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SilverStone Strider Gold 1200W PSU Review (SST-ST1200-G)

Additional technical assistance: Peter McFarland and Jeremy Price.

Correctly testing power supplies is a complex procedure and KitGuru have configured a test bench which can deliver up to a 2,000 watt DC load. Due to public requests we have changed our temperature settings recently – previously we rated with ambient temperatures at 25C, we have increased ambient temperatures by 10c (to 35c) in our environment to greater reflect warmer internal chassis conditions.

We use combinations of the following hardware:
• SunMoon SM-268
• CSI3710A Programmable DC load (+3.3V and +5V outputs)
• CSI3711A Programmable DC load (+12V1, +12V2, +12V3, and +12V4)
• Extech Power Analyzer
• Extech MultiMaster MM570 digital multimeter
• SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa)
• Digital oscilloscope (20M S/s with 12 Bit ADC)
• Variable Autotransformer, 1.4 KVA

DC Output Load Regulation

Combined

DC Load

+3.3V
+5V
+12V
+5VSB
-12V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A
V
A V
330W
5.50
3.38
5.50
5.06
21.25
12.16
0.87
5.04
0.20 -12.09
620W
11.00
3.37
11.00
5.05
42.50
12.13
1.75
5.02
0.40 -12.11
918W
16.50
3.35
16.50
5.04
63.75
12.08
2.62
5.00
0.60 -12.13
1204W
22.00
3.32
22.00
5.02
85.00
12.03
3.5
4.98
0.80 -12.14
Strider Gold 1200W
Maximum Load
1405W

We wrestled 1405W from the unit before it would switch off. The overcircuit protection system worked fine and it shut off safely.

Next we want to try Cross Loading. This basically means loads which are not balanced. If a PC for instance needs 500W on the +12V outputs but something like 30W via the combined 3.3V and +5V outputs then the voltage regulation can fluctuate badly.

Cross Load Testing +3.3V +5V +12V -12V +5VSB
A V A V A V A V A V
1190W 1.0 3.31 1.0 5.01 62.0 11.93 0.05 -12.14 0.05 4.98
195W 22.0 3.22 22.0 4.93 1.0 12.05 0.05 -12.15 0.05 5.00

The Strider Gold 1200W power supply handles the Cross Loading tests very well and we experienced no issues during this phase. All voltages remained within stated tolerances.

We then used an oscilloscope to measure AC ripple and noise present on the DC outputs. We set the oscilloscope time base to check for AC ripple at both high and low ends of the spectrum. ATX12V V2.2 specification for DC output ripple and noise is defined in the ATX 12V power supply design guide.

ATX12V Ver 2.2 Noise/Ripple Tolerance
Output
Ripple (mV p-p)
+3.3V
50
+5V
50
+12V1
120
+12V2
120
-12V
120
+5VSB
50

Obviously when measuring AC noise and ripple on the DC outputs the cleaner (less recorded) means we have a better end result. We measured this AC signal amplitude to see how closely the Silverstone unit complied with the ATX standard.

AC Ripple (mV p-p)
DC Load +3.3V +5V +12V 5VSB
330W 5 10 15 10
620W 15 15 20 10
918W 15 20 25 15
1204W 15 20 35 15

Ripple results are well within the parameters set down in the ATX12V Ver 2.2 standard. +3.3V and +5V are extremely impressive and the +12V rail is also very stable, never exceeding 35mV.

Efficiency (%)
330W
88.56
620W
92.02
918W
90.74
1204W
88.32

Very solid results generated by the SilverStone 80 Plus Gold Certified power supply, hitting 92 percent efficiency at 50 percent load. At full load the efficiency drops to just over 88% which is very strong.

We take the issue of noise very seriously at KitGuru and this is why we have built a special home brew system as a reference point when we test noise levels of various components. Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on components we are testing. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.

Today to test the Power Supply we have taken it into our acoustics room environment and have set our SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa) one meter away from the unit. We have no other fans running so we can effectively measure just the noise from the unit itself.

As this can be a little confusing for people, here are various dBa ratings in with real world situations to help describe the various levels.

KitGuru noise guide
10dBA – Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refridgerator
50dBA – Normal Conversation
60dBA – Laughter
70dBA – Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA – City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA – Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA – MP3 Player at maximum output
110dBA – Orchestra
120dBA – Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA – Threshold of Pain
140dBA – Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA – Instant Perforation of eardrum

Noise (dBA)
330W
29.4
620W
32.3
918W
35.3
1204W
38.1

It is not the quietest PSU we have tested, but at anything under 50% is it barely noticeable in a normal environment. At 900W the fan starts to spin up, generating a maximum of 38dBa at full load. The chances of running this at anything close to full load is rather low however. Generally noise emissions were below 34 dBa.

Temperature (c)
Intake
Exhaust
330W
35
36
620W
38
43
918W
42
50
1204W
46
56

The large Young Lin 135mm fan helps to generate high levels of airflow across the components inside the chassis, with a 10c above ambient intake registered at full load.

Maximum load
Efficiency
1405W
86.3

Pushing the PSU above its rated limits generates an efficiency level of around 86.3%. This is not a viable ‘real world’ situation, but its interesting nonetheless.

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