Page 4 -Minor Tests and Conclusion
Power supplies are interesting products -- because often, reviews of products in this category are conducted and tested in methods that make it difficult to distinguish one power supply from another. Many aspects have to be taken into consideration -- of which certain criteria consists of efficiency, noise, power ripples, and of course the ability to pull out the rated specifications. Because many cannot afford such equipment to obtain results regarding those aspects, articles covering power supplies often come out with less than adequate and acceptable information. As this is a product report -- not a review -- what we are doing is a close examination of the power supply, and the internal hardware and build. But what we can do for you is do some minor testing with the results we can present to you with, and let other review sites with professional equipment show you the actual test results. We're not going to try to BS you by installing the power supply into the latest gaming rig and try to take readings from that, as this is not even remotely the correct way to test power supply units. We understand that many websites do that as a means of load testing, but the results, even if you use an oscilloscope and multimeter at each output location, it is not sufficient, nor does it accurately reflect the performance of the power supply.
Using our power supply tester, which exerts minimal load on the power supply, initial consumption was 7W as measured by our wall meter -- indicating the basic load-free power consumption of the power supply is excellent. By comparison, the SilverStone Strider Titanium ST80F-TI 800W scored at a little over half the wattage. Independent reviews from websites with professional load testing equipment showed the SilverStone ST45SF V3.0 450W delivered great efficiency and very good voltage regulation and ripple. This is an 80 Plus Bronze certified power supply unit, and those websites show this power supply easily meets these requirements.
Voltages with minimal load are generally accurate, which is a basic requirement of power supplies out of the box. In this situation all are within 4%. The PG (Power Good) delay seems to be well within its rated range and general power supply standard of 350ms.
Active power correction is important to correct AC load line loss. In AC power, there are three components to it as there is a phase difference between current and voltage. This makes up the power triangle, which consists of the following: Average usable power (P, measured in watts), reactive power (Q, denoted as VA-R), and total power (S, written as VA). While these components all measure power, they are not the same as each other. What we want is the average usable power, with as little wasted reactive power as possible. The total power provided over the AC line is the magnitude of the two combined (sqrt(P^2+Q^2)). Power factor can then be easily calculated by P/S. The ideal value is 1.00, and this is where active PFC comes in. Under nominal loads, the power factor value of the SilverStone ST45SF V3.0 450W was at 0.97, indicating that the active PFC function is working well.
One of the biggest differences between this ST45SF and previous generations was the increase in fan size, and thankfully, it does not come at any sacrifice to the fan noise. In fact, even though this power supply unit does not come blessed with the semi-passive fan operation, it definitely stays pretty quiet. On our APH Networks scale, where 0 is silent and 10 is the loudest, I would rate the ST45SF V3.0 450W at 3.5/10 acoustically under nominal loads. Despite its smaller size fan and higher operating speeds, I never really found the noise from the power supply to be distracting.
SilverStone provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.
The SilverStone ST45SF V3.0 450W is another excellent SFX unit from SilverStone and High Power. While it may not offer the extreme wattage or efficiency of the other smaller power supplies we have looked at before, according to our affiliates, the SilverStone ST45SF V3.0 450W provided very good quality voltage regulation, ripple control, and standby efficiency. Retailing for about $60 after rebate at press time, the ST45SF V3.0 is an excellent budget option for your smaller builds, as it is definitely capable of delivering good performance at a good price.
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1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Minor Tests and Conclusion