In 2017, you’d think more attention would have been paid to the small form factor market by now. These builds have become more and more popular, yet the power supply side of things remains somewhat overlooked. While some of the competition has stepped up to the plate and added solid units to the SFX market space, this is still an area somewhat dominated by SilverStone, at least when it comes to actual decent options with decent value. Today, we’re going to check out the newest version, 3.0, of the ST45SF, a 450 watt 80 Plus Bronze entry on the bargain side of things. We saw what the original version was like way back in 2010, so it will be interesting to see what’s changed.
SUPPLIED BY: SilverStone
PRODUCT: ST45SF v3 450W
PROD LINK: ST45SF 450W Product Page
PRICE: $64.99 @ NewEgg
Price is at time of testing!
For our second review of 2017, we’ve gone from a monster of a unit in last week’s Rosewill 1500W model to this week’s 450W SilverStone model. It’s almost hard to believe now, but it used to be a unit this size was about as big as an ordinary consumer could get. To go over 700 watts, you needed to go to a company like Zippy, who specializes in industrial models, and get one from them. And then learn to live with a super loud fan, because the industrial market cares not for being able to hear things in an average server room.
But times have changed, haven’t they? Not only are units like this often considered low powered now in the land of SUVs, Double Gulps, and super sized value meals; they’ve all started to shrink physically. SilverStone has been the one driving this lately with their attempts to bring more and more power into smaller and smaller packages, and only recently has the competition decided to respond with stuff like the Corsair SF450, which pretty well one-upped SilverStone in every way.
That said, the SF450 is 80 Plus Gold, and arguably a high end small form factor design. What about the entry level market, where people need something that just works without costing a pile of money? That’s where this unit comes in. As an update on the older ST45SF, this unit promises a more up to date platform with a larger cooling fan.
And the box wastes no time getting right into the marketing… it’s all printed in English right on the front. Forty degrees at full power. Bronze level efficiency. Single 12V rail, like that matters at 450 watts. Quiet fan. PCIe support. It’s all here.
And it’s all here, too, in many other languages. We also have the usual fan and efficiency curves, though the latter isn’t too impressive anymore considering we now enjoy four certification grades above Bronze these days.
I will have to admit, though, that 80 Plus Titanium doesn’t amount to a hill of beans if you can’t afford it. Bronze is affordable, and can still be plenty efficient at times.
Do you like your power supplies with connectors? Good. Because this one has some. Including one of those nasty little Berg connectors, apparently.
Time for some unpacking. Being a bargain unit, we have bargain packaging with only bubble wrap to protect the unit. I am very happy to see the inclusion of the SFX to ATX adapter plate. Not every company throws those in, even on more expensive units.
I’m seeing plenty of goodies here. The usual SilverStone double manual overkill, the adapter plate, two bags of screws, and a power supply. Do we need more than this?