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Tom's Hardware's 2011 Gift Guide: Part 1, For System Builders

Power Supply: SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 1000 W


One of the many bad facets of a rotten economy is that some people, in an effort to conserve resources, will pick the cheapest way to do something and lose sight of the big picture. Many of us forget the importance of green computing. After all, it’s not really about the money saved; it’s about taking strain off the planet. Less energy efficiency means more waste heat means more planetary warming means melting polar caps guessed it: a homeless Santa Claus. There ain’t enough room on those melting icebergs for the polar bears and Santa’s reindeer. Our money is on the bears.

However, you can do your own little part to avert this arctic meltdown and save all those Christmases to come by picking the most efficient power supply possible. The shortcut in this selection process is to pick a PSU certified by the 80 PLUS organization, so named after its eponymous baseline specification, meaning an internal 115 V power supply able to operate under 20%, 50%, and 100% loads at a minimum of 80% efficiency. At the extreme end of the 115 V PSU scale, there’s the 80 PLUS Platinum certification, which mandates 90%, 92%, and 89% efficiency, respectively. As a point of reference, 80 PLUS has granted 1120 baseline certifications but only 61 for Titanium. One step from the pinnacle of the 80 PLUS stack is the Gold certification, requiring 87%, 90%, and 87%.

SilverStone’s ST1000-G Evolution surpasses the 80 PLUS Gold level, testing out at 88%, 91%, and 88%. That alone should make this model worth noticing, but SilverStone sweetens the stocking with so much more. We appreciate that the company plainly states on its jumbo-sized box that the power supply’s peak rated power is 1100 W, yet the unit was still marked for 1000 W sustained. We also praise the use of an extremely quiet 139 mm Air Penetrator fan with fluid dynamic bearing. Maximum noise output for the PSU is 28 dbA.

All cabling with this unit is modular, and there are more than enough plugs for even the most powerful systems, including both 550 and 750 mm ATX12V connectors and eight SATA power connectors. All told, the +12 V rail offers 83 A of current, and a power factor of >0.95 under full load. Another two marks of quality are SilverStone’s maximum allowed load variance of only ±3% and an MTBF rating of 100 000 hours at 25 degrees Celsius under full load. Taken all together, this is a superb, stable, and future-looking power supply if you can float the price. If you can, the reindeer will thank you.