SilverStone Strider Gold S 1500W PSU Review

SilverStone has a long tradition of offering small PSUs, and the new ST1500-GS is an excellent example of this, achieving an impressive 646 watt per liter power density score.

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Pros, Cons And Final Verdict

SilverStone has an outstanding partnership with Enhance, illustrated by the large number of products in its fairly extensive portfolio that are made by the OEM. Enhance is highly experienced in downsizing PSUs, with many of its platforms offering high-power density levels. In this case, the ST1500-GS features decent performance, but the high price tag cripples its performance-per-dollar score. With the $350 that SilverStone currently sells this PSU for, buyers can find alternatives that offer higher performance. In this mega-PSU category, compact dimensions are noteworthy, but priced this high, SilverStone should offer a performance similar to the competition.

Here, the direct competitors of the ST1500-GS, at least in the U.S. market, are EVGA's offerings and, more specifically, the SuperNOVA G2 and P2 units with 1600 W capacity. Both EVGA's units offer significantly higher performance in all areas, but there is a catch: EVGA PSU’s dimensions are much larger with 4.5 cm increased depth compared with the ST1500-GS. For users who want a compact unit 18 cm in length and a powerful PSU, this leaves limited options. Those options include the Enermax Platimax and MaxRevo 1500 W units, the LEPA P1700 and G1600-MA that use the same platform as the above Enermax PSUs, and of course, SilverStone's Strider S series. We should stress, however, that from the models listed above only the MaxRevo and the LEPA G1600-MA along with the ST1500-GS support both 115V and 230VAC input. This means that the high-capacity Strider unit has some tough competition. SilverStone should seriously consider lowering its price closer to or even below $300 to give this PSU a chance in this market segment.

The external and internal build quality of the ST1500-GS is good; our only complaint is the sloppy way that was used to increase the conductivity of the PCB traces in some areas. It looks like SilverStone used an underrated platform and tried to improve it in order to handle the increased amperage. In a way, this reminds us of a roll cage used to improve a car's chassis and allow it to handle increased horsepower. It might do the job, but it surely doesn't look good. Thankfully, in a PSU you won't have to look at the ugly PCB traces since these are well hidden.

Another thing that bothers us about the ST1500-GS is the lack of an on/off switch. In some cases, Enhance Electronics doesn't install a power switch on their platforms, which we find unacceptable. In our opinion, an on/off switch is essential, since even when the PSU is in the off state, the 5VSB rail is still in operation, and when there is no power switch the only way to completely shut the unit down is to remove the AC power cord.

In order of priority, our list of improvements for this unit includes a longer warranty period (at least five years), the installation of a power switch, upgrades in efficiency, along with a significant drop in price. If SilverStone and Enhance are able to work on these issues, then the ST1500-GS will be able to meet its competition in this category, where Enermax and LEPA along with Super Flower and EVGA have a very strong presence.

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Aris Mpitziopoulos is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware, covering Power Supplies.
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Aris Mpitziopoulos
Contributing Editor

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

  • Eggz
    Too bad for this model, but I can't wait to see what this watt-per-litre ratio does for SFX!
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    I would not be that bothered by the lack of a physical switch: most people plug their PC in a power strip, surge protector or UPS and these usually have their own switch.

    Someone bothered enough by the 5VSB power draw to bend under their desk or reach over wherever the switch ends up being in their setup to switch the PSU off should be similarly bothered by the standby power draw of their displays, USB hub, external HDDs and other devices enough to want to turn them all off as well. The simplest way to achieve that is plugging everything into one power strip and turning everything on/off at once from there.

    Also, leaving the 5VSB supply on 24/7 costs less than $0.20/year in power. How much does a replacement CR2032 battery cost and how many power-off hours does it last? It might be cheaper to leave the 5VSB power on.

    The only time where I cut power completely off is during power outages to spare my components all the surges and sags over the first few seconds after power comes back on.
    Reply
  • Blueberries
    I don't think I'll ever have a use personally for a 1500w PC, but if I need that kind of juice this is exactly what I'd be looking at.

    Not the best option, clearly, but what you'd expect from a Gold rated PSU and solid build integrity that should last a long time. I would test this PSU without a fan or with a low noise Noctua fan.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    I would not be that bothered by the lack of a physical switch: most people plug their PC in a power strip, surge protector or UPS and these usually have their own switch.

    Someone bothered enough by the 5VSB power draw to bend under their desk or reach over wherever the switch ends up being in their setup to switch the PSU off should be similarly bothered by the standby power draw of their displays, USB hub, external HDDs and other devices enough to want to turn them all off as well. The simplest way to achieve that is plugging everything into one power strip and turning everything on/off at once from there.

    Also, leaving the 5VSB supply on 24/7 costs less than $0.20/year in power. How much does a replacement CR2032 battery cost and how many power-off hours does it last? It might be cheaper to leave the 5VSB power on.

    The only time where I cut power completely off is during power outages to spare my components all the surges and sags over the first few seconds after power comes back on.

    While I agree with you for the most part, I have had a set of Creative Labs speakers for 10 years that have a remote that use a CR2032 and it is still good with plenty of use and standby time.

    I do agree though that it is annoying not to have the switch on the PSU. Of course I look at it from a repair point of view where having that option is faster than pulling the plug every time I would need to test something.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    16447176 said:
    While I agree with you for the most part, I have had a set of Creative Labs speakers for 10 years that have a remote that use a CR2032 and it is still good with plenty of use and standby time.
    A good battery-operated remote tries very hard to minimize leakage and standby current while a computer RTC which may expect to have 5VSB power available all the time except during power outages has little reason to go to extremes to minimize battery power draw.

    My old Sears TV's remote drains 4xAA in less than a year.
    Reply
  • mctylr
    I would not be that bothered by the lack of a physical switch: most people plug their PC in a power strip, surge protector or UPS and these usually have their own switch.

    In my experience the power supply switch is primarily a convenience, used to ensure a power supply and connected system is de-energized when servicing the computer; inserting or removing components, such as swapping video cards, installing storage drives, etc. This is because the 5VSB (5 volt stand-by) is supplied by the motherboard to PCI and PCI express slots, as well as obviously flowing across a few of the PCB traces, so it is recommended to disconnect power, including stand-by voltage to prevent accidents.
    Reply
  • Frozen Fractal
    Errrm, there's a typo in the article. Look at page 3, the same paragraph has been repeated :)
    Reply
  • Frozen Fractal
    While I don't bother about in-build power switches so much since I always switch off/on via the main wall socket anyway, but it's a nice addition to cater to everyone's need, which is especially expected in these kind of high-wattage PSUs. When we talk about 1.5kW, compromise is what people would reluctantly want.

    Judging by the actual results of the PSU, I think "80+ Silver" should've fitted nicely with it. That way, it wouldn't defame "80+ Gold" Standard :P What I mean actually is, it's barely holding on to the 80+ gold standard. While it doesn't actually translate to significant deal breaker, it's somewhat disappointing to see 550W-approved things in this 1.5kW unit.

    However, the PCB neatness certainly gets my thumbs up. Among the most units I've seen from different distributors and OEMs, this one looks very neat (apart from the gooey use of solder there, Ewwww!), components are arranged very nicely, and there aren't any glue (or whatever you wanna say them) oozing out from or underneath heatsinks and FETs.
    Reply