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SilverStone 400W SST-ST400

SilverStone brings us a 400W PSU that will satisfy pretty much any user out there. If you need some dependable power, with the latest SATA connections in there too, you might want to check out this article.

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Introduction


Power hungry PC components have led the computing enthusiast to take a second look at his or her “go juice” needs. A simple 300W power supply (PSU) just doesn’t cut it when you start throwing multiple hard drives, an FX 5900 Ultra, two cold cathode lights, and that blazing overclocked processor cooled with a separate water cooling kit. You never know, it might have been someone’s crazy modded PC that caused the Blackout of 2003 up in the Northeast!! ;)

So what do we do when we need more power to the PC? We get a beefy PSU to churn out the wattage we need. One such PSU is the SilverStone 400W SST-ST400. SilverStone isn’t exactly a household name yet, but it manufactures numerous aluminum products, such as cases and PSUs.

Specs & Features


The SST-ST400 has some very plain, but pretty good looks to it straight out of the box. The PSU is a gunmetal color from front to back and has somewhat of a textured look to it. There is only one fan, a huge 120mm on the bottom side of it. Like I said, the looks are very plain, but very sharp and strong. One thing that catches my eye is the grill that basically forms the entire rearward portion of the PSU. With the use of that one huge fan, airflow from the back is a must.


Then comes one of my few problems with the SST-ST400. There are only five four-post molex connections on this PSU. I can understand that most users would not approach using all five connections, but I could use them all. I have two hard drives, a CD-RW, a 9800 Pro, and I sometimes have my Corsair Hydrocool system and several fans to boot. That’s not just five, that’s a total of six or seven. You can also throw in some cold cathode kits or other another optical drive the average enthusiast may have in their case. So in other words, if you have a bunch of peripherals that require the molex connector, you better start stocking up on those connection splitters. The SST-ST400 does come with one SATA power connection, but the lack of standard connections has me thinking this PSU may be a better fit for the average consumer more than the PC enthusiast crowd.


Installation is nothing short of simple. Like any other PSU, screw it onto the case, plug in your hardware, crank it up, bada bing bada boom you’re done! I love hassle free installs.


Testing


The relative size of the SilverStone is very good. It is a small PSU and does not take a lot of space up in the top of your case. This helps the cables not get so bunched up around your HSF and drives. There is plenty of room to put the extra slack between your optical drives and the SilverStone unit.

Using Motherboard Monitor 5, I recorded the voltage ratings of the SilverStone PSU. I also used a multimeter to take the same readings. The results look great. All the numbers are within the +/-5% that a PSU should keep up with. Clean and stable power means more to your system than you could imagine, and this PSU provides it.

Motherboard Monitor 5

+3.3 +5.00 +12.00 -12.00 -5.00
3.26 V 4.89 V 11.61 V -12.13 V -5.09 V

Standard Multimeter
+3.3 +5.00 +12. 00 -12.00 -5.00
3.29 V 4.83 V 11.71 V -12.17 V -5.13 V

One of the benefits of the SilverStone unit is supposed to be the single 120mm fan it uses to cool the PSU. Right off the bat, this PSU is roaring like a lion. I’m perplexed as to what is going on here. The sound is unreasonably loud. Time for some investigation. After a while I have determined that it was a strange combination of the Antec 660 case I have it in and the PSU itself. The PSU is creating an odd vibration that seems to be just right to make the case emit a “whirring” tone that is obscenely loud. As soon as I put some rubber grommets between the screws and the case and in between the panels and the PSU the sound dissapates. The PSU is very quiet when other factors do not jump into the mix. I hope that this is just a freakish occurance that would not affect many users. I unfortunatetly do not have another case at the moment to test out the PSU on. I fixed the sound with relative ease and have not had a problem with it since. Without the freaky vibration this PSU is very quiet and easy on the ears for sure.


Final Thoughts


The SilverStone SST-ST400 is a good PSU when it comes to the simple “power” aspect of a unit. It provides clean and constant power, no doubt about it. It fits well inside a case and provides some extra room with its small stature. The SATA connection and its ability to provide power for all the latest processors keeps it at the top of the technology ladder also. It may take a little work in my case, but the SST-ST400 is very quiet PSU when all goes well. As many users know, quiet is good! The 120mm fan seems to do a great job keeping the PSU cool and your environment peaceful at the same time.

What isn’t good about the SilverStone unit is the lack of molex connections. It could easily be solved by splitting up the connectors, but I would feel more comfortable with the connections already on the PSU. Even two more connectors would alleviate this problem. Some may also find the lack of “bling-bling” on the PSU to be a downside. With the options of LED fans and variable speed fan controllers built into some of todays PSUs, the very plain and simple aspects of the SST-ST400 may be a turnoff to some. The retail price of the SilverStone SST-ST400 is around $80. This seems to be a little on the pricey side considering the other PSUs that you can get at the same price. When comparing this PSU to others in the same price range, the SST-ST400 starts to falter and lose out to better known companies that are offering some more power in their products.

With the SilverStone SST-ST400 I was not dissapointed in the end. This would definitely be a PSU for the average consumer that does not use a lot of peripheral equipment in their PC. The quiet demeanor and simple looks can be a great solution for many users. For the PC enthusiast interested in brute power with a ton of connections, and more of a snazzy look to it, check this PSU off your list. The price has become a big downer for me also. For $80 there are options to choose from that may turn the heads of many users looking for a PSU. It is a great unit, but for the extreme PC user I don’t think this is the one you will want. Considering all the factors involved I give the SilverStone SST-ST400 a 7 out of 10.


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