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Cross-Load Tests & Infrared Images
Our cross-load tests are described in detail here.
To generate the following charts, we set our loaders to auto mode through custom-made software before trying more than 25,000 possible load combinations with the +12V, 5V and 3.3V rails. The regulation deviations in each of the charts below were calculated by taking the nominal values of the rails (12V, 5V, and 3.3V) as point zero. The ambient temperature was between at 30°C (86°F) to 32°C (89.6°F).
Load Regulation Charts
If you want a highly efficient PSU, then keep looking. SilverStone's ST45SF doesn't match that description compared to alternatives in the same form factor.
We applied half-load for 10 minutes with the PSU's top cover, along with its cooling fan, removed before taking photos with our modified FLIR E4 camera that delivers 320x240 IR resolution (76,800 pixels).
The temperatures inside of this PSU are normally quite high. Because of its low efficiency, the energy losses are higher, translating to a greater thermal load. Still, the ST45SF delivered our half-load for ~13 minutes without its fan attached. It could probably go for longer, but we didn't want to stress it unnecessarily (though a shut-down is the worst that would happen, given built-in OTP).
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Aris Mpitziopoulos is a Contributing Editor at Tom's Hardware US, covering PSUs.