SilverStone SFX ST45SF V3.0 450W Power Supply Review @ [H]

FrgMstr

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SilverStone SFX ST45SF V3.0 450W Power Supply Review - SilverStone is back today with one of its "smaller is better" computer power supplies that can be used in SFX form factor systems but also comes with a mounting bracket that makes it ATX friendly out of the box. This PSU is bringing quality and value, which is a great thing in the PSU world and not often seen from the big brand names.
 
Thank you. That goes well up the list of recommended SFX PSUs.
 
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Corsair SF450 all the way for a mere $20 more.

Agreed. Many SF450 owners report that the PS fan rarely, if ever, comes on. Corsair did a great job with the fan control. Hard|OCP should really test one of Corsair's SF series power supplies.
 
Corsair SF450 all the way for a mere $20 more.

When you are on a budget build, every dollar counts. $20 can get you from a FX-4300 to a FX-6300. Or 70% of the difference between a 256gb SSD and 512gb SSD. The budget/value market is not one that should be overlooked, even on an enthusiast forum.

Agreed. Many SF450 owners report that the PS fan rarely, if ever, comes on. Corsair did a great job with the fan control. Hard|OCP should really test one of Corsair's SF series power supplies.

Fanless is overrated.
 
For a large tower PSU, I would agree. For a SFX (implicitly mini ITX) PSU, for a computer that is more likely to be put on a desktop or near the user, I generally disagree.

You could easily argue the reverse. In a situation where you have a confined space, heat generation is going to be a larger issue and, therefore, fanless operation would be less of a benefit. The fun thing about it is, all of this would require a much better thermal evaluation than anyone in the enthusiast realm is capable of funding to a rigor that would pass muster.
 
You could easily argue the reverse. In a situation where you have a confined space, heat generation is going to be a larger issue and, therefore, fanless operation would be less of a benefit. The fun thing about it is, all of this would require a much better thermal evaluation than anyone in the enthusiast realm is capable of funding to a rigor that would pass muster.
Isn't fanless operation implicitly claiming better efficiency (under light loads) and/or better ability to passively dissipate heat? A small, cramped build would arguably benefit from such a feature (with implicit claim). Though, as you already stated, it would require quite a bit of research and testing, only to get numbers that could easily be interpreted any number of ways depending on how people design and use their computers.
 
Isn't fanless operation implicitly claiming better efficiency (under light loads) and/or better ability to passively dissipate heat?

No, not at all but the lack of understanding of that is why the bullet point of fanless operation makes people buy things. An unit being fanless is not "better" than an unit not being fanless, ALL things considered except for noise. Even then, the noise difference is normally not perceivable but the cooling potential is. So, it is all marketing. If you can get more reps out there and more users spreading your message it is gospel.
 
For a large tower PSU, I would agree. For a SFX (implicitly mini ITX) PSU, for a computer that is more likely to be put on a desktop or near the user, I generally disagree.

It depends. For the most part, I have found that the fans in quality PSUs at the lowest setting were inaudible. If they got hot enough to require the fan to spin up, idle or fanless is a moot point.
 
It depends. For the most part, I have found that the fans in quality PSUs at the lowest setting were inaudible. If they got hot enough to require the fan to spin up, idle or fanless is a moot point.
I get what you are saying. A hot GPU or CPU will usually override PSU fan noise. However, most of my use is near idle for my main desktop.


In responding to your post, I had an odd realization: other than a few Silverstone units, I've only bought fanless operation and passively cooled PSUs for the past 5 years (my last non-silverstone unit with an active fan was a Seasonic 1U server unit). The noisy fans in the "quality" Silverstones have always been audible to me. Quiet operation has long been a high priority for my builds at home.

That is probably a large amount of confirmation bias right there, so I don't quite know what to make of this. Then again, what is quite to me may be noisy to someone else, or a meaningless metric to another person. All of their opinions are valid, even if I bias towards passive operation.
 
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What kills it for me is the 3 SATA connections. That is far too few for a 450 unit.
 
What kills it for me is the 3 SATA connections. That is far too few for a 450 unit.

This is intended for a SFF case. Very limited space. One or two SSDs/HDDs plus maybe a ODD is really all you would have room for. If you are using a bigger case for more drives, that case will most likely accept a standard ATX PSU with more connections.
 
In my media center PC I have 2 6TB drives, an SSD and a Blu-Ray drive. This 450 PSU doesn't have enough SATA connectors for a typical media center build. But it does have separate 6 pin and 8 pin PCI-E connectors. Something I think would be less necessary in a SFF case than at least 4 SATA connectors.

I have a 7 year old Antec EarthWatt 370 in my media center now. I was looking to replace it on age alone. It's odd to me that 7 years later a more powerful PSU wouldn't match the connector count of what I have now.

Didn't mean to offend anyone by pointing out a potential shortcoming of a PSU... ;)
 
In my media center PC I have 2 6TB drives, an SSD and a Blu-Ray drive. This 450 PSU doesn't have enough SATA connectors for a typical media center build. But it does have separate 6 pin and 8 pin PCI-E connectors. Something I think would be less necessary in a SFF case than at least 4 SATA connectors.

I have a 7 year old Antec EarthWatt 370 in my media center now. I was looking to replace it on age alone. It's odd to me that 7 years later a more powerful PSU wouldn't match the connector count of what I have now.

Didn't mean to offend anyone by pointing out a potential shortcoming of a PSU... ;)

The Earthwatt model you pointed out is most likely an ATX PSU, not SFX like the ST45SF discussed in this thread, so the connector count is going to be different. Our current 400W ATX PSU has six SATA connectors for example.
 
In my media center PC I have 2 6TB drives, an SSD and a Blu-Ray drive. This 450 PSU doesn't have enough SATA connectors for a typical media center build. But it does have separate 6 pin and 8 pin PCI-E connectors. Something I think would be less necessary in a SFF case than at least 4 SATA connectors.

I have a 7 year old Antec EarthWatt 370 in my media center now. I was looking to replace it on age alone. It's odd to me that 7 years later a more powerful PSU wouldn't match the connector count of what I have now.

Didn't mean to offend anyone by pointing out a potential shortcoming of a PSU... ;)

Again, the typical case using a SFX PSU won't have room for more than two drives. SFF does not mean it requires SFX PSUs.
 
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