Power supplies continue to be one of the main issues of concern for many modern PC builders. Enthusiasts who want to build systems with the latest and greatest parts and configurations are trapped in a “Catch-22” of high power consumption requirements, coupled with the need for clean, stable power. Today’s high-end components are power hungry and require high-end power supplies to deal with the power needs of a high-end configuration. While your 400 Watt no-name power supply was able to get you through most of the Pentium 4 and Athlon XP era with AGP video cards, they simply are not up to the task with the modern high-end motherboards with high-end PCIe video cards.
PC Power and Cooling (PPC), which is now part of the OCZ Group, is one of the most well respected names in power supplies. While its high-end PSUs have always been known for high performance and clean stable power, the price at which it was offered has caused sticker shock on more than one occasion. The truth is that quality power supplies cost money, and when you get into looking at a high quality, high-performance power supply that offers the kind of power that it says that it does on the label, you should be prepared to pay for it. While power supplies have been an after thought to some users in the past, without a power supply that is able to handle your system configuration, you are just asking for stability problems that are sometimes tough to pinpoint, but are often traced back to an underperforming power supply. Be prepared to spend some serious coin on one of these high-performance PSUs, as they start in the neighborhood of US$150 and can go north of US$200 very quickly.
Today, we take a look at the PC Power and Cooling Silencer 750 Quad – Crossfire Edition. The Silencer 750 Quad comes in a few different configurations, but basically the difference is in the color of the outer power supply casing and certification. The Silencer 750 Quad Crossfire Edition is certified for use in ATI Crossfire configurations and features a red colored housing to go along with the Crossfire theme.
The Silencer 750 Quad is a bit of a departure for PPC, as it is manufactured to PPC’s exacting specifications by Seasonic, one of the most well respected names in the power supply industry. Again, this is a departure for PPC, as they have normally used Win-Tact for the manufacturing of many of their previous power supply designs. From our understanding, the Silencer 750 Quad is more than just an OEM Seasonic power supply with the PPC name on it. You will have to read into that what you will. As far as we can tell currently, this model does outperform the current Seasonic models available in North America, as far as wattage and configuration.
The Silencer 750 Quad name invokes quiet with the use of the word “Silencer” in the name. We should tell you that the Silencer 750 Quad uses a single thermal controlled 80mm fan with a channeled design to exhaust the heat out of the power supply; and it is not “silent” by any stretch of the imagination at full load, as even with a modest load on the power supply it might be a bit louder than you would expect from a power supply with the word “Silencer” in the name.
The power supply itself sports some impressive features, such as 825 Watts peak, but it is more rated at a reasonable 750 Watts @ 40° C. This yields 83% efficiency with .99 power factor correction (PFC). The 12-Volt DC output is an impressive 60 Amps on a single rail. As we said earlier, the unit is certified for both ATI Crossfire and NVIDIA SLI use.
The power supply features mesh sleeved cabling for the majority of the cable leads. The cabling leads are a generous 20 inches to the first connector. The 20-inch length should allow most users to reach even the most out-of-the-way area inside the case. One nice feature that PPC offers is that if you buy the power supply directly from them, or of it is sent back to them, they are willing to track down a custom wiring harness with customer specific lengths. The 20 inches to the first connector is what is found on the default configuration of this unit, but it does not encompass all of the cabling harness configurations that are possible for this unit. The quality of the cable used is very good, and has a heavy stiff feel, indicating a high gauge cable. The cables are sleeved all the way inside the power supply for a cleaner look.
The cabling connector configuration includes one 20 + 4-pin ATX connector, 2 4 + 4-pin ATX EPS 12-Volt connector, 2 6-pin PCI Express connectors, 2-pin PCI Express connectors, 8 4-pin Molex connectors, 1 4-pin floppy connector and 6 SATA connectors.
The internal build quality is excellent and very close to what you would find in a server grade power supply. Silencer 750 Quad uses high-quality Japanese capacitors from Nippon Chemi-Con, which speaks volumes for the quality of this unit. The Silencer 750 Quad uses two massive heatsinks that are between the capacitors and the large transformer. The unit uses a single 80mm fan that is located in the rear of the unit. The spacing of the fan is a little more than one inch away from the heatsinks; this is to reduce noise that is created by the turbulence of the fan being too close to the heatsinks. In a very cramped environment, power supplies often create their own noise problems by poor fan placement or configuration, which leads to a more noisy power supply.
The housing of the power supply is seven inches in length, so it is a longer depth unit, which means that you might have some issues with it fitting into a case that has a power supply cage that surrounds the power supply unit or a case that has a fan in the top of the case. We suggest that you might want to make sure that your case can support a longer depth power supply before selecting the Silencer 750 Quad as your power supply.
In real world testing of the Silencer 750 Quad that lasted over a month, we noticed very little movement in the voltage output. The Silencer 750 Quad in our HD 2900 XT equipped system was more than up to the task of powering the video card, 3 hard drives, 2 optical drives, as well everything else in our system. Under heavy load, the fan did spin up a bit during marathon gaming sessions, but the noise from the HD 2900 XT video card was louder than that of the Silencer 750 Quad. The Silencer 750 Quad did what it was advertised to do, which is to provide clean and stable power to our system with no problems whatsoever.
Compared to other power supplies, the US$199 price tag might seem a bit steep, but the reality is that a power supply of this level of build quality is going to cost more than the typical run-of-the-mill power supply. Given that this is a reality, we can recommend the Silencer 750 Quad as an excellent product that is able to perform well in a variety of situations. While it is not as powerful as some of the high-end 1000 Watt models, at 100% load in simulated testing, the Silencer 750 Quad is able to achieve almost 850 Watts of output. However, at that level the Silencer 750 Quad does get a bit warm and, obviously, the fan noise does increase.
With excellent build quality and a PSU that is a cut above the rest we can award the Silencer 750 Quad our Fudzilla Recommended Award.