Introduction and Specifications, Availability and Pricing
It has been quite a while since we have taken a look at any of the power supplies that SilverStone offers and we have missed a few of their offerings. The last time we took a look at one of their units was back in 2010 when we reviewed the ST50F-P which we were quite pleased with.
That is why we jumped at the offer to take a look at their new Strider Gold Evolution power supply. The new unit is available in four flavors ranging between 750W to 1200W. SilverStone claims that the Strider Gold Evolution series is "the golden standard for PSU performance, efficiency and quality", so we will be taking this into consideration as we look into the 1200-watt unit.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Right from the start you will notice the massive 100A single 12V rail. The unit is capable of outputting 100% of the power on the 12V rail which is no small task to do. Both the 3.3V and 5V rails are rated for 25A each with a combined total wattage of 150W. The one thing that caught our interest the most, though, was the very weak -12V rail, which is rated for only 3.6W. On the flip side, the 5VSB rail is also a little stronger that what we are used to seeing, as it is capable of 3.5A or 17.5W.
One of the first things that will come to mind when someone claims their product is the "golden standard" is that it will have all the features. Unfortunately when we take a look at the feature summary for the Strider Gold Evolution, we find that it is lacking a 50C power rating. It is worth noting though that the unit is rated for 100% continuous output at 40C. Everything else you would expect is there as all the cables are fully sleeved, the unit is fully modular and comes with all the protections you could want.
The unit has an MSRP of $249.99, but is currently in stock at Directron for $229.99. The Directron price is the lowest we've seen to date, most other e-tail sellers list the Strider Gold Evolution 1200W for MSRP or higher, including Newegg.
We couldn't find the warranty information in our included documentation or on SilverStone's website, but Newegg listed a three year warranty. We wanted to find out directly from SilverStone so we called their tech support line.
We were very pleased with what happened as the phone was answered not only on the first ring but it was answered by a real person...and we aren't talking overseas support either. The support rep quickly answered our question and confirmed the three year warranty. Kudos to SilverStone for the awesome tech support!
As part of the golden standard theme going for the Strider Gold Evolution, the unit is boxed in black and gold packaging. They point out on the front that the unit is rated for 1200W, but can peak to 1300W when needed.
The back simply redirects you to their website in multiple languages for some more information.
On the top we find a good list of specifications for the unit and it covers all four wattages of the unit.
The bottom has some more information about the unit. It is nice to see that the unit is still compatible with the PP05 short cable kit. Yes, that most certainly is a fan filter you see included with the unit.
One side has a good list of connector availability for the unit.
The other side simply displays a picture of the power supply.
Inside the Box
The unit is packed well inside the box with an inch of foam above and below the unit.
Everything is held in place tightly by the modular cables and accessories.
SilverStone's Strider Gold Evolution comes in the rough textured black finish. On the top is the SilverStone logo stamped into the enclosure.
SilverStone chose to leave one side of the power supply blank.
The other side displays the I/O specification label and serial number.
The modular connections on the front are labeled neatly. There is no need to list what rails are where as the unit only has a single 12V rail.
The back houses the standard honeycomb mesh grill. The one thing you might notice back here is that there is no On/Off rocker switch for the unit. If you want to kill the power to the PSU, you must unplug the power cable.
The bottom houses the 139mm fluid dynamic bearing penetrator fan. Sounds like some marketing hype, but we will take a look at it.
Included with the unit are enough modular cables to make you lose your mind trying to hide them all if you end up using them. It should be pointed out at this time that the PCIe video card connectors use 2200uF capacitors to eliminate any whine noise from the video cards. This has been an issue with some other power supplies on the market.
Also included with the unit are two manuals. One is specific to the Strider Gold Evolution series and one is a general manual. There are a set of thumbscrews and regular screws for mounting the unit. Cable ties come in the form of both single use and reusable ties. Also pictured are the AC power cord and the fan filter. If you wish to use the fan filter, simply stick it to the power supply. It attaches magnetically which is very nice and makes it easy for cleaning.
Cabling Arrangement and A Look Inside
The cable summary may look short, but don't let that fool you. The power supply is fully modular and aside from the main and dual ATX 4+4 connectors, it also has 8 PCI-E connectors, 16 SATA connectors, 6 Molex connectors, and two FDD. It is too bad that the FDD connectors aren't included as adapters as it ruins what would be a nearly perfect list of connectors and cables.
As there is only a single 12V rail there isn't much to say here other than 100A is quite bit of power for a single rail. We've seen it work fine before, so we aren't too worried.
A Look Inside
Opening the unit, we find that SilverStone has included a little more cooling than we usually see in a unit and with good reason. 1200W will create quite a bit of heat and sufficient cooling is the key to making these higher wattage units work well.
A pair of Nippon Chemi-Con caps cover the primary side of the SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution.
More Nippon Chemi-Con can be found on the secondary side of the PSU.
Cooling for the unit is provided by SilverStone's own HA125M12F-Z fan. The grill you see in the back side of the fan is why they call this a "penetrating" fan. SilverStone claims that this helps direct the air downward instead of it going off to the sides. It did a good job keeping the acoustics low and the PSU cool.
Test Results and Final Thoughts
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 lower than that of the SilverStone Strider Gold 1200W, we will only be able to test it to 1000W.
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 2% regulation from start to finish. The 12V rail showed a total drop of .18V from start to finish. The 5V rail didn't quite fair as well as it only managed to stay within 4% of specification with a total drop of .20V from start to finish. Moving towards the 3.3V rail, we see that regulation was back within 2% with a total voltage drop of .06V.
DC output quality was close to what we expected from the unit. Our past experiences with SilverStone PSU's have shown this is one of their weakest points. While they are always very far from falling out of specification, they are far from being leaders of the pack here as well.
We started off seeing 23mV of ripple on the 12V rail during Test 1. As we increased the loads, the ripple had increased to 34mV at just under half load. By the time we had the maximum 1000W allowed by our test equipment, we were seeing 54mV of noise.
The Strider Gold Evolution is rated for 80Plus Gold efficiency. This means that the power supply must perform at 87%/90%/87% efficiency at 20%/50%/100% loads respectively. As you can see, the Strider Gold Evolution passed on our bench. Things were a little close at 50% load, but was a pass nonetheless.
The SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution is good power supply in many aspects. It performs well all the way around although not fantastic in any one particular category. SilverStone promised us from the start that this unit would be "The golden standard for PSU performance, efficiency, and quality," so we were expecting gold from start to finish. The included fan filter and the top notch tech support started things off very well but it just wasn't enough to convince us this is the best all around power supply on the market.
The SilverStone Strider Gold 1200W is very good at everything it does but other products on the market are just as good. The Corsair AX1200 that we looked at a few months ago is an equal performer and in many cases costs less. The $229.99 price at Directron though is the spoiler though and puts the Strider Gold 1200W in a better price position. Still the DC output quality on the AX1200 is a bit better and so is the seven year warranty.
The SilverStone Strider Gold Evolution isn't all that revolutionary in this highly contested market, but it is SilverStone's attempt at closing the gap between themselves and the competition. The new $229.99 price point makes it attractive though and you wouldn't be disappointed with the purchase.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk
Australia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca
Deutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de
SilverStone alerted us of some changes we might required to our review. We have applied some updates from the first version.