Hot Test Results

Main Output
Load (Watts) 100.85 W 251.53 W 374.45 W 497.73 W
Load (Percent) 20.17% 50.31% 74.89% 99.55%
  Amperes Volts Amperes Volts Amperes Volts Amperes Volts
3.3 V 1.24 3.36 3.09 3.34 4.64 3.32 6.19 3.3
5 V 1.5 5.1 3.76 5.07 5.64 5.02 7.51 5
12 V 7.37 12.08 18.42 12.06 27.63 11.97 36.83 11.94

 

Line Regulation
(20% to 100% load)
Voltage Ripple (mV)
20% Load 50% Load 75% Load 100% Load CL1
12V
CL2
3.3V + 5V
3.3V 2% 14 20 20 28 16 34
5V 1.8% 16 22 26 34 20 40
12V 1.2% 20 24 28 60 52 38

As can be seen in the preceding tables, the power quality of the SilverStone FX500 is good. The maximum voltage ripple on the 12V line is 60 mV, a figure that most high-end PSU admittedly surpass nowadays, but it's still exactly half of the ATX design guide's recommended 120 mV limit. Ripple on the secondary 3.3V/5V lines is equally mediocre, reaching 34 mV on the 5V line with a recommended maximum at 50 mV. Voltage regulation is good, at just 1.2% for the main 12V line and about 2% for the secondary 3.3V/5V lines.

Operation in high ambient temperatures greatly affects the performance of the tiny FX500. First and foremost, the PSU was unable to output all of its rated power output under these operating conditions, shutting down some minutes after the load was set at 500 Watts due to overheating. Taking the reduced nominal load range of between 20% and 90% into account, the average efficiency drops by 0.6% regardless of the input voltage, going down to an average of 89.9% (230 VAC) / 88.4% (115 VAC), figures that initially seem comparatively good but are deceptive due to the missing 100% load measurement.

As it can be derived from the charts below, the cooling capabilities of the SilverStone FX500 are unable to cope with the very adverse ambient conditions inside our hotbox. Although it operated normally at 100% for several minutes, it eventually shut down to protect itself. Given that our testing temperatures are higher than the 40°C that this unit is rated for, the FX500 held fairly well considering its small size. The real weakness here is that the small cooling fan is operating at maximum speed practically all the time. With noise figures constantly above 50 dB(A), the FX500 will be unbearably loud for home users under such operating conditions.

Cold Test Results Final Words & Conclusion
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  • Spunjji - Friday, November 13, 2020 - link

    Yes, my personal experience from messing with Noctua 40mm fans is that they won't move very much air at all when running at reasonable noise levels.

    That said - it might still be manageable in a situation where the user can guarantee the load will remain at 60% or below in a chassis that is otherwise reasonably well ventilated and/or where the PSU is thermally isolated.
    Reply
  • Reflex - Thursday, November 12, 2020 - link

    This one supposedly has a silent fan mod, I'd love to see someone look into it: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N4IGM0O/ Reply
  • zodiacfml - Friday, November 13, 2020 - link

    god, the price! Reply
  • edzieba - Friday, November 13, 2020 - link

    The key for low noise in SFF is to eliminate as many fans as possible. Rather than peppering 40mm and 80mm fans on top of individual components, use a single 140mm (or at least 120mm) fan and duct airflow to individual components. Same total airflow volume, less noise. While in theory that means you fan now has to spin up if /any/ component demands a higher fan speed, it's still better to have a 140mm go from dead-slow to kinda-slow-ish than to have 3 idling 40mm screamers and one 40mm going hell-for-leather. Reply
  • dotes12 - Friday, November 13, 2020 - link

    They should have designed this around a centrifugal blower fan, instead of an axial 40mm. They can move a lot of air at low dBs. Reply
  • pvdw - Saturday, November 14, 2020 - link

    Good article, but please can stop using the word simplistic when you mean simple, it's a negative word.

    See, e.g.: ://www.thoughtco.com/simple-and-simplistic-1689612
    Reply
  • linuxgeex - Thursday, November 19, 2020 - link

    What's the power factor like? For commercial use that's a significant concern because utilities charge more per kWh for loads with a poor power factor. Reply
  • qwertymac93 - Thursday, November 19, 2020 - link

    The Silverstone has active power factor correction so power factor is likely very close to 1. Reply
  • qwertymac93 - Thursday, November 19, 2020 - link

    I wonder what sticking an 80mm fan onto the internal vents with double-sided tape would do to the thermals. Perhaps it'd help just enough to use a resistor to drop the 40mm fan's RPM a bit and reduce noise. Reply
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