The good High Power platform offers high performance, while the 92mm FDB fan and the relaxed fan profile contribute to a silent enough overall operation. If this PSU had four PCIe connectors and SilverStone added an SFX-to-ATX adapted in the bundle, then we would have less things to complain about. The OTP, OPP and OCP triggering points need fixing as well, in order to offer a safer operation.
Full power at 47°C
Ripple suppression (+12V)
Accurate Power Ok signal
Fluid Dynamic Bearing fan
2x PCIe connectors
OTP, OPP and OCP are set sky-high
No SFX-to-ATX adapter included in the bundle
85°C bulk cap
EMI below 1MHz
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Features & Specifications
SilverStone recently added two more SFX-based power supplies to its portfolio, featuring 500W and 650W capacities. Besides their super-compact dimensions, the SX500-G and SX650-G sport 92mm fans. That's the largest size you can pack into this form factor. In the past, most SFX PSUs used 80mm fans that spun at high speeds in order to achieve sufficient airflow. As a result, they were typically pretty loud. Although 92mm fans aren't as quiet as the 120mm and 140mm fans found in larger power supplies, they can push the same amount of air at lower speeds than 80mm ones. So, when you pair them up with an efficient platform and an optimized fan speed profile, they offer reasonably quiet operation while keeping temperatures down.
The SX500-G we're evaluating today offers an impressive 630W per liter density. It is fully modular, like most mid-range and high-end SilverStone PSUs. Inside, only Japanese capacitors are used, and there's just one +12V rail, simplifying installation since you don't have to worry about which cable goes to which component.
An 80 PLUS Gold certification is complemented by Cybenetics ETA-A and LAMBDA-S++ ratings, representing efficiency in the 88%-91% range and acoustics between 30-35 dB(A). In general, a PSU that exceeds 30 dB(A) cannot be considered silent. However, we can't forget the SX500-G's compact form factor and relatively high capacity (for an SFX PSU, that is). Neither of those factors help keep noise output low, especially under tough conditions. If you need small dimensions and the least noise possible, consider an SFX-L-based power supply with a 120mm fan.
High Power builds SilverStone's SX500-G and SX650-G units with an 80 PLUS Gold-rated platform. As mentioned, the SX500-G is completely modular, and its maximum operating temperature for continuous full-power delivery is limited to 40°C. We can safely assume that a diminutive enclosure is the main reason for this relatively low temperature rating.
A complete suite of protection features leaves us nothing to complain about there.
Of course, we have the 92mm cooling fan, which purportedly employs a fluid dynamic bearing. There is no semi-passive mode. That may seem weird from a highly efficient PSU like this one. But given the SX500-G's compact dimensions, we prefer the fan to keep moving, preventing heat from building up inside.
The three-year warranty seems short compared to higher-end SFX-based PSUs. We do believe, however, that it is better to be realistic when it comes to warranties. Companies that get too optimistic about the longevity of their products run into trouble over time.
|Total Max. Power (W)
SilverStone delivers close to 42A on the +12V rail and up to 110W combined on the minor rails. That's not bad for such a small power supply. The 5VSB rail has the usual capacity for a modern unit, at 12.5W.
Cables And Connectors
|Connector Count (Total)
|ATX connector 20+4 pin (300mm)
|4+4 pin EPS12V (410mm)
|6+2 pin PCIe (560mm)
|6+2 pin PCIe (410mm)
|Four-pin Molex (300mm+200mm+200mm)
|FDD Adapter (+105mm)
We didn't expect to find a pair of EPS connectors, but it'd be great to at least see four PCIe connectors instead of only two. Although this PSU is primarily destined for small cases, it still packs enough punch to support a gaming PC with two high-end graphics cards installed.
The cable length is pretty short, showing that this PSU is intended for compact enclosures and not large ATX ones. After all, SilverStone doesn't bundle an SFX-to-ATX bracket, compelling you to use an SFX-compatible chassis.
Finally, the distance between connectors (on the cables with more than one) is adequate.
Since this PSU features a single +12V rail, we do not have anything to say about its power distribution.
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Aris Mpitziopoulos is a Contributing Editor at Tom's Hardware US, covering PSUs.
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I'm afraid I can't find ETA-B and LAMBDA B- ratings in cybenetics sites.Reply
there has been a change/refresh on the ratings. There is no more B, C, D ratings in the new ratings. The thresholds/ranges are exactly the same, just the naming scheme has been changed in some of the ratings. If you go to the ETA and LAMBDA pages you will find the new ratings.Reply
Good write up Aris! Should I revive my SFF system build, I'll know what to shoot for amongst a plethora of STX PUS's.Reply