SilverStone Upgrades ST30SF To V2.0, May Be Using A Different OEM

SilverStone has in its arsenal seven SFX and SFX-LG units, with the most affordable being the ST30SF, which currently has a price tag of $49.99 on Amazon. This might be an entry level unit, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't receive upgrades and fixes. On the contrary, we believe that mainstream products should be the ones gaining the most attention, because they're of great interest to the majority of users who just want something that works well and doesn't cost too much.

With this in mind, SilverStone released the second version (v2.0) of the ST30SF, which is equipped with a larger, quieter 92mm fan. These fans are the largest ones that SFX units can accommodate, and they manage to offer a more silent operation compared to 80mm fans because they're able to push the same amount of air at lower speeds.

More changes in the ST30SF v2.0 model include a lower temperature rating and the removal of the semi-passive operation. The v.2.0 model is rated at 40 ℃ for full power delivery, whereas the original model has a higher temperature rating, at 50 ℃. Moreover, the v2.0 unit has stronger +12V and 5VSB rails, but its minor rails are weaker.

We don't know why SilverStone actually degraded the performance of the v2.0 unit, with the lower temperature rating, but the company said that the v1.0 is suitable for NAS/storage-focused systems or industrial PCs (IPC) because of the increased tolerance to heat and the stronger minor rails, whereas the v2.0 model is better for home and gaming PCs because of the stronger +12V rail and the lower noise output.

Given the significant differences between those two versions, we can safely assume that the new version is based on a different platform, and for that matter it might be provided by another OEM; FSP makes the v1.0 unit. Enhance usually rates its platforms at 40 ℃. Finally, SilverStone hasn't cleared out whether both versions of the ST30SF will co-exist in the market, or if the v.2.0 model will completely replace the older one.

SilverStone ST30SF v1.0 & v2.0
Features & Specs
Max. DC Output300 W
Efficiency80 Plus Bronze
Form FactorSFX
Operating temperature0 °C ~ 40 °C(v2.0)
10 °C ~ 50 °C (v1.0)
ProtectionsOver Current Protection
Over Voltage Protection
Short Circuit Protection
Over Power Protection (v2.0 only)
Under Voltage Protection (v2.0 only)
1 x 24 / 20-Pin motherboard connector(300mm)
1 x 8 / 4-Pin EPS / ATX 12V connector(400mm)
1 x 6-Pin PCIE connector(400mm)
3 x SATA connector (300mm / 200mm / 100mm)
2 x 4-Pin Peripheral connector (300mm / 200mm)
1 x 4-Pin Floppy connector(300mm / 200mm / 200mm)
Cooling92 mm Fan (v2.0)
80 mm Fan (v1.0)
Semi-passive operationNo (v2.0)
Yes (v1.0)
Dimensions125 mm (W) x 63.5 mm (H) x 100 mm (D)
Weight1.0 kg (v2.0)
0.8 kg (v1.0)
Noise Level18 dBA minimum (v2.0)
0 ~ 38 dBA (v1.0)
Warranty3 years
Price at time of review
(excl. VAT)

According to SilverStone's official specs, the v1.0 unit doesn't have Over Power Protection (OPP), so we cannot recommend its purchase. The lack of OPP can easily lead to a broken PSU, or even worse--to a burnt PSU/system, under severe conditions. In addition, the absence of UVP means that the PSU won't shut down even under very high loads (for its max rated capacity), where the rails will drop well below the respective minimum-allowed voltage thresholds. Given the upgraded protection features, the stronger +12V rail, and the larger fan, the v2.0 looks to be the clear winner, despite the lower temperature rating.

SilverStone ST30SF V1.0 Power Specifications

Max. PowerAmps2120 222.5 0. 5
Watts103 264 12.5 6
Total Max. Power (W)300 @ 50 °C

SilverStone ST30SF V2.0 Power Specifications

Max. PowerAmps16 16 2530.3
Watts90 300 153.6
Total Max. Power (W)300 @ 40 °C
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  • Daniel Sauvageau
    I wouldn't make such a big deal out of the lack of over-power protection: as long as the output voltage and current limits work correctly, the worst thing the lack of OPP will do in an otherwise properly built PSU is cause the transformer to saturate and blow a fuse/FET.

    Decent PSUs will at least sense the primary side current and tie that into the error amplifier circuit to do per-pulse current limiting, which provides enough protection to prevent the PSU from self-destructing.

    BTW, I have one of these with me from a Silverstone "surprise box" I got a few weeks ago, just popped it open to have a quick look. It is a cute little critter and has a completely different internal layout from the previous version. Nichicon primary cap, Chemi-con 5VSB output caps, Teapo SC TC just about everywhere else. Uses a Champion CM6806 combination APFC-PWM controller and a WT7527 monitoring IC.
  • Aris_Mp
    OPP senses the primary side's current (to be more specific this happens in the APFC converter). When there is no OPP or a bad configured OPP threshold then the PSU can blow any time under higher than its nominal capacity loads when OCP is bad configured and UVP is absent. Also as I noted this PSU doesn't have UVP so it won't sense when its output rails are highly stressed and go way too low (a typical example when a PSU is about to die due to overload). Finally, in most PSUs OCP is set way too high, on all rails, in order to cope well with transient loads.

    I have blown many PSUs under overload conditions, even some that on papers at least had OCP and UVP.
  • Daniel Sauvageau
    1903369 said:
    Also as I noted this PSU doesn't have UVP

    The WT7527 monitoring chip does do UVP across all three positive rails and does not require any additional external components to do so, which means the ST30SFv2 has it even though it isn't mentioned on the packaging. With the number of features integrated in switching and monitoring ICs, I think PSU manufacturers/vendors are simply getting tired of listing every single feature supported by the chips used in their products and are skipping a few since they provide negligible marketable value. BTW, UVP is actually mentioned in the ST30SFv2's white specs manual (part# G11228050) on page 05 but that one only covers 3.3V and 5V with much lower thresholds than the WT7527's minimum spec. Something funny might be going on there.

    Also, the ST30SFv2 uses DC-DC converters for 3.3V and 5V, which means that 3.3V and 5V power comes out of the 12V rail's OCP budget. That's another effective way of limiting output power. Unless the PSU has been poorly designed, its components should be nowhere near within a momentary peak or short circuit from self-destruction - the ATX power specification itself requires that PSUs gracefully handle those situations by shutting down. If you manage to destroy a PSU this way, then it isn't truly ATX-compliant.