SilverStone Strider ST56F power supply

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MP3 Sound Recordings of the SilverStone Strider ST56F (560W)

SilverStone Strider ST56F @ <150W (24 dBA@1m)

SilverStone Strider ST56F @ 200W (28 dBA@1m)

There was no need to make recordings at higher power levels; it's simply too loud.
Sound Recordings of PSU Comparatives

Seasonic S12-430 (Rev. A1) @ 150W (19 dBA/1m)

Seasonic S12-430 (Rev. A1) @ 250W (26 dBA/1m)

Antec Neo HE 430 @ 150W (21 dBA@1m)

Antec Neo HE 430 @ 200W (26 dBA@1m)

HOW TO LISTEN & COMPARE

These recordings were made with a high resolution studio quality digital recording system. The microphone was 3" from the edge of the fan frame at a 45° angle, facing the intake side of the fan to avoid direct wind noise. The ambient noise during all recordings was 18 dBA or lower.

To set the volume to a realistic level (similar to the original), try playing the Nexus 92 fan reference recording and setting the volume so that it is barely audible. Then don't reset the volume and play the other sound files. Of course, tone controls or other effects should all be turned off or set to neutral. For full details on how to calibrate your sound system to get the most valid listening comparison, please see the yellow text box entitled Listen to the Fans on page four of the article SPCR's Test / Sound Lab: A Short Tour.

CONCLUSIONS

So, is the Strider truly the strong and silent type? Well, it's certainly strong. Voltage regulation was tight, output capacity was impressively high, and efficiency was the third highest we've measured.

But silent? Hardly. Quiet, maybe, but there are quieter PSU options. Silencing the Strider would not be difficult. The high speed fan is an excellent candidate for a fan swap. The Strider uses a standard fan connector that is easily accessible, so the operation itself should be quite easy.

The obvious problem with a swap to a slower, quieter fan is potential overheating if the PSU is asked to deliver anywhere near its rated power. Just keep in mind that using a fan with lower airflow will probably reduce the maximum safe output capacity, as cooling at the higher loads was not the best we've seen.

For those who are not quite so concerned with noise as the average SPCR visitor, the Strider is a fine PSU. But for most SPCR regulars, there are probably better ways to spend $130 if you want a quiet, high power PSU. The Strider's strengths are not quite enough to overcome its weaknesses — a bit too much noise beyond middling loads and less than ideal cooling at more than 50% load. If it was cheaper, a fan swap might be a viable option, but SilverStone is a premium brand, with prices to match.

* * *

Much thanks to SilverStone for the opportunity to examine this power supply.

Discuss this article in the SPCR Forums.



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