SilverStone SX800-LTI PSU Review

Final Analysis

[Update, 4/17/2018: SilverStone informed us that all new SX800-LTI units are equipped with an double ball-bearing fan]

SilverStone uses a high-end Enhance platform for its flagship SFX-L-based offering, establishing a new benchmark in power density. Although the platform is one of the best we've encountered in this form factor, we can't help but note several critical flaws.

The first involves bulk capacitors rated for too-low of a temperature. In a PSU that costs so much, it is absurd to see 85°C bulk caps instead of 105°C ones. Surely the higher-rated ones cost more. But we don't believe a price difference of $5 or even $10 matters at this level. On top of that, the bulk caps are critical to the PSU's operation and longevity, so no company should cut corners on them.

Second, we're disappointed by the choice of a sleeve bearing fan. At a time when most of the competition is using FDB/HDB or double ball-bearing fans in their top products, SilverStone went with a plain sleeve bearing, rated for a shorter useful life.

The third downside is a single EPS connector. Currently, all high-end AMD processors need more juice, so their motherboards come with two EPS connectors. This fact renders the SX800-LTI incompatible. That's a shame because, with 800W of output, SilverStone's SX800-LTI easily supports potent CPUs.

Lastly, while we could forgive a slightly lower hold-up time than ATX's recommendation, we can't overlook an inaccurate power-good signal due to the PSU's small form factor and elevated maximum output. Enhance, along with SilverStone, should look into this immediately and fix it for the platform's next revision.

The SFX-L form factor allows for compact dimensions along with the use of larger, 120mm, fans. Generally, these are quieter than the 80mm and 92mm fans found in SFX power supplies. On top of that, roomier enclosures allow for higher capacities as well.

SilverStone's SX800-LTI is one of the strongest PSUs in its category, and definitely among the most efficient as well. If you need a compact power supply for a small form factor case that's capable of driving high-end gaming hardware, but you can still settle for a single EPS connector, then this model may be one of your only options.

Enhance could loosen up its aggressive fan profile to make the SX800-LTI quieter under tough operating conditions. But it seems as though the manufacturer played it safe instead. You see, lower temperatures inside of your PSU help make it last longer. The price you typically pay, however, is increased noise. SilverStone's semi-passive mode doesn't last long, and the fan accelerates quickly once its cooling becomes necessary. Obviously, its profile is begging for a bit of optimization. If this is done properly, we believe the SX800-LTI's overall noise output could be cut to around 30 dB(A). 

If SilverStone is willing to fix the issues we found, a future version of the SX800-LTI would really shine. Hopefully, the company gives our suggestions some serious thought. The only challenging one is our request for a second EPS connector on the modular panel, since there's not much room for more connectivity.

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  • shrapnel_indie
    I know a guy that used to work for SLM at one time in his life. On one of the products for the company brands owned, he could mod it (it was a musical instrument amplifier) for just a couple of pennies and could have saved the company large sums of money on warranty work and improve reliability. He proposed the change, and it was denied because it broke the price-point, and warranties would cover any issues anyway.

    When bean-counters run the show, products will suffer, just so the price-point isn't exceeded and (now days particularly, immediate) profits are maximized. Makes me wonder if Silverstone listened to their bean-counters a little too much.
  • Aris_Mp
    The thing I appreciate in SilverStone is that they didn't follow the marketing war in the warranty periods. For me it is really weird to see 10-12 years warranty in PSUs. Now with the mining craziness many companies are trying to find ways to get out of this.
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  • SilverStone Guy
    Anonymous said:
    When bean-counters run the show, products will suffer, just so the price-point isn't exceeded and (now days particularly, immediate) profits are maximized. Makes me wonder if Silverstone listened to their bean-counters a little too much.

    If bean-counters had their way, a PSU like this would have never been released in the first place! It's a very niche product that will not sell in significant quantities. Implementing sleeve bearing fan was not a cost-cutting move, it was out of necessity to keep the PSU noise low for the intended applications. At the time of development, FDB version of this fan was not yet available to us.