We're back with Silverstone for the second time in a month. This time, we're about as far away from an SFX form factor unit as we can get, it looks like, as we check out the Strider Platinum 1200 watt model. Though Silverstone has been at the forefront of power density lately, I can't help but wonder if they really have what it takes to compete at this end of the market.
Silverstone is increasingly in a position these days where power density isn't the ace in the hole it used to be. At the SFX end, they are now being seriously challenged by Corsair. At the high end, where people don't care as much about power density, they've traditionally been simply outperformed. But perhaps this unit will address the last part of that equation. It will certainly have been a long time in coming.
"The perfect balance of performance, efficiency, and quality," the box proclaims. Certainly, Silverstone's been pretty good on at least two of those fronts. I usually see the efficiency and quality, but when it comes to the performance Silverstone has usually come in with a more laid back approach. Most of their units have performed a little on the bland side... good enough to give the end user piece of mind that they bought something half decent, but not good enough to take on the likes of Seasonic, Super Flower, Corsair, or the like.
And that's an approach that seems to work for them... we don't need the best performing units on the market, really. We just want them like we'd rather have a Lexus than a Toyota. Lincoln instead of Ford. Anything instead of Kia. A power supply that even barely holds on to the ATX specification is not dangerous, and usually Silverstone units come in far enough under spec that they can be called quite decent indeed.
Some of these marketing points bear out that philosophy. Instead of a promise for ultra tight regulation, Silverstone promises 3%. That's a good number. Realistic for anything decent, allowing enough stability for overclocking, and leaving plenty of room for pleasant surprises during the course of this review should the unit exceed its box promises.
Silverstone also leans heavily on extra goodies to help take up the slack in the performance area of things, and this unit is no exception there, either. Strider units have been coming with extra fan filters for a while now, and this unit apparently joins that party. We also have all the other hallmarks of a high end unit, like full modularity and semi-fanless operation.
Elsewhere on the box, we find another of Silverstone's compromises to the "good enough" camp - forty degree temp ratings. I have no objection there... few people actually need the fifty degree rating most industrial units come with, and yet for some time now I've seen these Silverstones able to exceed these ratings by a large margin. This also likely means that they've partnered with Enhance to build this unit, a company that closely matches Silverstone's own "good enough is good enough" philosophy when it comes to power supplies.
And yet, we've had some recent proof in the Rosewill Tokamak that Enhance is fully capable of building awesomeness, too. I hope they brought some of that to this unit, because Rosewill is another one of those "good enough is good enough" brands. For Silverstone to be bested by Rosewill using the same OEM would not be too great for Silverstone.
Oh, great. Berg connectors. Why can't these things just die already? Last week's Bitfenix left them out, and I could have kissed them for it. Berg connectors are relics of a darker age, an age when you could install an OS using floppy disks... they need to go extinct.
One thing Silverstone has always done really well is documentation. We get the same two manual treatment here again today, leaving no stone unturned when it comes to specifications or anything else.
Aside from the manuals, we also have a power supply with a sash around it warning about the fanless mode, some modular cables, a bag of goodies, the fan filter I mentioned, and a power cord.
Here's all the accessories in one place. Silverstone is one of the rare few that provides two kinds of screws to mount their units, in case you have a preference. Same deal with the cable ties... velcro or cheap plastic, they give you both. I can't help but love them for that. It's the little things, folks...
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