After the excellent test of the Precision 11 tower at Silverstone, I decided to test the Silverstone PSU Strider Gold S Series 550 W, ST55F-G which is in another branch of their specialty, the power supplies for PC. Computer power supplies are also called PSU, which in English are the initials of Power Unity Supply!
What to watch out for
Regarding computer power supplies, there are several things to consider:
- the first being the power, the number of watts that this power can deliver. Not enough and your pc won't start, too much is useless and will make you lose money
- the second is the format. Logic, if it's too big, it won't fit into your turn!
- the third is connectivity. Same as the second, except that here it is the connectors that will not return.
- the fourth is performance.
For the first, second and third, there is no miracle, you have to know its equipment and what is compatible or not.
On the other hand, the fourth… Efficiency or energy efficiency… First of all, you need to know exactly what the power does: it converts the electrical voltage of the sector (230 volts for us Europeans) into different voltages compatible with the different elements that make up your computer. This is the first input of electricity, so it must be well protected, and it is also the first output, so this conversion must be both quality (stable, or otherwise, it is your other components that cash everything), but also that this conversion is optimal in terms of performance! What for? For mainly 2 reasons:
- Performance is the ratio of power delivered to the components and power from the electrical outlet. It must transform the alternating electrical current of the area into a continuous electrical current that the various components of the PC can use. During this transformation, like any type of work, there is always a loss of energy here which is in the form of heat, and that is why it is necessary to cool the PSUs. It is therefore important to choose a high-efficiency power supply to have less heat release, which will result in less noise because the fan will need less to cool your power supply.
- In addition to heat and noise, there is also a question of costs! This loss in the form of heat is also your money that goes up in smoke! Imagine, if your power supply has a 50% efficiency, it's like you have 2 identical computers turned on with 100% efficiency, but one of the two computers is running in a vacuum and is useless! Basically, you supply energy, which you pay for, for nothing! And when I say for nothing, it's that you can really do nothing about it! In short, money wasted through the window! And if we look even further, this loss of energy simply contributes to global warming! how? Simply because not all power plants are nuclear and some of them run on coal, or gas, and you know what? Their own yield does not exceed 50%! Loss – loss – loss… And as they say, small streams make great rivers!
As proof, the European Union has published an ecodesign directive since 1 July 2014, which is called ErP2014.
The 80 Plus label
This directive determines that internal power supplies must provide a minimum efficiency of 82% at a rated power of 20% and 100%, as well as 85% efficiency at a nominal power of 50%. In addition, a power factor of 0.9 is required for a 100% rated power.
In America, it's slightly different in the sense that it's a label that indicates at a glance the power supplies that have a yield above 80%, the 80 PLUS.
The characteristics of the 80 Plus label
Here are the features of the label:
|Test type 80 PLUS||115 V non-redundant internal||230 V redundant internal|
|Rate of food use||10 %||20 %||50 %||100 %||10 %||20 %||50 %||100 %|
|80 MORE Bronze||—||82 %||85 %||82 %||—||81 %||85 %||81 %|
|80 PLUS Silver||—||85 %||88 %||85 %||—||85 %||89 %||85 %|
|80 PLUS Gold||—||87 %||90%||87 %||—||88 %||92 %||88 %|
|80 PLUS Platinum||—||90%||92 %||89 %||—||90%||94 %||91 %|
|80 PLUS Titanium||90%||92 %||94 %||90%||90%||94 %||96 %||91 %|
Created in 2004, this label quickly became a kind of reference. And what I appreciate is that we can see the result of the PSUs that have been validated here.
Therefore, it is easily verifiable if the manufacturer who puts the label 80 PLUS has really passed the tests or if he tries to sell you an unlabelled 80 PLUS power supply by making you believe it.
115 or 230 volts?
The last thing to know is that until April 2014, the tests were carried out in 115 volts, that is, the current sector of America. In Europe, we use 230 volts. As a result, most, if not 99% of the power supplies labeled, are with the 115 volts! As you can see in the table, the values are slightly different. Personally, I estimate that if the power supply is labelled in 115 volts, this yield is the same in 230 volts. Theoretically, the switch from 115 volts to 230 volts for the same block always gives better yields because basically there are twice as many amperes pass and therefore less Joules effect (the Joules effect being the heat that is released because of the electrical resistance ). Well, on the other hand, I'm not going to go into the details any further ^^
Silverstone Strider Gold S power supply, ST55F-G
This is part of the PSU series labeled 80 PLUS Gold.
For the record, Silverstone has been known for quite a few years for its quality power supplies, and we can also see it at the level of its labels obtained: they managed to build a power supply with one of the 2 highest level, the 80 PLUS Platinum ! Platinum, that is to say almost 90% at all times! In fact, we immediately notice the difference in physical terms: the power supply, the NJ520 simply does not need a fan to cool down!!! (Be careful, it heats anyway, but much less and with an optimization of the aeration of the case, it does not need to have a dedicated fan!)
And know that this technical feat is relatively rare: in total, only 300 out of the more than 5000 power supplies labeled to date are Platinum type, so less than 10%!
Going back to the ST55F-G, here are its features:
The features of the Strider Gold S ST55F-G
- ATX 12V power pack
- Compact design
- Surge protection
- Certification 80 PLUS Gold performance level
- Protection from short circuits
- 100% modular wiring
- Overhead protection
- Continuous output power with a running temperature of 40oC
- Overload protection
- Unique high-end rail – 12V
- Strict voltage regulation of 3% and low noise and ripple
- Overheating protection
- 120mm silent fan with 18dBA minimum
- Protection against undervoltage
- 1 x 24/20 pin connector for motherboard (550mm)
- 1 x 8/4 pine splinter EPS / ATX 12V (750mm)
- 2 x connectors 8 / 6 pines PCI-E ("550mm" x2)
- 8 x SATA connectors ("600mm / 150mm / 150mm /150mm" x 2)
- 6 x 4 pine connectors AUX ("600mm / 150mm / 150mm" x2)
- 2 x 4 pine connectors for floppy drive ("600mm / 150mm / 150mm / 150mm" x2)
- Dimensions: 150 mm (L) x 86 mm (H) x 140 mm (P)
- Weight: 1.9kg
- Compatible with Intel processors codenamed Haswell
And for more technical details:
|3 per cent||3 per cent||3 per cent||5 per cent||10%|
Reg Line (%)
|1 per cent||1 per cent||1 per cent||1 per cent||1 per cent|
|3 per cent||3 per cent||3 per cent||5 per cent||10%|
Reg Line (%)
|1 per cent||1 per cent||1 per cent||1 per cent||1 per cent|
Black (unleaded paint)
3.3 combined, 5V
Voltage as a starter
Entry frequency range
47Hz – 63Hz
Active PFC (PF-0.9 in full load)
87%-90% to 20% -100% charge
0C – 40C
The Strider Gold S 550W, ST55F-G
Design level, completely black. On the fan grille, silverstone logo in metallic color is the most beautiful effect! Unfortunately, the fan will be at the bottom, so apart from the unpacking, we lose this beauty! On the upper side, there is still the logo – Silvertsone written diagonally. I think it's well done, but again, I feel like they did it backwards… When you open a computer, or when the frame of the tower contains a window to admire the internal components of the pc, it is usually on the left side (when you look at the computer from the front)… Now the logo – the writing are directed inwards, that is, to read Silverstone correctly, you have to look at the computer from the front and in height. Whereas if they had put it in the other diagonal, for those who have a cracked wall, they would see the writing directly… (If I have not been clear, on the image above, the branch area is at the top)
The performance test
On the other hand, where some sites are again testing the performance of power supplies to get an opinion, I'm not going to do it, at least for this one, and this for the following reasons:
- It is labeled 80 PLUS. The label is donated by an independent laboratory, and therefore must pay to have that label. As a result, in principle, firms test first at home, and then when they are on, they send the power supply to testing. Retesting the performance of a labelled power supply is, in my opinion, completely ridiculous! (Unlike unlabelled blocks that can be just as good!) Not trusting a brand is one thing, but not trusting the brand – an independent laboratory that also publishes its results on the internet and accessible to all is paranoia! It's like passing the technical control of your car, you pay, and not trusting them, and re-testing yourself… (Well, ok, here it may be your life, maybe it's not the right example, but that's what I found more talking). I
want to say, if you retest the performance despite it has the label, it is that you do not trust them … Ok… but what gives you confidence in the equipment with which you are testing? Tested with another device? What about that other device? In short, the endless loop… I believe that if the model is represented with such a label and that the result of this label is actually there, visible and correct, it is that it is ok.
Of course, it's a different story for those who are not labeled, or who are supposedly labeled but that we find no trace or even with the incorrect label …
2. I don't have the equipment to test everything or even all the knowledge
The 80 Gold label means that it has a minimum return of 87%, 90% and 87% to 20%, 50% and 100% charge respectively.
It is generally discouraged to take a power supply too powerful, because the yield is not linear, below 20% of the power supply load, the yield decreases very strongly and can easily go down to 60%! But for the SST55F-G, no worries, even at 55 watts, it manages to keep a yield at 85% (tested on 115 volts)!
I don't know the yield below 55W, but normally no matter the pc, even at rest, should consume more than 55 W!
In short, the SST-55F-G has an excellent performance from start to finish!
This power supply also has the distinction of being completely modular!
This has several advantages:
- easily replaceable without having to buy back a complete unit if a cable breaks
- if some kind of cable is not used, no need to leave in the tower, so less clutter
- no need to look after a power supply that has the cables that suit you
- less clutter – more airflow and therefore better cooling of the tower (especially when the cables are flat as here, of course provided they are put correctly, otherwise, it will have the opposite effect ^^)
About the cables, these are entirely black and flat. And small detail, connectors like the 20/24 pines for powering the motherboard or the 6/8 pines, in short those that are "separated" for maximum compatibility have kinds of small fasteners, which allows them to be much more stable when connected and not leave on their side:
On the other hand, at the cables to the SATA connectors, I find that there is a big flaw: the distance between the different SATA connectors! The distance is 15 cm, it is just too big… Of course, it depends on each lap, but in any case, with the Precision 11 chassis, under no circumstances did I manage to plug 2 SATA components one after the other… Hard drives are rarely separated between 15 cm (even when moving from the first to the third). And in some cases, it can be a problem to close the wall because of the excess cables between 2 connectors.
Note: From what I've noticed, this distance of 15 cm is often used, but I don't know why… Either something escapes me, or it's a simple coincidence that it does not correspond to my locations, or technical limit, …
Except for that, nothing to say about the cables, these are long enough and strong enough, just a bit too rigid for my taste, but since they are new and it is also a proof of quality …
Cooling strider Gold S, ST55F-G
On the cooling side for this PSU, it is carried out by a 120 mm fan. Thanks to its excellent performance, it requires less ventilation than conventional power supplies, and as a result, up to about 50% charge, the fan runs down speed: completely silent!
Haswell processor compatible and superior. It should be noted that the last processors of the latest generations could cause some problems due to their low consumption in a state of rest due to their low consumption. No problem with this one. You can find a haswell-compatible Silverstone PSU list here: http://www.silverstonetek.com/downloads/PSU/Haswell_CPU_support.pdf
And regarding graphics cards, here: http://www.silverstonetek.com/downloads/PSU/GPU-supportlist.pdf (It goes without saying that I am talking here about those who will be connected in PCI-E.
The Strider Gold S (ST55F-G) is definitely a great power supply! It exudes quality in every way! The only flaws for me are some points of design and space between the different SATA connectors. But despite these small defects, I highly recommend this power supply that has the advantages of having excellent performance, being completely modular, silent, having 6 protections, being stable and being compact! In short, high-end to buy with eyes closed!
Product link: http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=580&area=fr
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/B009PBIFK2/