PC Power & Cooling's Turbo-Cool 860W
Putting the, er, screws to the competition
Purchased by OCZ Technology last year, PC Power & Cooling remains one of the most respected names in the power supply business. The Turbo-Cool 860W is the company's latest creation, and with a $270 MSRP, it's the most expensive unit in this round-up. Our expectations for the Turbo-Cool were already pretty high given that PC Power's Silencer 750W took home an Editor's Choice award in our last PSU comparo, but sticker shock has elevated them even further.
Rather than following the industry trend of spreading 12V power over multiple rails, PC Power & Cooling believes a single 12V line is the best approach. In fact, the company is so enamored with massive 12V rails that the Turbo-Cool actually feeds its 3.3 and 5V outputs off the 12V line. That sounds ambitious, especially since the PSU is already rated for a whopping 64A of 12V output.
The 860W model is the baby of a Turbo-Cool lineup that includes kilowatt and 1200W models, and yet, in its standard ATX form factor, the 860W looks rather unassuming. Take off the sticker, and nothing about the Turbo-Cool's exterior hints at its prodigious power. Even the cooling is old-school, relying on a single 80mm exhaust fan at the rear of the unit.
You won't find anything fancy on the cabling front, either. Plenty of leads are provided, but the four-pin peripheral and SATA lines aren't sheathed all the way down, which strikes us as a little sloppy for a power supply in this price range.
The Turbo-Cool does have an ace up its sleeve, though. Three screws spread across two locations give users the ability to fine-tune the PSU's 3.3, 5, and 12V lines. The screws themselves are a little tough to turn, particularly the one associated with the 12V line (on the far right in the picture above) because it doesn't line up perfectly with the ventilation holes around it, but you shouldn't need to fiddle with them regularly.
Maintaining consistent DC voltages isn't a problem for the Turbo-Cool. You'll note that we haven't been able to nail 3.3, 5, and 12 volts exactly here, despite having access to adjustable rails. This is as close as the screws would take us.
AC ripple is virtually nonexistent on the Turbo-Cool. I don't believe we've ever seen such consistently low AC content in a power supply.
Efficiency looks good, too. The Turbo-Cool manages over 80% across all load levels, hitting a high of nearly 85% at a 50% load.