Introduction

Not too long ago, a rogue division of Cooler Master left to form their own company called Silverstonetek. While they are arguably more famous for their HTPC cases today, Silverstone has already developed a vast number of power supplies and is getting stronger with each new series.

The Olympia series is designed by Silverstone's newly acquired crew that came over from several member of different teams of the power supply business. With this move, Silverstone makes it clear that they are interested in branching out into other areas of the power supply market. At the CeBIT earlier this year, they were already showing a server power supply, and more will follow in the near future.



There are two things which help this power supply stand out from most other units. Silverstone is one of the first manufacturers that is actually returning to Taiwan for production. What's noteworthy about this is the fact that Silverstone has set up a robot factory in Taiwan that is building the PSU totally by itself. The positive effect of this is the same as what we see with things like car manufacturing where the work is done by robots: the overall soldering and precision is just better than it is by hand. This fact can be seen quite clear later when we take a look inside of this unit.

The second special characteristic is the single 12V rail. In a time when other manufacturers are building up to six 12V rails in their PSUs, Silverstone has come up with a single rail able to pull a load up to 54 amps. If we look to the actual Intel ATX12V specs, it states that there should be no rail with more than 20 amps for safety reasons. That's a fine step but not possible when you listen to the graphics card manufacturers. They ask for up to 30 amps from a single 12V rail which would make every OCP kick in if reached since they lie at around 24 amps. The result would be a shut-down of the PC while running the actual application. With a single 12V rail Silverstone went in another direction. If you have enough power to supply every component in the PC from a single rail, there would never be any problem since the PSU is regulating all the power drawn from just one source.

This might be a valid way to design a power supply, but, even though we don't know what it is, Intel probably had a reason for designing the specifications around a 20 amp per 12V rail limit. Silverstone backs up their design choice by stating that there is no application which could force this kind of power supply to fail. We have not heard of any problems in the field with a single high current 12V rail, and in our tests we weren't able to provoke this power supply into failing. We will make sure to pay close attention to this during the tests.

Packaging and Appearance
POST A COMMENT

46 Comments

View All Comments

  • meeshu - Thursday, July 19, 2007 - link

    I would have liked to have seen results of ripple tests, regardless of whether they are within spec or not. Reply
  • Piyono - Sunday, July 15, 2007 - link

    As your power supply testing methodology continues to evolve do you see yourself retesting previously reviewed units, if necessary? My concern is that all test results should be directly comparable between all reviewed units.

    Thanks,

    Piyono
    Reply
  • Christoph Katzer - Monday, July 16, 2007 - link

    If it's possible (a matter of time) we will do it. Reply
  • Piyono - Sunday, July 15, 2007 - link

    Very good first PS review.

    As an audio guy I feel it's necessary to point out that the *frequency* of the sound generated by a fan has a lot to do with how loud / annoying we might perceive it to be. The human ear, as we know, is not linear and is more sensitive at some frequencies than at others (for those unfamiliar with the concept, Google "Fletcher Munson equal loudness curve" or try the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fletcher-Munson_curve...">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fletcher-Munson_curve...]Wikipedia entry[/url]).
    For example, given two fans outputting 40dBSPL, one generating a tone centered at 1KHz will be far more annoying than one with a fundamental of 600Hz, simply because the ear is particularly sensitive around 1KHz, and less so at 600Hz.

    Given the quality of your audio test equipment (great choice on the MG mic & pre, BTW) you can easily create an accurate frequency plot of the PS's audio output. Perhaps you could include these frequency plots in future reviews, along with sample recordings of the actual fan noise.

    Just a thought.

    I've been waiting a long time for a review site to pick up some chroma gear and put out consistent PS reviews. Kudos!

    Piyono
    Reply
  • mindless1 - Wednesday, July 18, 2007 - link

    It can be problematic picking a high wattage PSU based on fan noise frequency. It is actually better to have a higher fan frequency for PSU lifespan, because that higher frequency is typically caused by use of ball bearings instead of sleeve bearing, which is much more reliable in a horizontally mounted PSU fan.

    If the noise is important I suggest you use a system that doesn't consume much power and has the older rearward facing fan (being a quality sleeve bearing, brand like Papst or Panaflo).
    Reply
  • Christoph Katzer - Sunday, July 15, 2007 - link

    Thanks, actually we are still working on the audio-equipment. When it's ready we will have quite some data to show. Reply
  • Piyono - Sunday, July 15, 2007 - link

    Hey, that's good to know.
    I'm eager to see how this develops!

    Piyono
    Reply
  • xsilver - Saturday, July 14, 2007 - link

    do silverstone manufacture this psu themselves or do they subcontract it to an OEM company like etasis?

    im most intrigued because they make the ZF series of psu's which have a dual PCB design
    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/other/display/atx...">http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/other/display/atx...

    this review tells of how this is one of the very few psu's to actually have true independent voltage regulation; not sure how that has any real world effect but it at least looks like one of the most jam packed psu's i've ever seen.
    Reply
  • Operandi - Saturday, July 14, 2007 - link

    A good PSU review the proper way isn't an easy thing but it looks like you guys have an excellent handle on it, great work. Reply
  • maluckey - Saturday, July 14, 2007 - link

    I noticed that the secondary heatsink temperature reached 90 degrees during testing. I've never been a fan of Teapo capacitors, and I suspect (though not stated in the article) that the caps on this PSU are NOT 105 C. caps. This means that given time, the degradation can be significant and the MTBF will rise accordingly. Can anyone justify 170 doolars a new PSU every couple of years? Especially when 35 dollars in better caps would change all that. It would basically future-proof your purchase, though the manufacturer would have to raise the price accordingly as they are not in the business of charity.

    I forsee this happening as soon as the majority of home users expect more from a PSU than a shiny case or blinky lights and a wildly opptimistic output rating.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now