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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Transient Response Tests

Advanced Transient Response Tests

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

In these tests, we monitored the response of the PSU in two different scenarios. First, a transient load (10A at +12V, 5A at 5V, 5A at 3.3V and 0.5A at 5VSB) was applied to the PSU for 200ms while the PSU was working at 20 percent load. In the second scenario, the PSU was hit with the same transient load while operating at 50 percent load. In both tests, we used our oscilloscope to measure the voltage drops caused by the transient load. The voltages should have remained 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, an instant 100-percent load of CPU/GPUs, etc.). We call these tests "Advanced Transient Response Tests," and they are designed to be exceedingly tough to master, especially for a PSU with a capacity of less than 500W.  

Advanced Transient Response at 20 Percent

Swipe to scroll horizontally
VoltageBeforeAfterChangePass/Fail
12 V12.232V12.060V1.41%Pass
5 V5.011V4.878V2.65%Pass
3.3 V3.306V3.186V3.63%Pass
5VSB5.056V4.992V1.27%Pass

Advanced Transient Response at 50 Percent

Swipe to scroll horizontally
VoltageBeforeAfterChangePass/Fail
12 V12.182V12.108V0.61%Pass
5 V4.982V4.850V2.65%Pass
3.3 V3.270V3.163V3.27%Pass
5VSB5.001V4.944V1.14%Pass

During the first set of tests the deviation on the +12V rail was higher than what we expected from a powerful PSU like this one. Most likely the main cause behind this deviation was the PWM operation of the primary switchers. In the second set of tests with the increased initial load, the +12V voltage drop was much lower, since the primary switchers operated in FM mode. On all the rest of the rails performance was satisfactory but not as high as we would like to have seen.

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

Transient Response At 20 Percent Load

Transient Response At 50 Percent Load

Turn-On Transient Tests

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

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

At 5VSB we noticed a small voltage overshoot, which is nothing to worry about. In the next two tests the results were amazingly good, with very smooth waveforms despite the huge load that we suddenly applied to the PSU.

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