Our load tests utilize a couple of FAST ATE active load testers and a variety of other equipment such as an oscilloscope, power conditioner, temperature probe and a power consumption meter. You can read more about our standard testing approach here.
The tests performed are based around six conceivable setups that are out there and progressively load down the PSU up to the power supply's limits or 1000W, whichever comes first. Since our test equipment's limits are higher than that of the SilverStone ST60F-PS 600W power supply, we can test it to the maximum.
The above tests represent typical loads that we have measured from various systems and are meant to give a rough idea of where your computer might fall in line with our tests. Please keep in mind that each system is different and actual loads can vary greatly even with similar hardware.
Let's start by taking a look at the voltages to see how well this unit did during testing. Starting with the 12V rail, we see 3% regulation from start to finish with a total drop of .24V. The 5V rail managed to stay within 3% of specification with a total drop of .10V from start to finish. Moving towards the 3.3V rail, we see that regulation was within 2% of specification with a total voltage drop of .05V.
DC Output quality for the SilverStone ST60F-PS 600W was decent and well within specifications. During Test 1, we saw 31mV of noise on our scope. When we increased the loads in Test 2, the ripple climbed to 39mV at around half load. During Test 3 under a load of 600W, the oscilloscope showed a maximum of 51mV on noise on the 12V rail.
The SilverStone ST60F-PS 600W is rated for 80 PLUS Silver efficiency. This means that the power supply must perform at 85%/88%/85% efficiency at 20%/50%/100% loads respectively. As you can see, the ST60F-PS 600W passed on our bench, and wasn't close to failing at any point. In fact, it was rather close to achieving Gold efficiency.
SilverStone also states that the ST60F-PS 600W is rated for Gold when used on a 230V grid instead of the 110V grid in the US. As the 230V grids always offer increased efficiency, I would expect this claim to hold quite true.
Judging by what we've seen here today, I think it is fair to say that the SilverStone ST60F-PS 600W is a great entry level power supply for those needing to power something more than an office machine with integrated graphics. It brings some features from the top end down to towards the bottom, but does it without jacking the cost too high. Add in the compatibility with SilverStone's lineup and cables and such for PSU's, and you've got a great base for you to start with that you can piece at as you go.
The performance is just what you'd expect, too. No, the voltage regulation isn't super tight, but it is well within the acceptable standards as set for by ATX12V v2.3. The SilverStone ST60F-PS 600W even did rather well in the DC output quality considering the Taiwanese capacitors used on the secondary side of the power supply.
No, the SilverStone ST60F-PS 600W doesn't represent the cheapest 600W unit on the market. It doesn't represent the most robust or best performing power supply with similar wattage either. What it does do is blend together the features of higher-end power supplies with the performance and output of lower-end power supplies at a price that sets it right in the middle.
This sweet spot combined with the features are what make the SilverStone ST60F-PS 600W an attractive buy and worth taking a look at if it fits your power requirements.