From Humble Beginnings to Huge Success

Before success comes hard work. That holds true for every company earning money today. Doug was the driving power behind PC Power & Cooling over the years, and their success came with a lot of hard work and some good ideas. We got some old pictures that show some of the history behind the company.


Here's a picture of Doug Dodson in 1992 at his Comdex booth in Las Vegas. Note how large the power supply is in the chassis. Also notable are the freebies under his left hand. Those are actually the same caps they are still using on some power supplies today.


Here's another booth at a convention with Doug showing what he has to offer. Notice the poster of a cooler on the right side of the wall. That was one of the first CPU coolers available at a time when all CPUs were passively cooled.


Which company claims to have had the first 120mm fan in a power supply? This photo shows PC Power & Cooling already had such a fan in 1986. Note the name of the power supply: Silencer. Can you imagine this name is already 22 years old? Today, the Silencer series - including the 750 Quad - is still one of the best power supplies available.


Here's the first Turbo Cool power supply from the successful series. This power supply made PC Power & Cooling what it is today. When other companies had bad ventilation and only one small fan, PC Power decided to use two fans that blew fresh air onto the components. Since the 5V rail fed most of the components back then, it was rated at a then massive 20A. In contrast, the 12V rail only supplied up to 8A. Another advantage PC Power had over the competition was the angled fans; the competition blew air straight at the components while PC Power angled the fans to improve airflow. There was simply no competition for these power supplies, which is where the company started its huge success.

The difference between the two power supplies in the above gallery is easy to see. While other manufacturers used very simple designs with few components, PC Power provided more - and better - components. Innovations such as these helped pave the way for modern power supplies.

That wraps up our visit with PC Power & Cooling in San Diego. Thanks to Doug and James for their time, as well as a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

Inside PC Power & Cooling
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  • hamunaptra - Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - link

    I have had the 500w Silencer model for a while, it rocks. Unfortunately the first one did fail on me after about 2 months of use, but the RMA process was amazing. I had my NEW PSU back to me within a week!!!! By the time I got around to checking the tracking on it, it showed it was out for delivery TO MY HOUSE!!! ROFL! I was very impressed.
    I got back a totally new 500w PSU and its still goin strong!
    I will buy nothing other than PCP&C in the future! I love the fact the internals of these are high quality and the 80mm fan design I still desire one reason being my case works best with those and 120mm fan PSU's dont get air in my smaller case =)

    This PSU must have amazing cooling ability also, because after my computer has been under load for 24hrs crunching away on all "8" cores crunching away on WCG...I put my hand on the exhaust of the PSU and its cool air! the sides of the PSU are cool also.
    My previous non PCP&C PSU's were hot and loud!!!!! with half the load ROFL!

    I recommend PCP&C PSU's to everyone! the single 12V rail is also superior and....I just hate the idea of multi 12v PSU's having to balance everything and it just seems like a cheap way to get away with a lot of watts and not great parts.
    Reply
  • corsa - Friday, January 30, 2009 - link

    Oh so this is where they do the re-badging ...I'll stick to Seasonic built Corsair. Reply
  • OCZJess - Friday, January 30, 2009 - link

    Yes it is true that Seasonic is PC Power's OEM; however, PC Power designed and engineered the Silencer series themselves in Carlsbad, CA.

    Don't forget PC Power was using Seasonic long before Corsair was even making PSUs. I guess we don't need to wonder why Corsair chose Seasonic :)
    Reply
  • ebayne - Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - link

    I am a major PC P+C fan. I have used them exclusively for going on 10 years now. The most effective ad I ever saw was the one where they showed the guts of an OEM next to a turboCool.

    I'm 44 and am now teaching the next gen of PC Enthusiasts in my family. I tell them if they want my help building a system it has to have a PC P+C psu or I won't touch it. I don't understand these idjits that will spend 600 bucks on a cpu or gpu and then power it with a 10 dollar psu.
    Reply
  • 9nails - Tuesday, January 27, 2009 - link

    I'm in the San Diego area, and would love to take a tour some time. But a virtual tour with more pictures of the shop would have been a nice alternative.

    I've often wondered how components are selected for power supplies. They can't all be selected out of a catalog, right? Any insight as to what goes into the build process?

    I used to be a fan of Antec power supplies, but after my last one and it's RMA unit died on me, no longer. I've installed my first PCP&C Silencer 750 last November. And soon after I built a $4K computer system for a friend with the same power supply. I've liked the build quality so much that I specifically asked for a PCP&C power supply in my next business computer! I'd even be willing to donate the cost difference to my district just to make sure that I'm up and running, unlike those dime-a-dozen power supplies that die in a year. I've learned how addressing this one area of your computer fixes all the other little issues that crop up due to poor design.
    Reply
  • dunce - Tuesday, January 27, 2009 - link

    When the fan in my Silencer 750 started making a clicking sound. I called them and they told me to just bring it in (I live 10min away). They guys were very cool and it was fixed in 30min. Now that is customer service!! I will always run PC P&C Power Supplies! Reply
  • looper - Tuesday, January 27, 2009 - link

    I have owned several of their PS units over the years. Quality and pride is what this company is all about.

    OLD SCHOOL...

    I hope to God that OCZ does not step in and change the success blueprint here.So often, after a takeover the parent Company, trying to cut costs, steps in and makes bad decisions.

    OCZ... don't screw this up....

    Brian in RI
    Reply
  • OCZJess - Tuesday, January 27, 2009 - link

    Hi Brian,

    I would like to mention I am an employee of OCZ. We acquired PC Power & Cooling close to 2 years ago now and as you can see we have not imposed on what made PC Power so successful. The facility and employees have remained intact. In fact, PC Power has improved the quality and engineering of all of OCZ's PSUs.

    I see it as a symbiotic relationship; Doug and team has helped take OCZ power supplies to a new level with their years of experience and immaculate testing abilities. OCZ has helped make them a world-class brand with their global distribution channel.

    We promise not to screw it up ;)
    Reply
  • Joe Schmoe - Monday, January 26, 2009 - link

    I just noticed how much that guys office looks almost exactly like mine.. except all his junk is nicer.





    Reply
  • Zorlac - Monday, January 26, 2009 - link

    I agree the PC P&C most likely makes the best PSUs in the business, but I have to admit I will not buy another until they start using 120 or 140mm fans. Those 80mm blow dryers they use are stupidly loud.

    Nice article by the way! :)
    Reply

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