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  • R3MF - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    i have an 8 year old Nightjar 300 that is still going strong. good units. Reply
  • Chickenlicker - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    Good choice of a name for this unit given it's excellent aural performance. It is really unfortunate this little nocturnal bird called as nightjar is also famously recognized by it's other name "goatsucker". Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    It's good to see Silverstone use Seasonic as an OEM, or at least use a Seasonic design with the level of component quality we usually expect from Seasonic.

    I have to wonder if this is a sign of a change in Silverstone with regards to how they make their entire lineup. In the past the only way you could tell who made one of their PSUs is if an article by a hardware testing site (such as this one) mentioned it, and they often used OEMs that didn't exactly have good reputations. After one of their high-end, expensive units failed on me, taking mainboard and CPU with it, I sent them an email suggesting that they would do themselves and their customers better if they used Seasonic or Enermax or the like as a source; they really needed to pay attention to PSU reviews and see which OEMs got the respect from the community.

    Hopefully they listened to me enough to change their entire policy. :)

    That being said, while I don't really have a problem with the price for a design of this quality, a 3-year warranty is not a good thing, in my opinion (should it turn out that this unit doesn't have a longer warranty). 5 years is the minimum I will consider - and we now have units warrantied for 7 and 10 years on the market. I know warranty lengths are in part marketing points and not necessarily a sign of better quality, but I also think that if the company thinks it will be cost-effective to allow marketing to sell the units with a longer warranty it can only be a good sign in the end.

    My experience with the failed Silverstone is the real-life reason I always, always tell people to buy a PSU about which they have read at least one review with strong positive results. If I had done that, I wouldn't have purchased the Silverstone unit I did, I trusted the name of the company selling the product too much. Even if it says "Seasonic" or "Enermax" or "Super Flower" on it, don't go by name brand alone. Anandtech, [Hard|OCP, jonnyGURU, Tomshardware, and a bunch of others can save you some potential grief.

    Anyway, good on Silverstone for making a true high-end PSU that people can really trust, at least in this case.
    Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    I don't see Silverstone putting their name on shit. We're not talking about Antec or Corsair here, companies that have to cater to all markets. Silverstone doesn't really have a "low-end" segment. Reply
  • frewster - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    Not true. I have a dead Silverstone PSU from two or three years ago that had crap caps. Trusted Silverstone to make good stuff, even for their lower end, but it died shortly after its warranty ran out. Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - link

    Interesting...was it a Seasonic design or FSP (mostly for SFX?) Those are the only two OEM's I know of that Silverstone rebrands, although some Googling revealed Enhance may have been an OEM at one point, and I never thought much of them.

    Still nobody tops PC Power & Cooling Silencer's (based on a tweaked Seasonic platform) at least up until 2010 when OCZ started destroying PCP&C.
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - link

    Tomshardware did an analysis of the companies that used OEMs a while back, and Silverstone was all over the map. What I said is a fact: Silverstone has used poor quality manufacturers to make some of their PSUs in the past. Reply
  • DarkSpatter - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    I don't really see the point of fanless PSUs. Manufacturers always state that they still require some airflow in order to operate, so you can't expect to rid your system of fans completely. Furthermore, there are plenty of 'hybrid' PSUs on the market, which are silent up until they reach a certain temperature anyway. With the right choice of unit, you can have a silent PSU, together with the peace of mind that should it get overly hot, the active cooling will kick-in. And it'll cost less, too :) Reply
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    I like the peace of mind that a hybrid solution provides as well. I have a Superflower 500W PSU with platinum certification that is fanless until 40% load I think. That is quiet enough for me during normal use (I have a quiet case fan and 4 quiet fans for my radiator) and when I game I have my headphones on. Reply
  • mapesdhs - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link


    The point of fanless PSUs is they don't make any noise. Self-evident perhaps,
    but you did say. :D I recently built a new gateway/firewall box which I wanted
    to be as quiet as possible, for which I bought a new SIlverstone case:

    http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=303

    and a new Seasonic Platinum SS-400FL2 400W fanless PSU (eBay item
    131209207247). All the other items were obtained via normal eBay auctions.

    The case does have two fans: a built-in 180mm which is set to run at a very
    low speed, and a rear Thermalright 120mm 600rpm 'ultra silent' model. The
    case is completely inaudible.

    I read _a lot_ of reviews about Hybrid PSUs, especially on sites where the
    PSUs are examined inside for build quality, etc. My conclusion from reading
    reviews is that hybrid PSUs below 700W are rubbish. In many cases the
    poor build quality, especially the soldering, really is shocking (to coin a phrase).

    Peace of mind? Not really, not with the bits of junk that many companies are
    stuffing into low wattage hybrid units atm. A good quality fanless like the Seasonic
    or Nightjar version is a much better choice. The unit I bought cost a fair bit more
    than a hybrid, but I couldn't get away from being suspcious that such hybrid models
    are typically only around 35 to 55 UKP; they're cheap for a reason. The other comment
    I found on reviews again and again was that the included fan was too loud. Models that
    are marketed as silent/quiet/etc. simply aren't, not by any measure.

    Btw, with the PSU facing as recommend, convection gives sufficient cooling anyway.
    I'm sure my gateway unit would be fine without the two fans, but I wanted to be sure,
    and they run at such a slow speed I cannot hear them. The mbd (Intel DQ77MK)
    controls the fans, power saving features are all on, max fan speed is set to 50%, so
    the RPMs are really low. CPU is just a Pentium G2020 I.B., one 4GB DIMM, 120GB SSD,
    and that's it. See:

    http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/misc/gatewaypc1.jpg
    http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/misc/gatewaypc2.jpg
    http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/misc/gatewaypc3.jpg

    Note the DVDRW in the case is not connected to any power cable (I'm going ro rig up
    a switch mounted in the upper bay so that I can provide power to the DVDRW if needed).

    For this type of application, a quality fanless PSU is perfect, and the cost saving of most
    hybrids isn't worth the much higher risk. One is hardly saving anything if the PSU dies,
    damaging other parts in the process.

    In reviews I read of hybrids, authors found instances of loose solder lumps falling out
    of the units, totally botched reworking on the PCB, shoddy initial solder work, etc.

    You get what you pay for in this market. I was initially hesitant to pay so much
    for a PSU, but I'm glad I did.

    Ian.
    Reply
  • A5 - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    An easier solution for a network-appliance kind of box is to just physically store it somewhere you can't hear it... Reply
  • mapesdhs - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link


    For various reasons I didn't want to or couldn't do that.

    Ian.
    Reply
  • basroil - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    A good case will do wonders for noise control, and often the PSU makes less noise than HDDs under normal use. And if you use a normal CPU/GPU cooler, either one makes far more noise than the PSU will ever get to. Reply
  • mapesdhs - Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - link


    I used a very good case, fanless excellent PSU, on-chip gfx, and an Akasa cooler
    marketed as being quiet and (oddly enough) it indeed was. Silence. 8)

    Ian.
    Reply
  • HardwareDufus - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    NightJar.
    Two thoughts: 1. something I might use on a long road trip, when it's the middle of the night and there are no discreet highway turnoffs. 2. single-function chamber pot

    Then I remembered the bird.

    Anyway... that's some difficult branding to get your mind around.
    Reply
  • romrunning - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    What? It's a bird?! :) Reply
  • romrunning - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    "Are you tired of reading reviews of high output power supply units? "

    Yes! A thousand times yes! 90%, maybe even 95%, are NOT running dual GTX Titans or some other power-hungry setup that would require a 1000W+ P/S.

    I want to hear about decent SFX power supplies or even small modular P/S that will support a single video card & a couple of drives. That's all most people are running. As video cards get more power efficient (look at Nvidia's Maxwell), lower rated P/S can become more efficient as well. So point out the good ones that are less than 500W. The more reviews you get, the better quality the vendors will have to make as their faults and cost-cutting measures will be on display to everyone.
    Reply
  • HardwareDufus - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    "I want to hear about decent SFX power supplies or even small modular P/S that will support a single video card & a couple of drives. That's all most people are running."

    I agree whole heartedly with your sentiments!! I did purchase a Silverstone SFX 450 for my miniITX machine. Still more watts and connections than I need. (could probably do with 100 really).
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    Same here. Power supply company review liaisons, are you reading this? Reply
  • hybrid2d4x4 - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    Agree. I got a Seasonic 400 Platinum Fanless model to run an upper-midrange gaming rig/HTPC, and it never gets more stressed than 60% of its rated power (measured at the wall, not internally). Short of some picoPSU units with minimal power regulation, there isn't anything out there that's a good match for a 'typical' integrated video system and there should be! Reply
  • Cygni - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    The more fanless/silent part reviews, the better. Maybe I'm just old now, but I refuse to have a big leaf blower of a computer in every room anymore, even for my gaming computer. It's 2014!

    Really interested in this part. Think it will go well with my new low heat gaming build. More silent/quiet reviews please!
    Reply
  • Spoogie - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    Not really sure I'd buy this over the Kingwin. I have the 1k version of the Kingwin and it's truly silent with no elec noise at all and a 5 year warranty.

    http://www.silentpcreview.com/Kingwin_Lazer_Platin...
    Reply
  • johnny_boy - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    Why don't they build "dual PSUs" that combines a low wattage psu (max 10W) with a higher wattage psu such that it switches to the low one when the computer is in standby and switches back to the higher wattage one when powered up. A standard desktop PSU must be massively ineffecient when powering a computer on standby. Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    I think VStandby is on a separate circuit; JonhyGuru does test it. Looking a pair of recent reviews, one that was slammed as the worst they'd seen in a long time was only ~70% efficient; but that's still only a few watts of wastage even at max load. And while I've never measured it, I'd expect standby power to be at the low end of the draw range except when you hit the power button and trigger the first part of the resume sequence or if you have and are using USB charging from an otherwise offline system. Reply
  • E.Fyll - Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - link

    Because that would either increase the cost of the unit dramatically or result to a less efficient configuration. Besides, the difference between the least efficient and the most efficient PSU at standby is just a few cents per annum from an economic point of view. Improving the efficiency of the PSU at such low a load has zero actual purpose, therefore the companies are sticking to meeting the base guidelines rather than wasting resources and increasing the cost of their products to do that. Reply
  • lucyfek - Tuesday, July 08, 2014 - link

    Does the fanless PSU really matter (besides for the pricetag)?
    Once you realize that decent PSU with 120mm slow fan is barely audible (definitely quieter than average CPU or GPU). Besides that you'll need to evacuate the heat out of the case somehow.
    I did have 2 fanless PSU back in the day. Was my PC really quiet because of that - nope.
    Reply
  • mapesdhs - Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - link


    See my earlier post for a longer suitable reply, but basically, supposedly quiet PSUs
    are usually not at all quiet, hybrid PSUs are poor quality, and heat rises. The PSU
    I bought had a big label & notice inside making it very clear how it should be used
    to ensure proper natural convective airflow.

    Ian.
    Reply
  • houkoholic - Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - link

    The usual good silent case with the right padding are also big. My last two silent cases were the famed Antec P180/182. Sure they were silent but they were nearly full tower size huge, I simply have no need for so much space in my current lifestyle when all I need in my build that isn't already on the motherboard is nothing more than a SSD, a single data storage HDD and one GPU.

    Recently I build a small micro-ITX build using the Antec ISK600 case, the shell of that case is just thin aluminium with no sound proofing unlike the P180s. So I put in a fanless PSU in there, threw out the Intel cooler for a Noctua tower cooler which runs a 120mm fan, the included case fan was good enough to be near silent thus my only component which makes any sort of whirling noise now is the the GPU stock cooler. In the end my build is silent and its footprint is small enough that I can put it on a bookshelf right next to my ears yet it is powerful enough for gaming. My total fan count in the build is 3 instead of 4, and one less fan is still one less component to worry about contributing to noise.
    Reply
  • houkoholic - Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - link

    One less part contributing to the noise can still factor in. Any fan could be victum to dust and wear which causes it to start making noise (happened to me a few times with PSU). If I have to pay for the privelage such that I don't have to clean my PSU fan as well, so be it, and that already has a point for its existence - and I suspect that there are enough people out there thinking the same to justify the existence of such products. Reply
  • dishayu - Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - link

    This will go really well with my reference design R9 290. :D Reply
  • sheh - Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - link

    Thanks for the review!

    A request: Can you start testing PSUs at specific load (or draw) wattages instead of percentages, and go lower than 50W? Percentages arne't very meaningful by themselves, and watts can be compared directly. And watt-wise, modern computers under light load take less than 50W. Much less, actually. So 20% of this PSU might be what a modern computer draws at maximum CPU load.
    Reply
  • mapesdhs - Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - link


    I agree, I think my gateway uses about 30W or so.

    Ian.
    Reply
  • E.Fyll - Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - link

    Actually no, because that is beyond the testing guidelines. 20% is the minimum acceptable testing limit for switching PSU power quality tests. It would also be meaningless to test a 1000 Watt unit at 50 Watt; that only implies that this unit should not have been there in the first place.

    Switching PSUs are inherently not capable of efficient operation at very low loads. It is worse to have a far too powerful PSU rather than a heavily loaded PSU.
    Reply
  • torp - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    Testing guidelines be damned. A modern desktop idles at 40 W or less. I don't care what the specifications say, I want to know the efficiency in real world conditions. It's not like you can buy sub 500 W PSUs any more... with the lone exception of Seasonic's G360... if still available. Reply
  • sheh - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    400-450W are rather common, and maybe some <400W as well. But I think what's more pertinent is that span of loads in modern computers is larger than it used to be. CPUs and graphics cards have better dynamic power management and are more efficient in general, but you also have graphics cards with extreme power draws under load, and sometimes multiple cards in one system. Reply
  • sheh - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    Isn't the 20% thing just an old decision by Ecos Consulting? I guess even a modern tri-SLI system will use <100W on light desktop load. Reply
  • versesuvius - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    Underclocking is the word. It is also a good idea. A true enthusiast's wonderful scheme. Want a stable, reliable, quite system? Pay as much as is possible and then underclock, cpu, gpu, ram. For power supply this model has done it for you already out of the box. Better yet, buy a 1600 watt unit, which almost always uses no fan above 600 watts and you are even better set. Reply
  • versesuvius - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    That is: "... a 1600 watt unit, which almost always uses no fan above 600 watts and you ..." Reply
  • versesuvius - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooops!!!!!!!
    That is: "a 1600 watt unit, which almost always uses no fan below 600 watts and you ..."
    Reply
  • Dr.Neale - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Why not buy the genuine SeaSonic SS-520FL2 with a known seven (7) year warranty, listed on NewEgg.com for the exact same $139.99 price, and also 80+ Platinum certified, single 12V rail, fanless, 520W, etc. etc. Reply
  • Haravikk - Monday, July 14, 2014 - link

    I have one of the Seasonic units that this is very similar to, and I have to say I've been really pleased with it; the total absence of a fan is invaluable for a quiet build.

    I also wanted to note, while the stickers and instructions tell you to mount this right way up, I've been running mine vertically (AC outlet aimed down) in a customised case on feet, but the airflow from the rest of the case keeps the PSU nice and cool. So with careful positioning and consideration of airflow there should be no issues, the instructions are really just for general use (pop it in, plug everything in and go).
    Reply

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