Reviews - PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 600W power supply
Sample Provided by: PC Power & Cooling (By jonny on Mon, Nov-14-2011)

Page 1 - Introduction

Back in 1985, Doug Dodson revolutionized the computer aftermarket/DIY power supply market segment by offering products that were quite a bit more than the drab gray box that hardly anyone seemed to care about. In 1986 Doug's company, PC Power & Cooling, was the first to introduce a "low noise" power supply (the Silencer 150W) and the first to introduce a "high performance" power supply (the Turbo-Cool 200W).

Eventually, the enthusiast computer power supply industry grew rather large and included many new brands and many more innovations. Two of the most popular innovations to power supplies occurred around around the late 90's and early 2000's. The first utilized new designs in heat sinks that allowed the use of larger, yet quieter fans (120mm and up) that sucked air up into the PSU and then out the back, as opposed to using a smaller, louder 80mm fan blowing air across the power supply's heat sinks, front to back. The other innovation was cable modularity. More and more power supplies featured modular interfaces that allowed the user to add and remove DC output cables as needed.

Over the years, PC Power continued to sell power supplies with louder 80mm fans, despite bearing the name "Silencer". And every PC Power & Cooling power supply made had fixed DC output cables as opposed to modular cables.

Despite PC Power's resistance to making these changes, PC Power & Cooling still remained a viable and popular brand. They continued to have some of the most solid performing power supplies on the market with their Turbo-Cool product line and offered unique services to their customers, such as providing test reports with their units and making custom cable sets to suit customer's needs.

Despite the advantages of a PC Power & Cooling unit, potential customers still posed the question...


"Y U No Make Modular Power Supplies and still use 80mm fans?!?!??!!?"

PC Power & Cooling responded to this with a (now defunct) "Power Supply Myths" page on their website. In the myths page, PC Power & Cooling stated that larger fans that blow down onto the power supply's components as opposed to across them did not provide adequate cooling and that modular connectors created too much resistance and introduced a point of potential failure into the circuit.

Well.. you certainly can't argue with their logic, right?

Ok.. Maybe you can. Sure, blowing air directly across heat sinks from front to back is a definitely a more efficient way to evacuate heat from a power supply, as opposed to blowing air down onto the heat sinks and expecting heat to eventually find it's way out the back of the unit. But power supplies have gone from being less than 80% efficient to 85% efficient and up and therefore generate less heat than they used to. I think after seeing almost every power supply on the market in the past decade utilize a 120mm or bigger intake fan for cooling without reports of catastrophic failures due to overheating, we can conclude that using a large fan that blows down onto the PSU's is more than adequate.

And, without a doubt, any time you introduce a connection point to a circuit you introduce resistance and a potential failure point. But it's been found that the amount of resistance that a connector introduces is negligible and that failures only occur after an unusually high number of disconnections and reconnections eventually wearing out the connectors.

Still PC Power & Cooling stood their ground and continued to put up a fight against those who felt that they should make power supplies with 120mm fans and modular interfaces. They even went as far as to put up "myths" against the use of split +12V rails in order to justify their use of single +12V rails. But that's a whole other story.

Then, in 2007, OCZ Technologies purchase PC Power & Cooling and made it division of their company.


" Yeah? So?"

Soon after the acquisition, OCZ released the Silencer MkII power supply, utilizing a 135mm intake fan.

I know... right?

That brings us to now. A few days ago, OCZ dropped me a line and asked me if I wanted to review the new PC Power & Cooling Silencer MkIII power supply.  This power supply comes in a 400W, 500W and a 600W.  They will be sending me the 600W.

The box arrived and I immediately noticed the opaque image of the power supply unit printed on the outside. It looks like PC Power & Cooling isn't going back to 80mm fans. At least not on the Silencer product line.

I opened up the box, pulled out the power supply and found that not only does the Silencer Mk III use a large intake fan that blows air down onto the PCB (albeit a 120mm fan this time as opposed to 135mm), but it's also MODULAR!

I know... right?

Now, normally I start off a review by going over the box and making snide comments about all of the B.S. marketing typically found throughout. But I know you folks can't wait to behold such an animal as a modular PC Power & Cooling power supply, so I'm going to skip all of the box shots and start things off with pictures of the unit itself.


"Le squee!"

I know... right?

Ok.. Here it is...

I know... right?

As we can see, the PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III has a 120mm intake fan, has a number of fixed cables and a modular interface with four 6-pin connectors and two 8-pin connectors.

Ok... now for the rest of the photos...


 

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