It is a great surprise to see a high-capacity Enhance Electronics platform offering good ripple suppression across most of its operational range. In the past, this OEM seemed to think ripple performance wasn't particularly important, so most of its designs barely satisfied the ATX spec's limits (<120mV at +12V and <50mV on the minor rails). In reality, though, ripple suppression is one of the most important performance factors in a PSU, along with load regulation and transient response. Higher ripple levels impose more stress on the DC-DC converters of all system components, shortening their lifetime. Ripple also cuts into the lifespan of capacitors, since it increases their temperature (a 10°C increase can halve a capacitor's useful life). Moreover, ripple plays an important role in overall system stability, especially when you overclock. For all of these reasons, we put extra weight on ripple performance when we calculate a PSU's overall performance rating.
The ST1500-TI's platform is far from perfect, though: our cross-load tests reveal some operating regions where ripple on the +12V rail is within the 100-120mV range. That's within the ATX spec, but still too high for a modern PSU.
The Strider Titanium family's flagship offers high efficiency, good overall ripple suppression, good transient response, and a double-ball bearing fan that's well-suited to tough operating conditions like what you'd see in a mining rig. On top of that, it sports compact dimensions for a 1.5kW PSU, and all of its PCIe connectors use dedicated cables.
But again, not everything is ideal here. The ST1500-TI demonstrates a shorter than 17ms hold-up time, its power-good signal is inaccurate, and load regulation on the minor rails is just average. SilverStone's fan profile is also quite aggressive, especially under high operating temperatures. Of course, we don't expect a super-strong PSU like this one to be quiet once it's pushed hard. Given this unit's high efficiency, though, we believe the company could use a more relaxed fan profile without compromising the PSU's long-term reliability. Apparently, SilverStone's people had a different opinion, and if we take into account that most high-capacity PSUs nowadays are used for mining purposes, we cannot blame them for their choice. The best compromise would have been to offer two fan modes: a normal one for typical enthusiasts who won't push the ST1500-TI hard for prolonged periods and a turbo mode for miners.
With a number of small modifications, we believe that this platform could be dramatically improved, even if the tweaks cost a little bit of efficiency. It would be better, in our opinion, to drop an efficiency certification level in order to fix the performance everywhere else.
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