80 Plus hits Retail: Silverstone's Element ST50EF-Plus

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EXTERNAL OVERVIEW

The Element Plus closely resembles another 80 Plus power supply we've looked at: Enhance's OEM-only ENP-5136GH. In fact, the two power supplies appear to share the same external casing, right down to the matte black finish. It's not a secret that Silverstone's power supplies are made for them by Enhance, so the resemblance is no surprise.

The most distinctive feature of the casing is a vent that occupies the top quarter of the back panel, allowing some air to flow in this awkward-to-cool part of the casing. While this may recirculate some air into the system, the additional cooling provided by this vent is probably well worth it.


The external casing is identical to another power supply...


...The Enhance ENP-5136GH.


The rear vent is fully open, but the mesh is tighter than most.

INTERIOR

The resemblance to Enhance's power supply continues with the cover off: The layout of the PCB and the style of the heatsinks are very similar. The main differences seem to be component selection and the position of the thermal sensor that controls the fan speed.


Circuit topology is similar to models we've seen before.

The heatsinks are made of anodized aluminum, and are made of a relatively small number of thick, stubby fins. They look both cheap to manufacture and effective for cooling, without restricting airflow too much. Most power supplies use two large heatsinks, but the Element has a third heatsink off to one side that cools a large transistor along the left side.


New heatsinks. Are they improved?


The heatsink fins are widely spaced and allow air to flow easily between them.



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