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SilverStone SFX 650W Gold Power Supply Review

Author: Lee Garbutt
Manufacturer: SilverStone

Efficiency, Differential Temperature and Noise


Efficiency is defined by the power output divided by the power input and is usually expressed as a percentage.  If a PSU were a 100% efficient (which none are) 650 watts of AC power going in would result in 650 watts of DC power coming out (with no waste heat to dissipate).  In the real world there are always inefficiencies and power is lost in the form of heat during the conversion process. Newer revisions to the ATX12V Power Supply Design Guide V 2.2 have continued to increase the efficiency recommendations for PC switching mode power supplies and now lists both required and recommended minimum efficiencies.

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We measured the AC power input to the SilverStone SX650-G with an Extech power analyzer while the total DC load was found by adding all the individual +3.3V, +5V, +12V, -12V and +5VSB loads together.  

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The overall efficiency of the SilverStone SX650-G power supply is also good and meets the 80 Plus Gold guidelines, even when operating on 120VAC and at elevated temperatures.

80 Plus Program

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    Note: Tests conducted at room temperature (25°C)

Differential Temperature and Noise Levels

To simulate a demanding environment, some of the warm exhaust air from the PSU under test is recirculated back to the intake through a passive air duct, which allows the PSU air inlet temperature to increase with load, up to 40°C.  

The differential temperature across the power supply was calculated by subtracting the internal case air temperature (T in) from the temperature of the warm exhaust air flowing out the back of the power supply (T out).  

Thermocouples were placed at the air inlet and exhaust outlet. The ambient room air temperature was 23ºC (74ºF) +/- 0.5ºC during testing.

T out = temperature of air exhausting from power supply
T in = temperature of air entering power supply
Delta T = T out - T in

Sound pressure level readings were taken 3’ away from the rear of the case in an otherwise quiet room.  The ambient noise level was ~28 dBA.  

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The SX650-G power supply started out quiet and stayed that way through the 50% load test. At full load with an elevated ambient temperature, the cooling fan did speed up and the noise became very noticeable.

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(Courtesy of SilverStone)

December 3, 2017 | 11:27 AM - Posted by Smitty (not verified)

Thanks for the review. I'm a customer looking to purchase this SX650 or the Corsair SF600 and I noticed you have reviewed both units. However, there seems to be little direct comparison in your review between the two, even though they are direct competitors.

1) Is the fan in the Silverstone removable without cutting and soldering wires? It doesn't appear so but just looking to confirm.
2) It seems the SX650 runs hotter and louder than the SF600 based on comparing the two tables between reviews. However, this is a test where you are recycling hot air back into the intake. Many cases are designed where the PSU intake is bringing in fresh/cool outside air. Do you think this will affect the temperatures in a different way?

December 3, 2017 | 11:28 AM - Posted by Smitty (not verified)

One additional question:
3) The Corsair cables in the SF600 are often accused of being stiff and difficult to work with. Based on your review the SX650 have similar length and variety of cables. Are they also 'too stiff' or are they more flexible and easier to route?

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