Reviews - Silverstone Element ST70EF 700W
Sample Provided by: SilverStone (By OklahomaWolf on Sun, Apr-26-2009)

Page 1 -

Greetings once again, loyal readers. As you can see by the above picture, I'm taking a step outside my normal routine by reviewing a wind turbine. At least, that's what I assume I'm reviewing, for the picture of the turbine is bigger than the picture of the power supply on the above box. You say it's unlikely a wind turbine would fit inside a box that small? Well, I guess all those words do seem to imply I am in fact dealing with a power supply, so let's get underway.

If the above box is any indication, Silverstone's latest 700W offering is an 80 Plus Silver rated marvel of energy savings. Promising between 85% and 90% efficiency between 20% and 100% of full power, this unit should meet the 80 Plus spec fairly easily. We'll have to verify that in load testing. The box also promises 700W continuous power output, but doesn't say at what temperature. A quick look at the website shows it to be rated to 40 degrees Celsius. We'll have to verify that too in load testing. Five 12V rails? Iiiiiiiinteresting.

Spinning the box around, we get to see this here picture of the different connectors on the unit. There's more oddball goodness here, when the unit is revealed to have only one 6+2 pin PCI-E connector and three 6 pin. Um, ok then. I guess that's their way of making sure you don't try and run two ultra high power cards on this thing.

Elsewhere on the box we find a few specifications. Oh good, Silverstone listed the color again. It would totally suck if I opened up a box with a black power supply on the front and found a black power supply inside without being warned first. It's good to see that they used lead free paint though, so there's no danger for me in licking my review sample. Not that I, uh, ever have or anything. There's also a simple load table on this side of the box, as well as a bunch of agency approval logos.

Just in case you're not an English speaker and still wanted to read the bragging points on the front of the box, Silverstone has reprinted them in nine other languages on this side of the box. Say, am I the only one getting dizzy by gazing at that wind turbine? Maybe I should see the doctor. Dr Pepper, that is. Yes, friends, I will make up any excuses I can think of to get into the fizzy sugar.

But first, I'll get into the box for the Element 700W. Ah, it looks like this model gets the old two manual treatment.

Yes indeed, there are two manuals. One for specs and one for installation. There is also a power cord and a bag of goodies. And a power supply too. A rather deep power supply, judging from the looks of it.

The spec manual holds a remarkably complete set of specs on the unit. Just about anything you'd want to know is in here, right down to 12V rail distribution.

The installation manual, while thick, is in reality a pretty simple installation guide reprinted in a bunch of languages.

Here's the contents of that accessory bag. Some velcro cable ties, some wire twist ties, and two bags of screws.

Excellent, the power supply is indeed black. Matte black. In an interesting turn of events, Silverstone has opted to not throw in a power switch this time. Worry not, for this is only a minor inconvenience, but I have to wonder why it's not there. Looks like there's a fair bit of extra space behind the grill. We'll have to see how much space there really is on page four.

Looking at the unit from this angle, there isn't much to see. Only a small ventilation grille in the side, and the cables. No modular connectors, for this is not a modular power supply. Huh? With all that depth it's not modular? What's hiding inside that case, anyway, that takes up so much space?

Since the load specs are a rather small part of the label, I opted to zoom in on just that part of the label. Heh heh... maximun. As you can see, the combined limit for the 12V rails is 56A, or 672W. That's pretty good for a 700W unit.

3.3V 5V 12V1 12V2 12V3 12V4 12V5 -12V 5VSB
24A 30A 18A 18A 18A 18A 18A 0.5A 3.5A
Max Power 170W 672W 6W 17.5W

And here is the usual tentacle shot, showing us Silverstone's usual indifference to sleeving. Not only does it not go up into the case, there's no grommet where the cables enter the unit. And no sleeving on the Molex and SATA chains after that first connector. That'll be costing some functionality points.

Type of connector: Silverstone
ATX connector (510mm) 20+4 pin 12V3
4+4 pin EPS12V/ATX12V (520mm) 2 12V1/12V2
6+2 PCIe (500mm) 1 12V5
6 pin PCIe (+150mm, 500mm+150mm) 3 12V4/12V5
5.25" Drive (470mm+150mm+150mm) 6 12V3
3.5" Drive connectors (+150mm) 2
SATA (400mm+150mm+150mm) 6
Unit Dimensions(L x W x H)
175mm x 150mm x 86mm

Opening up the unit, I found that the 12V rail distribution in the manual is indeed accurate. And nonsensical. Two of the five 12V rails are dedicated to the CPU only. Huh? Sense makes this doesn't. How many CPU's do you know can overload an 18A 12V rail? Was that fifth 12V rail even necessary on a 700W unit? Wouldn't it have been better to chop the fifth one off and rate the unit at, say, 25A x4? That would have done the trick without trying to figure out what to do with a fifth 12V rail.


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