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SilverStone SX550 SFX PSU Review

SilverStone continues to enrich its SFX PSU portfolio. One of the most recent additions is the SX550, a budget-oriented unit featuring Gold-class efficiency and fixed cables instead of modular ones. As you can tell, it's intended to bring prices down.

Transient Response Tests

Advanced Transient Response Tests

For details on our transient response testing, please click here.

Ιn these tests, we monitor the PSU's response in two different scenarios. First, a transient load (10 A at +12V, 5 A at 5V, 5 A at 3.3V and 0.5 A at 5VSB) is applied for 200 ms while the PSU works at 20 percent load. In the second scenario, the PSU is hit by the same transient load while operating at 50 percent load. In both tests, we use our oscilloscope to measure the voltage drops caused by the transient load. The voltages should remain within the ATX specification's regulation limits.

These tests are crucial because they simulate the transient loads a PSU is likely to handle (such as booting a RAID array or an instant 100 percent load of CPU/GPUs). We call these tests "Advanced Transient Response Tests," and they are designed to be very tough to master, especially for a PSU with a capacity of less than 500 W.  

Advanced Transient Response at 20 Percent

VoltageBeforeAfterChangePass/Fail
12V11.981V11.609V3.10%Pass
5V5.059V4.936V2.43%Pass
3.3V3.342V3.192V4.49%Pass
5VSB4.983V4.940V0.86%Pass

Advanced Transient Response at 50 Percent

VoltageBeforeAfterChangePass/Fail
12V11.935V11.543V3.28%Pass
5V5.013V4.893V2.39%Pass
3.3V3.303V3.155V4.48%Pass
5VSB4.934V4.879V1.11%Pass
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The +12V rail performs poorly in these tests and the same goes for 3.3V. Only the 5V and 5VSB rails achieve decent performance.

Here are the oscilloscope screenshots we took during Advanced Transient Response Testing:

Transient Response At 20 Percent Load

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Transient Response At 50 Percent Load

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Turn-On Transient Tests

In the next set of tests, we measure the PSU's response in simpler transient load scenarios—during its power-on phase.

For the first measurement, we turn off the SX550, dial in the maximum current the 5VSB rail can output and switch the PSU on. In the second test, we dial the maximum load the +12V can handle and start the PSU while it's in standby mode. In the last test, while the SX550 is completely switched off (we cut the power or switch the PSU off by flipping its on/off switch), we dial in the maximum load the +12V rail can before switching the PSU on from the loader and restoring power. The ATX specification states that recorded spikes on all rails should not exceed 10 percent of their nominal values (+10 percent for 12 V is 13.2 V, and 5.5 V for 5 V).    

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The 5VSB slope is almost perfect. We don't have any complaints about the second test's results either (standby to full 12V). On the contrary, ripple is increased for a short period during the last test before the rail settles down to the nominal voltage level.

Aris Mpitziopoulos
Aris Mpitziopoulos is a Contributing Editor at Tom's Hardware US, covering PSUs.