Pros, Cons And Final Verdict
SilverStone is doing battle in the Titanium-class space with its new Strider line, which currently focuses on mid-range capacities. The company chose to collaborate with Enhance Electronics, an OEM that delivers quality products. However, in most cases, they aren't able to match the performance of top-notch platforms made by Super Flower, Seasonic and CWT. This doesn't mean Enhance's products perform poorly. But the competition has the bar raised pretty high, so we have to be extra picky.
The ST60F-TI's underlying platform doesn't utilize a cutting-edge bridge-less design and/or a full-bridge topology, however this doesn't stop it from surpassing the efficiency levels of Raidmax's RX-700AT, and its overall efficiency is only 0.5 percent lower than the high-performance EVGA SuperNova 850 T2. But Enhance had to make some compromises to satisfy the 80 PLUS Titanium requirements, which led to increased ripple on the +12V rail. Obviously this unit doesn't use enough filtering capacitors, since that would have affected efficiency. In a high-end PSU, we don't want to see anything above 40-45mV on the +12V rail and the ST60F-TI registers almost 75mV during our full load test. The ATX spec's limit is 120mV, however we strongly believe that this is too high and it should be lowered in the next ATX revision.
The ST60F-TI's advantages, besides high efficiency, include compact dimensions, quiet operation, high-quality components, tight load regulation at +12V, modular cabling, the FDB fan and an efficient 5VSB rail. On the other hand, its major downsides are a very high retail price, lousy ripple suppression at +12V and 3.3V, and the unexplained lack of a power switch. Apparently Enhance has something against power switches since several of its designs don't have it. In our opinion, every PSU should be equipped with a power switch. Another minor design flaw that we spotted is the lack of a bypass relay for the NTC thermistor that protects against large inrush current. Besides a small efficiency boost, this relay also allows the thermistor to cool down quickly, so it must be included in every modern platform.
With a significantly lower price, the ST60F-TI could stand a better chance against other high-performance PSUs in the 550W to 650W range. Currently there are no other 600W Titanium-class power supplies; a quick look at the 80 PLUS reveals Super Flower's SF-600P14TE, but that's not available anymore. We know that Seasonic (SSR-650TD) and Great Wall (GW-EPS650DA) are preparing lower-capacity Titanium PSUs, but until they surface, the ST60F-TI plays alone in the field and this is a great opportunity for SilverStone. Unfortunately, at $150 the company probably won't move many of them (at the time of the review Amazon sells it for 10 bucks less). Most enthusiasts will look to more affordable alternatives, especially since in the $100-$110 range you'll find capable PSUs like EVGA's 650 P2 and Corsair's RM650x.
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Aris Mpitziopoulos is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware, covering Power Supplies.
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I recently purchased a 800w Version(these are the only Titanium PSUs in the Australian Market under 1000w) and its been everything i've wanted, running at almost 50% load it gives me its peak efficiency which is exactly why i paid the premium to get a Titanium PSU.
I can see the 600w version being a more commonly purchased unit with the way power consumption has dropped, Skylake Rigs only use around 300w(give or take variables) which would be the Striders peak efficiency.
What I don't understand is the small transformer. Aris, you mentioned that this unit, to have higher efficiency, switches to not-as-high of a frequency (which also affects transient response negatively). Since transformer size is inversely proportional to the AC frequency, wouldn't the transformer have to be larger? Is there any downside to a smaller transformer?
Yet again, more PWR_OK cheaters. It seems like at least one in two PSUs are like this. I agree that no power switch on this unit seems very silly to me.