SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W Power Supply Review
By Gabriel Torres on August 29, 2011


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Silver Award

The SilverStone Strider Plus is a power supply series with a full modular cabling, with models ranging from 500 W to 1,000 W. The 500 W and 600 W models have 80 Plus Bronze certification, while the 750 W, 850 W, and 1,000 W models have 80 Plus Silver certification. We’ve already reviewed the 750 W model, which received our Golden Award. Let’s see if the more inexpensive 500 W model is also a good buy.

While the 750 W model we’ve reviewed was manufactured by Enhance Electronics, the 500 W model is manufactured by FSP.

SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W power supply
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Figure 1: SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W power supply

SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W power supply
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Figure 2: SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W power supply

The SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W is 5.5” (140 mm) deep, using a 120 mm ball bearing fan on its bottom (Yate Loon D12BH-12).

As mentioned, this unit has a full modular cabling system, meaning that even the main motherboard cable can be removed from the power supply. This power supply comes with the following cables:

All wires are 18 AWG, except the wires on the main motherboard cable, which are 16 AWG (i.e., thicker), which is very nice to see on a 500 W power supply.

The cable configuration is excellent for a 500 W product, with six SATA power connectors and two video card power connectors.

SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W power supply
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Figure 3: Cables

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

A Look Inside the SilverStone Strider Plus 500 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 Plus 500 W power supply
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Figure 4: Top view

SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W power supply
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Figure 5: Front quarter view

SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W power supply
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Figure 6: Rear quarter view

SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W power supply
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Figure 7: 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. 

This power supply has one X capacitor and two Y capacitors more than the minimum required, but it lacks an MOV, which is the component in charge of removing spikes coming from the power grid. If you pay close attention, you will see the place where this component should have been installed, in front of the fuse.

SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W power supply
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Figure 8: Transient filtering stage (part 1)

SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W power supply
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Figure 9: Transient filtering stage (part 2)

In the next page, we will have a more detailed discussion about the components used in the SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W.

Primary Analysis

On this page we will take an in-depth look at the primary stage of the SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W. For a better understanding, please read our Anatomy of Switching Power Supplies tutorial.

This power supply uses one GBU1506 rectifying bridge, attached to the same heatsink used by components of the active PFC circuit. This bridge supports up to 15 A at 100° C, so in theory, you would be able to pull up to 1,725 W from a 115 V power grid. Assuming 80% efficiency, the bridge would allow this unit to deliver up to 1,380 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 Plus 500 W power supply
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Figure 10: Rectifying bridge

The active PFC circuit uses two STF22NM60 MOSFETs, each supporting up to 22 A at 25° C or 12.6 A at 100° C in continuous mode (note the difference temperature makes), or 80 A at 25° C in pulse mode. These transistors present a 250 mΩ resistance when turned on, a characteristic called RDS(on). The lower the number the better, meaning that the transistor will waste less power, and the power supply will have a higher efficiency.

SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W power supply
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Figure 11: Active PFC transistors and diode

The electrolytic capacitor that filters the output of the active PFC circuit is from CapXon and labeled at 85° C.

In the switching section, two FDPF18N50 MOSFETs are used in the traditional two-transistor forward configuration. Each transistor supports up to 18 A at 25° C or 10.8 A at 100° C in continuous mode, or 72 A at 25° C in pulse mode, with an RDS(on) of 265 mΩ.

SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W power supply
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Figure 12: Switching transistors

The primary is controlled by the popular CM6800 active PFC/PWM combo controller.

SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W power supply
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Figure 13: Active PFC/PWM combo controller

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

Secondary Analysis

The SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W has six Schottky rectifiers attached to the secondary heatsink.

The maximum theoretical current each line can deliver is given by the formula I / (1 - D) where D is the duty cycle used and I is the maximum current supported by the rectifying diode. As an exercise, we can assume a duty cycle of 30 percent.

The +12 V output uses two SBR30A50CT Schottky rectifiers (30 A, 15 A per internal diode at 110° C, 0.55 V maximum voltage drop), giving us a maximum theoretical current of 43 A or 514 W for this output.

The +5 V output uses two PFR30L45CT Schottky rectifiers (30 A, 15 A per internal diode at 120° C, 0.52 V maximum voltage drop), giving us a maximum theoretical current of 43 A or 214 W for this output.

The +3.3 V output uses another two PFR30L45CT Schottky rectifiers, giving us a maximum theoretical current of 43 A or 141 W for this output.

SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W power supply
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Figure 14: The +5 V, +12 V, and +3.3 V rectifiers

This power supply uses a WT7527 monitoring integrated circuit. This integrated circuit supports over voltage (OVP), under voltage (UVP), and over current (OCP) protections, supporting two +12 V rails. The manufacturer, however, opted to use only one of the two +12 V over current protection circuits, making this unit a single +12 V rail product.

SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W power supply
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Figure 15: Monitoring circuit

The electrolytic capacitors available in the secondary are from OST and Teapo, labeled at 105° C.

Power Distribution

In Figure 16, you can see the power supply label containing all the power specs.

SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W power supply
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Figure 16: Power supply label

This power supply has a single +12 V rail, so there is not much to talk about here.

How much power can this unit really deliver? Let’s find out.

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, both inputs were connected to the power supply’s single +12 V rail.

Input

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Test 4

Test 5

+12VA

4 A (48 W)

7.5 A (90 W)

11 A (132 W)

14 A (168 W)

17.5 A (210 W)

+12VB

3 A (36 W)

7 A (84 W)

10.5 A (126 W)

14 A (168 W)

17.5 A (210 W)

+5 V

1 A (5 W)

2 A (10 W)

4 A (20 W)

6 A (30 W)

8 A (40 W)

+3.3 V

1 A (3.3 W)

2 A (6.6 W)

4 A (13.2 W)

6 A (19.8 W)

8 A (26.4 W)

+5VSB

1 A (5 W)

1 A (5 W)

1.5 A (7.5 W)

2 A (10 W)

2.5 A (12.5 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

102.9 W

200.3 W

301.6 W

396.4 W

492.4 W

% Max Load

20.6%

40.1%

60.3%

79.3%

98.5%

Room Temp.

45.7° C

44.7° C

44.7° C

44.2° C

48.0° C

PSU Temp.

49.3° C

48.6° C

48.4° C

49.1° C

52.1° C

Voltage Regulation

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Ripple and Noise

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

AC Power

120.7 W

232.0 W

354.5 W

475.4 W

614.1 W

Efficiency

85.3%

86.3%

85.1%

83.4%

80.2%

AC Voltage

116.4 V

115.0 V

113.7 V

114.1 V

112.5 V

Power Factor

0.992

0.987

0.992

0.995

0.996

Final Result

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

The SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W can really deliver its labeled wattage at high temperatures.

Efficiency was between 83.4% and 86.3% when we pulled between 20% and 80% of the unit’s labeled power (i.e., between 100 W and 400 W). At full load (500 W), efficiency was at 80.2%. The 80 Plus Bronze certification is given to power supplies that can deliver at least 82% efficiency at full load. However, the 80 Plus certification tests are conducted at a room temperature of only 23° C, and efficiency drops as temperature increases. Unfortunately, we keep seeing power supplies with 80 Plus Bronze certification that can’t deliver the promised efficiency at high temperatures.

Voltages were closer to their nominal values (3% regulation) during all tests, which is terrific to see, except the -12 V output, which was not inside this tighter range. This output, however, was still inside the allowed margin. The ATX12V specification says positive voltages must be within 5% of their nominal values, and negative voltages must be within 10% of their nominal values.

Noise and ripple levels were low at all times, but during test five, the +5VSB output was touching the limit at 49.4 mV. Below you can see the results for the power supply outputs during test number five. The maximum allowed is 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.

SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W power supply
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Figure 17: +12VA input from load tester during test five at 492.4 W (47.6 mV)

SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W power supply
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Figure 18: +12VB input from load tester during test five at 492.4 W (44.4 mV)

SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W power supply
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Figure 19: +5V rail during test five at 492.4 W (28.4 mV)

SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W power supply
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Figure 20: +3.3 V rail during test five at 492.4 W (15.8 mV)

Let’s see if we can pull more than 500 W from this unit.

Overload Tests

Below you can see the maximum we could pull from this power supply. We couldn’t pull more than that because the power supply shut down, showing that its protections were working just fine. During this test, positive voltages were still inside the tighter 3% regulation, and noise and ripple levels were still low, except at +5VSB (50.2 mV).

Input

Overload Test

+12VA

20 A (240 W)

+12VB

20 A (240 W)

+5 V

8 A (40 W)

+3.3 V

8 A (26.4 W)

+5VSB

3 A (15 W)

-12 V

0.5 A (6 W)

Total

545.8 W

% Max Load

109.2%

Room Temp.

47.8° C

PSU Temp.

54.9° C

AC Power

695 W

Efficiency

78.5%

AC Voltage

111.7 V

Power Factor

0.997

Main Specifications

The main specifications for the SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W power supply include:

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

Conclusions

The SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W is a good option if you are looking for a 500 W power supply with a full modular cabling system. It can really deliver its labeled wattage at high temperatures, positive voltages are closer to their nominal values than required (3% voltage regulation), noise and ripple levels are low (except for the +5VSB output), and it provides terrific efficiency for the market to which it is targeted, between 83% and 86% when we pulled between 20% and 80% of the unit’s labeled power (i.e., between 100 W and 400 W). Another highlight of this unit includes the presence of six SATA power connectors and two video card power connectors.

However, this unit is not flawless, as during our full load tests at high temperatures efficiency was at 80% instead of 82% as promised (which, unfortunately, happens often with 80 Plus Bronze power supplies), and noise level at +5VSB was touching the allowed limit, at 49 mV.

At USD 80, this unit may seem expensive for a 500 W unit, but is only USD 5 above the PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk II 500 W, which has similar performance but no modular cabling system. (However, you can get this PC Power & Cooling model for USD 55 after a mail-in rebate.) It is USD 15 more expensive than the OCZ ModXStream Pro 500 W, but the reviewed model from SilverStone presents higher efficiency. 

In summary, the SilverStone Strider Plus 500 W provides a good value for users looking for a 500 W power supply with a full modular cabling system and good efficiency.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/SilverStone-Strider-Plus-500-W-Power-Supply-Review/1369


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