Once more, here at jonnyGURU.com, we are taking a look at a Silverstone unit. This time, our subject is the top of the line for the Strider series, the ST1200. As one can tell from the model number, and perhaps also from the above picture, this is a modular 1200W unit positioned as a silent consumer friendly alternative to their more costly and server/performance oriented 1200W offerings like the ZM1200M and DA1200.
While this unit is a 1200W model, you may have already spotted the bullet point in the above picture that this unit is not rated to the same high temperature as the other 1200W units Silverstone is offering. Namely, 40 degrees Celsius as opposed to 50 degrees. We'll have to see how it copes with the hot box testing later on. In the meantime, the unit promises high efficiency in the form of 80 Plus certification and a whopping 94A combined of 12V capacity divided between no less than six 12V rails. It also boasts enough connectors for three high power video cards, though the box seems to suggest that there are insufficient 8 pin PCI-E connectors for the very latest cards.
Yes indeed, there are six 6 pin PCI-E cards, but only two 8 pin. I would suggest to Silverstone that the unit's design should be updated to add a third 8 pin connector. Being a modular unit, this wouldn't be hard to do, and the unit certainly promises enough power. But, I'm getting ahead of myself - I should at least unpack this bad boy and make sure the box is right about the connector counts first.
But, before I go ahead and do that, let's let the box provide us with a few more details. It's black. Ah, good. Lead free paint - even better. Single 135mm ball bearing fan. I'm glad they're promising only a minimum noise level... I hate to say it, but a 1200W unit is unlikely going to stay cool for very long if you start demanding that kind of power from it.
Awe inspiring power with exceptional stability and efficiency you say? I'll be the judge of that, Mr. Strider.
Lifting the lid of the box, I was surprised by not one but two owner's manuals that tell you nearly everything possible about this unit: how to install it, what the specs are, what connectors go to what rail... it's all here. In more than one language. They stopped just short of including a full biography of every person who ever touched the unit, it seems. Let me show you what's inside that black one first.
The black one explains in no shortage of words or fancy diagrams just how one should install one's power supply. It also contains warranty and troubleshooting information. It also contains pinout information for every single connector. Ten languages are represented here, over sixty or so pages.
The other manual is the one with all the specs of this unit, and they've gone into some major detail here too, even going to far as to tell you how to connect the oscilloscope so you can measure ripple for yourself. Connector pinouts are given in here as well. In all, I'm almost shocked there isn't a complete schematic diagram included with this unit - they threw in everything else. Oh, look... there's the kitchen sink. No, not in the picture, I'm just looking over there now realizing I have to start the dishwasher. We keep her chained up in the basement.
The basement of our box, however, holds captive a rather large power supply. And a big white box, which turned out to house a huge power cord and a bag for the modular cables.
If you're feeling a sense of deja vu, it's because that big ZM1200M I reviewed not long ago had the very same modular cable bag. Also included with the unit are a small bag full of knurled thumbscrews, zip ties, and velcro cable ties. Not a bad compliment of goodies.
You may be looking at the above picture wondering where the power switch got to. Well, good reader, wonder no more because there isn't one. There's a big AC receptacle, which is a relatively non standard IEC C19 affair, and a standby/power LED, but no power switch. This is likely due to there not being enough space for one. We'll see how tight it is in there on page three.
As Ms. Swan would say, it look-a like a fan. A 135mm fan, to be exact, with a big Silverstone label on the hub. Say goodbye to that guarantee - I'm going to remove that sticker or die trying.
Looking at the back of the unit, we can see the modular connectors themselves, as well as a sticker that says what goes where and is connected to what 12V rail. So, I'm going to go lazy on that part, as any efforts I made in detailing the 12V rail distribution are undermined by the swappability of the various connectors amongst one another.
Label! Table! This unit seems unusually strong on the combined 3.3V/5V rails in comparison to brother Zeus, however the OP1200 and DA1200 share similar specs. It is not unreasonable to expect such power on these rails on a 1200W unit... in fact I even somewhat prefer it since often the OEM intends units this strong to power a plethora of hard drives and other server related equipment like huge banks of RAM.
Type of connector:
ATX connector (545mm)
4 x 2 12V EPS12V connector (740mm)
5.25" Drive connectors (500mm+250mm+250mm)
3.5" Drive connectors (+150mm)
2 x 4 PCIe (550mm)
2 x 3 PCIe (+150mm, 550mm)
180mm x 150mm x 86mm
*one EPS12V connector is modular 4+4 pin for ATX12V connectivity
**connectors are modular 6+2 pin type
And now we know the remainder of the tale. The unit indeed does not have the connectors to power a third card needing an 8 pin PCI-E connector. However, these connectors are divided between rails 12V3, 12V4, and 12V5; so there is more than enough juice there at 60A combined for three GTX 280's should you be wanting to run them. As mentioned, I'd like to see Silverstone add that third PCI-E 8 pin connector in future units, and perhaps make an additional modular cable available for current owners. I can name other successful companies doing this, and if I may pull a Wilford Brimley here it's the right thing to do. It surely won't give anybody the diabeetus, at any rate.
I apologize - that diabeetus thing was uncalled for. My grandma had it. But, it's still funny. Beetus, beetus... diabeetus. Check Youtube if you don't know what I'm talking about. Let's go to page two before I get lynched by the hypoglycemic.
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