DC Load Regulation and AC Ripple
DC Output Load Regulation
To simulate real world and maximum loading conditions, the SilverStone SX600-G PSU was connected to the load testers and supplied with a constant 115 VAC. In this test we are interested in seeing how well a PSU can maintain the various output voltages while operating under different loads.
The ATX12V V2.2 tolerance for voltages states how much each output (rail) is allowed to fluctuate and has tighter tolerances now for the +12V outputs. I have also included a second table of expanded tolerances (±1% to ±6%) for reference.
The following tables list the DC voltage results for the PSU while operating on 115 VAC, 60 Hz.
The SX600-G PSU produced very good load regulation on all of the outputs across the full range of loads. All of the DC outputs stayed easily within ±3% of their target values, which is what SilverStone claims for this power supply.
AC Ripple and Noise on the DC Outputs
The amount of AC ripple and noise present on the DC outputs was checked using a digital oscilloscope. This AC component may be present in the KHz range where most switching power supplies operate or it may be more prevalent at the 60 Hz line frequency. We adjust the O-scope time base to look for AC ripple at both low and high frequencies. The ATX12V V2.2 specification for DC output noise/ripple is defined in the ATX12V Power Supply Design Guide.
Ideally we would like to see no AC ripple (repetitive) or noise (random) on the DC outputs – the cleaner the better! But in reality there will always be some present. I measured the amplitude of the AC signal (in millivolts, peak-to-peak) to see how well the power supply complied with the ATX standard. The following table lists the ripple/noise results during all of the load tests for the main output voltages of interest.
The SX600-G power supply exhibited good AC ripple suppression and stayed well below the recommended ATX guidelines. However, these values are a lot higher than we are used to seeing with most modern high quality ATX PSUs. Filtering capacitors take up a relatively large amount of space and obviously this is one area where the designers had to make a few compromises.