OCZ has unveiled the newest addition to their PC Power & Cooling line, and it looks quite good on paper. Since purchasing PC Power & Cooling back in 2007, OCZ has kept each brand pursuing their original target markets, with the OCZ-branded power supplies catering more toward mainstream enthusiasts and PC Power & Cooling towards the high-end.
The Silencer MK III 1200W released yesterday, and carries the 80 Plus Platinum certification. To earn the sacred 80 Plus Platinum, a power supply must maintain at least 92% efficiency at “typical” workloads, meaning 50% load, and this is what you’ll see advertised. However, it must also maintain at least 90% efficiency at a 20% load, and 89% efficiency at maximum load. For those who don’t know, “efficiency” is simply the percentage of input power that is converted to output power, while the remainder is converted to heat. Thus, high-efficiency power supplies will draw less power in order to supply the needed amount of electricity to your PC components, generate less heat, and thus require less cooling. Since almost all power supplies use fans for cooling, this translates almost directly into a quieter power supply, thus the Silencer moniker. The MK III’s efficiency, combined with its impressively large 140mm fan, makes for a very quiet power supply indeed—as larger fans tend to be much quieter than smaller ones.
The MK III is thankfully completely modular, meaning only the cables you want to use have to be plugged into the power supply, and the rest can stay tucked in a closet somewhere. A power supply of that size can connect a LOT of cables, so cable management is usually a nightmare without modular cabling. Containing a single +12v rail at a whopping 100A, it would be very difficult to stress this behemoth enough to cause stability problems unless there’s some sort of defect in the product, and the impressive 7-year warranty should have you covered there.
There’s one more new feature OCZ is throwing into their new flagship model—something they’ve called the Dual Thermal Control System. To further improve noise levels, the back of the power supply that is accessible from outside the PC has a nifty little power fan switch. One quick flip, and the fan will switch from normal operation to silent mode on the fly, after which the fan will be, in OCZ’s words, “working in conjunction with the load and temperature controlled 140mm fan for ultra-quiet operation”. While it’s not entirely clear what this means, we can guess that it adjusts the scaling on the fan speed to favor quiet operation over extra cool temperatures, possibly even operating fanless at low loads, while still staying well within allowed heat ranges. The 7-year warranty is enough proof that neither mode will harm the life of the power supply, or at least that’s what they expect.
While pricing was not released in the announcement, a quick search shows the MK III selling on Newegg for $350, right next to the only other comparable power supply, a Corsair model, at the same price. Curiously, Amazon carries the MK III at a much lower $283, and the Corsair model at $318. Make of this what you will, but if the MK III stays available at under $300, it’s really not a bad deal at all.