Power Supply Quality

As part of our testing, we also check output parameters are within specifications, as well as voltage ripple and line noise.

Main Output
Load (Watts) 202.65 W 505.85 W 753.59 W 1001.78 W
Load (Percent) 20.27% 50.58% 75.36% 100.18%
  Amperes Volts Amperes Volts Amperes Volts Amperes Volts
3.3 V 2.27 3.39 5.66 3.39 8.5 3.33 11.33 3.31
5 V 2.27 5.13 5.66 5.08 8.5 5.06 11.33 5.01
12 V 15.1 12.14 37.75 12.13 56.62 12.05 75.5 12.02

 

Line Regulation
(20% to 100% load)
Voltage Ripple (mV)
20% Load 50% Load 75% Load 100% Load CL1
12V
CL2
3.3V + 5V
3.3V 2.1% 12 20 22 26 18 22
5V 2.25% 18 26 30 34 20 26
12V 0.92% 16 32 46 78 76 30

The electrical performance of the SilverStone SX1000 is good and within our expectations for an Enhance platform. Line filtering could use some improvement, as the voltage ripple figures are relatively high, with our instruments recording a maximum of 78 mV, 34 mV, and 26 mV on the 12V, 5V, and 3.3V lines respectively. These figures are adequate, but top tier units easily halve these values. Meanwhile line regulation is significantly better, with the 12V line maintaining a regulation factor of 0.9%. The regulation of the 3.3V and 5V lines is a little higher than 2%, which is enough for a modern design.

Conclusion

Unlike ATX PSUs, SFX designs have still seen significant development over the past few years. Not only has their power output increased considerably, but their overall performance dramatically improved as well. SilverStone is a company strongly focused on the R&D of small form factor cases (SFF), systems, and other related parts. They have several compact cases and products designed for high-end living room systems, including designs that were designed with gamers in mind. Therefore, their efforts to market the very best SFX PSUs available are not unfounded. The SilverStone SX1000 is a noteworthy milestone as it has a tremendously high-power density, delivering power that it would be difficult for a physically larger standard ATX unit to deliver about a decade ago.

While the SX1000 is, for the moment at least, the most powerful SFX/SFX-L unit on the planet, its overall performance left us with mixed feelings. In some ways it feels as if it is a small step back from the SX800-LTI, a unit that delivered better energy conversion efficiency and power output quality. The electrical performance of the SX1000 is not bad at all – it does meet all 80Plus Platinum certification and quality standards with ease – it is just a little worse than its less powerful predecessors. It also struggles to maintain reasonable noise and temperature levels when the load is very high, even when the operating environment is relatively cool. However, due to the possibility of high internal temperatures, the designer is using very high-quality components so that they will not be thermally stressed. This bodes well for the quality and longevity of the SX1000, as these components will perform very reliably under normal operating conditions.

Much like most top-tier SFX units, the SX1000 is struggling to find its identity in the retail market. Its SFX-L design limits its compatibility with SFX cases and there is no adapter to install it inside an ATX-compliant case either – in which case, the length of the cables could be a problem. It is powerful enough and has enough connectors to power a top-tier motherboard and two graphics cards, yet such motherboards and two cards will not fit in the vast majority of SFX-L compliant cases. Only an SFX case designed to hold a top-tier Micro ATX motherboard and four slots' worth of graphics cards would be a reasonable match for the SX1000.

The creation of a powerful gaming small form factor PC for the living room is the heartfelt desire of every serious gamer. Still, few are determined (and deep-pocketed) enough to be able to justify an aesthetically elegant and compact gaming PC with a flagship graphics card in it. Nevertheless, SilverStone’s latest PSU is designed to specifically target that small, yet existent, segment of the market. More pragmatically, perhaps, it could also be used to power systems with a single high-end graphics card while operating near its half capacity, offering top efficiency and reliability. However, the very high retail price of $366 at this writing severely limits the market potential of the SX1000, as only users who do not care about having a budget when building a PC would purchase it. 

 
Hot Test Results (~45°C Ambient)
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  • shabby - Wednesday, July 28, 2021 - link

    6 pci-e 8pin = 900 watts, that leaves 100 watts for the cpu? 🤔 Reply
  • Charlie22911 - Wednesday, July 28, 2021 - link

    That’s not how modern mono-rail PSUs work, the 12v power rail is shared between all of the 12v connectors. Theoretically you could draw the full rated load from just the CPU connector… until the wires melt. Reply
  • shabby - Wednesday, July 28, 2021 - link

    Yes yes that I know, it just seems that you can fully utilize all the connectors at full load. Reply
  • shabby - Wednesday, July 28, 2021 - link

    Can't... wheres that edit button! Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, July 29, 2021 - link

    That's the case with essentially every PSU with more than one output because real world scenarios essentially never max the draw on every output at once. A PSU designed to be able to do that would have a headline number that was impossible to achieve in the real world at a much higher cost. This is especially the case with the PCIe connectors; where the number of connectors needs to be high enough to handle older cards using multiple 6 pin/75W plugs; but spending the extra few cents to make them all 6+2 connectors to facilitate maximum flexibility in wiring for newer cards using 8pin/150W ones makes it much more usable for consumers. Reply
  • meacupla - Wednesday, July 28, 2021 - link

    Is anandtech capable of testing transient loads?

    I have heard that SFX sized PSUs don't respond as well to transient loads when compared to ATX sized PSUs. That you should get a higher wattage SFX PSU to compensate for this. Is there any truth to this?
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, July 28, 2021 - link

    As badly as the small form factor hurt cooling at high loads and as loud as the fan gets it's a shame they didn't go for an 80+ Titanium spec design. In most cases the price penalty isn't worth it unless you're using very expensive power; but here shaving a a few dozen extra watts of waste heat off would significantly extend the quiet fan range. Reply
  • supdawgwtfd - Thursday, July 29, 2021 - link

    It could be extra capacitors killing the power efficiency but as has been mentioned help transient loads.

    Just pure shit talking though.
    Reply
  • Leeea - Wednesday, July 28, 2021 - link

    Small form factor is just not worth the compromise. Reply
  • Wereweeb - Wednesday, July 28, 2021 - link

    For you* Reply

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