February 15th, 2011

Silverstone Olympia OP650w

Silverstone Olympia 650w  Review

Introduction

Silverstone have been producing high end power supplies and chassis for years now. They are hoping to continue this run with their latest range of PSUs, the Olympias. Featuring a strong single 12v rail and a multitude of connectors and cables, can the OP650 model serve up what we are looking for? Read on to find out.

Features

  • Class-leading continuous 54A single +12V combined output @ 50 ℃
  • Single PCI-E 8pin connectors
  • Dual PCI-E 6pin connectors
  • Six Serial ATA connectors
  • Industrial class components
  • Support for ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS12V
  • Active PFC

Silverstone’s take on the OP650

“The Olympia series continues the fine form established by the first SilverStone performance single +12V rail Zeus ST56ZF and expands to a new plateau. Precision manufactured by industry leading robotics assembly line and designed by SilverStone’s world-class PSU engineering team, the Olympia OP650 possess serious performance with real-world usability. With a single +12V rail continuous output up to 54A at 50°C , this peerless power is harnessed in a compact enclosure and cooled by a high quality 120mm fan tuned to perfection. Combining these performance and ergonomic attributes into a power supply such as the OP650 is a dream come true not only for the most ardent enthusiasts but also for those who are simply looking for the best available power supply to use in any systems.”

Bits and Box

The Olympia comes in the typically swish Silverstone packaging; it’s black, it’s debonair and it’s designed to stand out through it’s simplicity. The front has some short specifications and features the phrase “650w Continuous” in a bold red along with some mystical looking pillars just barely visible at the sides of the PSU. I imagine this is designed to convey that the Olympia will stand the test of time like the relics of the city it was named after.

Silverstone Olympia PC6400 Box

The back of the box is surprisingly bare, however the sides feature multilingual specifications and some macro photographs of the PSU’s features.

Multilingual Specs.

Features

Along with the Olympia you get the typical mish mash of extra cables, a kettle lead and the obligatory safety manual.

One cable you receive had me a little confused for a minute. It was a 3 inch 8pin to 8pin connector. I couldn’t figure out who would want to extend their PCIE 8pin power connector by only 3 inches. So after a little searching around online it turns out some people have been forcing their PCIE 8 pin headers into their server motherboards, causing all sorts of problems. To counter this, Silverstone have provided a protective extender that makes it impossible for you to do so, aren’t they thoughtful?

8pin to 8pin Converter

The OP650

This PSU has a full matt black exterior which is a nice change from the flashy chromed surfaces of many power supplies out there at the moment. The top has an indented Silverstone logo that really works well with the matt finish.

Silverstone Olympia 650w

The rear of the unit has a full honeycombed surface to allow air to exhaust freely from inside the PSU out of the back of the case. Honeycomb shaped grills are used as they afford the most freedom for the movement of air without having a completely open backed unit.

Honeycombed Grill

The Olympia is fitted with a single 120mm fan with black fan blades and a black fan grill. The centre is an ugly beige colour with the Silverstone logo on it which would really bring down the style of the PSU if it was more visible.

120mm Fan

Unfortunately this Silverstone offering does not feature modular cabling so the front looks rather bare. However, there is a small grill just above the cables’ exit hole that allows air to flow over a nearby copper coil.

Cable Source

The PCIE and motherboard power cables are braided which really improves their look, giving them a much neater appearance; it’s just a shame that the braiding is limited to only these cables. It is also a bit of a let down not to see quick release clips on the molex connectors. it’s little things like these that really make power supplies stand out from the crowd.

Braided Cables

The Single Rail

An interesting feature of this power supply is that instead of fitting the standard of several 12v rails, the Olympia features only one. There are several advantages and a couple of disadvantages to this method of PSU production. To read about power distribution among rails have a look at our glossary entry here.

Testing

For testing power supplies, we get together the most power hungry of all our hardware, get it all plugged in and then test the rail’s outputs at idle and at load to check their stability. However, since this PSU is rather large in it’s wattage, we decided to use our hillbilly testing setup. This involves placing our AM2 and Conroe systems very near each other and having the Olympia not only powering the entire C2D rig, but also the GPU, hard drives, CD drives and all fans from the AM2 rig.

Testing is performed using Asus Probe. A multimeter is used to check accuracy of readings.

The pieces of hardware that the OP650 powered were:

Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 2.7ghz
Asus P5W DH Deluxe
MSI 8800GTS
x1950 Pro 512mb
2gb OCZ Special Ops. Urban Elite @ 900mhz
1x 36gb WD Raptor
2x 80gb WD Caviar SE
2x LG CD/DVD Writer combo.
3x 120mm Noiseblocker fans
2x 120mm Akasa fans

Hill Billy Test Rig
Our hillbilly rig setup

Result

Results

As you can see from the above results the Olympia is very stable and the voltages only fluctuate slightly on each rail. There is also very little variation when switching from idle to load which is another indication of a top class PSU.

Noise

The supplied 120mm fan is nicely quiet and doesn’t intrude on your everyday PC use in anyway. However, during the testing the PSU would emit a strange whining noise when 3D applications were run. The noise is a bit irritating and is almost audible above case fans. Bottom line, those with silent PCs will be very annoyed by this, those who wear headphones all the time or have several high powered fans in their case will barely notice it.

Cost

You can find the Olympia 650w for around £90. which is about on par with the 600-700w offerings from other brands.

Conclusion

I have mixed feelings about the Olympia as it is fantastic in some areas and poorly let down in others. The performance is top notch, it’s rails are very stable and even with the single 12v rail, the 120mm fan and honeycomb grilled rear keep this PSU running nice and cool. However, the Olympia is let down by lack of modular cableing, quick release molex’s and the irritating whining noise. Looks wise it’s quite subtle and isn’t as flashy as other brands out there, but it’s simplicity will appeal to most I imagine.

If you are looking for a stable PSU that will deliver the goods when you need it and not fail you then OP650 is right up your street. However, if when building a PC noise is a big factor for you, I suggest you look elsewhere.

Pros Cons
Stylish packaging and product Emits whining noise during 3D applications
Single 12v Rail Lacks modular and quick release molex cables
Stable

XSR Value Award

I’d like to thank our sponsors Silverstone for providing us with this PSU.

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