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.