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SilverStone Stash Tour

Inside The EP06

What do we find inside? A handful of DC-DC converters and support components aside: a VIA VT120 four-port USB 3.0 hub chip, a VIA VT100 DisplayPort alt-mode chip, and a Chrontel CH7517 DisplayPort-to-VGA converter. It seems like a shame to include a hub chip and not use it to make the charging port usable as an additional accessory port.

Incidentally, as I was looking up the board components, I came across VIA’s VT100 reference design, which looks awfully similar.


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EP07 Type-C To HDMI Adapter

Similar to the EP06, SilverStone's EP07 requires a host device with DisplayPort alternate-mode support to make any use of its HDMI video output capability. It also uses the same construction style as the EP05, where the cable and guts are fed from the front and boxed in by the front cover. Since I don't own any host devices with alt-mode support, I can't test either adapter.


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USB 3.1-Gen2 Cards

When I received SilverStone's first package and saw the Type-C accessories, I told the company that I didn't have any devices with Type-C ports for testing. These three showed up shortly thereafter. They're all based on the ASMedia ASM1142 PCIe 2.0×2/3.0×1-to-USB 3.0-Gen2 bridge, each with its own niche-specific twist. The trio also comes with low-profile brackets.

From left to right, we have the ECU03, ECU04, and ECU05. The one I used for testing the Ethernet adapter earlier was the ECU05.


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ECU03

The ECU03 provides the most basic way of adding Type-C and Gen2 support to an existing system: one Type-C and one Type-A port directly on the rear bracket. The only other internal connection on the card is a SATA power port. All three cards have one.


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ECU04

The ECU04 is a retrofit card with an internal 19-pin connector to enable USB 3.0-Gen2 on Type-A front panel connectors in older PCs without Gen2 motherboard support.


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ECU05

And here we have the jack-of-all-trades model, which employs ASMedia's chip to feed the Type-C port and a VIA VL812 USB 3.0 hub (Gen1). In turn, that component is used to feed the other ports and provide Battery Charging 1.2 support.

For some reason, the wrong bracket was sealed in my sample’s bag. No, I didn’t get it mixed up with the ECU04’s blank plate. The last I heard, SilverStone was looking into whether this was a one-off mix-up or a batch issue.


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ECU05 Close-Up

I didn't spot any assembly or soldering issues on the most complex of these three boards. However, I do have to ask: who is Gajan? I've never heard of that electrolytic capacitor brand before. As long as they are merely bypassing the PTC fuses, we shouldn't worry too much.

There isn’t much to see on the bottom of the board aside from an ASM1542 7 GHz multiplexer to handle the Type-C connector’s signal routing. The ECU03 has one of these as well.


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ST60F-ES

Since I have a handful of ideas for future power-related stories, I asked SilverStone if it might be interested in sending some PSUs, and in turn I received the ST60F-ES. I’m not going to do anything resembling a full-on review here, just a quick peek.


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ST60F-ES Quick Peek

As you would expect from a low-cost 80 PLUS power supply, the inside appears to be dominated by heat sinks. Capacitor-wise, the most critical ones all come from Teapo, with SC-series caps for the outputs. That's a reasonable choice as far as third-tier brands for budget-oriented power supplies go. Support circuitry, on the other hand, gets Su’Scon capacitors, which may be a different story.

There isn’t much to see on the bottom side of this board aside from a typical-looking wave solder job. At a glance, I wouldn’t mind using this PSU as a spare or for an occasional-use PC.


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ST30SFv2

SilverStone also offered its ST30SF, with one small twist. I received the recently-updated ST30SFv2 instead. What does cramming 300W of capacity in about half the volume of a standard ATX form factor look like on the inside? Let’s have a look.


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  • clonazepam
    Hello Daniel. I'm afraid these parts aren't all that interesting to me, personally. I respect others may feel different. Now, here's what I came up with given my level of interest. I think you should design a suspension bridge, and build it out of these parts. Once complete, see how much weight it can support before collapsing.

    I hope you can appreciate my contribution to the comments section.
    Reply
  • Kridian
    I never think to inspect PSUs for bad soldering, but you've just convinced me to start.
    Reply
  • Daniel Sauvageau
    19158928 said:
    I never think to inspect PSUs for bad soldering, but you've just convinced me to start.
    You never know what you'll find until you start looking. Doing so properly and (reasonably) safely however isn't within everyone's capabilities.
    Reply
  • iam2thecrowe
    So now i have to pull apart every PSU I buy to do their QA checking for them?
    Reply
  • Daniel Sauvageau
    19159703 said:
    So now i have to pull apart every PSU I buy to do their QA checking for them?
    Hopefully not, but it shows that even top-tier ODMs like Enhance in the Strider's case aren't exempt of occasional QA oversight. Can't draw a definitive conclusion on how common those assembly/QA issues are from a sample size of one.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    I love the reversible USB A and B cables. Why has it taken this long for that to be done, considering it was so simple?
    Reply