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.
SilverStoneTek is a company best known for its high quality cases but its product lines extend into other components such as cooling, power, fans, storage, and so on. As a company, Silverstone has built up this impressive product repertoire in a very short time having been founded in 2003. Today, however we are interested in its power supplies which are comprised of the Strider, SFX, Nightjar, Gemini, and Zeus model lines that range from 300W to 1350W DC output. For this review, we are looking at a revision to one of SilverStone’s mainstream mid capacity SFX series power supply, the ST45SF v3.0, which is produced in conjunction with Sirfa.
Sirfa Electronics Co., Ltd. is a name that is not that familiar to most users but Sirfa has been around since 1996 when Sirtec established Sirfa as a factory in the Sirtec group on mainland China. In June 2008, Sirtec sold off its interest in Sirfa making the company independent of the Sirtec brand but still in business with High Power. As such, while we have not seen any Sirfa produced power supplies under the Sirfa brand, some of the Sirtec units of the past were produced at the Sirfa facility. Additionally, we have seen Sirfa providing OEM services for Thermaltake, Enermax, PC Power & Cooling, Tuniq, Lepa, SilverStone, and others with very mixed results.
V3.0 Time Is The Charm?
The SFX power supply market has gotten significantly more press over the last few years and, as such, we have started to see more and more SFX units in our reviews. Among the most prolific of the vendors in this market that we have seen is SilverStone and, today, SilverStone is back with another unit. Today's ST45SF v3.0 is, interestingly, the second 450W SFX unit we have seen from SilverStone. The previously reviewed 450W SFX unit, however, was not an early version of the ST45SF v3.0 but rather the ST45SF-G. Obviously, with two different 450W SFX products in the mix there could be some confusion as to where and how each of these products is targeted. So then, how is SilverStone positioning the ST45SF V3.0 today? Let's see what SilverStone has to say:
After successfully revolutionizing both HTPC and SFF market segments with innovative chassis designs, SilverStone engineers continue their push for advancement in these categories by releasing a true upgrade-worthy small form factor power supply, the ST45SF. This SFX unit is compatible not only with chassis that use SFX power supplies but also in smaller ATX chassis with the included adapter bracket. Despite its small size, the ST45SF has features that one would expect from an elite ATX power supply such as 80 PLUS Bronze level of efficiency, temperature controlled fan, 50℃ / 40℃ temperature rating, and reliability for 24/7 operation. Enthusiasts oriented features are also present with single +12V rail and 8pin/6pin PCI-E connectors to fully support multi-GPU systems. For SFF users and for SilverStone, the ST45SF is more than just an upgrade, it is an important milestone for the DIY desktop computer.
V2.0 has greater +3.3V and +5V output and higher temperature rating of 10℃ ~ 50℃ for NAS/storage focused systems or industrial PCs (IPC).
V3.0 has greater +12V output and lower noise for home desktops or gaming PCs.
With that marketing position sorted out, we are left with the usual question then.
Will it blend? How does it do? Let’s first see what we can expect when a user purchases the ST45SF V3.0 power supply at retail in terms of documentation, accessories, cable count, rail layout, output characteristics, and general build quality.