PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 750W PSU

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Product: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 750W PSU
Provided By: OCZ Technology
Price: ~$129.99 Online at time of publication

Introduction:

After more than two years, we are back with another PC Power & Cooling PSU.  The last unit we looked at was way back in March of 2011 and we looked at the Silencer 760W unit.  Today, we are a generation later and 10W lighter with the Silencer Mk III 750W unit.  This power supply offers a lot in the way of features; including a great adjustable cooling system, nifty modular cables and more.  The 750W unit we have on the bench today fits right in the of the Silencer Mk III units as they range from 400W 80PLUS Bronze entry-level to the 1200W Platinum premium PSU.  The 750W version we have on the bench today is 80PLUS Gold certified meaning that at worst case it should be 87% efficient and at 50% load it should be 90% efficient.  This has come a long way and helps prevent excess heat, noise and should last longer.

Box Front
Box Front

Box Back
Box Back

 

The Silencer Mk III 750W comes boxed up nicely and the box comes with a lot of information on it so the consumer shopping at a retail store can get enough information to make an educated decision on which PSU they should buy.  As I mentioned previously, the PSU is 80PLUS Gold and this is becoming more popular and makes for better PSUs that save money and burn off less heat waste.  As a mainstream unit, this sits in PC Power & Cooling's lineup pretty well.

In The Box
In The Box

First Impressions:

The PC Power & Cooling Silencer PSU looks pretty slick.  I'm a fan of the nifty modular cable design, and while it really is just an aesthetic touch to make it a bit different, I do like it.  I like the overall look and feel of the unit and it comes with enough stuff to get you started - as well a few zip ties for non-reusable cable management.  Included in the bundle are the non-modular cables for main 24-pin and 8-pin motherboard connections as well as a power cord, guide, cable ties, screws and the main power cable.  This should get you rolling pretty easily.

Bundle
In The Package

 

The Silencer Mk III 750W comes with some cables attached, plus a bag of modular cables.  It comes with the standard 24-pin motherboard connector as well as two 4+4 pin connector for motherboard power.  There are four PCIe connectors - all are the 6+2 pin style.  There are a bunch of drive connectors in this bundle - a total of 12 SATA connectors as well as four 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 Mk III 750W 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 Mk III 750W is excellent.  The package is tidy and the PSU has a nice white matte finish that prevents a bunch of fingerprints from marring the overall appearance of the unit.  The Silencer Mk III has stepped things up in terms of appearance over the original Silencer and it's a nice step up indeed.  The attention to detail is pretty impressive with this unit as it even comes shipped in a cloth bag instead of the traditional plastic bag.  PC Power & Cooling really wants to show off how special this PSU is and how much care you should take to keep it awesome.

Cloth bag
Cloth Bag

One thing I really noticed with this PSU is how much branding there is on the unit.  PC Power & Cooling seems to be pretty proud overall.  Take a look at the close-up images below and you'll soon see what I mean.

PSU Profile
PSU Profile

PSU Side Profile
PSU Side Profile

PSU Front/Side Profile
PSU Front/Side Profile

     

Modular Connectors
Modular Connectors

Rear Profile
Rear Profile

Fan Profile
Fan Profile

 

I love the round thread-on modular connectors.  The truth is they aren't as handy as some other connectors, but they look cool and ensure that the cables stay connected securely.

 

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 750W 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.

Offering industrial-grade performance and stability for demanding computing environments, the Silencer Mk III 750W provides ultimate efficiency, stability, and ultra-quiet operation with a modular cable design. Engineered with only premium components, including Japanese 105°C capacitors and heavy-duty protection circuitries, the Mk III 750W maintains continuous output at 50°C and efficiently delivers power through a single +12V rail, and sporting the Dual Thermal Control System, a sophisticated operation that allows the PSU to switch between normal and silent mode seamlessly. Backed with PC Power’s complete confidence in reliability with an industry-leading 7 year warranty, this PSU offers ultimate peace of mind.

  • 750W Continuous @ 50C
  • SLI and CrossFire Ready
  • 80-Plus Gold Certified (90% Efficiency); .98 Active PFC
  • 140mm double ball-bearing fan
  • +12VDC @62A (Powerful Single Rail)
  • Premium Components with 100% Japanese 105°C Capacitors
  • Modular Cabling Design with High-Conductivity, Low-Resistance Metallic Connectors
  • Dual Thermal Control System: Normal and Silent Operation
  • 7-Year Warranty and Tech Support

 

Specifications:

Specs

 

As we analyze the specifications, I'll start by saying that I'm a fan of a 7 year warranty.  PC Power & Cooling knows how to stand behind their products and this is great news for consumers.

PC Power & Cooling claims the PSU can handle a 750W "Continuous Load" at 50°C.  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 199.2W instead of the 120W 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 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 994.2W - which well exceeds the "Peak Output" rating of this PSU.


Cables:

The PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 750W PSU is mostly modular, as all but the main motherboard cables can be removed.  As previously mentioned, it comes with 24-pin, two 4/8-pin 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 Mk III 750W unit comes with more than enough for most systems and the modular cables help keep your build nice and tidy.

Main PSU Cables
Main PSU Cables

Molex Bundle
Molex Bundle

   

PCIe Bundle
PCIe Bundle

SATA Bundle
SATA Bundle

 

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 Silencer Mk III 750W 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.

PSU Cooling
PSU Cooling

 

PSU Open
PSU Open

 

Cables to Backplane
Cables to Backplane

 

The PSU is actually quite roomy inside and allows for unrestricted airflow from the bottom mounted 140mm fan.  There is enough space to put in slightly larger components for the bigger models.  The cooling looks more than adequate for an 87+ rated PSU.  Even under load the PSU stayed pretty cool and we measured a maximum temperature of 54C 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.  I was impressed to see that the dual-mode thermal control worked very well.  With an average load of 350W, the fan doesn't even spin up and this PSU is absolutely silent.  After prolonged 700W+ load, the fan spun up and kept the internal components quite cool.


742W Load

Testing - 5W, 360W & 742W:

 

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 Load

12v Load

5v Load

5v Load

   

3.3v Load

3.3v Load

-12v Load

-12v Load

 

This is the second PC Power & Cooling PSU that I've looked at and after the first unit, my expectations were pretty high.  This PSU is not really cheap when compared to other 1kW units - so hopefully we are getting a little more quality with this unit.  Based on the price-per-watt, I expect this PSU to be pretty impressive in terms of stability and low electrical noise as it is a premium product.  As you can see by clicking the images above (taken at full load), we captured 12mV ripple & noise measurement on the 3.3v rail, up to 22mV on the 5v rail and 66mv 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 Mk III 750W PSU stayed well within specifications on the rails.  In fact, other than the +12v rail - the rest of the system stayed at about half of the maximum allowable ripple.  This is excellent.  The +12v line was the "noisiest" at 66mV noise when under a 742W load.  That being said, we were really pushing this PSU as we've done a little tweaking to PSU Test Platform. 

Average Voltage

Average Ripple & Noise

 

It's interesting to see that the ripple and noise measurement peaks at the mid-range 360W load here.  Still it's within specifications on all of these rails and there is no issues at all.  The Silencer Mk III 750W PSU was rock solid through testing.

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 750W Silencer Mk III is one of their products that shows they can perform well and do it in silence.  I love the dual-mode operation and I think that most users will use the silent mode as it still provides excellent performance, automatic cooling and does this seamlessly and effectively.  The PSU remained literally silent throughout most of the testing as the fan remained off for all but the heaviest loads.  During this process, the main voltage lines were very stable, emitted very low electrical noise and showed that the Silencer Mk III is a high-quality unit.  With our original Silencer review, the -12v line dropped a lot under load, but the Mk III has addressed this issue.

Overall, I'm very impressed with the PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 750W PSU.  It does exactly what they claim and it does it quietly and is stable.  The modular connectors are nifty and while they don't offer a lot of value, they do offer a good amount of curb appeal.  I'm a fan.  If you need a new PSU and have $130 (at time of publication), the Mk III series from PC Power & Cooling is a great choice.  Even if you have multiple video cards on a fast Core i7 system, this PSU has enough power to deliver in most situations.

 

Pros:

  • Low electrical noise at full load
  • Rated conservatively when analyzing specifications
  • Lots of SATA connectors and supports dual-GPUs
  • Remains silent at 50% load (or more)
  • Great performance

 

Cons:

  • A bit pricey for a 750W unit
  • Only four standard Molex connectors

BCCRating

Silver

I'd like to thank OCZ Technology for sending over this power supply for us to review.  It's nice to see that they addressed some of the weaknesses of the original silencer series.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them at the link below.