDIA SLI Certified (Up To 2 x GTX470)
  • Up to 90% (10dB) Less Noise per Watt
  • 80mm Ultra-quiet fan
  • 80+ Silver at 88% Efficiency
  • +12VDC @74A (Powerful Single Rail)
  • Rock-Solid, Super-Clean DC Output
  • 4 x PCI-E and complete array of connectors
  • Automatic Fan Speed Control Circuit
  • 7-year warranty

 

Specifications:

There are times when the PSU itself differs from the specifications on the box and the website so we have posted both the specs from the website as well as the rail specs taken from the PSU itself.

AC Input
Operating Range: 90-264 VAC
Frequency: 47-63Hz
Current: 10A max. @ 100-240 Vrms
Efficiency: 88% Typical Load (80+ Silver)
DC Output
Output: +3.3V @ 24.0A
+5V @ 30.0A
+12V @ 62A
-12V @ 0.8A
+5VSB @ 3.0A
+3.3V & +5V Combined = 150W Max
Contiuous Power = 760W Max
Peak Power = 836W Max
Regulation: "2% (+3.3V, +5V, +12V)
5% ( -12V, +5Vsb)"
Ripple: 1% (p-p)
Hold Time: 20ms minimum
PG Delay: 100-500ms
Safety
Over Voltage Protection: +3.3V, +5V, +12V
Over Current Protection: 135% OPP
Over Temperature Protection: 100 C
Agency Approval: UL, CUL, TUV, CB, RoHS
Environmental
Temperature: 0⁰-50⁰ C
Humidity: 20-80%
Fan Type: 80mm, ball bearing, thermally controlled
Noise: 23 - 36dB(A)
Miscellaneous
Compatibility: ATX12V & EPS12V
M/B Connectors: (20+4) pin, 8 pin, (4+4) pin
Video Connectors: 2 (6 pin), 2 (6+2 pin)
Drive Connectors: 8 x SATA, 7 x Peripheral, 1 x Mini
MTBF: 100,000 Hrs
Warranty: 7-years

  

You'll notice that the PSU Specifications and the PSU label differ from the main PSU Features and Information posted at the top of this page and the PC Power & Cooling website.  On the website, it says that the PSU has a 74A +12v rail - where all the other specifications show that it actually has a 62A +12v rail.  One thing I do love is the nice 7 year warranty.

 

PC Power & Cooling claims the PSU can handle a 760W "Continuous Load" with a maximum "Peak Capacity" of 836W.  If we do the math on this PSU we'll see that the 3.3v and 5v lines are rated a little conservative.  I added up a total output of 229.2W instead of the 150W rated output.  When we move up to the nice 62A +12v line, we find that it measures in at 774W.  The -12v line weighs in at 9.6W with the 5vsb line in at 15W.  In the end, they rate all the lines conservatively and don't include the -12v and 5Vsb into the overall output as do most companies.  That being said, the rails total 1027.8W - which well exceeds the "Peak Output" rating of this PSU.

 

 

Cables:

The PC Power & Cooling Silencer 760W PSU is not a modular unit and all of the cables (other than AC Power) are permanently connected.  As previously mentioned, it comes with 24-pin, one 4/8-pin, one 8-pin cable and a total of four PCIe connectors; in addition to the large number of peripheral and SATA cables.  Most systems will use most of these cables although I haven't seen many motherboards that required two 8-pin cables.  The PC Power & Cooling Silencer 760W unit comes with more than enough for most systems and we were able to keep most of these cables wrapped up for a neater overall system appearance - as well as better airflow.


Motherboard Cables
Motherboard Cables
PCIe Cables
PCIe Cables
   
SATA Cables
SATA Cables
Molex Cables
Molex Cables

 

 

Test Setup & Info:

In the past, we've prided ourselves on real-world testing.  For graphics cards, CPUs and memory, what matters is what takes place in real applications and games.  We also held that philosophy for PSU testing, but after a while, we realized that there is more to a PSU that being able to run a machine stable over a few weeks or months.  In reality, if there is a lot of ripple, this can damage sensitive traces on your $700 graphics card or $1300 CPU.  A multi-meter alone is not good enough to check PSU voltage stability.  It's for this reason that we've updated our PSU testbed, and will continue to improve the detail and quality of our PSU reviews.  That being said, we will still be testing the PSU in a system and will be including stress tests from real components in the real world.

We have purchased a Tektronics TDS2002 60MHz Dual Channel scope and it has already become invaluable around the shop here at BCCHardware headquarters.  I've used it to troubleshoot everything from PSU's to Radars, and we are using it today to check the stability of the PC Power & Cooling 760W Silencer PSU right after we pull it apart and take a look inside.


 

Inside the PSU:

As we open this unit, please keep in mind that opening a Power Supply will completely void the warranty.  Not only that, but because of the large capacitors, you can suffer a serious electrical shock if you touch the wrong thing.  Please do not open your PSU to compare what the insides look like.  I'm a "trained" professional, meaning that I've got shocked a time or two and know where not to touch, and with that in mind and the smell of burning hair in the air, click on the images below for a closer look.

Inside Profile
Inside Profile

 

 

Inside Other Side
Inside - Cable Side
Inside
Inside
   
Coils & Sinks
Coils and Heatsinks
Caps
Caps

 

The PSU is actually quite roomy inside and allows for unrestricted airflow from the rear 80mm fan.  There is enough space to put in slightly larger components for the bigger models.  The cooling looks more than adequate for an 85+ rated PSU.  Even under load the PSU stayed pretty cool and we measured a maximum temperature of 49C during testing and remained fairly quiet.  The thing with high-efficiency components is that they give off less waste heat and actually don't need as good of cooling as poor quality units.  

 

Testing - 5W, 412W & 776W: 

We initially plugged the PSU into an EZ PSU Tester 3 in order to power it on for our "idle" measurements.  As noticed below, the voltage rails were fairly stable with no load, but these aren't necessarily indicative of overall load performance.  According to our Kill-a-Watt, the power draw was 5W.  We thought these results would be interesting to include and compare with other power supplies to see how they manage a non-load situation, and how much power the PSU itself will draw.

12v Ripple & Noise
12v Ripple & Noise
5v Ripple & Noise
5v Ripple & Noise
   
3.3v Ripple & Noise
3.3v Ripple & Noise
-12v Ripple & Noise
-12v Ripple & Noise

 

This is the first PC Power & Cooling PSU that I've looked at and I honestly didn't know what to expect.  This PSU is not really cheap when compared to the Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 1000W unit - so hopefully we are getting a little more quality with this unit.  As a result, I expected it to be rock stable at least.  As you can see by clicking the images above, we captured a minuscule 6mV ripple & noise measurement on the 3.3v rail, up to 20mV on the 5v rail and 50mv on the +12v line.  This is nice and clean power as ATX specifications state 50mv is allowable on the 3.3v and 5.0v rails while 120mv is acceptable on the 12v rails.  Even with a really heavy load the Silencer 760W PSU stayed well within specifications on the rails.  In fact, other than the -12v rail - the rest of the system stayed under half of the maximum allowable ripple.  This is excellent.  The -12v line was the "noisiest" at 76mV noise when under a 776W load.  That being said, we were really pushing this PSU as we've done a little tweaking to PSU Test Platform and will update that article in the near future. 

Average Ripple

Average Voltage

 

 

Other than the darn -12v rail, the voltage is very solid on the Silencer 760W PSU and while ATX specifications allow an incredible 1.2v fluctuation on the 12v lines - we measured the -12v line at -13.3v under load - coming in at 1.3v off of the specification but there was absolutely no variation on the +12v line.  The 5v and 3.3v lines were almost as solid.  Even though we are allowed a 0.5v variance on the 5v line - we saw a mere 0.01v change.  The 3.3v line is allowed to fluctuate just over 0.3v, but it stayed sock solid with a small 0.02v dip at full load.  This is an excellent showing for the most part by PC Power & Cooling. 

Conclusion:

PC Power & Cooling has been around for quite a while and they certainly are no stranger to the Power Supply arena.  They have proved this by their longevity and by continuing to put out products that are affordable, high quality and built to last.  The 760W Silencer is one of their products that shows they can perform well - even with a smaller fan.  The PSU was pretty quiet throughout testing and was audible only after extended use at over 770W.  During this process, the main voltage lines were very stable, emitted very low electrical noise and showed that the Silencer is a high-quality unit.  My only concern is how much the -12v rail dropped under load.  In fact, when we dial in a load that is just above its rated continuous output, the line strays beyond specification requirements for ATX power supplies.  I don't believe this will cause damage in your system, but it still falls outside the realm of allowance.

If this was the +12v rail, I'd fail the PSU immediately and state that it was a waste of money.  That being said, I can't help but feel let down than the rock-solid rails didn't translate over to the -12v side and this issue causes it to lose a few points here for sure.  Also, keep in mind that we are 0.1v outside of specification - when I'm putting 16W more load that it's rated for.   Still, I believe it should have enough "oomph" to deal with this "overload".

Pros:

  • Low electrical noise
  • Rated conservatively when analyzing specifications 
  • Lots of connects and SLI certified
  • +12v rail is ROCK SOLID and never budges
  • 3.3v and 5v rails are the cleanest we've seen

 

Cons:

  • 80mm fan makes noise under heavy load
  • -12v rail voltage drops a lot under load
  • Non-modular design means cable management is more challenging

 

BCCRating

I'd like to that OCZ Technology for sending over this Power Supply for us to review.  If you have any questions or comments, please post them in the forum at the "Comments" link below.