SilverStone Strider ST60F 600W

Written by John Chen    Thursday, 10 November 2005 11:00
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SilverStone Strider ST60F 600W
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Introduction

SilverStone has really made a great impression with their robust power supplies.  Through the ST52F and the ST65ZF, they have really shown that they have what it takes to provide reliable power supplies for your systems.  Much like all the other power supply players in the industry, SilverStone realizes the move to modular units.  Although the demand was high when Ultra Products first introduced the X-Connect, SilverStone did not rush into pumping out their own version. 

The time has finally come for SilverStone to introduce their modular solution.  Released under the Strider series, the ST60F aims to provide excellent performance at extremely low noise levels without compromising your flexibility with cable management.


 

SilverStone ST60F Package

SilverStone's packaging is always appealing and top notch.  The power supply was well packaged and protected by bubble wrap.  Included in the box are the usual user's manual, AC adapter, and some screws.  All the modular cables are sleeved and pre-attached to the power supply. 

 


 

SilverStone ST60F External

Like the ST65ZF, the ST60F was surprisingly heavy.  That is certainly a great indication of a quality power supply.  The ST60F comes in an all black finish and is slightly longer than a standard ATX power supply.  Much like all modular power supplies, the ST60F utilizes a large 120mm fan for cooling the internal components.  At the back of the power supply are small honeycomb vents designed to provide maximum openings for heat to exit.  The other side of the PSU are the connectors for the modular power cables.  There is a sticker below the connectors to indicate the appropriate cable connections.  Make sure you do not accidentally plug the wrong cable into the wrong connector!

 


 

SilverStone ST60F Internal

The performance provided by the ST65ZF was simply amazing.  To continue those rock stable rails, SilverStone took the core of the ST65ZF, lowered the rating by 50W, slapped on a large 120mm fan, and called it the ST60F.  The ST60F is basically a modular ST65ZF!  The performance of this PSU should definitely be amazing.  Popping off the hood, we can see that the internal components are quite hefty.  All the capacitors, inductors, heatsinks, and cables are well organized to give a clean look.  The heatsinks used are not exceptionally large like the ones in the ST65ZF, but they still come with multiple fins and are still larger than the typical heatsinks found in competitors' solutions.  I am sure that SilverStone would have made the heatsinks really beefy if it weren't for the depth of the 120mm fan sitting on top.  Although the ST60F uses the same core found in the ST65ZF, the entire PCB did not take up the whole space of the chassis.  I still wonder why companies would waste all that extra space.  The unused area only makes the power supply longer.

 


 

Connectors

The number of connectors provided with the ST60F is very similar to the ones provided in the ST65ZF.  There is a total of eight 4pin Molex connectors with two 4pin floppy connectors, all spread evenly to four power cables.  Since the ST60F is pretty much the same as the ST65ZF, there are two PCI-E connectors for enthusiasts who run SLI systems.  With the ability to provide a stunning 600W of power, the ST60F comes with an 8pin 12v connector for workstation or server motherboards.  There is also a separate 4pin 12v connector for the current standard motherboards.  Since the ST60F is capable of providing enough power for a workstation system, a 6pin AUX PCI-E connector is included as well.  Do not confuse this cable with the regular PCI-E connector that only draws from the 12v rail.  This 6pin PCI-E connector also draws power from the 3.3v rail.  The four SATA connectors are not too plentiful, but it is still decent for a typical system.  SilverStone made sure that all the cables for the ST60F are modular, hence the reason why the ATX connector is separate.  The 24pin native ATX connector allows the extra 4 pins to be popped off for older motherboards that come with 20pin ATX connectors. 

 


 

Specifications

Just like the ST65ZF cousin, the ST60F comes with quad 12v rails!  This means that each additional rail helps reduce the stress when the demand becomes too high.  The amps on the four 12v rails add up to be 55A just like the ST65ZF, but SilverStone specifies that the combined amps shall not exceed 42A.  The 3.3v rail is rated well with 33A, but the 5v with a mere 24A is a little lacking.

Like all of SilverStone's quality power supplies, the ST60F comes with quite a few protection features.

  • Over current protection
  • Under voltage protection
  • Over voltage protection
  • Short circuit
  • No load operation

One downside to the ST60F is the efficiency rating.  I was hoping that it would be high in the 80% range, but since it uses the same core as the ST65ZF, the efficiency rating comes in at 75.8%.  This is nothing extraordinary, but still better than average. 

The main reason why a large 120mm fan is used in the ST60F is because it provides optimal airflow without the excessive noise.  The decibel rating for the ST60F is at around 24 dBA, which is pretty good when your system is fully housed in a closed case.



 

Testing Setup and Results

Test Setup and Method:

  • Intel Pentium D 840
  • Asus P5WD2 Premium
  • ATI Radeon X800XT
  • 2 x 512MB OCZ Platinum PC2-8000
  • Hitachi 80GB SATA
  • Sony DVD-Rom
  • Floppy drive
  • 120mm Evercool
  • DLink 802.11b wireless NIC

Running Stock:

  • Intel Pentium D 840 3.2GHz -- 16 x 200FSB = 3.2GHz @ 1.4v
  • 2 x 512MB OCZ Platinum PC2-8000 -- 200FSB 3:4 266MHz @ 2.0v
  • ATI Radeon X800XT -- 500/500
  • FSB Termination Voltage -- 1.2v
  • ICH Chipset Voltage -- 1.05v
  • MCH Chipset Voltage -- 1.5v

Running Overclocked:

  • Intel Pentium D 840 3.2GHz -- 16 x 250FSB = 4.0GHz @ 1.4v
  • 2 x 512MB OCZ Platinum PC2-8000 -- 250FSB 1:2 500MHz @ 2.0v
  • ATI Radeon X800XT -- 540/540
  • FSB Termination Voltage -- 1.5v
  • ICH Chipset Voltage -- 1.2v
  • MCH Chipset Voltage -- 1.65v

Testing the power supply is a tedious task.  Like cooling products, the "proper" testing method is long and strenuous.  It involves high end equipment and testing materials that we simply cannot get our hands on.  A simple proper testing method would be to test the wattage draw from the AC outlet, voltage rail fluctuations, wattage fluctuations under high operating temperatures, power efficiency, and the power supply's reaction to low input voltage.  But because this site is dedicated more to overclocking, we'll check for voltage fluctuations in an overclocked environment.  After all, that is what overclockers generally care about.

Results:

To test the power supply, a digital multimeter was used.  For idle voltage readings, the system was left on the desktop not running any programs.  For full load, the system ran 2 instances of CPU Burn-in, Prime95 torture test for maximum power consumption, PCMark2004 hard drive benchmark, and the Nature test in 3DMark2001SE.  CPU Burn-in is a good program to maximize the CPU load.  Although the ST60F uses the same core as the ST65ZF, there was a slight dip in voltage rails due to the design of modular power supplies.  The additional separate connection of the power cable to the power supply causes a slightly lower performance.  Even then, the ST60F performed superbly well.  All the rails were within the 5% safety range and kept the overclocked system running without a hiccup.

 


 

Conclusion and Thoughts

Once again, SilverStone has proven that they indeed have what it takes to be a leading power supply provider.  Their first modular power supply comes with a beefy 600W rating.  The very core of the ST60F is the same as the award-winning ST65ZF!  Although I have tested various modular power supplies and have seen many great results, I have yet to make the plunge to power my system with a modular power supply.  The ST60F has certainly convinced me to make the move.  The PSU is dead silent and provides great airflow to keep the internal components cool.  During all full load tests, I reached out behind the PSU and did not feel much warm air exhausted.  That is a sign that shows the PSU is definitely capable of pumping out power without stressing out.  The ST60F is sexy and a solid performer, not to mention the most powerful modular power supply currently on the market!  I love it.

Pros:

  • Great performance
  • Provides 42A total to quad 12v rails
  • Competitively priced for a 600W PSU
  • Plenty of power connectors
  • Good efficiency at 75.8%
  • Fully modular
  • Silent

Cons:

  • Amps for 5v rail a bit low

We would like to thank SilverStone for providing us the sample.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to hit us up in the forums. You can also check out more of our latest reviews on the front page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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