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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Efficiency, Temperature And Noise

Efficiency

Our efficiency testing procedure is detailed here.

Using the results from the previous page, we plotted a chart showing the ST1500-GS efficiency at low loads, and loads from 10 to 110 percent of the PSU's maximum-rated capacity.

Efficiency is low at both light and normal loads. Enhance stayed well behind the competition with this platform and will need to make many improvements to the design if it wants this PSU to stay in the game.

Efficiency At Low Loads

In the following tests, we measure the efficiency of the ST1500-GS at loads significantly lower than 10 percent of the device's maximum capacity (the lowest load the 80 PLUS standard measures). The loads we dialed were 20, 40, 60 and 80W. This is important for representing when a PC is idle, with power-saving features turned on.

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Test #12V(A/V)5V(A/V)3.3V(A/V)5VSB(A/V)PowerDC/AC(W)Efficiency(%)Fan Speed(RPM)Fan NoisedB(A)PF/AC (V)
11.188A0.491A0.480A0.195A19.6152.3689035.50.744
12.264V5.028V3.329V5.109V37.45115.1V
22.406A0.989A0.990A0.391A39.7262.3589035.50.878
12.260V5.025V3.326V5.100V63.71115.1V
33.622A1.486A1.502A0.586A59.8370.0593042.60.907
12.258V5.023V3.323V5.094V85.41115.1V
44.830A1.994A1.985A0.785A79.7874.19123040.10.931
12.256V5.021V3.321V5.085V107.53115.1V

At light loads, efficiency was much lower than we expected. Surely a very high-capacity PSU has a great disadvantage at such low loads, but still it should offer better results, especially when compared with the performance of other PSUs in this category under the same conditions.

5VSB Efficiency

The ATX specification states that 5VSB standby supply efficiency should be as high as possible, recommending 50 percent or higher efficiency with 100mA of load, 60 percent or higher with 250mA of load and 70 percent or higher with 1A or more of load.

We will take four measurements: one each at 100, 250 and 1000mA, and one with the full load the 5VSB rail can handle. 

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Test #5VSBPower (DC/AC)EfficiencyPF/AC Volts
10.102A0.52W72.22%0.043
5.120V0.72W115.1V
20.252A1.29W77.25%0.098
5.114V1.67W115.1V
31.002A5.10W81.47%0.285
5.088V6.26W115.1V
43.502A17.52W77.22%0.478
5.004V22.69W115.1V

The 5VSB rail's efficiency performance was a very pleasant surprise. Enhance did a very good job with this circuit.

Power Consumption In Idle And Standby

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Mode12V5V3.3V5VSBPower (AC)PF/AC Volts
Idle12.269V5.030V3.334V5.123V13.70W0.392
115.1V
Standby0.11W0.007
115.1V

In the table above, you'll find the power consumption and voltage values of all rails (except -12V) when the PSU is idle (powered on, but without any load on its rails), and the power consumption when the PSU is in standby mode (without any load, at 5VSB).

Phantom power was quite low in both cases (115V and 230VAC input).

Fan RPM, Delta Temperature And Output Noise

Our mixed noise testing is described in detail here.

The first chart below illustrates the cooling fan's speed (RPMs), and the delta between input and output temperatures. The results were obtained at 38 C (100.4 Fahrenheit) to 47 C (116.6 F) ambient temperature.   

The next chart shows the cooling fan's speed (RPMs) and output noise. We measured acoustics from 1 meter away, inside a small, custom-made anechoic chamber with internals completely covered in sound-proofing material (be quiet! Noise Absorber kit). Background noise inside the anechoic chamber was below 18 dB(A) during testing, and the results were obtained with the PSU operating at 36 C (96.8 F) to 47 C (116.6 F) ambient temperature. 

The following graph illustrates the fan's output noise over the operating range of the PSU. The same conditions of the above graph apply to our measurements, though the ambient temperature was between 28 C (82.4 F) and 30 C (86 F).  

As you can see from the graph above, up to around 900 W load the ST1500-GS is quiet, which is true for all 1.5 kW PSUs that don't feature a semi-passive mode. At a load greater that 900 W, the noise output quickly increases to extremely loud levels, which in worst case scenarios exceed 49 dBA.

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