Introduction

Silverstone is a familiar name in our PSU testing facilities, and today we will be looking at the fifth power supply from Silverstone. It is also the second fanless power supply we've reviewed, following the Amacrox Calmer 560. Silverstone has left a consistently good impression with high quality and very good results, and the 700W Decathlon was especially impressive with its near-silent performance. Obviously, we're going to get true silence today since the Nightjar doesn't have a fan. The cooling is done with high efficiency large heatsink sitting on top of the power supply. The market for these power supplies is somewhat limited, since airflow is vital to modern PC systems. Using a power supply that doesn't contribute at all to system cooling - and in fact can do the exact opposite - typically causes issues with temperatures.




To avoid more serious cooling problems, fanless power supplies are generally limited to lower power ratings, such as the 450W model we're reviewing today. This also makes sense considering any system with need for more power will have high-end graphics cards and processors that run noisy fans. The usefulness of a fanless power supply is thus very limited, or at best it's a way to reduce (but not fully eliminate) noise. The market where they make the most sense is for HTPCs. They need to run as quietly as possible since they are in the same room where you want to watch your favorite movies. They also don't need a ton of power (usually) since most of the components are relatively low power - all you need is a moderate CPU and a GPU with H.264 decoding support (which you can now get with certain IGPs). We already tested a fanless power supplies with a peak output of 560W, but 400W will be just fine for all but the most demanding HTPCs. (Ed: So Anand's monster with 20TB of storage or whatever doesn't qualify?)


The label indicates a peak output of 450W, which as mentioned should be the maximum this sort of power supply needs to offer. We also find an intelligent setup within the lower voltage rails. The 3.3V and 5V rails are rated at only 22A for the 3.3V rail and 15A for the 5V rail. Together they can still supply 130W, which is sufficient for modern systems. The single 12V rail is rated at 35A, which makes us wonder if anyone cares about ATX safety regulations.

Packaging and Appearance
POST A COMMENT

20 Comments

View All Comments

  • TravisChen - Saturday, August 30, 2008 - link

    Can you show us how to get test the output ripple & noise the right way (with the caps mentioned in spec)? I think it's an important part in PSU reviews.
    Reply
  • Christoph Katzer - Monday, August 25, 2008 - link

    Actually that was just to take the screenshots... I still have pretty high spikes now and then even with the caps according to specs. Reply
  • tayhimself - Monday, August 25, 2008 - link

    How does this address the point raised? And why are you taking pointless screenshots then? Reply
  • LTG - Monday, August 25, 2008 - link

    Yes Tayhimself is right, Christoph you kind of avoided or skimped on a proper response to the questions raised.

    Authors replying in the comments is a major strength of AT - Please respect that.

    So what was wrong, just your screen shots, or some of the testing reported originally as well?

    Thank you.
    Reply
  • Christoph Katzer - Tuesday, August 26, 2008 - link

    I am still working on it to get the spikes sorted. With replying to that post I already meant to say that he was right and that his reply was much more helpful than most others that don't take the time to complete a full sentence... Once I sorted the spike-problem it will be all better. Reply
  • aarvark - Monday, August 25, 2008 - link

    Really "of limited use"? A core duo with mid-range graphic card barely tops 150W these days. A basic setup, maybe with integrated graphics would be around 120W. 400W is more than plenty for 99%+ of the market. Remember, us geeks are the exception, not the rule.

    I'd say the one thing it wasn't suitable for were HTPCs whereby you'd be better off with a picopsu or the like as they are more efficient at very low loads and only $50. Better still by having an external brick most of the heat is outside the case.

    Saying that I'm not a fan (no pun intended) of these because they are many, cheaper supplies that have a lazy 12 or 14cm thermally controlled fan which are for all real purposes silent anyway with the huge advantage of giving just a little case airflow through the case.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, August 25, 2008 - link

    I think that last point is why we say "limited use". Basically, you need to want 200-300W of power (gotta leave some wiggle room, right?), and you need to want absolute silence, and you also need to be willing to pay $170+ for it. I'd take a 600W PSU with a large fan over this for under $100 as well. Pico PSUs are an option for small systems that don't require a lot of power, but there are many definitions of HTPC. Personally, I prefer larger systems with more storage options. Reply
  • Freddo - Monday, August 25, 2008 - link

    Looks like something I would buy for my next computer :-) Reply
  • Clauzii - Monday, August 25, 2008 - link

    The same here :)

    With specs and quality like that, it's almost impossible to go wrong with this. Also, the cablelengths COULD make it possible to let it rest outside the PC case itself (for DIYs anyway).

    And thank You Anandtech, for testing a sub-500 Watt supply :)
    Reply
  • pattycake0147 - Tuesday, August 26, 2008 - link

    I agree not everybody wants kilowatt a psu a low wattage one like is an excellent change of pace and exactly what I am looking for. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now