We would like to thank Silverstone for supplying the review sample.
We have tested many Silverstone PSUs in the past, but most of them belonged to the middle or high-end category and were, as such, nowhere near the "budget" region. The time has now come to take a look at one of their truly affordable PSU offerings providing only the essentials without any extra bells and whistles, like modular or fully sleeved cables or a high efficiency rating. The Silverstone Strider Essential ST50F-ES, which will be the main subject of today’s review, was built with only one thing in mind: to deliver the best possible performance while keeping production costs low for an equally low retail price.
Most users unfortunately focus on the price factor over overlook performance and build quality matters when it comes time to pick their next PSU, so the companies have to offer real budget units to cover this significant market segment. There are, naturally, cases were a budget PSU comes without basic characteristics that are nowadays a part of the standard (e.g. sleeved cables) for small systems that are used in office environments, download stations (PCs) etc., but the general trend has most users ask for at least fully sleeved cables and, in most cases, a modular system, and most users will take their chances by picking a generic PSU for 20$-40$ if it does offer the above, which will often result in a fried system after a brown-out or power surge. So, better buy a branded budget PSU that may not have modular or sleeved cables while still performing fairly well instead of one with all the bells and whistles and really poor performance.
Silverstone’s Strider Essential line consists of five members with capacities ranging from 400 W to 700 W. All are 80 Plus certified and don’t feature any modular cables, but they have compact dimensions and can output their full power continuously at up to 40°C. The ATX spec does recommend 50°C, but many of today's PSUs, even some out of the high-end category, are restricted to 40°C.