SilverStone has several power supply lines ranging from 350 W to 1,200 W and we were very curious to review a product from this manufacturer. For our first review of a SilverStone product, we decided to take a look at a mainstream product, Strider ST50F, which is a 500 W power supply costing only USD 67 at Newegg.com. How this product compares to other units from this power range we reviewed so far? Can it really deliver its rated 500 W? Is this a good product for Average Joe? Let’s see.
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Figure 1: SilverStone Strider ST50F 500 W power supply.
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Figure 2: SilverStone Strider ST50F 500 W power supply.
As you can see, this power supply uses a big 120 mm brushless fan on its bottom (the power supply is upside down on Figures 1 and 2) and a big mesh on the rear side where on traditional ATX power supplies we have an 80 mm fan. We like this design as it provides not only a better airflow but the power supply produces less noise, as the fan can rotate at a lower speed in order to produce the same airflow as an 80 mm fan.
This power supply has active PFC, a feature that provides a better usage of the power grid and allows SilverStone to sell this product in Europe (read more about PFC on our Power Supply Tutorial). As for efficiency, Silvertone says that this product has a typical 80% efficiency. Of course we will measure this to see if what the manufacturer claim is true. The higher the efficiency the better – an 80% efficiency means that 80% of the power pulled from the power grid will be converted in power on the power supply outputs and only 20% will be wasted. This translates into less consumption from the power grid (as less power needs to be pulled in order to generate the same amount of power on its outputs), meaning lower electricity bills.
The main motherboard cable uses a 20/24-pin connector and this power supply has two ATX12V connectors that together form an EPS12V connector.
This power supply comes with five peripheral power cables: one auxiliary power cable for video cards with two 6-pin connectors attached, one cable containing three standard peripheral power connectors and one floppy disk drive connector, one cable containing three standard peripheral power connectors and two cables with three SATA power connectors each.
The number of power plugs provided by this power supply is more than enough for the average user, with six SATA power plugs and six standard peripheral power plugs. The only thing we didn’t like was that the two 6-pin plugs for video cards were attached to the same cable coming from the power supply. We think it would be better to have them using separated cables coming from inside the unit.
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Figure 3: How the two 6-pin video card power connectors are connected to the unit.
On this power supply all wires are 18 AWG except the wires for -12 V (blue) and power good (grey), which are 24 AWG and probably the thinner wires we’ve seen on a power supply to date. This isn’t exactly a problem as these two outputs don’t pull a lot of current.
On the aesthetic side SilverStone didn’t use any kind of sleeving on the cables, which may have helped reducing the price of this unit.
This power supply is manufactured by FSP and after disassembling it we discovered that it uses the same project as Zalman ZM360B-APS and ZM460B-APS, possibly being identical to Zalman ZM460B-APS (since we haven’t reviewed ZM460B-APS yet we can’t say that for sure). As during our reviews ZM360B-APS proved to be an excellent power supply we were hoping to see good results with this model from SilverStone as well.
Now let’s take an in-depth look inside this power supply.