SilverStone SX600-G SFX Power Supply Review

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The Downsizing Effect Hits the PSU Market

As with the automotive market, downsizing is popular in PSUs, too. SilverStone has a long history of selling small and beefy power supplies, the most recent example being its Strider Gold S 1500 W. In this case, the SX600-G is among the strongest SFX units available, equipped with noteworthy features like 80 PLUS Gold efficiency and a fully modular cabling design. Besides that, it exploits semi-passive operation, which we discovered doesn't last long. Frankly, we aren't big fans of the semi-passive mode; we prefer active cooling throughout all load ranges. Just keep the fan spinning slowly during light loads. This ensures higher reliability since it applies less stress to sensitive components like the electrolytic capacitors.

If we set aside the ripple problem that we spotted at temperatures exceeding 40 °C (the limit for continuous full-load operation), this PSU's overall performance is quite satisfactory. The truth is that you don't have many options in this category, and if you want a branded SFX power supply capable of dishing out 600W, then SilverStone's offering is a one-way road. We believe that with increased airflow on the secondary side, where the most sensitive components are located, and with a better choice of capacitors, performance and reliability could be hugely improved. The weird mix of Japanese and Taiwanese caps used by Enhance, this model's OEM, troubled us. If we were SilverStone, we would demand the exclusive use of Japanese caps, which tend to perform at a higher level for much longer. In a PSU that costs $140, it is simply unacceptable to find Sus'con capacitors, which in our experience are on the same level as cheap Chinese caps.

SilverStone plays alone in the SFX field, at least when it comes to high-capacity models. The company has a rich portfolio with the SX600-G as its flagship. If you need to drive a capable mini-ITX system, and your chassis has enough airflow to avoid operating temperatures above 40 °C, then this PSU is ideal. It'd be futile to expect minimal noise output from a small PSU like this one. However, according to our sound measurements, if you can keep temperatures low, the fan speed won't be annoying. The situation can easily change at higher temperatures, where the fan's noise gets a lot louder. Two other changes could enhance this unit's usability: the addition of an on/off switch and another pair of PCIe connectors. A PSU with 600W maximum output will easily handle two mid-level graphics cards with a pair of auxiliary connectors.

The SilverStone SX600-G is among the strongest SFX PSUs available on the market today. It's an efficient unit that offers good ripple suppression at below 40 °C operating temperatures. It's able to offer good enough load regulation at +12V for an AFX PSU and was able to successfully pass all advanced transient load tests.

However, the PSU wasn't able to deliver full power flawlessly at 45 °C ambient and showed excess ripple during the full load and overload tests with over 40 °C ambient. And the semi-passive operation doesn't last long, even at normal ambient. We would also like to see the unit with four PCIe connectors instead of only two and with an accessible on/off switch as well.

Aris Mpitziopoulos
Contributing Editor

Aris Mpitziopoulos is a contributing editor at Tom's Hardware, covering PSUs.

  • Dark Lord of Tech
    Price is a little high.
  • Onus
    The price is a little high.
    I'm not sure I agree with such high ratings of some of the Corsair units, with as many failures as they apparently experience within the first year. It also doesn't bode well for the poor capacitors in this Silverstone either. So far though, at this level, there is no other choice.
  • damric
    The review was perfect this time, Aris. My only nitpick is the graphs are hard to read.

    Well done.

    As far as the PSU itself, I was turned off by the 40C max operating temp fan kicks up at 45... bah... If they would have used better caps then temp could easily been rated for 50C.
  • David Dewis
    I wanna use this to run a GTX 980 in the Silverstone RVZ02 with a i5-4670 (non K) That is all.
  • g-unit1111
    Nice to see that manufacturers are starting to take small form factor builds seriously. I especially like the direction that Silverstone is going in. First the RVZ02B now high quality SFF power supplies. Wave of the future?
  • DarkSable
    This is a wonderful power supply, if you aren't pushing it altogether too hard.

    @David Dewis, go look at the Sandia Cooler. When you're done lusting after that, look at the Id-cooling Is-vc45 Vapor Chamber CPU Cooler... which you can buy right now and use to overclock an i5 in the new Raven just fine. I've got my media PC in an RVZ01 with a Pentium anniversary edition overclocked to heck, and it does just fine. (I can't wait for the RVZ02 to put my gaming rig in and run watercooling out the back.)
  • DarkSable
    That being said. Tom's. What are you doing.

    Silverstone just released the SX500-LG, which is a very slightly longer (130mm) SFX-profile power supply that fits a 120mm fan on top, instead of a dinky, noisy 80mm fan. That's the power supply that I want to see a review of!
  • g-unit1111
    15283400 said:
    (I can't wait for the RVZ02 to put my gaming rig in and run watercooling out the back.)

    I very badly want a RVZ02, it will make a nice home for my old i5-3570K. :lol:
  • Grognak
    52dB and more than 25 idle... "Tiny box that makes a lot of noise" isn't my definition of SFF.
  • Aris_Mp
    I will ask for the SX-500LG, however I have many samples to process till its turn comes to hit the test bench. Unfortunately a full PSU review needs lots of time and I won't do rushed reviews.