SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W Power Supply Review
By Gabriel Torres on December 15, 2011


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

The new SiverStone Strider Gold Evolution series of power supplies is comprised of 750 W, 850 W, 1,000 W, and 1,200 W models, all featuring the 80 Plus Gold certification, a removable air filter for the fan, and a full modular cabling system, meaning that even the main motherboard cable is detachable. Let’s see if the 750 W model is a good option.

SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply
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Figure 1: SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply

SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply
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Figure 2: SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply

This is the first power supply we’ve seen with an air filter for its fan. It is attached to the power supply magnetically, making it very easy to be removed and cleaned. Interestingly, the company sells this filter by itself, in case you want to have this feature on another power supply.

SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply
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Figure 3: The magnetic air filter

The SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W is 7.1” (160 mm) deep, using a 139 mm fluid dynamic bearing fan on its bottom (SilverStone AP141 “Air Perpetrator,” which is actually a Honghua HA1425L).

As mentioned, this unit has a full modular cabling system with 11 connectors, one for the main motherboard cable, two for ATX/EPS12V power cables, four for video card power cables, and four for peripheral and SATA power cables. This power supply comes with the following cables:

The ATX12V/EPS12V and video card power cables use thicker, 16 AWG wires, while all other cables use 18 AWG wires, which is the minimum recommended gauge.

The cable configuration is excellent for a 750 W power supply, with four video card power connectors and eight SATA power connectors.

SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply
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Figure 4: Cables

Let’s now take an in-depth look inside this power supply.

A Look Inside the SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W

We decided to disassemble this power supply to see what it looks like inside, how it is designed, and what components are used. Please read our “Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies” tutorial to understand how a power supply works and to compare this power supply to others.

On this page we will have an overall look, and then in the following pages we will discuss in detail the quality and ratings of the components used.

SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply
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Figure 5: Top view

SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply
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Figure 6: Front quarter view

SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply
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Figure 7: Rear quarter view

SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply
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Figure 8: The printed circuit board

Transient Filtering Stage

As we have mentioned in other articles and reviews, the first place we look when opening a power supply for a hint about its quality, is its filtering stage. The recommended components for this stage are two ferrite coils, two ceramic capacitors (Y capacitors, usually blue), one metalized polyester capacitor (X capacitor), and one MOV (Metal-Oxide Varistor). Very low-end power supplies use fewer components, usually removing the MOV and the first coil. 

In this stage, the SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply is impeccable, with two Y capacitors and three X capacitors more than the minimum required.

SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply
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Figure 9: Transient filtering stage (part 1)

SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply
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Figure 10: Transient filtering stage (part 2)

On the next page, we will have a more detailed discussion about the components used in the SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W.

Primary Analysis

On this page we will take an in-depth look at the primary stage of the SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W. For a better understanding, please read our “Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies” tutorial.

This power supply uses one GBU1006 rectifying bridge, which is attached to an individual heatsink. This bridge supports up to 10 A at 100° C, so in theory, you would be able to pull up to 1,150 W from a 115 V power grid. Assuming 80% efficiency, the bridge would allow this unit to deliver up to 920 W without burning itself out. Of course, we are only talking about this particular component. The real limit will depend on all the components combined in this power supply.

SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply
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Figure 11: Rectifying bridge

The active PFC circuit uses two STW20NM50FD MOSFETs, each one capable of delivering up to 20 A at 25° C or 14 A at 100° C in continuous mode (note the difference temperature makes), or up to 80 A in pulse mode at 25° C, each. These transistors present a 220 mΩ resistance when turned on, a characteristic called RDS(on). The lower this number the better, meaning that the transistors will waste less power, and the power supply will achieve a higher efficiency.

The output of the active PFC circuit is filtered by two 270 µF x 420 V electrolytic capacitors connected in parallel. This is the equivalent of one 540 µF x 420 V. Both capacitors are Japanese, from Matsushita (Panasonic), and labeled at 105° C.

In the switching section, the SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W uses another two STW20NM50FD MOSFETs in the traditional two-transistor forward configuration. The specifications for these transistors were previously discussed above.

SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply
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Figure 12: Switching transistors, active PFC diode, and active PFC transistors

The primary is managed by a CM6802 PWM controller.

SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply
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Figure 13: PWM controller

Let’s now take a look at the secondary of this power supply.

Secondary Analysis

The SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W uses a synchronous design in its secondary, meaning that the diodes were replaced with transistors in order to increase efficiency. In addition, this power supply uses a DC-DC design, meaning that it is basically a +12 V power supply, with the +5 V and +3.3 V outputs generated by two smaller switch-mode power supplies attached to the main +12 V output. This is also done to increase efficiency.

The +12 V output is rectified using four IPP023N04N MOSFETs, each one capable of handling up to 90 A at 100° C in continuous mode, or up to 400 A at 25° C in pulse mode, with an RDS(on) of only 2.3 mΩ.

SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply
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Figure 14: The +12 V transistors

The +5 V and +3.3 V power supplies are located in two individual printed circuit boards, and each one uses an APW7073 PWM controller and four STD85N3LH5 MOSFETs, each one capable of handling up to 80 A at 25° C or 55 A at 100° C in continuous mode, or up to 320 A at 25° C in pulse mode, with an RDS(on) of 4.2 mΩ.

SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply
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Figure 15: One of the DC-DC converters

SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply
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Figure 16: One of the DC-DC converters

The secondary transistors are controlled by a PS232S chip, which supports over voltage (OVP), under voltage (UVP), and over current (OCP) protections. There are four +12 V over current channels available, but the manufacturer decided to use only one of them, thus making this unit a single-rail design.

SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply
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Figure 17: Monitoring circuit

The electrolytic capacitors used in the secondary are also Japanese, from Chemi-Con, and labeled at 105° C, as usual.

Power Distribution

Figure 18 shows the power supply label containing all the power specs.

SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply
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Figure 18: Power supply label

This power supply uses a single-rail design, so there is not much to talk about here.

Let’s now see if this power supply can really deliver 750 W.

Load Tests

We conducted several tests with this power supply, as described in the article, “Hardware Secrets Power Supply Test Methodology.” 

First we tested this power supply with five different load patterns, trying to pull around 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100% of its labeled maximum capacity (actual percentage used listed under “% Max Load”), watching the behavior of the reviewed unit under each load. In the table below, we list the load patterns we used and the results for each load.

If you add all the powers listed for each test, you may find a different value than what is posted under “Total” below. Since each output can have a slight variation (e.g., the +5 V output working at +5.10 V), the actual total amount of power being delivered is slightly different than the calculated value. In the “Total” row, we are using the real amount of power being delivered, as measured by our load tester.

The +12VA and +12VB inputs listed below are the two +12 V independent inputs from our load tester. During this test, the +12VA and +12VB inputs were connected to the power supply’s single +12 V rail.

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

5 A (60 W)

11 A (132 W)

16 A (192 W)

22 A (264 W)

27 A (324 W)

+12VB

5 A (60 W)

10 A (120 W)

16 A (192 W)

21 A (252 W)

27 A (324 W)

+5 V

2 A (10 W)

4 A (20 W)

6 A (30 W)

8 A (40 W)

11 A (55 W)

+3.3 V

2 A (6.6 W)

4 A (13.2 W)

6 A (19.8 W)

8 A (26.4 W)

11 A (36.3 W)

+5VSB

1 A (5 W)

1.5 A (7.5 W)

2 A (10 W)

2.5 A (12.5 W)

3 A (15 W)

-12 V

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

0.5 A (6 W)

Total

147.1 W

296.6 W

444.9 W

591.9 W

748.4 W

% Max Load

19.6%

39.5%

59.3%

78.9%

99.8%

Room Temp.

45.2° C

45.0° C

46.9° C

47.2° C

46.8° C

PSU Temp.

45.9° C

46.2° C

46.8° C

48.0° C

48.9° C

Voltage Regulation

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Ripple and Noise

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

AC Power

168.5 W

332.2 W

499.2 W

674.0 W

869.0 W

Efficiency

87.3%

89.3%

89.1%

87.8%

86.1%

AC Voltage

116.1 V

114.4 V

112.8 V

110.4 V

108.8 V

Power Factor

0.944

0.965

0.975

0.977

0.983

Final Result

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

The SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W can really deliver its labeled wattage at high temperatures.

Efficiency was between 86.1% and 89.3% during our tests. At our full load test, efficiency was a bit below the 87% minimum promised by the 80 Plus Gold certification. If you follow our reviews, you know that temperature plays a major role in efficiency. The higher the temperature, the lower the efficiency. During this test, the AC voltage dropped below 115 V, which also affects efficiency.

Voltage regulation was very good, with all voltages closer to their nominal values than required (three percent regulation), except the -12 V output during all tests, the +3.3 V output during test five (at +3.20 V), and the +5VSB output during tests four and five (at +4.84 V and +4.79 V, respectively). These outputs were still inside the allowed range. The ATX12V specification states that positive voltages must be within 5% of their nominal values, and negative voltages must be within 10% of their nominal values.

Let’s discuss the ripple and noise levels on the next page.

Ripple and Noise Tests

Voltages at the power supply outputs must be as “clean” as possible, with no noise or oscillation (also known as “ripple”). The maximum ripple and noise levels allowed are 120 mV for +12 V and -12 V outputs, and 50 mV for +5 V, +3.3 V and +5VSB outputs. All values are peak-to-peak figures. We consider a power supply as being top-notch if it can produce half or less of the maximum allowed ripple and noise levels.

The SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W provided extremely low ripple and noise levels, as you can see in the table below.

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

16.0 mV

21.8 mV

26.8 mV

28.2 mV

35.0 mV

+12VB

24.2 mV

29.4 mV

34.8 mV

40.4 mV

47.8 mV

+5 V

9.2 mV

9.6 mV

10.4 mV

11.2 mV

14.2 mV

+3.3 V

8.6 mV

9.8 mV

10.0 mV

11.4 mV

13.4 mV

+5VSB

10.2 mV

11.4 mV

12.6 mV

14.8 mV

17.4 mV

-12 V

50.6 mV

57.6 mV

63.8 mV

58.8 mV

68.4 mV

Below you can see the waveforms of the outputs during test five.

SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply
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Figure 19: +12VA input from load tester during test five at 748.4 W (35 mV)

SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply
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Figure 20: +12VB input from load tester during test five at 748.4 W (47.8 mV)

SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply
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Figure 21: +5V rail during test five at 748.4 W (14.2 mV)

SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply
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Figure 22: +3.3 V rail during test five at 748.4 W (13.4 mV)

Let’s see if we can pull more than 750 W from this unit.

Overload Tests

Below you can see the maximum we could pull from this power supply. We couldn’t pull more, as the power supply would shut down, showing that its protections are present and working fine. During this extreme configuration, noise and ripple levels were still extremely low. The +3.3 V and +5VSB outputs dropped below the minimum allowed, at +3.12 V and +4.73 V, respectively. The +5 V output dropped to +4.82 V, still inside the allowed range.

Input

Overload Test

+12VA

33 A (396 W)

+12VB

33 A (396 W)

+5 V

20 A (100 W)

+3.3 V

20 A (66 W)

+5VSB

3 A (15 W)

-12 V

0.5 A (6 W)

Total

949.4 W

% Max Load

126.6%

Room Temp.

45.4° C

PSU Temp.

49.8° C

AC Power

1,161 W

Efficiency

81.8%

AC Voltage

104.2 V

Power Factor

0.987

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W power supply include:

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

Conclusions

The SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution 750 W proved to be an excellent power supply, with efficiency up to 89.3%, extremely low noise and ripple levels, and decent (but not “flawless”) voltage regulation. The highlights of this power supply also include a full modular cabling system with an excellent configuration for a 750 W product (four video card cables and eight SATA power cables), a high-end fan, and a magnetic fan filter, which is a terrific idea. To top all of this, this unit is offered at an excellent price for an 80 Plus Gold unit (USD 160), costing less than its main competitor, the FSP Aurum CM Gold 750 W (USD 175).

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/SilverStone-Strider-Gold-Evolution-750-W-Power-Supply-Review/1452


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