Introduction, Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Any PC enthusiast is quite familiar with the name PC Power & Cooling. Ever since the company's inception in 1985, the name has been synonymous with quiet computing and shortly thereafter high-quality power supplies. Since then, the company has been a leader in the PSU industry producing many firsts such as the first redundant power system, first NVIDIA certified SLI PSU, 1000W PSU, and first power supply to ship with its own certified test report. They are clearly a company dedicated to providing the best product available to their customers.
In early 2007, OCZ announced that they were purchasing PC Power & Cooling. Many feared what was to come of PC Power & Cooling and were relieved to find that OCZ left the company mostly intact, turning the PC Power & Cooling brand into OCZ's premium line of power supplies. The unit that we are looking at today is a testament that OCZ has done just that. The PC Power & Cooling Silencer 760 is the latest entry in the Silencer line of power supplies available between 500W and 910W.
The PC Power & Cooling Silencer 760 is meant to deliver high quality power and with sufficient power output to drive the latest graphic cards on the market. PC Power & Cooling packs the Silencer 760 with features, connections, and a great warranty. The Silencer power supplies have always been known for their excellent performance and reliability, so read on as we put the PPCS760 through our testing methodology and find out if this new PSU is worthy of the Silencer title.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The PPCS760 utilizes a single 12V rail that is rated for 62A of continuous power at full load. This should provide enough power for any system with a single GPU and will support almost any configuration of dual-GPU's out there. For power hungry systems with lots of drives and high end motherboard/CPU configurations, the PPCS760 also features heavy 3.3V and 5V rails that provide 24A and 30A respectively. Total continuous power of the Silencer 760W is 760W. PC Power & Cooling also lists the Silencer 760W as being capable to output 835W at its peak.
As we take a look at the feature summary we can see that PC Power & Cooling has a lot going on with the Silencer 760W. All the protections that you would expect from a top tier manufacturer are there with the exception of modular cabling. For those that are familiar with PC Power & Cooling, you probably already know that they don't offer any power supplies with modular connections. They don't believe that it is a good idea to use modular connections as it increases resistance and lowers the available output of the power supply. For those interested in the full explanation, you can read the full interview between PC Power & Cooling's President Doug Dodson and Computer Power User.
Availability for the PC Power & Cooling 760W power supply is great. It can be found at many different online stores and retails for $144.99. A quick search will yield numerous places that have the PSU below MSRP and Newegg lists it for $129.99. PC Power & Cooling power supplies always come with great warranties and the Silencer 760W is no exception. Should you ever need to return the unit because it has stopped functioning, PC Power & Cooling backs it with an impressive 7-year warranty.
The front of the box gives you a glimpse of what you are getting on the inside of the packaging. It clearly states the output, efficiency, and rails provided by the Silencer 760W. It also has bears the NVIDIA SLI Ready logo.
Flipping things around to the back of the box, we get a very simplistic list of features and a great look at the inside of the power supply. The statement of "Ultra High Efficiency" is a bit of a stretch since the PSU only carries an 80Plus silver rating, but at least they list it as 88%. They also list a "Complete Array of Connectors", but unfortunately don't list what those connectors are anywhere on the external packaging.
The top of the box gives a quick paragraph that enlightens you about the company's history and some logos that tell a little about the power supply.
Checking out one side, we find a little bit more about the power supply that does give us a little more insight into the connectors available, but doesn't state quantity. We also find the warranty information here.
Rotating things around to the bottom, we find information and logos that are repeated elsewhere on the box.
Giving the box one more spin, we find a picture showing that the Silencer 760W has an unobstructed fan inlet to let the fresh air move more freely throughout the power supply and helps reduce noise from the power supply.
Inside the Box
Power supply packaging doesn't get much simpler than this. The power supply fits snugly inside the box, entirely surrounded by foam. Since there aren't any modular connections, the native wiring wraps around the foam and fills the rest of the space of the box.
The I/O specification label, serial number, and SLI logo reside on the top of the power supply.
Both of the sides on the Silencer 760W power supply are identical, displaying the PC Power & Cooling and Silencer logos. Both sides also feature four vent holes in the center.
Taking a peak at the back of the Silencer 760W reveals an 80mm exhaust fan, the AC input, and an On/Off switch. While most manufacturers have moved to designs with an open back grill and 120mm/140mm fans on the bottom, the PPCS760 stays old school.
Jumping to the front, we can see the air inlet vents for the Silencer 760W. With the exhaust fan in the back, air flows from front to back.
One thing that PC Power & Cooling seems to have missed during design and production of the Silencer 760W is the grommet/cable guard where the native wiring exits the power supply. If you look closely at the cable sleeving, you can see that it has already snagged a little bit in the upper right corner.
As was mentioned before, PC Power & Cooling kept the design old school on the Silencer 760 with no vents or intake fan on the bottom of the power supply.
Also included with the Silencer 760W is a user manual, package of four mounting screws, power cord, and a case badge.
Cabling Arrangement & A Look Inside
PC Power & Cooling's Silencer 760W comes with a total of 11 native cables that offer 23 different connections. Unlike most power supplies in the 700W-850W range, the Silencer 760W offers both ATX 4+4 and EPS12V cables for motherboards that require both connectors. Supplying power for a duo of hungry graphics cards are a pair of 6+2 pin PCIE connectors and a pair of 6 pin PCIE connectors.
There are plenty of peripheral connectors to go around as well. Two cables supplying four connectors a piece serve up the SATA connections. There are also two cables that supply Molex connections; one has four Molex connectors on it while the other has three Molex connectors and a single FDD connector at the end.
As was stated above, all of these cables are natively wired to the power supply. This will unfortunately add some extra cable clutter to the inside of the computer, meaning you will either have to deal with the proverbial rats nest of wiring or get crafty in your cable management to hide the unused cables.
PC Power & Cooling gives the Silencer 760W a single 12V rail which makes load balancing not an issue. With everything on a single rail, you can plug in everything without having to worry whether you are overloading a specific rail or not.
A Look Inside
Opening up the power supply, we see a trio of heatsinks inside the Silencer 760W. The heatsinks are obviously designed with the front to back airflow that PC Power & Cooling has with the single rear exhaust fan.
PC Power & Cooling utilizes 100% Japanese capacitors throughout the entire Silencer 760W PSU. On the primary side of the power supply we see a pair of Nippon Chemi-con capacitors.
Over on the secondary, we find a mid of Nippon Chemi-con caps and a few Rubycon capacitors as well.
Here we have a close up of the exhaust fan utilized in the Silencer 760W power supply. It is manufactured by ADDA and is model AD0812UB-A71GL.
Test Results & Final Thoughts
Our load tests utilize a couple of FAST ATE active load testers and a variety of other equipment such as an oscilloscope, power conditioner, temperature probe and a power consumption meter. You can read more about our standard testing approach here.
The tests performed are based around six conceivable setups that are out there and progressively load down the PSU up to the power supply's limits or 1000W, whichever comes first. Since our test equipment's limits lower than that of the PC Power & Cooling 760W, we can test it to the maximum.
Taking a look at the results, it is clear that PC Power & Cooling is still producing quality power supplies with the Silencer 760W. Voltages throughout all of the tests are solid from start to finish and well within ATX specifications. From start to finish, both the 3.3V and 12V rails showed only a drop of .02V. The single 12V rail showed a little bit more of a drop during the full range of testing, with a total drop of .13V. This is still excellent voltage regulation all the way around as the largest change in voltages was 1% on the 12V rail.
Ripple on the 12V rail was also excellent throughout all of the tests. At 30% load, the Silencer 760W showed only 9mV of noise on the 12V line. As the load increased throughout testing, so did the noise on the 12V rail, but in very small increments. Even at the end of testing, the ripple measured a maximum of 23mV peak to peak. PC Power & Cooling claims that the Silencer 760 has "Rock-Solid, Super-Clean DC Output". It doesn't get much more rock-solid and super-clean than this.
The PC Power & Cooling Silencer 760 is an 80Plus Silver power supply, meaning that it is rated for 85%, 88%, and 85% efficiency at 20%, 50%, and 100% loads respectively. Our tests show that the unit is well deserving of that title as the efficiency is well above that, although not quite good enough to earn it an 80Plus Gold rating.
As was stated at the beginning of the article, many feared what was to come from PC Power & Cooling after OCZ purchased the company in 2007. As we can see by the performance of the Silencer 760W, the buyout has had little, if any effect on the company to produce power supplies that perform spectacularly. The PC Power & Cooling Silencer 760W performs spectacularly in all aspects. Voltages and ripple were great throughout all of the tests performed and the efficiency great for an 80Plus power supply. All of this is thrown in a package at a price of only $130 backed by a 7-year warranty, so no matter how you look at it, you score a win.
Very little can be said that needs to change with the Silencer 760W power supply. The only flaw that we could find was the lack of a cable guard/grommet where the native cabling exits the power supply. Native cabling will also be something that a buyer should be aware of as there will surely be extra cables floating around inside the PC that you will have to find somewhere to hide them or just deal with it. Excellent performance at a great price often comes with a few sacrifices and if these are the only two to be had with the Silencer 760W, then it is hardly a sacrifice at all.
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